Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Carp Fishing Turns Ice Cold

I landed this common this morning.  It was
my only fish in the last three outings.
Too cold. Too fast. The sudden and dramatic drop in water temperatures has the carp in a funk. I've mentioned many times in the past that the carp don't react well to those sudden and fast drops in water temperature, and this is a prime example.
In the last three outings I've gotten exactly one carp which I caught this morning.  Another tell tale sign of the cold is that the fish I caught this morning was very sluggish on the take and very sluggish on the fight.  This happens when the water temps are way down.  Here's yet another sign that winter is quickly approaching.  I was driving up to skiing today (yes, I am now skiing) and I drove by a number of small ponds north of the RI border.  Nearly all of them had a thin coating of ice. I've never seen that this early in November.
We've been spoiled in the last couple of years with very warm weather in November and December, and very good carp fishing that held up till late December.  I think this year is a different animal.  Unless things warm up mighty fast, I hate to say this, but we are approaching the end of productive carp fishing in the ponds and lakes around here. It will end with the ice arrives. The way the weather is shaping up, we are not far away from that happening in RI.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November off to a SLOW start

I landed two mirrors after dark tonight. It
wasn't great but better than the daytime action.
I have been spoiled.  Last year and the year before November carp fishing was fantastic. That's because the weather stayed consistently mild all fall those years.  The water was also low.  Combine that low water and mild weather and you have the formula for great late fall carping here in southern New England.
This year the temperature is all over the place and the water is high from that big storm we had two weeks ago that dumped four inches of rain on the area. It's all affected the carp fishing making for slow going thus far in November. I'm averaging less than two fish an outing so far in November and that is way off compared to the last two years.
I got out today from morning till night and tried a whole lot of spots that usually produce at this time of year. Daytime fishing was poor. The water was high and the temperature was cold.  I  only banked one small common, and I lost another fish. Nighttime was a bit better.  I landed 2 decent mirrors of about 10 lbs. apiece. Compared to last year, this was a slow day for me.
I don't think this frigid weather we will get in the next two days will  help the situation.  I see the fishing as maybe picking up next week after the weather moderates a bit, but I don't expect anything great. It's looking like a slow fall. I hope I am wrong.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Nights

Here's a chunky 23 lb. common that was recently
landed while fishing on a warm night.
This is the time of year that I spend the most time fishing after dark. Yes, that time change to standard time is a killer.  So, with it getting dark real early I will get out more and more after dark in the coming days and weeks.
I have already been fishing after dark a many  times already in the last month, and it has been productive in terms of bigger fish. I've banked  a good number of high teen and twenty pound plus fish. Carp do hit after dark as they will come close to shore in the dark of night to forage. My best luck at night has been to fish on those warm nights in the 50's and even 60's.  That works especially well if the warm night comes after a cold spell. Warm, rainy nights are also great.
I fish it the same way at night as I fish the daytime.  Prebait if I can about 4 hours before fishing. I like to use a combo bait of maize and artificial corn on the hair rig with a method ball packed around the sinker.  I have been having very good luck with white artificials in the last month or so.
I am now fishing in the CAG Big 4 fall tournament.  Of the four biggest fish I have entered (all fish in the twenties), three have come after dark.  That should be proof enough that the after dark fishing is productive for large carp.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Not a Fan of High Water

The Blacktone River was a raging torrent of
water today and was unfishable in every place
I looked at. It was also dirty and loaded
with debris.
Sunday's storm with drenching rain has really caused the water to rise in the rivers, ponds and lakes.  It has made for difficult fishing in the last couple of days.
I'm not a fan of high water. High water will send the rivers up to unfishable levels.  The Blackstone River right now is a raging torrent of fast currents and high, high water.  In many places I scouted today, the water was in the woods and you couldn't even get near the water. The water was also dirty and carried with it loads of debris.
The ponds and lakes are not much better. They are also very high too.  In one place I fish, the water came up over a foot overnight. In places I scouted today, the water was in the woods and under bushes. Leaves and other floating debris were all over the place. While those places are still fishable, finding fish that want to feed can be a challenge.  Many fish will tend to feed along the shore in the woods and under bushes since there might be a foot or two of water where there was dry land a week ago.
So, hopefully the water will recede in the coming days and we can get back to catching carp again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crappy Weather Lights It Up

A chunky 17 lb. common sits in the net in
shallow water.  It is one of 17 carp landed in
the last two days of lousy weather.
This may sound like a broken record, but here we go again.  The lousy. rainy, windy weather of the last couple of days has just lit up the fishing for me once again.  Up until yesterday, it had been a struggle to put one or two fish on the bank.  All that changed in this crappy weather.  In the last two days I have landed 17 carp up to 23 lbs.  Most of the fish were over 10 lbs. It's like this weather kicked them into a fall feeding mode.
The bait that has been working for me has been a combo of maize and a white artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I'm fishing that with a method ball packed around my one ounce sinker. I've used that combo bait in multiple venues, and it seems to be working all over the place.
Daytime as well as after dark fishing has produced in this lousy weather.  Of those 17 fish I landed in the last two days, 7 have been caught after dark and 10 were caught in the daytime.  Nighttime fishing can be very productive at this time of year.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Curse of the 18's

A beautiful 18 lb. common sits in the water in the weigh sling.
The fish had me fooled into thinking it was much bigger.
I am now fishing in the annual CAG Fall Big 4 Tournament.  My four biggest fish so far run from 18 to 21 lbs.  Not bad, but it could be better.  So, in the last week I was on a quest to catch some bigger fish to add to my total.  Fishing multiple big fish venues I managed to get three decent fish.  All weighed exactly 18 lbs.  Hmm, decent fish for RI but not exactly what I was hoping for.
Funny how a fish can fool you even though you have landed thousands of them.  I had a screaming run yesterday, and when I picked up the rod the fish bolted on a drag screaming run in which it ran off about thirty yards of line.  I thought I had a real big fish.  It also did all the normal big fish tricks. I would gain some line and then it would take more out as I slowly gained on it. It also stayed near the bottom on the entire fight, and I did not see it until it was right at the net.  What a surprise. While I was near certain I was fighting a mid twenty, it turned out to be one heck of a strong and smart 18 lb. common.
Back in the Spring Big 4 I had the same curse of the 18's.  I must have landed about a dozen 18 lbers. However, persistence paid off, and I did manage to get several good fish in the mid to upper 20's. Hopefully, the same thing will happen this fall.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Champion of the Queen Award

I am proud to announce that the Carp Anglers Group has selected me for the Champion of the Queen Award for 2017.
Carp, the number one gamefish worldwide, is considered the "Queen of the Rivers" around the world. So, this award is given to the CAG angler who champions carp fishing causes here in the US. It is the highest award given by the Carp Anglers Group, the largest and most influential carp fishing group in the US.
When presenting this award at the annual meeting, Jerome Moisand, CAG Treasurer and Iain Sorrell, CAG VP cited my witing and seminar work on carp fishing, this website, my work as the CAG State Chair (RI one of the most active carp fishing states in the country), my serving on the CAG Board of Directors (CAG Secretary) as well as my passion and devotion to the sport.
If you look at past winners, the list reads like a who's who of carp fishing in the US and features some of the best promoters and carp fishermen in the world.  Some names include Nigel Harrison, David Moore, Andy Sprinkle, Jerome Moisand and many more.  I am honored to be listed with this group.
I received a beautiful glass engraved trophy and this award carries with it a CAG membership for life!