Today I landed the biggest common carp I have ever caught in the Blackstone River in RI. My guess is that it was 30 lbs. or more. However, I have no way of knowing for sure.
Here are the facts. I was fishing a "difficult" new spot. This place was down a steep bank where I barely had enough room to cast and stand. I crawled down this bank with only my two rods and banksticks. I did not have a net with me. I also did not have a camera. I wasn't planning on hooking a big fish in this new location. It was sort of an initial "try out" in this spot. The bait was on the bottom no more than ten minutes when I got a slow taker. I grabbed the rod and set the hook. The fish fought like a large fish staying near the bottom and steadily pulling drag. There were no quick movements. Once I got it close to shore I knew I had a giant. "30" was my first thought after I saw the fish breach. I have landed 10 fish over 30 lbs. in the last four years so I know what they look like. It was a back and forth tug of war to get this fish into the shallow, muddy water so I could grab it. One I did, I got a good look at its massive size, typical of river fish in some sections of the river. It had a beer barrel gut, was probably full of eggs and was very wide. A massive fish. In my pocket I did have a measuring tape. I will tell you the fish taped out at 35 inches. That record size mirror that I caught last year was 33 inches and weighed 31 lbs., 8 oz., so I know this fish was in the 30 lb. ballpark. I did have a scale in the rucksack but had no weigh sling or net, so that didn't help. So, I unhooked the beast, pointed its head toward the deeper water and watched it slowly swim away. Hopefully, we will meet up again some day.
And, one more fact....it was taken on a hair rigged chick pea, a bait that has been catching good numbers of large fish for me in the past week.