Around five I peeled my eyes away from the Storm Prediction Center's web page and prepared for some 'Carpage'. I went down to my favorite spot and waited for hours. I didn't see a single fish. The only thing that ate the ground-bait were a family of ducks.
After about an hour and a half without seeing, let alone catching, I decided to move. The other possible location usually doesn't have fish, but today it did. And plenty of them. And darn, THEY WERE BIG! I could see one cruising. Every now and then he would tip down and start vacuuming up the bottom. Others were eating constantly, shown by their bubbles. Not one would have go under the ten pound mark! I quickly threw out the ground bait, and the fish just as quickly honed in on it. Once I had quit a few in the area, I cast about twenty feet past then and then brought the bait into the fish.
It was not long before a hit was detected. Rather then a pull, lots of slack was gathered. I closed the bail and slowly brought it in. The fish felt it, and went in the opposite direction, as it normally would in the beginning. I tightened up and the fish freaked out. I could see it, churning up the lily pads. It was not small. I loosened the drag a bit for the initial run. Just in time, the fish took a big arcing run along my shoreline. At first It's direction made me a bit relaxed, then it slowly turned and went towards a sunken tree. My hear sank when I felt the change in pressure that meant he had gone under It. I saw a boil on the far side of the tree. Then I felt him. He had managed not to wrap around anything. Carefully and slowly I pulled him back under the log. When the obstacle was cleared the fish went out, slowly. He then boiled at the surface. I made progress for about two minutes. I got the carp to where I could see him clearly, about ten feet away. I new another run was in order.
This time the big fish chose to stay within a foot of the surface, treating me to the spectacular sight of a huge wake, my line trailing behind, going off into the middle of the pond, doing a run easily 200 feet. After taking all my hard earned line and more, the process was repeated again. After three more less spectacular runs, I had the fish were I could tire it out. The fight was halfway done though. Short bolt through the pads caused me alarm, and several times I was certain the fish would break off when the line wrapped around him. Eventually the fight was one, and by the angler in the maroon brimmed-hat. The fish was big, all of 35 inches and about twenty pounds. It made it to the top of my personal size list. The second place is still held by a fly caught carp last year.