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Story 2016 Aidan and the 15 pounder

Page history last edited by Jerome Moisand 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Aidan and the 15 pounder



October 2016


Local pond in MA

See also Picture album




Aidan is a special kid. At the time of writing, he was 11 and has more fishing experience than most grown-ups. His dad took him sea-fishing since he was 2 (!). Aidan is equally accomplished at freshwater fishing, switching from a bass rod to a fly-fishing rod in an instant. 


I met Aidan at one of our Take a Kid Carpin’ events in MA. Most kids enjoy the day, have a big smile when landing a nice fish and... that’s it. A few kids, you see in their eyes that they are different and fishing is special for them. Those precious few, I try to take them fishing alone or in pairs later on, to give them a more complete experience. We enjoyed a few sessions with Aidan, allowing him to land a nice 12 pounder from a local lake and multiple smaller ones. He's always enthusiastic, very polite and very eager to help other kids or the mentors. 


Last winter, I had an idea. Why not take him to a special swim where we can usually easily catch multiple small mirrors. So we did on January 3rd. We drove an hour, fished for most of the day, got exactly one run, and lost the fish. This was dispiriting, to say the least. On the way back, to try to lift his spirits, I made a promise to help him catch a 15 pounder this fall. 


Chasing the elusive biggie


Well, easier said than done. I didn’t want to go to our local large river (keeping it for next year!), I wanted us to have to work on it, to make it truly worthwhile to catch it. We settled on a local pond where I caught multiple upper teens in the past, although most fish are relatively young, between 8 and 12 pounds. We tried my usual spot, we caught a few, nothing sizable, plus the water level got really high.  We noticed fish jumping on the right side, 50 yards away. Also Aidan proved to be quite the crayfish hunter while we were waiting for a run, and showed me that all those rocks where we occasionally got snagged had definite value! Food for carp, food for thoughts.



I started to prebait the right side, an area where I never fished before. We gave it a try late morning, caught a few fish, nothing special. We gave it another try early in the morning, caught a few fish, still nothing special. I kept chumming every day, sticking to the plan. I tried by myself late afternoon, and was rewarded by immediate runs (including a rare mirror), alas I also broke my braided line on underwater rocks more often than not. Yesterday, I added a long 80lb Powerpro leader to my rods, and we went fishing around 4pm. No quick run on the first rod as I was retying my rigs. I was a bit itchy, and rolled my eyes when the first take was a baby carp, one pound at most. Then things heated up, and we started to catch 2, 3… 8 fish in a row (and lost very few). Aidan was happy with a couple of fish exceeding 10 pounds, I was not quite satisfied... Right after I netted a fish, another rod I had put aside during the fight started to get dragged in the water, we both jumped after it, Aidan was faster and did save the rod (and the day!), and we were both thoroughly soaked.


As the dark settled, the biting slowed down. Aidan asked me if the fight with a bigger fish is different. I told him that smaller fish tend to stop running once you engage the bait runner, while bigger fish will usually keep going. He mulled on that, then we had a run. Which did very exactly what I had just described. Aidan started to play the fish (he's very good at it, although the spot is tricky with overhanging trees), and there was no question this one was different. He finally got the fish close, but another rod started to scream, darn it. I grabbed the offending rod, stuck it between my legs, and we could finally land the big one. Which turned out to be 15-4lb. No need to say that the excitement ran pretty high, for both Aidan and myself. Made it! I think we have a new carper for life...



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