Monday, March 17, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

Early season carp. Man did that feel good.

When: Tuesday, March 11th, from noon to 3pm
What: Carp fishing with Charlie
Weather: Warm but a bit breezy. Mostly cloudy, 64 degrees, wind W up to 12mph and gusting to 21mph
Barometric Pressure: 29.63in
Relative Humidity: 33%
Sunrise: 7:15am
Moon: Waxing, 5 days before new. Moonrise 2:32pm.
Water Conditions: Stained and very cold.

I've said it before. When it comes to fishing, sometimes even the best laid plans don't work out like you want. Then again, sometimes they do.

Today was one of those times.

After wetting a line in open water on Friday, I thought it might be nice to pull a carp out of that hole the next week. So I did everything I could to make sure that happened.

And it did.

After looking at the weather that Friday night, I saw that Monday and Tuesday would be fairly warm. I figured I would try a few hours of carp fishing one of those days, so I "pre-baited" the spot every day before. Pre-baiting is very common in Euro-style carp fishing and is legal for those wondering.

So I went to my spot on Saturday, Sunday and after I realized Tuesday was going to be warmer, I went there on Monday too. Each time I went I took a handful of corn and threw it in the spot where I would be fishing. The spot is 5 minutes from my house, so this really wasn't all that big a deal.

I waited until later in the day on Tuesday for the water to warm a bit, blended up some bread and corn to mash around my sinker, and met Charlie for a few hours of fishing.

Charlie and I were just happy to be out, and he cast a few lures for bass while my hooks baited with corn soaked in the river. After an hour or so, I got two chairs from the car and we sat back enjoying the beautiful day.

While we were talking, I heard a beautiful sound. It was my baitrunner zipping as a fish was taking my offering. I went to pick-up the rod and it stopped for a minute, but by the time the rod was in my hand it was taking off again. I engaged the drag, set the hook and........

Fish on.

As I walked down closer to the water, my rod thumping with the shakes from a nice-sized carp, Charlie got the net. It felt wonderful to be fighting a big fish in open water, and I enjoyed every minute of it. After a couple short runs, Charlie scooped it up and I was overcome with a mixture of relief and bliss.

Not only had we just bagged a 10-plus pound fish, but it felt like this long, dreary winter was finally over.

The fish was quickly unhooked, and after Charlie snapped a few quick pics, I released the beast back into the river where it swam off like a champ.

Then we started hootin' and hollerin'.

This was no doubt a victory. After all, the water could not be much warmer than 35 degrees.

After we settled down a bit, Charlie took the soft-plastic off his Carolina rig and swapped it for a carp hook and some corn. We had a few other fish bumping the line, but none took off with the bait.

We stuck it out for a few more, but both had things to do It had been great to spend some time outside on one of the nicest days of the year so far and we had pictures of a beautiful fish.

Plus, I think I may have just turned Charlie into a carp fisherman.