Tuesday, March 28, 2017

100

Got my 100th carp of the new year today.
This good size common is my 100th carp of the new year.
It was a good day today with several fish this size.
Chalk up another big score on a rainy, lousy day. I had a decent afternoon with five carp on the bank along with a couple of more runners that dropped the bait.  These were decent fish in the 10-20 lb. range.  All fell for a combo bait of sweet corn and a white artificial corn fished on the hair rig with a method ball ahead of the bait.
This spring's fishing has been particularly tough.  The weather has been extreme and all over the place....very cold one day, warm the next, snowing one day, rainy the next, waters iced over one week, gone the next.  The inconsistency of the weather has led to inconsistent fishing at best.  So, it has been a slow climb to 100 fish for me this year. March has been especially difficult this year with the colder than normal weather.
But, spring keeps ticking forward, and I can at least see that the fishing for larger fish is slowly improving. If the ice and snow is behind us, the fishing should continue to get better.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

First 20 of the New Year

First 20 lber of the new year.
I have been catching decent numbers of carp this winter (nearly a hundred fish) despite the weather. But, the biggest fish I was able to land was a fish in the low teens.  That isn't surprising since the smaller ones seem to be more active in the cold water, and I have limited options of places to fish in the wintertime.  That is all changing as more and more water opens up for carp fishing with the departing ice. I know things are getting serious when I can catch my first 20 lber. of the year, and I got that one today.
I fished today in that brutal wind and wind chill.  I was determined to hit a number of spots and take it from there.  If I found fish after an hour or so I would stay; if not, I would move to a new location.  I found what I wanted at my second location.  There, I landed two decent fish.  One was a low teen and the other was a twenty pounder.  For the first time this year I fished plastic artificial corn and that seemed to do it.  I was using one kernel of sweet corn along with a kernel of white, ESP, artificial corn on the hair (see photo at left).  That artificial gives the bait some color and lift, two factors that lure fussy carp into hitting. That combo bait has been my ticket to catching some very large fish in the last two years.
Tonight's cold and tomorrow's cold will likely set things back a bit.  However, next week's forecast looks to be warmer and rainier, a deadly combination at this time of year. The fishing will only get better in the coming weeks. The serious spring fishing has begun.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Limited Options

It was five carp today landed
on a snowy bank.  Most still water
spots have ice so moving water
 is your best bet right now.
It's been nine days since I have been out fishing.  That's a long time in March.  So, today, with my limited options, I headed out. On a day in which I would have been happy to get one fish, I did manage to land 5 carp up to ten pounds.  Nice to get back in the game.
I scouted around yesterday and here is what I found.  Many of the lakes and ponds south of Providence have some ice.  Some are half frozen, some are almost clear of ice.  I suspect many of those places will be ice free by mid week.  North of Providence is a different story.  In many places it is solid ice covering the whole pond.  Some, though, are partially frozen.  Places north of Providence will take some time to shed their ice.
So, with the still water of ponds and lakes a poor bet, I headed to moving water which is never a sure bet in cold weather. Those carp I did manage to catch today were taken on sweet corn on the hair along with a small method ball. The takes were sluggish, but the fight was ok.  Yes, everything is  slowed in thirty degree water.
I have never been a fan of March fishing.  The up and down weather of March makes for inconsistent fishing at best. However, if you put in your time in March in open water, you still can catch carp even in the worst of conditions.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Good Fishing About to Hit the Skids

The snow was falling today but the
fish were still hitting. Looks like
fishing is heading downhill, again.
Get ready for the deep freeze that is coming weekend along with a snowstorm that has the potential to bury us next week.  Here we go on the March roller coaster.  Just when carp fishing was coming alive, it's all about to go downhill.  In the last three days I have landed 24 carp, real good numbers for this time of year. That warm spell on Wed., and Thurs., of this week really got the fish feeding. I even got out today in the snow and cold and landed 5 fish on a snowy bank.
I will have to say that while the fish have been hitting they have been sluggish on the take and on the fight.  That's all due to the cold water.  So, I changed up tactics a bit.  Instead of putting the bait directly on a small hook (not working this week), I tied up some smaller hair rigs.  I used a #10 hook and tied a small hair that would take only two small pieces of sweet corn, used lighter line on the hooklink (30 lb. test Power Pro), and added a small swivel.  I also went smaller on the sinker, opting for a half ounce steel egg sinker.  I also used a small method ball. It all worked great as I seemed to do much better with the smaller stuff.  I even set up a light steelhead rod and loaded it with a Shimano baitrunner with 8 lb. test mono.  That outfit seemed to get the most attention.
I'm more than certain the coming cold and snow will put the ice back onto still waters. I'm guessing we might be looking at 7-10 days before I can get again. So, it's back to the ski slopes for me!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ups and Downs of March Fishing

Today's beautiful weather had the fish
active. Looks like a return to winter in
the next few days.
Overall, carp fishing is very dependent on the weather most of the year. In March that weather effect is super magnified. This month's weather and fishing have been a roller coaster thus far. It's sixty degrees one day, 20 degrees the next. It's snowing one day, beautiful and sunny the next. The ice comes, the ice goes.  All of this has made the fishing very inconsistent at best.
I got out yesterday and could barely find a section of open water in the ice to fish.  There was ice in most of the places I checked.  I got nothing in an afternoon of fishing.  Today I went out again in some beautiful weather.  All that ice that was around yesterday was gone today, and the fish were hitting.  I landed good numbers of them today using sweet corn on the hair. The water was freezing cold to the touch and the fish were sluggish on the take, but still hitting.
If you look at what is coming in the next few days, it looks like a return to severe cold, icing and maybe even snow. That will surely put the fishing down once again. Welcome to the ups and downs of March fishing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Big Carp Fishing Show Coming to Middletown, CT

North East Carp Conference 2017
When: Saturday April 8th 2017 10am – 6pm      
Where: Elks Club, Middletown CT
This will be the first of its kind anywhere in North America!
Organized in association with the Carp Anglers Group we are anticipating that this will be a sell-out event attracting carp anglers from all over New England, NY, NJ, PA and perhaps even further afield. In addition to Guest Speakers & Carp Tackle Vendors there will be a TAG Sale where you can buy, swap or sell carp tackle (space is limited so if you want to sell items please book early!). This will be a great opportunity to meet fellow carp anglers as well as learn more about the tackle and techniques for catching these incredible sport fish. Each Conference attendee who pays in advance will also receive 10 free raffle tickets to use toward the door prizes! We'll be updating details on speakers, prizes and much more over the coming weeks.
  •       TAG Sale – Bring along your carp gear to sell or swap!
  • ·         Rig, Bait & Beginner Clinics
  • ·         Tackle & Bait Vendors
  • ·         Expert Panel Q&A – We are planning a live video link with one of the UKs top carp anglers!
  • ·         Guest Speakers – talks from top level carp anglers.
  • ·         Door Prizes / Raffle – Hundreds of $$$ worth of top tackle prizes.
  • ·         Food & Beverages on sale during day

T   Tickets in Advance: $15 entry ($5 CAG members)
     TAG Sale Space* $10 ($5 CAG members)
Advanced Purchase of CAG membership with Door Entry Only: $25
 * * * Advance Ticket Purchasers will also receive 10 free raffle tickets to use toward the door prizes! * * * 
Advance Ticket Purchase link: http://bit.ly/2017NECC
On the Day: $20 ($15 CAG member).

How to get there:
The Elks Lodge, 44 Maynard St,  Middletown, CT 06457 is easily reached just 5 mins from J13 on Route 9.  
Route 9 connects directly with several major interstates I-91, I-90, I-95 or I-84 placing the venue only 2 hours from Boston, NYC or Albany and within 4 hours of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hair-less

Sweet corn can be
fished right on the
hook.
I've been doing a lot of carp fishing seminars this winter at various shows.  One question that keeps coming up is "do you need to use the hair rig?". The simple answer is no.  The hair rig allows easy use of harder baits such as boilies, maize, tiger nuts, chick peas, artificial corn, etc.  All those baits must be threaded with a baiting needle and then put onto the hair and held in place with a hair stop. I also think the hair rig generally gives the fishermen a big edge in hooking a fish since that exposed hook will always get the carp in the lip.  If you are using soft baits such as sweet corn or dough baits, you can put the bait directly on the hook and you should have decent success.
Having said all that I fished today without using a hair rig. That's because I was using sweet corn and the fish were on the small side. I was also using a small hook (#10) and I was putting only one or two kernels of sweet corn on the hook which was attached to a foot long monofilament leader or hooklink. It worked like a charm as I had my best day of 2017 with 12 carp up to 8 lbs. on the bank.
This is one of 12 carp landed today on sweet corn fished on the
hook. This technique works best with small hooks.
Sweet corn is working great right now, but be aware that as soon as the warmer weather comes along and the pests (turtles, bluegills, dace and horned pout) get more active, the sweet corn will be picked apart whether you use it on the hair or on the hook.  I got a taste of that today as I landed my first bluegill of the year on a single kernel of sweet corn on the hook and had other baits taken off the hook with little taps of the rod tip.