Reports (Rob Z.): Fishing at FDR Park, PA

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Rob Z.'s report on FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) Park - May 10th, 11th.
Written by Rob Z. - edited by Leo S.

About a month ago, I took the subway (BSL - Broad Street Line) down to FDR in search of my first Carp.  It was a Thursday (May 10th), and I got to the lake around 5 p.m. I setup two rods for Carp - each rod had a 1/4 oz. egg sinker above a swivel, with a snelled #8 size hook attached to that. One or two pieces of corn were put on each hook, and cast out into the lake.  I then chummed it a bit with more corn - fired out from my bait slingshot.

With my third rod, I was messing around, trying to pick up a Bass/Crappie/Sunny while I was waiting for the Carp. After two hours of waiting with no results on the third rod, I decided to move to another spot (about 25 feet from my Carp rods). This turned out to be a good mistake.

After several casts under a bridge with no luck, I headed back to my Carp rods.  One of them was pointing straight up as it should, while the other one was leaning pretty heavily towards the lake!  As I looked closer, the line was all taken out and it was down to the knot on the spool!  I reeled in the 2nd Carp rod before trying to reel in the one with the fish on it.

After wrapping some line around the spool to make it so that the reel could actually reel in line, I felt a huge weight on the end pulling. I never felt this type of weight before.  I was excited while reeling in, when I felt the tension release. The fish was gone, and I was mad at myself for walking away before.  I would not do that again (or would I? Hah).

I met up with my friends and told them about the incident. I'm not sure if they believed me, but it was a good fish story to talk about.

That exact same night, I had a dream that I was fighting a monster fish. In the dream, during the battle, my rod just exploded from the pressure, and the dream ended.  I knew I had to go back the next day.  I made my way to the same spot, with the same setup again.

This time, a local was hanging out with me while the rods were soaking, and we talked about fishing.  Next thing I knew, one of the rods was bending like mad!  I went over to it, picked it up, and then the battle began!  I was doing my best to bring the fish in - slowly and steadily, but he had plans of his own.  My gear was heavy enough, so I could bring him in without issues.  Of course I had no net with me, so it would need to be landed without one.  I got it onto the shore, and then the line snapped, but I already had him.  I brought him up and the local snapped  a few pics for me.  Here was my first carp ever, at 6.37 pounds.

Thanks Leo for sparking the carp interest in me, and for the great info on the blog that helped me capture my first ever carp, and my biggest freshwater fish to date!

Pictures are below:

Nice writing, Rob! I love the fact that the plot is always well developed in Rob's writing, as well as details and so on.

Shifting from Bass and Snakeheads to Carp...

There are lots of Common Carp at the FDR park! So, in terms of fish, one cannot say that the FDR is empty. It's true that there was a huge decline in Bass and Snakehead fishing, but the Carp fishing has been good and steady.

I'm very happy for you, Rob! (Although I know that 6.37lbs is not your current record for Carp! That post is coming up soon) It's funny how you mentioned the fish pulled all the line out of your reel. I keep telling everyone around me that setting up the drag is an essential factor for successfully fishing monsters! After all, you never know when one will show up...

Since I started fishing, I had a lot of dreams about fishing too! I constantly have dreams of a float floating in the Lake that I used to fish back in Brazil - good times! I guess the memories are engraved so deep in my mind that my unconscious is constantly embracing them.

Well...Rob's record went up in the past month, and that post is coming soon!

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.