Opting for big.

The primary advantage of the Tennessee River over my local reservoir is that the carp there are much larger. The primary disadvantage is that far fewer shots at fish are available. It's a trade-off. Although I often opt for the reservoir and its guarantee of numerous shots at tailing carp, I'm not immune to the river charms of double-digit weight counts and deep runs into the backing.

So today I opted for big and explored a small bay off of the main river. It was tough. The carp were there, but they were tucked up tight against the bank under overhanging foliage. Very few fish cruised open water.

Several large carp were, for example, stacked up in this lumber jungle:

I managed to stick two fish, the first of which promptly scorched much of the backing off of my reel before diving deep into the submerged crown of a large tree that had toppled into the water. That was that.

The second was laid up under the shade of a bank-side tree. He would occasionally leave his lair and circle out to the edge of the tree branches.

So I waited him out and put a Mean Ol' Dirty Frisco in front of him when he made one of these lazy circuits. He scaled out at 11.5 lbs. A solid fish.

It should be noted that this was the average size of the carp I saw in this area. There were several that were considerably larger. Next time I opt for big, I'll be back.