I recently spent 5 days in Texas doing some house painting for my daughter and her husband as we prepare to move her from Kansas to Texas at the end of the month. You know how they say “all work and no play…” Well, I was able to do some bank fishing at her neighborhood pond one morning. As I approached the water’s edge, I heard a strange popping sound. As the sun begin its slow rise on a beautiful, dry (for a change) morning in south Texas, I saw that the culprit was some type of carp. I had gone out there with two rods, a 5 wt. and a 3 wt. One was loaded with a frog popper, in hopes of dueling with a bass, and the other was tipped with a hare’s ear nymph and a VOSI (for bream or whatever else wanted to come out to play). I dangled the hare’s ear by the fish and it didn’t seem interested at all, so I began pounding the banks with the popper. After 10 minutes or so, I switched from a popper to something that I thought I could fool the carp with, Catch Cormier’s SR72 Wooly Bugger (olive color). There were several carp making a ruckus near the concrete bulk head so I tried every kind of presentation to try to fool one of them to slipping my fly into its mouth. My first taker was a nice chunky crappie (sacalait) that I quickly released. Then the fun really began as I hooked into my very first carp. It was very angry, so say the least, and it took me all around the bank for about 13 minutes. The problem was, I had never dreamed I would be hooked up on something that large and I had no net or boga grip with me. I eased the fish close to the bank and tried to grip its tail to land it. Boy was that a mistake! It didn’t like that at all and took off with a big splash as it broke my tippet.
Lesson learned, I walked back to my car, grabbed my boga grip, and returned to where there were at least another half dozen fish working the algae on the bulkhead. Ten minutes later I was doing battle with another big carp. This time I was able to get the fish to the boga grip and land it. Oh, I forgot to mention that when I went back to the car, I picked up my gopro camera and a tripod. I was able to snap a quick picture before I released the fish.
I later found out from a buddy of mine that it really wasn’t a carp…or was it. Technically it is a smallmouth buffalo. But further research shows that it is in the carp family. So carpe diem!
Oh, on a side note. Both carp were actually foul-hooked. The first was hooked on its dorsal fin. The second one (the one I actually landed) was hooked under the mouth on the fleshy underbelly. Hey! It still counts! 🙂