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Monday, April 20, 2009

My new carp record

Went out for my first carping trip of the season, as most species are still closed. I wasn't expecting to catch too many with the sunny skies in the forecast and the water temp barely over 40 degrees, but was hoping to land at least one or two decent fish.

Fishing was very slow. After having some dough balls eaten off by panfish, I switched to corn nibblets that I was using for chum, set up as hook bait.

After about 3 hours of nothing, I finally got a hit about 15 minutes before we were scheduled to leave for another spot. I let the fish run with it, then set the hook after about 20 seconds of so. The carp ran straight out then seemed to stop in it's tracks. I saw it surface from afar and it seemed like a decent fish. It was tangled in the line for a couple minutes, but eventually came untangled and started running as expected.

As it ran by me near the shore, I finally got a glimpse and realized it was by far the biggest carp I had ever hooked. I estimated it to weigh about 30 lbs and yelled for my buddy to get the net and camcorder. As soon as it saw him approaching it ran like crazy. Luckily, I had a good hookset and after a few more runs we had it in the net.

Though it was truly a giant, it didn't fight as hard or fast as a smaller 12 or 15 pound fish would. It simply decided where it felt like going and just did so at will, though it didn't seem to be in any hurry to do so. Kind of like comparing horsepower to torque.

It was definitely my biggest carp so far, so after after freeing it from the net, we snapped some shots. When I finally weighed it, it showed between 39 and 40 lbs on my hand held scale. I realized that I just broke the official Ontario carp record which still stands at 38 lbs, although I know people that have caught carp over 40 lbs in the same waters of the St Lawrence River and never bothered registering them.

I was determined to register the fish, but wasn't about to ruin my buddie's upholstery by hauling it to the nearest certified scale in his car. I decided to leave it with him, and headed down the road to Ingleside to get advice from Mark Jarvis who runs Carpins (, a family owned tackle shop near the Long Sault national park. When I got there, I mentioned what happened, and how I was considering submitting the fish as a record, as I have no clue how to proceed. He immediately agreed to come out to my spot with a real scale.

He got there shortly after I did, the fish was still alive and well. He set up a tripod with a sling to weight it in, and set the tare to zero. The "moment for truth"... The fish weighed in at a mere 32.5 lbs. A great big fish yes, but nowhere near the record.

Though I was a bit let down by the handheld scale, I was was still very happy with the trophy. I decided to attempt reviving it, and to my surprise, it was fully revived within a couple minutes, and swam off like so many other carp I've released. I guess carp are pretty tough suckers.

Ok, I didn't beat the official record, but I I topped my P.B. by a whopping 6.5 lbs. Exact measurements we 40 x 25 inches, 32.5 lbs.

I will post the pics once they are developped.

Chatted with Mark Jarvis for a while. The guy's a carp fishing legend and runs the only fishing store I know of in Canada that specializes in carp fishing gear. He's been fishing the Long Sault area for over 40 years, and has been targeting exclusively carp for the past 12 years. Anyone with that sort of experience makes for an interesting carpers conversation, not to mention that he's an all around great guy. I thank him again for taking the time to come out to weigh the fish.

Footnotes to this story:

1) I checked my scale against some dumbell weights at home and it's accurate to within 1/2 a lb for 35 lbs of weight. I also checked some length x girth online fish calculators that show my fish with an approximate weight of 28 - 33 lbs, which concur with the reading on Mark's scale. How my scale showed between 39-40 lbs will remain a mystery (possibly the fish flapping or it not being set properly at the time)...

2) Being the total moron that I sometimes am, I loaded the camcorder clips onto my home PC, but forgot to save them when I was distracted by the kids aroung dinner / homework time. Later, I deleted them from the camcorder, and when I came back to edit them on the PC, I realized my error. Anyway, the footage was really bad, the only decent shot I got was of the "official" weigh in, so I'm not too mad at myself.

1 comment:

Trish Stratus said...

wow! thats a huge catch indeed. congratulations!