61.7 Pound Bighead Carp Story

Amunrud bags a big one.

By Nick Amunrud

On Sunday June 4th I was planning on spending the day fishing. However, after checking two of my minnow traps from a creek just north of the Iverson Tree Farms LLC, and only having one small bullhead and a crayfish, I realized that I did not have a productive day of fishing in store for me after all. Instead, I determined that it would be a good day to shoot carp, and thankfully, I always keep a Mathews Mission bow equipped with an AMS bowfishing rest and reel in my truck. Upon arriving at the gravel pit and completing my nearly daily patrol for trespassers, I made my way to a shallow bay where I usually see a high congregation of bigmouth buffalo as well as several common carp. Right away, I was able to count over 30 bigmouth buffalo within 20 yards of where I was standing and was able to connect on two buffalo before the rest swam away. I decided to keep walking along shore to see if there were any more carp that would present decent shot opportunities, and after walking roughly 30 yards along the bank, I noticed a small buffalo stirring up sediment only two feet from shore. I was in the process of raising and pulling back the bow when I noticed a shadow of what appeared to be a very large but light colored bigmouth buffalo slowly swimming straight towards me.

Big, big, bighead and it was not taken with a northern pike spear

I originally thought the light coloration was due to the fish beginning to die of old age. It also appeared to be covered in weeds, and I clearly remember seeing a large eye protruding from the side of its head. When it turned broadside between 18 and 20 yards, I knew that I had limited time to take a shot before it disappeared again. Fortunately, I was able to make a decent shot not too long after three thirty in the afternoon. As soon as the arrow struck it, I grabbed the line, dropped the bow, tossed my phone out of my pocket, and started gradually working the massive fish towards me. Even though I had just brought my bow into the Mankato Scheels on Memorial Day to have the draw weight increased to 54 pounds, I could tell that the arrow wasn’t more than a couple inches into the fish which made me nervous about losing it. After several minutes, I had the carp within a couple feet of shore, and by this time, I knew the arrow wasn’t going to stay in much longer so I got into the water and was able to grab the arrow and keep pressure on the barbs until I was able to maneuver the bighead between the shore and myself. Soon after this was accomplished, the arrow slipped out, and I was forced to jump on top of the carp in nearly a foot and a half of water. Thankfully, the large and powerful fish had lost most of its energy by this point, and I was able to wrestle it the final couple feet to shore. Once I had the fish secured on shore at 3:45pm and was able to get a good look at it, I was absolutely in awe at its impressive size. I was unable to weigh it on the spot due to it maxing out our 50 pound electronic scale, but an hour and a half later I was able to weigh it at just over 64 pounds and measured it three times at 50.75 inches long. By this point the fish had sat out in the hot sun the entire time and had lost a significant amount of blood. Sadly, I still did not realize the full importance of this fish and had it sitting on my tailgate out in the sun until I finally put it in a large garbage bag and set it in a trough of cold water at 9:25pm. The MNDNR took their measurements almost two days after it had been shot and came up with an official weight of 61.7 pounds and official length of 47.5 inches. I was informed that the whole fish had dehydrated considerably by this point, which made accurate measurements difficult. Overall, I learned a lot from this experience and can reflect fondly upon it when I ignore all of the frustrating events that occurred post reporting it to the DNR.