Ludicrous. Insane. Stupid. But just plain fun. I finally caught my first carp from a kayak today.
I started out walking shoreline, but I only saw a few fish. I did have one eat from a good fish, but the line was buttoned down tight in my fingers and with one powerful head shake the tippet broke. When I got out on the kayak some perch and smallmouth sporadically nipped at the fly.
After stopping to photograph a great blue heron I made my way to my intended destination, a nice back bay with a combination of rocky and mud/leaf matter bottom that makes it the perfect location for carp to forage. I knelt instead of sitting in the kayak and soon began spotting tailing carp. I spooked the first two, most likely because I made small noises trying to set the paddles down. The third and fourth may have taken, but I didn't hook either. The fifth took for sure and I missed it, which was a bummer because it was a very special fish. It was fairly large, but that's not the cool part. It was bright white. I saw it tailing 20 feet away in very dirty water. When I got close I cold see it was almost entirely lacking in pigment, except the fins which were yellow and a gold sparkle on the scales. What I wouldn't give to get another shot at that fish.
I spooked the next one. But finally I passed by one that was tailing violently in the leaf litter. I managed to turn without making much noise. I dropped my Black Ops in front of it and it made a decisive turn.
All hell broke loose. The craziest battle I have ever had with a fish ensued. I was given a run for my money by an average sized carp. The fish towed my toward deeper water, but was eventually going fast enough to dump into the backing, although only a few feet. By this point I had figured out that the fish would go under a rope holding steady a big inflatable slide. I began pulling myself towards the fish, and got in position to pull the rod under the rope and out the other side. After a little run around the fish went back through, this time not stopping. gave slack and paddled back to the rope to repeat the exercise. I was able to get the fish within leader distance before it ran again. I went for a dance in and out of the buoys. The fish occasionally pulled me around in circles. Eventually I decide to take matters into my own hands. I dumped about 15 feet of line and paddled to shore with the rod between my legs. They say that the last thing you want to do when fighting a fish is to give slack. In this case I needed to get my feet on solid ground to land my fish. And when I was I finally was the one in control.
The Black Ops was nailed perfectly in the upper lip. When I picked up the fish for a photo he posed with dorsal up. Strong, smart, and beautiful.
I got a couple more shots but eventually the heat and the wind drove me off the water. But not before I got a great shot of a lesser blue heron on a fallen tree limb in the water. It's so beautiful on the lake in the morning.