It happens once a year - my wife goes fishing with me and the family. In Utah there is a free fishing day (usually the second Saturday in June) where people can go fishing without a fishing license. I think it is a great way to help those who aren't already in love with fishing to get out and try it. I think that we have gone every year for the last four or five years. It is a day that I try to make as fun as possible - even though it is incredibly stressful for me. My time is spent setting up spin rods with floats, bait hooks, bait, untangling lines, adding more bait, getting hooks out of trees, adding more bait, and the list goes on. It is actually fun for me to watch my wife and kids fish - I just really, and I mean REALLY, want them to have the best time possible.
In previous years (prior to Covid-19) we have gone to a local pond/lake to fish with the cops (when they were putting on the event). We have had some fun experiences there. My wife caught her first catfish (and it was a solid catfish), my kids have caught green sunfish, and last year there were some small catfish caught.
This year was a different experience. Our family of six went with my son's youth group and we had fun. Popsicles, spin gear, lost bait, fights with trees... you know, the normal fishing with a group of kids experiences. All it was a good time. As the activity wound down we took the chance to fish a different part of this body of water.
My brother in law - awesome teenager, btw - told me that the group that left as he was getting there told them they had hooked one fish that broke their fishing pole and that they were leaving. My mind went to this was either a massive catfish or carp. But, as I was working with my wife and kids to try and get them to catch a fish I didn't stress too much about it.
After a few minutes of fishing there my son said "Dad, I got one!!" and as I looked up I could see that his rod was doubled in half and that the line was super tight! I was so excited for him, he reeled and then all the sudden the line went limp. We reeled in and the hook was there... somehow how his hook with some bait on it had come unhooked from the fish.
My wife said "Hey, let's head out in about 15-20 minutes.." and I knew that if I was going to try and fish at all then I would need to fish right now. I quickly set up the final rod and got ready. We were all hanging out and I was watching everyone fish as my bait was floating in the murky water. My brother in law called me over and told me that he could see a fish in the water next to where we were. I looked into the water and I could see a carp mouth peaking out from under some structure. It scooted back under and I told my brother in law to keep fishing and see what he could do.
A few minutes later he told me to come back over and I saw the carp mouth poking back out. My brother in law told me to go ahead, so I flipped my worm and sinkers right and got the worm to sink down 6 inches from this carps face. I saw the carp scoot out, go nose down and I set the hook on this carp and a massive battle started! I managed to get the fish to swim on my side of a cement pylon and out into deeper waters. The reel was screaming as this fish took out 100+ feet of line. I started to horse the fish in and remembered that I was using 6# test line on this spin rod. So I started reeling in the fish. A lot of craziness ensued, my brother in law borrowed a net from a nice Russian gentleman about 100 yards away while I was fighting the fish. Somehow we got the fish landed and ... well... here it is.