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Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Carp Fishing Tale (or should I say tail?)

Before traveling to the 2018 Carp Anglers Group Midwest Regional event this year I followed the weather forecast closely for several days. With 2018 being my 5th annual trip to the event, it's something I look forward to for several months. But nothing could have prepared me for the 65 mph wind gusts and 2-3 foot waves rivaling the Gulf of Mexico in Bay City, Michigan on Friday during the afternoon "pre-fish" portion of the event.

I prepared two kinds of homemade boilies, flavored corn and birdseed with intentions of using it to pre-bait heavily on Friday in preparation for the Saturday morning starting time. I planned to pre-bait again on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. in preparation for the Sunday morning starting time.With the winds on Friday and the heavy boat traffic on Saturday afternoon/evening I changed plans; and there would be not pre-baiting. With the conditions on the river at the time, I considered it a waste of time, energy and resources.

Saturday's weather was nearly perfect to start and the river conditions correlated closely behind. The water had barely a ripple anywhere and as close to a "mirror" that a river likely ever gets in springtime. The wind and waves were only a memory.

I set-up and cast 3 rods at short distance. I noticed a small carp surface at first to the right side of my swim and a little while later I noticed my left rod was flickering. Experience told me that a carp or possibly a catfish was bumping my pack bait, which is a promising indicator of feeding carp and a reliable predictor of a future bite and a high probability of catching a fish in the near future.

The indicator would rise a little bit, and then fall. It was moving very slowly, but very deliberately. I kept watching and within a few minutes, I had a fish on the line.

I've noticed a trend locally that larger fish sometimes end up being lazy fish. As an example, my recent 37 pound personal best from a local lake made a couple of bob's and weave's at first when hooked, but ultimately gave up the fight early and was "dead weight" on 90% of the retrieve. But this river carp had other plans.

This fish made several runs straight away, but tired and I gained some line. Then as it neared the shoreline it darted hard to the right and after a while darted hard back to the left and toward the bank. There was a bunch of fallen tree limbs and submerged roots nearby. Ultimately, my adherence to patience and persistence corralled the 33 pound fish in the net with some assistance from Vinny in the swim to my left. (Thanks Vinny.)

33 pounds 2 ounces
I love it when careful planning, experience and luck join forces and result in catching fish. It's even better when the fish is the second largest fish you have ever caught.

In another "first" for me this year, this fish bent a size 4 hook at a 45 degree angle. In the end I was fortunate that I did not loose her to a hook pull. I've bent hooks on snags before, but never on a fish.

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