When Patrick Johnson headed out to Sandusky County’s side of Lake Erie for some early morning bowfishing, he did not expect to arrow the state’s largest carp. His June 9 catch weighed an impressive 53.65 pounds, far outstripping the state’s previous bowfishing record and even the hook-and-line 50-pounder from 1967.
“It was just one of those nights when everything seemed to go right,” Johnson told OutdoorHub. “I had shot five fish before the record, including a 45-pound grass carp. I knew when I shot this fish though, that it was a big one.”
Johnson had been fishing with Brent McGlone, a fellow bowfishing record holder, when they spotted an extraordinarily large common carp in the water. He used an Oneida Eagle Bow with a 200-pound Fast Fight Line to catch the fish, which ended up measuring 45 inches long.
“When I shot it the fish went right into the shoreline,” Johnson said. “We quickly turned the boat around and chased it down. Before Brent picked it up he said, ‘this gotta be a state record at least.’ It’s a thrill after all these years of fishing for everything, now I have a state record. It’s crazy.”
However, the process of getting a state record is not exactly easy.
“The biggest problem we had after catching the fish was finding a certified scale on a Sunday morning, especially a scale that went over 50 pounds.”
Johnson did have one advantage in his friend McGlone, who had been through the process himself after he arrowed a state record sucker in 2007. The next steps would be vital in ensuring a state record and if not followed through exactly, could disqualify Johnson’s catch.
The bowfishermen initially visited a store in Port Clinton and weighed the fish there, but later found out that the scale had only arrived two weeks ago and was not, in fact, certified. Johnson eventually did find such a scale in a Toledo Fedex office. The two made sure that the fish was properly documented and took ample amounts of photographs and video.
The official weigh-in was dutifully recorded:
In cooperation with fisheries biologists, the Outdoor Writers of Ohio Record Fish Committee confirmed Johnson’s carp record last week.
“The moral of the story is that when you plan on catching record carp, don’t do it on a Sunday,” Johnson quipped.
Johnson also credits McGlone for his immeasurable aid in catching the fish.
“He is my best friend and this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for his passion for bowfishing.”
The carp is now currently at a taxidermist where it is being prepared for mounting.
Image courtesy Patrick Johnson