The first was caught by my son Blake out of a very small pond with no lake page (not private). They are actually a pair of ponds that total 2.5 acres of water total. Our intention was to go catch some bullheads and try out the carp bait I had mixed up for our next outing at Stearns Lake. The one regret that I have is that I felt that this small venue wasn't worth the time and effort to invite any of my Fish Explorer friends to attend.
That is lesson number one for me--don't count out any body of water for a decent catch. My son's carp weighed in at 18 pounds and was 33" long. When I netted it and got it on the shore we were in disbelief! Looking back I wish I would have at least sent out a heads up that we were going there to some of my friends.
The second fish was caught by Goosehunter at Stearns at our much anticipated Fish Explorer get together. The whole objective of the trip was to catch some big carp and we were not disappointed. Opencage caught a 30" one first then Goosehunter caught his. When we managed to get the fish on the shore he immediately became violently upset with us. He bent GH's hook out of his mouth and then proceeded with breaking my scale! After a few quick photos he was released. We estimate the fish at at least 15 pounds and over 30".
My second observation is that personally I would rather see us catch one huge fish than 20 average ones. Sure, it's fun to catch fish right and left but it's better to have that one big guy that gets everyone's adrenaline going and is the topic of discussion the rest of the day.
My third point is that despite the fact I only caught a small catfish the first trip and I got skunked the second trip--I felt a huge degree of satisfaction out of the success of my fishing companions. I look at Blake and Goosehunter's faces in the photos with their catches and it makes me smile. Being skunked on a day like that doesn't even matter.
Fourth point--How do you top it? My son is so pumped up over his catch that now he's looking at where the state records stand and wanting to break the 20 pound barrier. When you are 11 years old it's easy to have high aspirations!
My last point would be that being "the net guy" can be nerve wracking. The last thing I wanted to have happen when I netted these fish was to bungle it and lose the fish that they spent all that time playing in. That would be like being the closer in a baseball game and giving up a home run! Certainly I did not want to be responsible for the one that got away!
Well, let's see if the next trip we can keep the MA's coming!
the fishing dj, CO 4/21/2015 8:10:13 AM
Great read! I can speak from personal experience when I say that a grassie over 20 ponds is a crazy fight. I've hooked 3. 2 I broke off, and one snapped my rod. Hopefully you can try to organize another carp vent. It looked like the last one was a blast!
Goosehunter82, CO 4/21/2015 9:29:34 AM
That's good stuff. I hope next time we fish together we can get another big one!
JOHN_COSprings, CO 4/21/2015 10:53:44 AM
Great write up ! It does sound like cyprinus carpio has now infected another angler. This disease, once it takes ahold of you has no cure. Temporary relief can be obtained each year by catching a new PB, bigger, fatter and longer specimens!
spicyhombre, CO 4/21/2015 8:10:24 PM
Good read Curtis. I am looking forward to trying those ponds. Haven't been in a couple of years. I doubt I can top Blake but it will be fun trying. I'd love to get Quinn on them. Hit me up next time you are up this way.
Ajax5240, CO 4/21/2015 9:12:47 PM
Will that be Blake's first MA certificate? If so, you need to tape together a frame with the patch and a picture of him with the fish! Keep it up!!
Curtis Kees (bron), CO 4/21/2015 9:22:58 PM
Thanks to all you guys and thanks for reading this. Those of you who are dads....I cant tell you the feeling I got when he landed that.my PB is a 13# carp so at 11 he blew my doors off! The biggest thing is if you look at both photos they have the same happiness regardless of age. I am so glad to have been a part and witness to both those catches.
anglerwannabe, CO 4/27/2015 6:31:22 AM
thanks for putting this together Curtis. Was a great time, well except for the fact GH wet his pants, but,look at that pic! He still looks really proud, wet drawers and all.