Reflections – Kids’ fishing

Reflections – Kids’ fishing

May 31, 2013

Getting an angling education from an unexpected source

By Mike Pehanich

Survey anglers on five continents, and you will find carp held in highest regard.

In North America…not so much.

But every serious angler who has invested abundant hours on the water has had his or her moment with these armor-scaled monsters! Who hasn’t hooked one while targeting bass or trout or panfish?

Munenori Kajiwara contributes his time and know-how to many kids fishing events. A tournament carp angler and captain of Japan's ice fishing team, Marukyu's U.S. distributor enjoys helping new anglers experience the fun of catching fish, from the smallest bluegill to monster carp!

Now seeing that brown back and bugle mouth may not have provided the perfect ending to your dream catch at the time, but, face it, guys and gals, didn’t that carp show more strength and tenacity than a walleye and even most pike and largemouth bass you’ve caught?

I can credit an 11-pound carp that I hooked below the Dresbach Dam on the Mississippi River at LaCrosse with giving me an early education in fighting big fish on light tackle. The combination of big carp and strong current taught me lessons that served me in countless subsequent encounters with Great Lakes steelhead, brown trout and salmon as well as tarpon, permit, sharks and other beasts of the sea.

But far more memorable and rewarding was watching my son stalk, hook and capture a four-pound carp cruising the shallows of a local creek!

Nine years old at the time, he caught sight of the cruising fish, crept to an ambush point, and artfully dropped a live nightcrawler in its path.

Lo and behold, it was “Fish on!” And I had the great fortune of witnessing it all.

Like all carp, it fought hard and put my son’s tackle, nerve and knot strength to the test.

He had triumphed as angler – his smile proved it! — and I had one of those “mentor moments” that hold a special place in memory and the heart.

Munenori Kajiwara introduced his son to the thrill of fighting backyard monsters like this carp. Today Lintaro is a multi-species angler. His limit catch led his two-man team from Wheaton-Warrenville South High School to a second place finish at the 2013 Illinois High School State Bass Fishing championship on Lake Carlyle. Congratulations, Lintaro!

The following December, he would land a brown trout of nearly 18 pounds on six-pound line; the season after, he landed king salmon unassisted.

A carp had taught him how to approach wary stream fish and how to fight and land giants.

Carp are in North American waters to stay, and they provide great sport. Let your child experience the thrill of catching a big fish…and experience the thrill yourself if you haven’t caught a giant fish in a long while!

Check out these features and more  in Small Waters Fishing to learn:

How a carp can make you a “Kids’ Fishing Derby” hero!

Catch the Monster in Your Own Backyard!






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