Today started out at a brisk 28 degrees in Maryland. My friend launched his new boat on the Patapsco River near Baltimore Maryland, to begin the break-in process. After some scouting on the fish finder and seeing some activity, we began throwing rattle traps in the hopes for large Maryland striped bass.  

Working areas of with current and eddies did not show any results. We worked around a few bridges in the hope for a crappie bite also, but no success. Marks on the fish finder remained constant and so did our intent on figuring out what lurked below the boat. Finally, something jumped just yards from the boat. “Wait was that a striped bass”, no clue. A few casts later my friend hooked up with something very large and lethargic in the 45-degree water. After a minute of fighting the fish with his medium light rod, buckling over, the hook came free. 

Moments later, I hooked into a fish and quickly lost whatever was on the end. A few cast later, I hooked into something large and the drag began to scream. Every time I got the fish near the surface it would bolt away, stripping line from my reel. It made a few attempts under the boat and I was able to fight it back every time. The arc in my medium light rod was insane, as I held onto the main part of the rod with my hand to horse this beast of something from the river. This fish was not coming to the boat, without a fight. 

15min went by and my hopes of large Maryland striped bass fell apart. However, I was excited to see my personal best carp on the end of the line. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a tape measure or scale to measure or weigh the fish.  The fish was returned to the water to fight another day!

I never understood the allure of fishing for carp. Well, until you catch a carp like this one, you wouldn’t have a clue. I think this just opened me up, to finding trophy carp in the future!

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

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