Bowfishing

Hello “Catfish”….

Just a follow-up to my previous journal entry….

I received a nice email this morning from Keith “Catfish” Sutton who related he was happy his suggestions and advice related in his published newspaper article helped me in my quest to land a Grass Carp with a rod and reel.

He also sent me another article that was published back in June of 2004 regarding my carp nemeses. There were portions of it that were absolutely hilarious. The article appeared on the “ESPN Outdoors” website and is titled “Out There: The Grass Carp Grand Slam”.

Thanks Keith ….. Handshake - 001

What else are ‘cherry tomatoes’ good for?

If you know anything at all about Grass Carp, or for that matter carp at all, you know that they are not caught with your typical fish bait. Most folks use their own homemade dough ball concoctions to catch these scaled and finned critters. But more about that later perhaps.

After recently reading an article referring to Grass Carp as the “veggie fish”, the article went on to recommend cherry tomatoes as an excellent bait for catching one of these elusive fish. Having some doubts about the suggestion since I had on numerous times experienced trying to entice one of these fish to my hook over the years and never being successful, I thought, “What the hell – why not give it a try.” So last week when I was doing my grocery shopping I noticed by chance that they had little bags of cherry tomatoes for sale. So I bought one bag.

Yesterday morning I grabbed my rod and reel and decided to give the cherry tomatoes their chance to help me accomplish a long sought quest after years of pursuit. We have several very small lakes nearby, one of which I knew had a plentiful supply of Grass Carp. I went down and walked around looking for signs. I caught glimpse of a couple out a ways under the water. I cut one of the cherry tomatoes in half and I baited a hook with it, no sinker, weight or bobber, and gave it a toss. The weight of the cherry tomato took it to the bottom. It was only a matter of minutes before I noticed the line beginning to be very slowly drawn out farther and after waiting a moment, gave my fishing rod a huge tug and oh baby…..I had a big one. Unfortunately, about fifteen seconds into the fight my line broke right at the hook.

Obviously I was somewhat disappointed of course but not totally because I knew I had apparently just hooked my first Grass Carp with a rod and reel. I replaced the hook, doubling the fishing knot used to tie the hook to my line, baited it with the other half of the cherry tomato and gave it another toss. After about ten minutes or so I noticed the line moving an inch or so every few seconds. Then again it began to be slowly dragged away. Again, with a large tug on the rod, I had set the hook in what was apparently another big one. This time I won the battle and took a photo to properly document the event. I’m guessing the little critter weighed in at around 15 pounds.

Lakewood Lake No.3 - Grass Carp(Grass Carp Caught in Lake #3 in Lakewood – Click to Enlarge)

As soon as I took the photo and released the carp, I packed my gear and headed back to the house. No need to sit there and catch them all. My mission was to accomplish the goal of catching my first Grass Carp on a rod and reel and it was done! Now I knew all it took was a itsy bitsy little red cherry tomato. Who would have guessed?

I will have to relate more of my adventures concerning carp as time permits along with my introduction to the sport of bowfishing.