Bycatch

I took a new friend fishing last week. Toby recently moved to Nashville from Florida and was interested in carp so I took him to one of my more consistent spots where we spent the morning (and a good portion of the afternoon!) throwing flies at fish. Toby did very well for a first timer. He quickly learned to pick up on the subtle body language of fish and had four or five very near misses. I hooked one fish which unfortunately made a sudden and explosive run and broke me off under a dock.
One thing that again struck me that day was how easy catching other species seems in comparison. At one point Toby “saw a flash of fluorescent green and flicked (his) fly at it.” A minute later he had a nice bass in the boat:

 I had a similar experience this week, again while hunting carp:

Unfortunately, the carp fishing was not as good as the bass fishing. Conditions were tough and the fish were spooky. With some persistence, and some mucky wading, I finally got a carp in the net:

As luck would have it, I also brought a light spinning rod and a jar of corn. In the last half hour before we had to leave I baited a hook and tossed it into a depression where I knew carp were feeding. After about 20 minutes the reel buzzed – we had a customer! I paddled the boat while Tara fought the fish across the bay. She did a perfect job and played the fish like a pro. She was not so eager to actually hold her prize for a photo but I managed to convince her:

That’s a big fish!

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