Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Awful Weather = Awful Fishing

Here's a recent good size mirror. May fishing
has been way off in this cold and rainy weather.
I am working on my WORST May of carp fishing EVER.  I have been out just about every day so far this month at many different spots, and at this point I have exactly 5 carp in the month of May. I was doing better back in January and February. On the only positive note to all this, two of those carp weighed over 20 lbs.
The cold and rainy weather has given the fish lockjaw. Funny thing is that I am seeing them.  I've seen some jumping and I have also seen bubble trails.  In one spot I actually saw several swim right by the shore where I was fishing. Just out of curiosity, I put a bait pile right in the spot where I saw them.  A few minutes later, I saw a group of five carp swim right over the bait pile without even giving it a look! I guess they were not interested in feeding.
I've written many times about how lousy weather can light up the carp fishing.  Warm rain is golden, cold rain sucks. Problem we have been having in May is that we keep getting a cold rain with northeast winds. That has dropped the water temperatures, and has put the carp feed on hold.  Couple that with high water everywhere.  Most of the big rivers are unfishable due to high, fast water.  Most of the ponds are flooded with water in the woods. Not a good scene overall.
So, I have my fingers crossed that this weather will return to normal soon, and the carp fishing will improve. After all, May has traditionally been one of the best months of the year. Hopefully, the second half will live up to its reputation.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Results for April CAG Big 3 Tournament

The April leg of our RI CAG Big 3 Tournament is in the books.  Once again, our guys and gals landed some terrific fish. Our Big 3 Tournament runs for the months of April, May and June. Our members enter their biggest fish by weight for April, for May and for June.  We add up those three weights and the total becomes the point total. Many of our members carry certified scales with them so their weights are quite accurate. Many also send in photos of their fish. All fish entered must be caught in RI waters.
Brian Savage grabs the April
lead with this terrific 27 lb., 3 oz.
common carp.
Here are the April results (pounds/ounces):
1.  Brian Savage- 27/3
2.  Sean Reed- 26/3
3. Brandon Dee- 25/12
4. Laura Mitchell- 20/15
5. Tony Carvalho- 20/8
6. Manny Dias- 15/7
7. Tom Perron- 15/6

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cold, Rainy and High Water Diminish April Fishing

The woods around the Blackstone River were really flooded
today.  The main river is over 100 yards away
from where I snapped this photo making fishing
here impossible.
I heard on the weather news yesterday that we have had 22 days of rain this month. No surprise if you look at the water levels of the ponds and rivers around here. I've never seen the Blackstone River so high for such an extended period of time.  In most ponds, the water is in the woods. All the rain and cold has had a negative impact on our carp fishing. I do like to fish on rainy days, but it has to be warm and rainy and most of what we have gotten has been cold and rainy.
I landed exactly 62 carp this month.  Last year, 2018, I landed 114 carp in the month of April. So, I got just about half of what I caught last year with about the same effort. It has really been up and down fishing in between warm and cold weather this month.
However, I did get a 33 lber this month, a whopper of a carp here in RI, so that sort of made my April fishing a success. Other than that I had a few twenties and a load of fish in the teens.
Looking ahead, May has been THE month for big fish for me. I've landed more 30 and 40 lb. carp in May than any other month. Let's hope the weather gets a bit warmer and the big fish fishing lights up.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Tips from Steve Briggs, Master Big Carp Hunter

I used some of Steve Brigg's ideas to land this good size mirror
recently.
Recently I attended the NECC (New England Carp Conference). I had a chance to hear and see via video feed Steve Briggs from the UK. Steve is sponsored and employed by Nash Bait and Tackle.  He travels all over the world in search of big carp.  And, when I mean big, Steve is talking over 50 lbs! He answered a number of questions from the audience and I got several tips from Steve that most of us might find helpful.
1. Keep it simple- Throughout his talk, Steve kept mentioning to keep things simple. He generally uses a simple knotless knot hair rig for all his carp fishing applications.
2.  Hooks- For large carp, Steve generally uses a #4 hook. I think most of us are using a #4 or a #6 when targeting larger carp.
3.  Length of hair-  Steve said he wanted the bait as close to the bend of the hook as possible. So, his hair is just long enought to cover the bait and reach to the bend of the hook. He has little space between that bait and the bend of the hook. I think many anglers use hairs that are too long.
4. Pop-up boilies vs regular sinkers- Someone asked about pop-up boilies vs. regular sinking boilies.  Steve prefers the sinkers.  His reasoning is that you toss in bait (sinking boilies) when you prebait a spot so why would you then go with something different like a pop-up? He did acknowledge, though, that pop-ups did have their pace in certain spots.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Another Monster Landed on a Rainy, Crappy Day

33 lbs.....taken on a rainy, stormy day!
The two biggest carp I have ever landed in RI waters were caught on stormy, rainy, crappy days like the days we have been having lately. Those two fish weighed 36 lbs. and 33 lbs.,2 oz. Well, add in another monster for RI that I landed yesterday in the wind and the rain.  This beast tipped the scales at exactly 33 lbs.
Thirty pound carp are rare catches here in RI.  We just don't have the big waters like in CT and MA that will hold good numbers of 30 and even 40 lb. carp. In this state, there might be anywhere from one to five thirty pound carp landed in an given year.  Some years see no catches of a thirty pound fish.
This big one fell for a combo bait of maize and a white artificial pop-up corn fished on a hair rig and fished ahead of a method ball that was packed around the sinker.
Big carp seem to be coming to life here in RI.  We are currently running our RI CAG Big 3 Spring Tournament, and we have many entries so far from the high teens to the mid twenty pound ranges.  These fish were all landed in the last week.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Warm + Rainy = Good Fishing

This chunky common in the net is one of many
carp landed in the lousy weather yesterday.
I had the right conditions to carp fish yesterday, and it paid off.  It was rainy with torrential downpours at times.  It was also warm, in the sixties.  The night before was also warm, boosting the water temperatures.  It all added up to perfect fishing conditions.
I've written countless times about how carp go on the rampage and on feeding sprees in the daytime in very lousy weather. They are not their usual cautious selves.  And, the more lousy the weather, the better the fishing! At this time of year, it is the warm rain driven by winds from the south that light up the fishing.
I've been in a bit of a slump lately with the numbers down and the sizes down.  However, it took one miserable day to get my carp  fishing back on track.  I landed good numbers of fish yesterday up into the high teens. My bait of choice was a combo bait of maize and a pale pink pop-up artificial corn fished on the hair rig along with  a method ball packed around the sinker.  I've ditched the sweet corn until  the fall because the pests ( turtles, horned pout, bluegills and suckers) have also come to life and they constantly take off the delicate sweet corn. They will still hit the more durable maize but they can't take it off the hair without a lot of effort.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sixty Degree Temps Light It Up

A good size mirror comes ashore right before dark.  The last
two days of warm weather has lit up the fishing.
It took just two days of sixty degree weather to light up the fishing, and move us into a spring pattern of carp fishing here in RI. The fish were active in the places I fished today.  I saw bubble trails, fish jumping and oh, the hits.  They were just screamers.  Up until today the hits were generally just picking with the occasional runner. Once hooked, the fish were also ripping off line and drag on the fight Today the carp meant business.  That's what a rise of a few degrees in water temperature will do in April to carp fishing.
I went out this morning for a few hours and landed four commons.  Then, I fished for an hour before dark and landed three mirrors. All my fish were caught on a combo bait of a kernel of sweet corn and a white artificial corn fished off the hair rig.
Spring fishing has arrived!