MONTE VISTA— It’s not often that an angler lands a lunker on the first cast of the day. But April 30 was Ramiro Fuentes’ lucky day when he landed a giant grass carp at Home Lake State Wildlife Area in Monte Vista.
“I’d just cast my first line and I was setting up my second rod when I saw the line start to run out,” Fuentes said. “I had to get to it before the rod went into the water.”
The carp measured 40 inches long and weighed in at 30 pounds. Even though the fish was huge, it was well short of the state record by 17 pounds and seven inches.
Fuentes, a diesel mechanic, said he often goes to the lake with friends and family after work to relax. He usually fishes for catfish at the 100-acre lake. He caught the carp on a worm and, luckily, had 50-pound test line in his reel.
Grass carp play an important role at many Colorado’s reservoirs, explained Estevan Vigil, aquatic biologist for CPW in the San Luis Valley.
“We stock sterile grass carp because they’re able to control aquatic vegetation in lakes like this,” Vigil said.
According to CPW records, this carp measured 11-inches long when it was stocked in 2008. That was the last time carp were added to the lake when 300 were stocked.
Fuentes plans to keep the memory of the catch alive: He’s having it mounted as a trophy and it will hang on a wall in his house.
“It’s the biggest fish I’ve caught,” Fuentes said.