Local fisherman lands record-setting grass carp at area pond
When Andrew Miller stretches out his arms to describe how big his prize catch was, it's no exaggeration.
On May 10, Miller caught a grass carp that measured 49 1/4 inches long and 31 inches in diameter.
More importantly, the behemoth weighed in at 67 pounds, which likely is a state record.
Miller is working to get the fish certified, and once that occurs, it should be a new state record, bettering the previous top fish by about 7 pounds.
Miller, who said he's been fishing "all his life," caught the fish at a family pond near Tonganoxie. He initially snagged the fish on an 8-pound test line. It took about two hours for Miller to corral the carp. That's a lengthy period of time to be negotiating a 67-pound fish, but Miller said it was all worth it.
"Your adrenaline is just pumping," Miller said.
A member of the Mid America Nazarene football team and a former THS football standout, Miller is accustomed to making tackles on the field.
"Lugging a fish around is a little bit easier," Miller said.
When Miller caught the carp, he was alone. But as he started calling friends and family, one turned into a small crowd.
"I called everybody up," Miller said.
It turns out the catch wasn't too far from the world record for grass carp, which currently stands near 70 pounds.
The actual age of the Miller's fish is unknown at this time. A biologist told Miller that the fish could have been 20 to 30 years old. That makes sense, considering the pond hasn't been stocked since before Miller's family purchased the land roughly 20 years ago.
After Miller caught the fish, he took the animal to Cabela's and hoped it would be placed in one of the store's aquariums, but the fish died in the process.
Currently, the fish is being stored in a freezer. He hopes to eventually have the fish mounted after a biologist runs tests on the fish to ensure it doesn't contain lead or other substances.
In the meantime, Miller will continue to tell his fish story -- which, in this case, is the absolute truth.