For most of us who live and or work in the country, the idea of urban fishing goes on the back burner as there are many more beautiful serene places to fish and that hold fish with a better reputation than the one I fish for. I am an avid semi professional carp fisherman. Yep that’s right the four letter word of the angling community CARP. Carp a much maligned fish in the angling community can trace its urban roots back to the 1800s when it was brought to the united states(Baltimore) as a food fish for the increasing numbers of immigrants and non immigrants who were building the infrastructure (hi ways and railroads) of the United states. When the holding ponds in Baltimore filled up, they were transferred to the lakes on what is today the national Mall and those carp were distributed to every state in the country by the department of fish and wild life. The Potomac river and the tidal basin are two of the best carp fishing areas in the world. The tidal basin holding the largest carp ever caught in the USA and weighed on a certified scale(1983) for many years at 57.13 lbs. In Europe where carp fishing is a multi billion dollar industry the record is I believe 80 plus pounds. For those of you fly fishermen and women if you really wanna have fun try fly fishing for carp. Think of it as a freshwater bonefish on steroids. Imagine the screaming runs of a 30lbr that will test your knot tying , drag settings and get you into the backing before you blink an eye. No charters to belize necessary .
The picture is in Austin texas and that fish is about a 25lb White Amur (aka grass carp) I was in Austin for the Austin City Limits music festival and scheduled an extra day just for some urban fishing.. Since 2004 I have traveled to town lake ( now called lady bird Johnson lake). to fish for some monster carp in the annual Austin Team Championships held by The Carp Anglers Group ( CAG) . Town lake is also in the top ten of carp fishing lakes in the country if not the world , yielding the current texas state record fish a few years back with a $250,000 prize.
It is an adventure to fish in the middle of a city, from the comments from passerbys to the shadows of the big buildings it provides a unique backdrop for one of Americas favorite pasttimes.
Wanna try your hand at it come visit me at the store and lets plan a quick getaway to DC to fish for what mark twain called “queen of the river “ and In -Fisherman Magazine called “the worlds greatest sportfish”..