I Pro Staff for a US company that creates and sells ultra light telescopic fishing rods called pen rods;
they are basically what got me back into fishing after years and years. (that's another story)
All you need to know really is that I test the rods to destruction in the hopes of catching the biggest possible fish I can on them! Currently my biggest is a 17.5lb carp! and that held the world record for a fish caught on these rods for four years! It was then beaten by a fellow fisherman in the US who landed a 21lb carp!!
the rods are not designed to handled such fish...we are testing them to see exactly what they can do so people buying them know what they can and cannot do with them....
the fun part of the "job" is simply hearing and seeing what other people around the world are catching: the company offers a prize for the biggest fish caught on video and verified by weight on video with one of their rods!! So I regularly get stories of fish being landed that could hit the current world record hard...this is just such a story.......
" Last evening a few of us went to help out a
friend who has a fish farm where he is growing Barramundi, In order to
clear the lake of weeds he had introduced grass carp and other species of the
local carp family called Rohu and Catla. he wanted our help to harvest both
Barramundi and carp since he had to supply order for live fish. Armed with our
usual spinning rods and Poppers/ stick baits etc we hit the lake. after a
couple of hrs. I was tempted to use the Pen extreme for a spot of bait fishing
. I was using a 10 lb line as against the 8 lb recommended. The bait used was
bread bollies. after a few small carps i got a hit with my float
disappearing and a black head breaks water and takes off with the
line. it took me close to 1 hr 20 mins to guide the monster close to shore.
Since I did not have a landing net or a Gaff on hand one of my friends crept
into the water behind fish and managed to scoop him on to the shore. You would
not believe it it was the biggest Fresh water fish I have ever caught in my
I could not get a good
video of the episode and could not weigh him on the shore. i kept the fish
alive in the holding tank and took it home to weigh it . you would never guess
the weight.. In lbs it weighs 34.54 lbs (15.7 x 2.2 lbs) 15.70 kgs.
Sadly; as the story says; there is no video evidence and the photo simply doesn't give any idea of the scale of the fish at all.....but isn't that part of the pleasure of fishing? the HUGE fish that you know you caught but have nothing to prove for it other than your own memories of the fight and the first tantalising glimpse of the fish that you thought was big...but not quite THAT big!
These days; with camera phones and a virtually connected world; there really is very little excuse for not capturing some kind of footage or photo of your catch...but is that always the best way?
When I was young my father used to tell me of a small river fed lake in a section of Kings Lynn. He used to fish the lake when he visited family in the town and it contained; by his own words; a pike that was battle scarred and nasty as hell; called by all who knew of it "Scarface"; because of a deep scar along its face from a treble hook where it had fought and snapped up the local fisherman on numerous occasions. We used to drive by that bit of Kings Lynn regularly and he always tipped his head towards the water and you could see he was thinking about that pike...it had become more than a fish..more than a photo or a video or a weight on some scales....
and I used to sit there and imagine that beast lurking amongst the weeds, and lilies and rubbish thrown in by the local kids; how many cats had old Scarface nobbled? how many baby ducks? how often did that mean old bugger lay there in his dusky depths and watch the wiggling fingers of the children playing in his pool?
Or of the time he and his buddy Norman where zander fishing along the Ouse; Norman was landing a nice zander when a pike "with a head like a horse!!" erupted out of the water; taking the zander and the terminal tackle back into the murky depths like some fresh water based scene from JAWS! The pair ran up the bank; ran back to their car and sat within until the sun finally came up fully an hour or so later...only returning to the bankside to retrieve their rods and beat a hasty retreat....possibly to change underwear.
Are the stories true? does it matter? my father recounts those tales often..and they have never changed...for the last 30+ years they have not changed a single time! they belong in the history of my family; alongside the time my brother hooked a passing boat on the Norfolk Broads and wall pulled off his creel; or when he accidently shot my Granddad whilst wildfowling on the marshes one morning....
isn't that why we fish? isn't that the magic of fishing? what lies beneath the waters in which we place our baits.....
we never truly know; we have an idea, sure...but we never truly know....
and that's where the magic of fishing truly lies!!