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Story 2005 The Long Awaited 20 Pounder

Page history last edited by Jerome Moisand 13 years, 10 months ago

My wife is always right... Story of a long-awaited 20 pounder



Nov 3rd, 2005


Spy Pond, MA

See also

CAG forum thread


The story


Flashback in history... I resumed carp fishing early 2002 after more than 20 years of doing not-so-interesting and not-fishing-related things. I live in Arlington, MA and there is a pond fairly renowned for carp in this town named Spy Pond. So although my first US carp didn't come from there, I started to fish this pond quite intensively during the summer of 2002. Quite frankly, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing at that time, and catching a single carp in the day was an exceptional event!

In July 2002, I had a few months of carp fishing behind my belt, a lot of reading of carp books I didn't understand at all, and by then my wife Edith was taking interest in two things:
1. make bait supposed to be close to boilies (yes, we read too much!)
2. have a nice picnic at Spy Pond while I was fishing

We will always remember the week-end of Independence Day, because we succeeded (I intentionally said "we"!) to catch a carp a day for 4 days, which was unprecedented for me at this stage of my carp fishing life!

When I was playing this one, I was VERY FOCUSED on playing the fish, and I didn't notice that a small crowd had assembled behind me watching me clumsily struggle with the beast! When I finally landed it (first pic), I was flabbergasted to hear a round of applause! Hey, this was a very nice fish or so it seemed... (all right, no comment on the pose, I had no idea how to hold a carp by then!).

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So we had this nice week-end, but afterwards I spent an ungodly number of hours on Spy Pond without much results. So I grew tired of it, and decided to focus on some other venues. Against my wife advice.

Yes, I did come back to Spy Pond from time to time in the coming months, but it was never quite satisfying, catching a nice fish from time to time (I believe I had a string of Personal Bests, 11lb, 12lb, 13lb, 14lb!), but somehow I didn't like this venue very much, and almost completly gave up on it.

After catching two new Personal Bests, a 19.5lb then a 29lb (the same week-end!) from other venues, upon my wife's insistence, I came back to Spy Pond, but always to have a session with zero or one fish. My best in the pond moved up to 18lb (always I discovered later on that the scale I was using was wrong by one pound, so it was probably 17lb), and my friend Garry Procter landed a 19lb on a new spot. So we thought... hmmm... there must be 20 pounders in there. This was mid-2003. After trying hard this new spot, nah, there was just no way to catch a fish bigger than 16lb... And I gave up again... Against my wife advice.


Moving forward in time... 2005... I had 3 months off, I was fishing like crazy... My main goal was to catch a 30+ from the Merrimack river (where I've been stuck on this 29lb for a couple of years now!) and to catch a koi. Yeah, right, except that the Merrimack badly flooded. So I didn't have much choice, but to focus on local ponds and catch a 20+ from there. My wife said "nope, your goal is a 20 pounder from Spy Pond". I said "yeah, sure" (never openly contradict your wife!), but I focused on another pond instead where I knew for a fact that 20 pounders were caught. I started well, with a 18lb during my first session, I baited like crazy... All that to see geese become very enamored on my maize, and not catching much. HMPF.

So... very reluctantly... I started to bait a new spot on Spy Pond on a regular basis, and to fish it hard. I was telling my wife that I would eventually catch a 20+, but given the number of 6 to 10 pounds fish I started to land, my hopes were close to zero. I was more convinced I'd eventually catch a mirror than a 20+...


Then Halloween came. The morning found me fishing Spy Pond, and Edith was kind enough to bring me a lunch box. In the past week, she was a lucky charm, I caught bigger fish (e.g. 15lb) whenever she came or called my cell. This time, I went to get something out of my car, and... I had a run! Now this is a VERY RARE pic... My wife prepares bait, does a lot for CAG and CAGers, gives me a lot of advices (I rarely listen), but she does NOT fish herself. She played it nicely, we did land the fish, a nice 10+, but Edith didn't want to touch or hold the fish. 



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Later this day, I moved to the koi pond. Caught nothing for a while, then I got a run! And a phone call a few seconds later. I clumsily answered the phone, this was Edith asking when I was coming home, and all I could mutter was "I'm on a nice fish" before hanging up. LUCKY CHARM! The rest is history... (see the koi record story). Later in the evening, I stated that my 24lb koi was fulfilling the goal of catching a 20+ from a local pond. Edith vehemently disagreed, and said "go fish Spy Pond and come back with a 20+". Yes, dear, whatever you say... 


So I was back to Spy Pond today's afternoon. My main goal was not really to fish, but mostly prebait for a fishing session with Corey Clough (Lance's brother) tomorrow morning. Corey witnessed my monster koi catch, so I owe the guy! Still I decided to fish a bit.

Fishing was a bit slow, I landed a very small one and thought "yeah, NO WAY there is a 20+ in this pond". I swear, I did have this exact thought. 30 minutes later, I was fuming, having lost 2 fish (hook pulls), including one which seemed nice. I recast my rod with the suspicious hook (bait was still there) while I was tying another terminal rig. NEVER lose a minute of fishing, you never know! And DZZZZIIIING, a nice run a minute later. 

Hmmm, this one feels nice. I though "ok, a 15lb fish, that's good". Then my line stopped moving. I lifted the rod, man, it doesn't budge, my line is stuck in a snag. But hey, why is the snag is slowly moving laterally. Darn, my line must have been caught in an underwater piece of wood or something and it's drifting. So I slowly pulled, and it was indeed coming to me like a big heavy floating snag. I "knew" I had lost the fish by then... But suddenly, the snag came to life and rushed on the other side of the swim. Hey, what's happening?

I played the fish for a while, then I got a glimpse of its head, hmmm... doesn't seem big at all. I couldn't make sense of what was happening. When seeing a looong swirl a few seconds later, I realized the fish was very lean and lengthy. I finally landed it and... broke my net while lifting it. It did seem close to 20, but I wasn't sure! My (very busted) digital scale said 21.5lb... Oh no... Minus the net, it would have been 19.5lb... Ok, let's take the real reliable scale. Zero it. And the result is... 23lb - 2 lb = 21lb. YYYYYEEEESSSSSSS! Overall, it took me more than 3 years to get a twenty pounder out of there... Quite a journey! 

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(now you're thinking "yes, he finally stopped rambling, we knew the outcome anyway..." sorry, this is not the case!)

I noticed a couple with two kids nearby, so I called them "hey, could you take a pic or two". Since I wasn't too sure about it, I also called Edith asking her to drop everything and come RIGHT AWAY! Actually, the guy took a nice pic (the first one up there), I sacked the fish (thanks for the sack, Matt & Louis!) and tried to answer the flow of questions from the kids and their dad! While doing so... I had a plan in mind! I re-baited my rod, and cast it. We had a nice chat for a few minutes, and YES, a screaming run made the entire family jump in the air! 

I made the older kid play the fish, and tried to land the fish by hand (my net was broken, remember?), but the fish didn't agree and splashed everybody before running again. We finally landed it and here is the first carp of a future champion! Pics courtesy of Edith who arrived in the mean time, and ruefully said "ok, will you believe me from now on?". Yes, dear, I said... while thinking... "ok, I can go to the m'mack from now on!" 

(yes, that's it, I'm done rambling... hey, forgive me, but I'm a happy angler tonight!) 


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PS. As Pat Kerwin told me a few times in the past month, the more memorable session is when you're not expecting much to happen, and then the incredible does happen! (or something like that!) Wise guy!

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