Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thanks Barry (and Kurt)

I just love bowfin!
I can't resist sharing a few more things from the epic day yesterday. So Kurt and I got out fairly early and started seeing fish right off the bat. I was using a new fly that my buddy Barry Reynolds shared with me. He said that this fly had caught 71 carp in 5 outing for him and I was ready to put it to the test. But of course knowing the fish in Lake Champlain, I did a couple that had a lot more weight to them. Within 15 minutes of being on the water this new fly got me a 28", 8lb Master Class bowfin. So Barry, your fly isn't just for carp any more!

I hooked up with a carp soon after that and the thing just wakes water like nobody's business and breaks me off. They still like that fly Barry... We went to another spot and started seeing bigger fish. Then we saw the object of my desire- Carpzilla!  This fish I hooked twice last year. It is a true hogger of a carp. Just a massive beast. We worked the area and I couldn't take it... I had to have that fish. I asked Kurt if he would mind paddling while I fished. Graciously Kurt said "No problem!"

Holy Carp! Light tippet, huge fish, nerve wracking!
We started working the area again. Worked it and worked it. Our initial game plan was to hop to another place and get after some gar. We are working on an article and need lots of pictures. Unfortunately by that point I was obcessed... I had it bad people.... I was on the hunt for Carpzilla and I wasn't going to leave until we had that critter on. 

We were floating through an area and I spotted this fish. It was a huge bowfin. I mean huge- well over 30". I ended up losing that fish in some weeds but as we drifted there was Carpzilla!  Oh No Carpzilla!!!! AAAIIIEEEEEEE!!!! Look out Tokyo!  I put the more heavily weighted new Barry fly in front of it and with a quick hoover the fish was on!  

That is a brute!
Now when I fish Lake Champlain carp I either use a 6 wetight or an 8 weight. Today I was using the 8 and I was very pleased that I did. I was also fishing with my favorite tippet- 3X Mirage. That has a breaking strength of 9.2lbs. I had lengthened my leader twice as well. With a big fish like that you think about your knots quite a bit. Carpzilla kept circling the canoe. Kurt dropped the anchor for me so we could play the fish better. The fish started making a big run but really didn't go too far. Then all of a sudden the boat is drifting free. The knot on the anchor came loose! Now I was really thinking about my knots....
That is just after it bitch slapped me!

We got the fish into the shallows and after another round of working it in, I lead the fish into Kurt's waiting net... I had Carpzilla!!!! I felt as overjoyed as Tokyo residents as they watch Godzilla head toward Yokohama instead of their city...  We got some pictures and then had to go out to locate the anchor. A Steve Irwin style jump landed me the 12 pound mushroom and we were back in business. The fly had to be replaced though. The hook bend was angled out and the hook shank had a good kink in it as well....

I took over paddling again because I really wanted to try to get Kurt into one of these things too. We anchored at another spot and started seeing fish. We were both casting to them. The water was a bit murky so it was tough to make out the fish well. I spotted a fish heading into an area I could cast to easily so I put Barry's new fly back there. The line tightened and it was off the races! 

nice hoover!
This huge wake barreled over and through the weedbeds in the area. It had my reel screaming! Nice fish I thought, but I didn't expect it to be anything out of the ordinary. Kurt started getting his camera gear ready and I jetisoned the anchor as I played the fish (multitalented huh?).  Kurt took the paddle and we started following the fish. When we got up close to it I could tell it was a bit bigger than they typical carp. It made a lunge for some emergent weeds and I had Kurt work the canoe back out and fortunately we turned it. We got it out to more open water and it just started towing the boat along. Nantucket sleigh ride Champlain style! And a great way to tucker out a big fish. 
Great golden color! I can't wait to see Kurt's pics!

I knew that when it started to nose up out of the water it was ready. Kurt got the net out and I lead the fish in. Another bruiser!  More pictures and the fish went bac k.  Kurt and I worked the weeds a bit more, but we were both pretty tired and hungry at this point and called it a day.

And what a day it was.... But Kurt didn't get skunked- 3 perch ladies and gentlemen! (but I guarantee I will put him back on carp soon!)

I am the Perch King- I can do anything!

1 comment:

  1. That is a pig! Very nice Drew. What is this Carpzilla fly?