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Thread: Ever see something that makes you heart race???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Sapulpa, OK
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    Default Ever see something that makes you heart race???

    I did today.

    I stopped at the pond at work for a few minutes before going home. I was slowly walking towards the pond, trying not to make loud footsteps, to avoid spooking the fish, as they've been really shallow lately. I get over the rise, so that my head is now looking at the water, but the rest of my body is concealed. I stopped here, and started the process of tying on a foam hopper with a Scud hanging below it.

    As I was trying to get these tied together, I glanced at the water, trying to get a read on current conditions, since it's been several days since I've been here. We've had some rain recently, and the water was crystal-clear. I could see sunfish beds. There was some matted algae hung up on the shoreline, blown in from the prevailing winds several days ago. I could also see a turtle sunning itself just off the weeds.

    Wait a second. What......is......that???? Just a couple feet from the turtle. Is that.....a....fish?? Good grief, it's huge! Probably 3' long! I've never seen, or heard of, Carp being in this pond. I could see a dark, torpedo-shaped silhouette, with light-colored lips. I wasn't totally sure if it was fish, a figment of my imagination, or something else entirely. I decided to finish tying my bugs on, and quickly. Got the last knot on the hook, looked up, and YES, IT'S A FISH! IT MOVED! Cinch the last knot down, and get ready. What direction is it moving? Across my direction, moving from my left-to-right, angled slightly away from me, following the curve of the bank. Can I get a cast off in front of it without spooking it???

    I try as best I can. I never saw a huge swirl and plume of dirty water that would indicate a spooked fish. However, nothing hit my hopper-dropper rig.

    I moved over to the corner of the dike holding the pond in, made a quick cast over near the weedline, and my foam hopper was immediately sucked down. A nice, healthy, male Bluegill decided to eat my bug. Excellent! I've been fishing Deer-Hair Caddis bugs with a Scud hanging below it. Now I know the 'gills are aggressive enough to inhale my size 8 hoppers, which are bigger and more visible than my DHC bugs.

    I only got one fish from that spot (I can usually catch fish after fish here, but not today). I decided to walk to the west side and see if anything over there wants to eat some foam.

    You have to be careful approaching this spot, as there is a sunfish nesting colony right on the bank, in inches of water. I stopped a good 40' away from the spot, and started stripping line to make a cast. I SLOWLY started walking down, while false-casting. To noisy! Several wakes headed for deep water, and nothing took my offering when the bugs landed just two feet from the shoreline.

    I went ahead and walked down to the shoreline, and made a cast out towards deeper water. NOTHING.

    Then, it happened again. I saw a BIG wake, and part of a tail fin, slowly cruising along. I tried to put my offering out in front of it, but just couldn't get it out there. Maybe if I had my 8wt instead of my 5 wt..... But, my 5 wt is what I had in my hand, and no time to get back to my vehicle to switch rods. The fish, whatever it was, was slowly headed up the little cove of the brook that feeds this small pond. I knew that it would have to turn around and leave. I was hoping and praying that it would turn and parallel the bank I was standing on. I made a cast, then started walking to my left, to be concealed by the cattails. I also kneeled down to further hide my presence. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I see the wake and protruding tail fin as the big fish made it's egress from the little cove. Realizing that my bugs weren't out far enough, I quickly lifted my bugs off the water and tried to make another cast to intercept the fish, but again, I just couldn't get it out there.

    I only have a few minutes left before I needed to leave. I decided to cut my rig off, remove the tippet from my furled leader, and tie on a longer tippet, as I felt I didn't have enough tippet between the bug and the leader, spooking the fish. I also decided that since the fish had been spooked by my presence on the bank, I would tie on a Wooly Bugger that I haven't yet had a chance to fish, in a rusty-brown color. I made a cast out, let it sink for a bit, then s-l-o-w-l-y started stripping it in. I got it within 15' of shore, then THUMP! I quickly set the hook, and got to listen to the sweet sound of my leader cutting through the water. I quickly realized I had caught LMB, about 2 1/2 lbs, which is pretty good for that pond.

    Unfortunately, I didn't have either of my cameras with me, so no pics or video. Of the BIG fish I saw, I'm thinking it was a Channel Cat probably about 8 lbs or so. I know there are Channels stocked in that pond, although I've never caught one. I've never heard of Carp, Drum, or Buffalo being in that pond, nor have I ever see signs of those kinds of fish.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    NE Gwinnett Co., GA
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    Big channel cats are a lot of fun, a channel cat 3 ft. long is going to be well over 8 lbs. Years ago I had a neighbor drowning cricket with a fly rod, caught what I remember as 27 lbs. 4 oz., it wasn't 3 ft. long.
    It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

  3. #3

    Default

    A good read. Bet you were too excited to eat when you got home. Probably a carp, cats get pretty wide and fat while carp are a different shape all together (from the ones I've seen) but can't think of the word(s) to describe a carp's shape.

  4. #4

    Default

    Grass Carp do that to me... And they act like your fish did. I even caught one that was just over 3' long.
    Catfish are fun to catch too!
    David Merical
    Ankeny, Iowa

  5. #5
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    Grass carp, and catfish, get huge. There was a 58 lb. grass carp caught by a bass fisherman using a plastic worm when I lived at Tupelo. The state did not keep records for grass carp at the time but the guy thought he had a state record.
    It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Jun 2012
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    Sapulpa, OK
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    Had I been in a public or wild area, I would think it was a Carp. Heck, last year, I tried to catch a couple Koi I found trapped in a creek. I know they get HUGE, and are a great fight on a fly rod.

    The only reason I don't think it's a Carp, is that this pond is private, and has been stocked with only 4 species of fish, Bluegill, Bluegill X Green Sunfish Hybrids, LMB, and Channel Cats. This pond is only about an acre. Lots of weeds and algae in the pond. I've never seen Carp splashing and thrashing around in the shallows during early Spring. Nor is anything munching on all the vegetation. If there was a Grass Carp in here, I'm sure Maintenance (who are in charge of maintaining the pond as well as buildings) would have told me, as they know I hit it frequently (I let them know about things I see going on as well). I haven't seen the two folks that really manage the pond since I saw this fish, so I don't know for sure.

    Once I talk to these gents, I'll let you all know. That is, unless I catch said critter between now and then. Then I'll just post a pic

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Mojave Desert CA
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    Default

    Interesting story Allen.
    There's a couple of man made lakes not far from me. They have a good population of bluegill, LMB and catfish. In the fall they are stocked with trout
    Story goes that a lady had a koi pond in her back yard. She had 2 large koi that she had had for a long time. Her husband get drunk one day, they got in a fight and he netted one and then the other and threw them in the lake. I haven't seen them in a few years but we used to catch glimpses of them cruising around the lake. They looked to be at least 3 feet long and very colorful. She offered a sizeable reward for their safe capture.
    Maybe someone dropped one in your pond. Jim
    I'm either going to, coming from or thinking about fishing. Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Conyers, Georgia USA
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    The thing about warm water ponds is that sooner or later some fisherman or other well-intentioned person is eventually going to release fish into the pond either to create a new/convenient fishery for themselves or because they can't stand to kill a non-native species of fish they have, so they release it in a nice little pond they know of. It happens with Crappie all the time here in Georgia where Bubba catches a bucket full of them and thinks hey, I could let these go in the pond down the street and then I could catch them whenever I want a few to eat. Crappie in a small pond usually results in loads of stunted fish and can ruin a good fishery. It's believed that the current invasion of Snakeheads was the result of people who supply the Asian fish markets with Snakeheads deciding to release some into local ponds, lakes and canals so they can catch them and not have to pay to ship them in from Asia via New York. I live on a 50 acre lake where they use Grass Carp to control weed growth. While I occasionally see them tailing as they feed, it is much more common for me to see a swirl of muddy water where I spooked one (for or five) with my kayak. While it could be a giant bass, my guess that it is either a grass carp or a common carp that has been living there quite some time. Either way, it gives you a new goal to achieve by catching that fish; sort of like your own private Moby Dick. Jim Smith

  9. #9
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    Jun 2012
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    Sapulpa, OK
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    While I can't completely rule out the "bucket brigade" of how fish colonize new waters, it is highly unlikely that any of this has taken place. I work at a Senior Retirement community. Privacy, exclusivity, gated entrance, fence around the property, etc. The pond is managed by Maintenance for the benefit of the residents. I get to fish there since I'm an employee. Catch-and-release ONLY, as insisted by many of the little old ladies that live around the pond; they view the fish as their pets.

    I completely understand about stocking prolific fish into small waters, as this pond is beginning to become overrun with Bluegill. I've read, and firmly believe, that in a small pond setting, all sunfish caught should not be returned to the water alive. Even the Maintenance managers agree with that, but the residents (who pay our salaries) do not agree.

    I don't know when I'll get a chance to talk to the gent's that manage the pond. Holiday weekend coming up, so they might not be in. I'm off today, and maybe Monday as well (my normal day off, but with the Holiday, no guarantee). Definitely Tuesday, I should see one or two of them; I'll ask them then.

  10. #10
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    Well, as luck would have it, I was able to talk to the manager in charge of maintaining the pond. Sure enough, about 4 years ago, he stocked 20 Carp, in addition to the Hybrid Sunnies, LMB, and Channels.

    They never told me they stocked Carp!

    So, now I'm thinking it was a Carp I saw, and probably have spooked a few. There's a lot of matted algae on the windblown side of the pond, a few times I've seen a massive disturbance when my fly line lands on the slop. I've always assumed it was a Bass, but maybe they were Carp?

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