Despite my need to prepare for the upcoming epic trip to Montana, I did go out this weekend for my third carping attempt since moving to Portland. Is the third time a charm, or is it the fourth? I don't remember. But what I do remember was how damn high the water has been out there on Sauvie Island. Here was my view from one of the small parking areas the first time I went out.
For the most of you who aren't in the know, that's not the lake. At least not normally. Nonetheless, there were actually some carp out in that mess, but they were few and far between and I never really saw any tailing. And obviously I didn't catch anything. This past weekend, however, all that water was miraculously gone!
And in my very first approach to the water I saw a tail dancing around on the surface. To all you non-carpers out there, that means the fish is rooting around in the muck looking for food. This is the moment when they are incredibly vulnerable. In fact in my experience once you find a fish in this situation, the chance of getting a bite is a near guarantee.
Anyway, I set up the camera on the tripod, hit record, and slowly approached. As I neared the fish I tried to gather which direction he/she was facing, but only the very tip of the tail was showing and I couldn't tell so I guessed. Cast, wait, strip, nothing. Then the fish's tail came farther out of the water and showed me I had guessed wrong and he/she was facing the other direction. Aha. So recast, wait, strip, bite! Fish on!
After a fairly brief fight and a couple failed attempts to gather the fish, albeit a small one, into my hands with no net, I picked him up and got a quick shot.
Not a bad start to the day. But unfortunately that was the last tail I saw. There were a couple other places where carp were slowly and mystically moving through the underwater grass. All that was visible were bits of grass moving here, then there, then farther on, slowly tracing a random walk through the wetland presumably in search of food. And too bad for me they didn't want my food and every time I tried to cast to them all I managed to do was spook them.
But this is my first carp since having moved to Portland and my first carp of the year so I was quite happy. Don't worry, I'll be back.
P.S., you have may have noticed that I recorded the ordeal but haven't posted the vid. Sorry. I'm having some trouble getting Windows Movie Maker to load .avi files and I don't have the time to figure it out right now. I'll post it sometime in the future and lie to you saying that it's a new second fish, and make up some super cool story to go along with it. I promise it will be good.