Monday, August 22, 2016

1 Kernel, 1 Week, 50 Carp

Just one kernel of maize on the
hair has been my ticket to success.
This good looking mirror is one of
50 carp landed this week alone.
Wow, this past week has been hot for carp fishing for me. It's unusual to hit big numbers of fish in August, but this past week has been  one of my best weeks in August of all time as I landed 50 carp in the last seven days. They have ranged from little guys to hefty fish in the teens.
The hot ticket to success has been just one unflavored kernel of maize on the hair rig. Every fish in the last week fell for that one kernel. I have been lightly baiting my spot in a tight area close to shore when I arrive and then I will cast to that spot with my bait.  On occasion I have put another bait way out with my second rod.  When I am fishing way out, I am using a small method ball around my one ounce sinker just to get a little extra weight on the cast.
Surprisingly, the turtles are not that keen on attacking that one kernel of maize.  They will take it off once in a while, but for the most part, they leave it alone. Bigger or more plentiful baits are definitely an attraction to turtles.
My discovery of the effectiveness of one kernel of maize has played big this August.  We'll see how long the hot streak lasts.




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How Many Kernels of Corn on the Hair?

This good lize mirror was one
of five carp landed this morning
on just one kernel of maize on
the hair. 
A question I am often asked is "How many kernels of corn do you put on your hair when carp fishing?" As with so many other questions about fishing....it depends.
Yes, just one kernel
can get the job done.
In most instances I use either two or three kernels.  Usually when I fish for larger fish in the cooler weather of spring and fall, I am using a #6 hook that has a longer hair and I generally use three kernels (usually a mix of sweet corn, artificials and maize).  When fishing for smaller fish under 10 lbs., I generally use a #8 hook with a shorter hair length and go with two kernels of corn. Note that I know other successful carp fishermen who will string four or even five kernels on a long hair and they catch good numbers of fish.  I guess a lot of this depends on what you are confident using and what has worked in the past.
However, you will be very surprised at what I have been doing in the last several days. In recent hot days the turtles have been super aggressive and the carp have been very fussy, a bad combination. If I loaded up the bait (method and three kernels of corn), the turtles would be right on it.  To combat the turtles, I have been using only ONE kernel of maize on a small hair and NO method.  That has worked on the fussy carp and the turtles have generally left it alone. Yes, one kernel of corn on the hair can do it, but you have to have a very short hair on your hook for this to work. In the last two days I have landed 9 carp by using just one kernel of maize and no method. Also, I have done little chumming or prebaiting, another thing that lures turtles into your swim.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bigger Fish Come Alive; 500th Carp Landed

This August "20" was landed
during yesterday's nasty weather.
It took a rainstorm and stormy weather yesterday to liven things up, and it livened things up big time.  While I have been catching small fish on average (under 10 lbs.) in the last several weeks, the bigger ones (10-20 lbs.) made up the majority of the fish I have landed in the last two days. That rain was responsible for an August "20" that I landed yesterday along with a load of fish (12 in all) that I landed this morning.
I've written many times about how nasty weather turns on carp fishing, especially the fishing for larger fish.  I've fished in northeasters, tropical storms and even hurricanes (fished during Sandy), and all of these stormy events have been unbelievable for me. A storm like yesterday's that breaks a streak of warm and sunny weather seems to bring the big fish to life.  I was even catching the end of it this morning in the cooler, higher water.  I suspect that we will get back into the normal, small fish fishing starting tomorrow.
During these good two days, I have landed my 500th carp of the year. I am on a summer roll right now like I have never experienced before with outstanding fishing from July continuing right into August.  It is so good that I have surged ahead of last year's numbers. Last year ended up with over 1300 fish, a record year numbers-wise for me. For that to happen again, I will need a boatload of luck and some favorable late fall, early winter weather.  But, who knows what the rest of the year holds in this game?  Right now, everything is working out.
This hefty mirror, landed this morning, is number 500 on the year!



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Catching on the "Green Seed"

Green seed pod found
along water's edge
Green seed/maize combo
on hair rig was very effective.
I discovered something today.  After catching a couple of fish, the action just stopped.  While sitting along the shore, I noticed some seed pods coming off a plant close to the water.  So, I decided to grab one and open it.  Inside I found these interesting green seeds that looked like peas but in a more pear shape.  I know from past experience that carp will eat a lot of things that are naturally in their environment like seeds and berries.  So, I decided to hair rig one of these along with a kernel of maize. It took about a whole five minutes before the alarm was screaming and I was fighting a good size mirror. After unhooking that one, I landed two more in quick succession on the green seed/maize combo.  The other outfit that was baited  with maize and sweet corn never got a look.
I have no idea what kind of seed I was using.  I know from past outings in other years that I have caught carp on mulberries and acorn insides, and I know they feed on mulberries, grapes, raspberries, etc.  So, seeds and berries are a standard staple in their diet.
You never know what secrets await when carp fishing, and today was a prime example.
This good looking mirror feel for the maize/green seed combo.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Staying the Course

August is continuing right where July left off. The weather is hot and the fishing continues to be hot for me.  In the first five days of August I have put 26 carp on the bank (see photos of two of them on left and right), real decent numbers for this time of year. While many of these fish have been small, I am resisting the urge to go looking for bigger ones.  I know from past experience that when I'm into something hot, stick with it, especially in the dog days of August.
The hot bait continues to be a mix of sweet corn and a small kernel of maize on the hair rig.  I am also using a #8 hook.  I am using a small method ball packed around my sinker.  Once again, it's working, so why change.
In past years, September has been a far better month for bigger fish.  However, last August, around this time, I landed a rare 30 lb. common in RI waters.  So, you never know!


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Record Numbers for July

Adaptability. It is one  of the keys to successful carp fishing.  I am talking about the ability to change baits, change rigs and change venues when things are not going well. I have learned a long time ago that I have to adapt to changing conditions if I want to continue to catch good numbers of carp.
This is one of over 150 carp landed in the month of July.
It has been record numbers for me in July's heat.
Most fishermen, including myself, will tell you that July is a difficult month for carp fishing.  The weather is hot, the water is like a hot bath and the pests are ever so pesty. Even the carp seem to go into a funk in the mid day heat. In past years, I fished my summer spots and was content to catch a few fish here and a few fish there.  That was the way I started off this year in the first week of July. During that first week, it was a scant few fish with lots of effort and little return.
That's when I made the change.  I started exploring new spots.  At first it was a hit or miss deal and then I found something hot and stuck with it. Adaptability at work!
The results have been astounding.  So far this July I have landed over 150 carp, the best July I have ever experienced.  I will tell you that the majority of these fish have been small, under 10 lbs., but small is better than nothing in my book. The biggest fish I have been able to catch tipped the scale at just over 15 lbs.
There are other changes I have made since that first week of July.  All my fishing has been short sessions in the morning, the coolest part of the day.  I have gone to using small hooks.  Number 8 hooks with short hairs have done the trick on these smaller fish. I am also using a small amount of bait on the hair, mostly a kernel of maize and a kernel of sweet corn along with a small method ball.  One more thing.....I reel the bait in often to check it.  Yes, the bait stealing turtles have been a real problem, and I seem to catch upwards of a half dozen a week, but that is the irritating part of summer fishing that I put up with.
While fishing is often slow in the summer months, it can also be quite productive as I have found out this year. Adaptability is the key to making it work.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Photo of the Day....Number 400 on the Year!

Here is my 400th carp of the year that was landed yesterday. This hefty
common fell for a combo bait of sweet corn and maize fished
on the hair rig. The weather is hot and the fishing is hot right now for me.