- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

They’re reviled by bass fishermen and certainly not greeted with open arms by catfish, bluegill or crappie anglers. But a growing number of new fishing fans enjoy the common carp and believe it ought to get more respect.

There now is a move under way in some places to create carp sanctuaries.

Since April 1 was more than a week ago, it’s too late to play April Fool’s jokes. So the Carp Busters organization must be taken at its word when it says an international group of carp fanatics has lobbied for and implemented a carp sanctuary in the seven-lake Santee Water District in California to stop the “harvest of common carp.”

The Carp Busters (www.carpbusters.com), who hate the hog-lipped rod breakers and do everything they can to shoot them with bows and fishing arrows, say the Carp Anglers Group (CAG) has gotten protection from the Santee Water Board. The Carp Busters say the CAG people are working with the board to establish carp catch-and-release fishing rules regarding night fishing, tournaments and size limits.

Indeed, a quick check of the water board’s Web site showed carp were to be protected. The San Diego-area lake district’s message board said, “Due to abuses and violations of existing Padre Dam MWD Rules and Regulations, as well as a concern over impacts during spawning season: Carp are now designated as ‘NO TAKE.’ All carp fishing must be catch and release until further notice.”

It also said there would be a $150 fine for anyone caught catching carp.

On top of all that, word has it that the Texas Department of Inland Fisheries is thinking about having managed trophy carp waters.

What will the father of modern-day bass fishing, Ray Scott, say about all this? I’m sure it will ruin his morning coffee.

Who’s the best outdoorsman? — Field & Stream magazine’s Total Outdoorsman Challenge hopes to determine who is nation’s most competent all-around outdoorsman (which despite the title, presumably also includes women). The winner of this competition will appear in Field & Stream in glorious color, take away $25,000 in cash and prizes and play a prominent role in a three-part TV special that will be aired on cable this fall. The May issue of Field & Stream (available April 17) features 50 skills every sportsman should master. Applications for the 2007 Total Outdoorsman Challenge are available at www.FieldandStream.com/totaloutdoorsman.

About that world record tilefish — Julie Ball, the Virginia Beach dentist who also is the official International Game Fish Association (IGFA) representative in that part of the Atlantic coast, sent an e-mail saying, “I’m happy to announce that on March 31, 2007, I assisted in the processing of yet another pending world record blueline tilefish. The fish weighed in at a whopping 19 pounds, 14 ounces. The angler is Rick Wineman of Hampton, fishing aboard the Bluewater Dream. Rick caught the fish in 325 feet of water off the Virginia coast. The fish was weighed in at Long Bay Pointe, an official IGFA weigh station and is also under consideration as a new Virginia state record.”

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his fishing report Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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