A commercial fisherman holds a silver carp, which is much smaller than the monster recently caught at Kentucky Lake.
Bill Schroeder caught a big fish last week at Kentucky Lake. It was more than a big fish. It was a monster...probably a world record.
The 84-year-old Paducah man is a well-known local bass fisherman and was fishing for bass when he foul-hooked what is believed to be a silver carp. Silver carp are among a group of nonnative carp called Asian carp.
Schroeder battled the huge fish for an hour and 45 minutes and it pulled his 20-foot bass boat about three miles. He couldn't get it into the boat and finally had some help to land the fish that weighed in at 106 pounds.
Tom Moodie of Green Turtle Bay Resort on Lake Barkley said the fish battle drew a crowd of onlookers. The huge fish reportedly pulled Schroeder’s boat through the canal between Kentucky and Barkley lakes.
Moodie added that he has fished for Asian carp a number of times, and said they are good eating. However, they are quite boney.
Schroeder’s fish is being checked for weight and to determine if in fact it is a silver carp. If verified, it likely is a state, national and possibly a world record.
The International Game Fish Association lists the world record for silver carp at 70-pounds, eight-ounces, caught by Chongdae Lim in Korea.
In the same Asian carp family are Bighead carp with a 73.5 pound fish caught in 2003 at Reelfoot Lake. A 90-pounder also was reported at Guntersville Lake in 2005, and a 93-pounder reportedly was landed in Iowa about the same time.
According to the Mississippi Fish & Wildlife folks, Asian carp, specifically bighead and silver carp, are nonnative fish invading lakes and rivers in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes regions, and negatively impacting native organisms.
These fish filter tremendous amounts of small plants and animals (plankton) from the water, thereby reducing the amount of food available to native species.
Because bighead and silver carp feed on plankton (unlike the bottom-feeding common carp), their meat tastes very mild; it readily absorbs spices and marinades, and is great to use in a classic fish fry. In part because of their mild taste, bighead and silver carp are preferred food fish worldwide. In fact, they are two of the world’s most popular fish in terms of total global production.
These fish are an excellent source of protein, are generally low in contaminants and taste great. They’re an almost perfect food except for their numerous “Y” bones, but these can be addressed when preparing the fish.
A number of state fish and wildlife organizations--including Kentucky--are trying to find ways of reducing the numbers of Asian carp, including ways to put them to good use on the table or otherwise.
The Mississippi fish and wildlife websites lists a recipe of world-famous chef Philippe Parola for silver carp he calls Silverfin Cakes. It follows:
1 pound Asian carp fillets 1 T lemon juice
8 T unsalted butter, melted 2 T bread crumbs
1 T Dijon mustard 1 cup seasoned flour*
1 egg, beaten
4 T vegetable oil
Poach or steam fillets until fully cooked, then break into pieces and remove all bones.
Place the meat into a mixing bowl. Add butter, mustard, half the egg and lemon juice; mix well. Add bread crumbs and season to taste.
Form small cakes with the fish mixture. Coat with remaining egg and seasoned flour. Pan fry in cooking oil over medium-high heat 4–5 minutes or until golden brown.