Slipped in a small bit about looking for big carp during evening prayers last night. Might have slipped it in this morning, too, but the mornings are a blur.
An old Big Lake walker and his wife recommended I try the larger body of Big Lake, that around this time of year the big carp are sucking air. Figured that was as good a place as any to pursue the hunt. "Seek and ye shall find," etc, etc.
As you can see here, I saw a sea of lily pads from the edge of the water.
My actual port-of-entry into this muck hole was straight ahead in the above picture and on the other side of the "jutty out thing."
The view was like the picture below, as far as the eye could see, with several large breaks and open spots, without flowers... and pretty, in a mucky way. With silt squishing underfoot - sometimes knee deep - I trudged on.
I was on that water for about an hour. Saw what looked like a crocodile. Maybe it was a gar? Maybe a long-necked turtle? Maybe a real friggin' crocodile? I approached.
Found it to be the part of the carp from about the shoulder to the snout as it gulped air.
I peppered tailers, gulpers and bubbles for the latter quarter-hour. Snags abounded with my double-fly rig, so I snipped off the back one and hooked FAR less pads. Had a couple investigators, but no baptisms.
Then, I blind cast to some bubbles. Stripping in slow, I hooked a lily pad. I kept tension, trying to remove the root hold. My heart started pounding as the familiar fluttering of a tail fin set action through the line and revealed the lily pad's true identity.
Oxygen starved. Well fed. This is what this fish had to deal with as it pulled. Runs were strong, but very brief. When I say it ripped line off, I mean it RIPPED line off, but for about 15 feet. After each, it would lumber around against the tension of my line.
I got it to hand and attempted to net, but it was too large in the shoulder. I got my hand around it and attempted a lift, but juggling the pole and watching for the hook caused just the right amount of shift in the fish, and it unbuttoned.
You skeptics may claim I didn't catch a carp this morning... but I had it in my hand. I was waist deep in nitrogen and phosphate rich, excrement smelling muck water and didn't want to chance more than the above on my cell phone. I promise I caught one, and I promise it was awesome.
Also, a word to the wise... fighting a carp around lily pads is tough. Make sure you angle well around those babies. Might as well wrap around a tree trunk on those larger ones.
Again, those little things we're blessed with in answer to our prayers seem so insignificant. I do believe we have a Father that cares. Heck, if my daughter says she wants to catch a fish, you better believe I'm doing everything I can to help them. (John 21:6)
Tight lines. I know I had some!