Sunday March 11th 2012
After spending Saturday evening buying and putting together a bed from IKEA, Kristi and I had decided that due to the torrential rain we would spend the day lounging at home in front of the box on Sunday. By 11:00 the rain had stopped and patches of blue started to appear in the sky, with which Kristi suggested we go fish Ladybird Lake after some lunch. I loaded up the Trooper and fixed up a batch of bait and whilst we ate we decided to fish 35E bridge in case the rain re-appeared.
When we got to the bridge we found “Big” Ted Cerwin with his buddies Scott and James, trying to catch some more carp after catching a couple on Saturday. This sort of put a kibosh on things as downtown was going to be a nightmare due to SXSW, however we decided to give it a try at the power station peninsula given that if we could not get in there we could carry on out to Redbud or a couple of spots on Lake Austin we have been keeping an eye on.
Parking was OK at the peninsular so we decided to set up there, only main problem was the tip was occupied by a couple with some big gongs they were bashing on, so we set up right near them and put baits out in the main channel and close up. Nothing much happening so I re-baited a few times until eventually the “gongers” started to pack up. We immediately picked up and moved all the gear and had the rods back in the water within 20 minutes.
Fifteen minutes later the first rod went off and I immediately jumped on the rod to try and get it away from the branches floating around the area following the rain. I knew it was a better fish from the get go as it just lugged along using it’s weight to fight. Eventually she came to the net looking very large and in the sling proved to be so, at 32lb 12oz she is my biggest carp from LBL since I moved here. We took the pictures, thanked her for visiting and slipped her back in the lake to fight another day.
While I was packing the bait back around the hook the middle rod went off so I picked that one up and after a hard fight pulled in another cracking looking fattie – this one went 28lb 4oz. NICE – two carp in less than 20 minutes total weight over 60lb, can’t go wrong with that.
I recast the first rod that had been sitting there with bait already on it and proceeded to re-bait the rod I just had the fish on, cast that one back out then pulled in the third rod and re-baited that one too – when packing bait around the hook rather than the lead I like to re-cast about every 15-20 minutes to keep fresh bait going in as when the bait is packed on the hook it is very small (about the size of an egg).
The next fish came about 40 minutes later and was a mid teen of 15lb 8oz, I immediately recast the rod and within 10 minutes had another run. This one was a drop-back which I had to wind down seven or eight turns on the big pit before I briefly felt the fish and immediately lost contact – so one missed fish and a little disappointment.
I am sure everyone has noticed how time passes so quickly when you are catching and slows down when the bite drops off. I would have been happy with the two carp I had already caught but felt there was more to come so kept up the regular re-baiting of the rods every 20 minutes or so. I made sure they were going back in the same spots every time, to build up the baited area around each rod, using various markers on the skyline as directional pointers and just knowing how hard I was casting each rod for the distances required.
Eventually another fish picked up the left hand bait again and off we went with the merry maneuvering around the floating branches, this time the fish also managed to get over the center rod and under the right hand one causing some concern. Kristi picked up the right hand rod to allow me to play the fish out and eventually the fish came to the net. Another good looking LBL carp on the bank, this one going 27lb 12oz.
This time whilst re-baiting the rod the the middle rod (the only one left in the water) started to scream again and the fight was on with yet another good sized carp this one being a little easier due to no other rods in the water however it did manage to wrap itself up around a log so the fight became me dragging in a log and the fish until it was a rod length out when the line came free of the log – thank you P-Line for your amazing CXX line as although it was chewed up by the log it held together until the fish was safely in the net. This carp was very large but had no belly other than in the spawn area – most like this was a high 30lber at some point but now on its way out – on the mat she weighed in at 30lb 4oz.
Sorted out all three rods and as bait was running low I decided that I would start packing up the rest of the gear and wait it out with the last three casts of the day. I packed up a few things and walked them up to the car – while I was walking off I heard a couple of beeps from the alarms but ignored them as I knew Kristi could manage anything that came along. When I got back Kristi had a fish on the same left hand rod and was doing a great job at getting it in so I grabbed the net and duly slid it under an obvious mid-double. The carp went 16lb 8oz and is Kristi’s first 2012 carp.
With only two rods left in the water and neither in the “hot” left-hand rod spot I did not think we would get any other bites so started finalizing the pack-up leaving the rods, mat, net, scales etc until last. Just as I had finished and was about to pull in one of the remaining rods to pack it away the other rod went off so I did what we all do, picked up the rod, whacked it back over my shoulder and connected with another hard fighter. She went 22lb 8oz and topped off an extraordinary afternoon/evening on Ladybird Lake – seven carp for 173lb 8oz for an average 3oz shy 25lb.
Thanks again Big Ted for being where I had decided to fish 🙂 LOL
BTW for those interested the peninsula is a no go at the moment as the parking lot is closed until the end of the month and the work area we parked in is now heavily policed (tried to fish there Monday and was nearly towed, other were getting towed when I got there).