Nearly 54-pound carp sets new state bowfishing mark

Sandusky, Ohio — Patrick Johnson, of Toledo, has set a new bowfishing record for carp and he says he has his fishing partner, Brent McGlone, to thank for it.

And, as far as fishing records go, this one wasn’t even close.

The Outdoor Writers of Ohio State Record Fish Committee confirmed and certified the new record just last week.

The new state record carp, weighing 53.65 pounds, was caught by Johnson in the Sandusky County portion of Lake Erie’s waters. Johnson arrowed the carp June 9 using a fish point tethered with 200-pound test Fast Flight line. Johnson’s record carp is 45 inches long and 32-1⁄4 inches in girth.

His catch replaces the previous state bowfishing record carp that was arrowed in Sandusky Bay by Rich Cady on May 28, 2008, weighing 47.65 pounds and measuring 38 inches long. Ohio’s record fish are determined on the basis of weight only.

McGlone, also of Toledo, is an Ohio record-holder himself. He arrowed a record sucker in 2007 in the Maumee River, which weighed 11.21 pounds  and measured 31.5 inches long.
Johnson, 37, was bowfishing with McGlone on McGlone’s boat when he arrowed the record carp.

Johnson shot the fish around 12:15 a.m. on June 9.

“It was really cool because it was like the night of nights,” Johnson said. “We’re fairly picky about what we shoot actually … I’m not into numbers. I want to shoot something I’m proud of.”

Overall, Johnson shot five fish on June 9 with the smallest being around 37 pounds.

“About 10 minutes before I shot the record fish, I shot a 46-pound grass carp,” Johnson said. “It was the first grass carp I had ever shot … You just don’t see them (on Lake Erie).”

At that point, it was already a special night for Johnson and McGlone.

“We were cruising the shoreline and for some reason big fish don’t like to stay under the lights too long,” Johnson said. “… The (record) fish came in from my right and I caught a glimpse of it. But, it happened so fast, literally the time it takes to snap your fingers I already had an arrow in the fish.”

Aware that his buddy had shot another large carp, McGlone wondered aloud if it was another grass carp.

“I said ‘no, dude, this one’s a common (carp),’” Johnson said. “ … We get it up to the side of the boat and we’re both looking at it. And (McGlone) says ‘dude, I think you got the record.’ So, we get it up and lay it on the bottom of the boat and he says ‘that’s gotta be a 50-pound carp.’”

McGlone, of course, was right.

“That’s what we’re after when we’re shooting these fish,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to shoot a record.

“After we got the fish in the boat and weighed it, I’m just like numb,” Johnson continued. “My feet are numb, just in a state of numbness. I have fished this many years and all I think about is fishing. And to go in and have a fish that’s going to be in the record books is like mind-numbing.”

Johnson said if it couldn’t have been him that set the record, it should have been McGlone.

“That carp record should go to someone like Brent himself who shoots as much as he does and beats his head against the wall, doing nothing but shooting fish,” Johnson said. “Brent and I are best friends. He said it was bittersweet for him in that if he couldn’t shoot that fish he’d rather see someone like me or one of his kids shoot the fish. If anybody deserves credit for the fish, it is Brent.”

But, after the catch, the adventure was just to begin.

“It was a Sunday when I caught it, so we immediately began thinking ‘where are we going to find a (certified) scale?’” Johnson said. “It was a huge problem.”

After making some phone calls, Johnson and McGlone headed to a fish house in Port Clinton to have the behemoth weighed. It checked in at 53.6 pounds. The only problem was that the scale hadn’t yet been certified as it was new.

“We panicked a little at that point because we were worried about the fish shrinking,” Johnson said. “We already knew we had (the record). But, we wondered weight-wise what it was going to lose.”

Back in the truck, Johnson and McGlone ended up finding a certified scale at a Fed Ex station in Toledo. Finding a scale that would go over 50 pounds was quite a process.

“We took pictures of the fish in length and in girth at every possible angle,” Johnson said. “There’s even a You-Tube video of the weigh-in online.”

Through it all, Johnson maintained a sense of humor.

“If anyone wants to try and break that record, try to do it on a Sunday and expect to find a certified scale,” he said. “I think this one’s going to stay for a while.”

Ohio’s state record fish are certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio State Record Fish Committee with assistance from fisheries biologists with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Biologists from the Ohio Division of Wildlife District 2 office in Findlay confirmed the identification of Johnson’s catch.

For more information on Ohio’s state record fish program contact Fred Snyder, Chairman, OWO State Record Fish Committee, 754 Co. Rd. 126, Fremont, OH 43420, phone (419) 332-0777, email fnsnyder@gmail.com , www.outdoorwritersofohio.org

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