Laken Fleming, of Bridgeport, W.Va., landed a massive carp at Stonewall Jackson Lake, Sunday, June 5, 2016. The 33-inch, 14.25-pound common carp – caught on Fleming’s custom-made six-weight fly rod with a hand-tied cicada fly – is unofficially, but very likely, a new International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record.
“When I had him on the line, I knew it wasn’t a guarantee that it was going to be a world record, but once I got him in the boat I could see it was evident this could be a contender,” said the 20-year-old West Virginia University senior and oldest daughter of Curtis Fleming, host of Fly Rod Chronicles on Outdoor Channel. “And then my mind kind of went blank. I mean how do you put into words that you’re about to break a world record?”
Caught on her sixth cast – at sun-up Sunday at Stonewall Jackson Lake – the 14-pounder didn’t just break the record; it shattered it.
The IGFA category, which Laken was out to beat, was a common carp (Cyprinus carpio) on a 12-pound-test line.
As verified by Jack Vitek, IGFA World Records Coordinator, the current women’s 12-tippet-class world record (fly rod) for common carp is currently 8 pounds.
“It was caught by angler Dotty Ballantyne on June 30, 2015, while fishing the Missouri River in Montana,” Vitek said.
After submitting supporting evidence including photos and the actual leader and tippet, Laken awaits approval by the IGFA.
“It’s a pretty complicated process,” Curtis Fleming said. “Although the official decision is pending, we feel really, really confident that she’s got the record.”
The petite, 110-pound fisherwoman said the carp put up quite a fight, which went on for about 20 minutes.
“I have fought sharks in the Bahamas and Belize, but I had yet to fight a fish in the U.S. that fought as hard as this carp did,” Laken said.
Read the rest of “IGFA Carp Record in Jeopardy of Getting Crushed by Angler with Ties to 'Fly Rod Chronicles'” at OutdoorChannel.com.