For carp enthusiasts, the window of opportunity is open. There is no better time of the year to catch a large RI carp than now. That widow will remain open for at least another month as large carp go on a fall feeding spree before cooling waters send them into dormancy.
It is not that easy to catch a large carp at this time of year. First off, they are wary feeders who often feed heavily at night. Not many freshwater fishermen are accustomed to fishing at night, so the hotspots are generally empty. Additionally, few ponds in the state have the real hogs. A “big hog” carp in RI tips the scales at over 20 lbs. with some super heavyweights weighing over 30 lbs. It’s a genetic thing with the big ones, so the biggest ones exist in a short list of places. Some well know big carp waters where I have taken fish in the twenties include Roger Williams Park in Providence, Lake Tiogue in Coventry, Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods State Park and Twin Rivers in North Providence. Finally, bait presentation is important if you are looking for a trophy. I like to prebait my spots using corn or doughball. I might bait up a spot in the morning and return to fish in the evening. When fishing, I will fish my baits (either corn or doughballs) on a hair rig, and I generally use an oatmeal method ball around the sinker as an added enticement. It’s all fished using bite alarms which are a must in total darkness because they have lights and auditory alarms which signal a hit.
The biggest RI carp I have ever caught weighed 27.5 lbs. It was caught on an early October night in total darkness. I have landed numerous others over 20 lbs. in September and October.
Hog Time has arrived. Get out and catch your biggest fish of the year!