Sunday, December 9, 2018

7th Place Finish in CAG Fall Big 4

30 lbs., 2 oz
26 lbs., 2 oz.
Our CAG Fall Big 4 National Tournament has concluded and I ended up with a 7th place finish, good for a thirty dollar gift certificate at Big Carp Tackle . The tournament ran from October first to the end of November.  The idea was to enter your 4 biggest fish by weight.  My total poundage for 4 fish was 100 lbs., 6 oz.  I entered fish of 21 lbs., 23 lbs., 2 oz, 26 lbs., 2 oz. and 30 lbs., 2 oz.  All these fish were caught in RI waters. Two of my fish were caught at night and two were landed in the daytime.
This year's event was especially tough for anglers in the northeast.  We had to deal with very high water, very cold temperatures in November and even snow. The weather was not great for carp fishing with November being especially tough. I was lucky to score the fish I did.
Close to 50 of the very best carp fishermen from all over the country took part in this event. It's always tough to place in the top ten (award places) in these events because of the stiff competition. It seems like there are more and more good carp fishermen out there. Besides myself, I must also mention two other RI CAG carp fishermen who posted impressive catches in this tournament.  Todd Richer ended up with a total poundage of 89 lbs., 9 ounces, and Tony Carvalho had a total of 77 lbs., 5 ounces. Both just missed scoring in the top ten.
Our next big event is a nationwide tournament called the FFF (First Fishing Folly) that occurs on Jan.1.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Photo of the Day.....A Winter Common

I landed this hefty common on a cold afternoon today.
Look for  the best action at this time of year to be in ice
free, small, shallow ponds or moving water.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Light" Tactics for Winter Success

I've packed a method ball
around my small sinker.
Other sharpies will use a
cage feeder.
Two kernels of sweet corn are hooked
onto my small, #10 hook.  No need
for a hair rig.
The calendar moved to December, and I moved to my winter tactics for carp fishing. One key to winter success is to go "light".  Carp don't tend to feed a whole lot in winter, and taking a light and delicate approach to get them to hit often pays off at this time of year.
This week I broke out my light winter rod, a whippy, steehead nine foot noodle rod (similar to maybe a 125 or 150 test curve carp rod).  I have a Shimano 3500 baitrunner reel on it that's spooled with just 10 lb. test monofilament line. My set-up is generally a light, steel egg sinker (1/2 oz.)followed by a foot long leader of 8 lb. test mono to which I've tied a small #10 Umpqua Tiemco hook (no. 2457) at the end.  I'm packing method mix around my sinker and I'm putting two pieces of delicate sweet corn directly onto the hook for bait. I'm not using a hair need to with the soft sweet corn. Note that many winter sharpies will use a cage feeder to pack method or pellets rather than packing around the sinker.
This delicate approach has delivered good numbers of carp for me in the last week as well as in past years in the wintertime.  Note that any hits might be just delicate taps as the carp are not active enough to really run off with the bait as they do in the warm months.
Here's a good size mirror that was landed today using the light and delicate
winter approach described above.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Results of RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament

Sean Reed, our gold medal winner, also had the biggest fish
of the tournament.  He holds a monster 36 1/2 inch common.
The results are in for our 2018 RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament.  Our members entered their largest common carp, their largest mirror carp and their largest bonus fish (catfish or sucker). These fish were measured by length and all the inches were added up. Once again, some real big fish were landed this year.  The results are listed below:

Gold Medal...Sean Reed.....88 1/2 points (36 1/2 inch common, 34 inch mirror, 18 inch sucker)
Silver medal....Tom Perron....83 points (36 inch common, 32 inch mirror, 15 inch horned pout)
Bronze medal....Brian Savage.....67 1/2 points (36 inch common, 31 1/2 inch mirror)
4th place...Tony Carvalho....49 points
5th place....Laura Mitchell....46 1/2 points
Engraved medals provided by the national CAG organization will be given to the top three finishers!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Very Poor in November

So far, it has been a very poor November for carp fishing
here in RI.
This will not be a November to remember for me. I'm working on the poorest November carp fishing I have ever experienced.  In most normal Novembers I am able to land about 50 or 60 carp here in RI.  Thus far, I have only 5 carp on the month, and it shows no signs of improving. All my November spots that produced in other years seem to have no fish or none that want to feed.
The weather has really been working against me.  With the massive amounts of rain, the high, high water is at record levels.  I've written before that I am no fan of high water as it moves a lot of the fish into places they would not normally be.  In most places, ponds as well as rivers in RI, the water is in the woods.  Parts of the Blackstone look like a massive pond right now. Add to that big time dropping water temperatures brought on by this cold weather. As I write this I am staring at 6 inches of snow in my backyard.  It's all put the carp in a funk.
I am hoping this weather settles down into a more normal pattern soon. If not, I'll keep looking and trying
.  As most of you know, I do fish all winter on a limited basis, so I will keep going. Hopefully, things improve. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Big Fish Being Caught at NIGHT

This 23 lb. hog was landed two nights ago. Nighttime can
produce some trophy fish in late fall.
I'm competing in the CAG Big 4 Tournament right now, and I'm looking for some big carp to enter.  With the action for bigger fish slow in the daytime for me, I have turned to these warm nights in search of a big fish in the past few days.  And, it has paid off.
Three nights ago, I landed my biggest RI carp this year, a beast that went 30 lbs., 2 oz. That fish was also my biggest that I have ever landed after dark.  The next night I landed a good size one that went 23 lbs., 2 oz. I can also report that other RI CAG members have entered some big fish for our RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament that were caught at night too.
Experienced carpers will tell you that many of the biggest carp are taken at night. Big carp are wary creatures, and they will often come close to shore to feed under the cover of darkness. Combine that with late fall, a time in which bigger fish are feeding up for winter, and this month is a great opportunity to land a trophy. With darkness coming very early next week, it might be a time to get out and try carp fishing in the dark.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Photo of the Day.....An October Hog.... 30 lbs., 2 oz.

Tonight brought the biggest carp of the fall for me and another 30 lber.
for the books. This huge bellied carp was taken on a combo
bait of maize and a white artificial pop-up corn fished on the hair rig.