Taranaki angler Max Harding got a big shock when he went fishing at a New Plymouth lake yesterday - instead of catching a trout, he landed a giant grass carp.
It took the Waitara High School teacher more than half an hour to overcome the metre-long fish on his light trout tackle at Lake Rotomanu near the Waiwhakaiho River mouth.
"There I was, fishing with my lightweight rod and using a worm attached to a tiny hook, and next thing there's a big swirl out on the water and I'm into this great big fish," he said.
"It didn't fight like a trout - actually it felt more like a turbocharged gumboot - but man, it was powerful. After another bloke and I landed it, I had to go and have a bit of a lie down!"
Mr Harding said he understood some grass and weed-eating carp were released into the lake several years ago to help keep aquatic weeds down.
"There's heaps of them down there, and some of them are monsters," he said.
"I've already hooked and lost two of them - and they were both a lot bigger than this one."
Mr Harding doesn't quite know what he's going to do with the fish.
"But I do know that out at the high school I've got a bit of reputation for telling tall fishing stories. Well, now I've got proof that not all my fishing stories are that tall."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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