Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Formidable Adversary

Mark took the liberty of landing this massive snapping turtle for me.

When: Friday, June 27th, from 6am to 1pm
What: Carp fishing with Mark and Joe
Weather: Warm and humid, overcast to mostly cloudy. Calm wind to N at 6mph E at 7mph and variable at 3 mph. Temps in the mid-80's before noon.
Barometric Pressure: 30.09in and rising
Relative Humidity: As low as 37%
Sunrise: 5:26am
Sunset: 8:31pm
Moon: New. Moonrise 5:51am. Overhead 1:17pm.
Water Conditions: Muddy and warm.

My buddy Chris Lido put it best when he said, "the snapping turtle is a formidable adversary."

Turtles, and in particular snapping turtles, can be an outright nuisance to carp and catfishermen. They often steal bait, get tangled up in the line and every once in awhile, they get hooked. Getting them off the line is a bit tricky, especially when they're over 40 or 50 pounds with a huge head and sharp jaws that try to take your fingers off with every move.

Mark invited me to do some carp fishing on Friday in his neck of the woods after musky fishing on Wednesday. Joe came along and between the three of us, we had no shortage of carp tackle, carp rods and carp bait. Joe got started early by landing a carp on a mulberry under a mulberry tree, but things got quiet for awhile after that.

We tried different baits, different rigs and different flavors, but it was just one of those days when there were carp around and they just didn't seem to want to eat.

It happens.

As we were nearing the end of our fishing session, some telltale bubbles started appearing around one of my baits. Unfortunately, these were not the telltale bubbles of a carp. Within minutes, my line took off, but not with the speed at which a carp would take it.

I had a turtle on the line.

And it was a big one.

I tussled with a big snapper for a few minutes, and although I would normally try to liberate it from a distance, Mark was all about landing it for a photo op.

Better him than me.

It took Mark a minute to haul the beast up the bank, but he eventually succeeded. We snapped a few money shots, Mark took the hook from its paw, and we set it free no worse for the wear.

That would be the biggest thing we landed, but Joe added a couple other carp to our haul.

Once again, it was pleasure fishing with Mark and I learned a ton from his vast knowledge of carp fishing. Looking forward to catching some big carp with him, and hopefully a few big muskies as well.

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