Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seminars Coming to Big Shows

My carp fishing seminars will be coming to two big shows this winter. My latest seminar is called "Secrets of NE Carp Fishing". It is a Power Point presentation that has tons of pictures and videos and is a tell all show made for beginners and well as the seasoned carp fishing enthusiasts. The show will cover tackle, baits, rigging, and river and pond fishing.
The first show will be on Fri., Feb. 12 at the Eastern Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the DCU Center in Worcester at 1:15. This is the biggest fishing and hunting show in eastern New England and features lots of tackle dealers and companies that showcase their latest equipment. For further info, the show's website is
The second show I will be doing is the same seminar at the Springfield Sportsmens Show on Sat., Feb. 26 at the Big E in Springfield, MA. This is a massive show that is held in three buildings. It also features exhibitors from all over North America that cater to fishing and hunting. Their website is
Carp fishing seminars are rare in shows like these since they tend to cater to traditional freshwater fishing for such species as largemouths, salmon, trout and pike. However, in recent years, I have had a good number of fishermen attend these seminars, evidence of the growing popularity of carp fishing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

End of the Year Video Featuring RI CAG Members

Here is the annual RI CAG video that highlights some of the catches made by our members and friends here in RI and elsewhere in 2010. This was a year in which many of our members landed mirror and common PB's (personal best). Congratulations to all our members for making this a great year! Enjoy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Gifts for the Carp Guy in Your Life

Carp this post to your wife or girlfriend.....
If you've got a carp guy in your life, you know there are a ton of things he would just love to have for fishing. Here are some great ideas that I found just browsing around the Big Carp Tackle website ( Carp fishermen just love bite alarms. Looking for the Cadillac of alarms, then pick up pair of Delkim EVs. These sell for about $80 apiece but are worth every penny. If you are looking for a quality alarm that's a little less, try a Fox Warrior for $45. Chub rods are now on sale for less than $100. These are quality rods at terrific prices right now. For the guy who has just about everything, how about a Reuben Heaton standard scale? These sell for just over a hundred dollars and you can also get a matching pouch for $17. I got one as a gift last year and I love it. I like to browse the luggage section of the Big Carp site and look at the bags and rucksacks that are there. It's all high quality tackle totting stuff for less than $100. How about a fancy and fish friendly landing net. The Fox Warrior sells for a little over $100.
Finally, if you are not sure what to get, I'll bet your carp guy would love a gift certificate from Big Carp Tackle or Wacker Baits ( You can't go wrong at either store.

Monday, December 6, 2010

RI Carp Fishing Comes to an Abrupt End!

It's over, done for the season. I was out yesterday and landed an nice 10 lb. mirror, but ending signs were there. It was just freezing outside and the water temps were in the high thirties. Today there was skim ice on the pond. With temperatures in the next 7 days forecast to be 10-15 degrees below normal, it spells the arrival of ice and the end of carp fishing for 2010 here in RI. I am packing my ski stuff and getting ready to hit the slopes for the next three months.
Watch for posts this winter on this site that will deal mostly with tackle for carp fishing. If a sudden warm up hits, I will be ready to go back carp fishing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Warm Weather Has Carp Active in Dec.

The warm weather of the last three days has lit up the carp fishing (once again) here in RI. Got out today and landed 2 good sized mirrors and a decent sized common. Also, saw a number of fish jumping as if it were a spring day! Get out and enjoy because we all know this weather is not going to last.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still Worthwhile

I took a break from striper fishing today to get out and fish for carp. I hit three different spots in a four hour time frame and caught 2 commons. It was not hot and heavy fishing, but was typical for late season fishing. With water temps hovering around 40 degrees right now, the fish are not that active. I saw no jumps, no whirls, nothing moving around. However, the fish are still hitting if you take a cold water approach.
Here are the basics for this time of year. Go with small hooks (I like a #8) tied on a short hooklink. Go with small sinkers like about 1/2 ounce or less. Use sweet corn instead of maize and use 2 or 3 kernels on the hair. Pineapple is a good cold water flavor if you like to use flavored corn. Small doughballs are a good second choice in baits. If your are using a method ball, make it small. The fish are not voracious feeders at this time. I still like to prebait my spots, though I prebait with less bait. Target small ponds or places where they have been caught in big waters in the past at this time (experience is big here). Finally, lower your expectations. Expect to catch far less fish than the summertime, but still expect to catch some. Usually, the fish will continue hitting until the water temps drop down in the mid thirties or when the ice arrives.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ideal November Conditions Get Carp Feeding

If you had to pick an ideal late fall day for carp fishing, this was it. It poured last night but stayed warm, the temperature today was in the 60's and it was windy. Those warm temperatures sent the water temperatures up a tick, but it was just enough to get the carp in high gear.

I fished three different ponds today for about two hours apiece and caught fish everywhere I went. I came away with three commons and a mirror and lost a couple of more. In addition, I had lots of beeps and taps. And , I saw fish jumping and swirling even in the windy weather. Most of these fish that I caught were about ten pounds apiece. The hot bait today was pineapple flavored sweet corn (what else). Also, I had a hit on a doughball.

Remember that carp will continue to hit in the cold months. They are particularly active on these days when water temperatures are rising. In the past, I have taken them from open water here in RI every single month of the year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Water Temps Dropping; Fish Still Hitting

Got out today as I have been doing all week. I've noticed a steady drop in water temperatures due to those cold nights and NE winds we've had all week. The water temperature today was 47 degrees. It didn't stop the fish from hitting. Landed one good sized mirror of 12 lbs. along with two commons that were a bit smaller. Pineapple flavored sweet corn did the trick. I'm still baiting up a number of locations and those seem to be the spots that are producing. I'm not seeing any activity like fish jumping, bubble trails or mud clouds but the fish are still hitting.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

RI CAG Get Together Yields Mirrors

This morning we held a get together for RI CAG members. With the wind chill in the thirties, it was a day for diehards. Three of us, Nick, Paul and I , hit the shore of Scott's Pond in Lincoln. It was not hot and heavy action but we managed to land two very active mirrors that nearly ripped the rods off the banksticks. Paul got his fish on anise flavored maize and I got my mirror on pineapple flavored sweet corn. We also had a few other bangs. It does point out that the carp will continue to hit in some very cold water, and they can be caught right up until ice out.

The RI CAG group holds two formal fish-ins a year in which the public is invited to come and fish with us, and we also hold informal get togethers for CAG members. Membership in the RI CAG group is automatic when you sign up for membership in the Carp Anglers Group, our national group. Sign ups are online at If you are interested in carp fishing, consider joining our group. We are always looking for new members.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time for a Finesse Approach

It's that time of year when water temperatures are dropping and the carp are getting less active. They are now picky as to what they eat and are wary about taking any offerings.
Time for the finesse game of late fall. This is an approach that Kev Wasliewski, one of the area's best carp fishermen, showed me many years ago. Make everything smaller.... smaller hooks (size #8 works great), smaller sinkers (quarter ounce is good), shorter hook links. Also, go with finesse bait. In this case, sweet corn (flavored or unflavored) is deadly though small doughballs also work. If you use a method ball, make that smaller too.
Prebaiting is still one of the keys to success. So is finding locations where the carp bunch up. They often change locations in late fall.
The carp fishing game will continue until the ice arrives. It's often not hot and heavy at this time of year, but the fisherman who knows what he is doing will continue catching. To catch fish from now until the ice arrives, a finesse approach will be the best way to go.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flavor of the Month: Pineapple

My hands are smelling pineapple a lot these days. That's because just about every bait I am using.....sweet corn, maize, chick peas and boilies all are flavored with pineapple because that flavor is working the best these days.
With the exception of boilies that I buy premade, I am doing most of my own flavoring. Sweet corn, in particular, has been very effective lately. Buy it from the can in a supermarket. The Green Giant brand is especially good. I will pick the largest kernels from a can and place them in a small container. Then, I will add my flavor. Here are some pineapple flavorings that work: dip or flavor bought from online carp stores, pineapple extract, pineapple Skyy vodka, and juice from a can of pineapple. Let the sweet corn soak overnight and you are ready to go.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

RI Carp Fishing Still Going

Most carp fishermen make the mistake of quitting too early. Fall fishing is a hit or miss deal, but the carp are still around and usually willing to hit until the ice arrives. In the past I have landed carp in open water in RI on every single month of the year, including January.

This week I encountered an uptick in the fishing. Oh, it's not April or May, but I still have managed to snare one or two fish an outing with decent sizes up to around ten pounds. I was out this morning in dead calm water and to my surprise, the carp were all over the surface lazily finning and picking at something. In one location, I saw a bunch that probably numbered 60 or 70 fish. However, they were not interested in hitting, but at least one fish (left and right photos) was grubbing along the bottom right in the spot I had baited up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back to Sweet Corn

Whenever things are slow, I revert back to using sweet corn. Fishing is slow right now, but has perked up considerably since I went back to using sweet corn in the last week. Sweet corn is a very effective bait, but the drawback has always been that it also attracts turtles, bluegills, horned pout, etc. that will pick you clean. With the cooling water, the pests seem to have become inactive, but the carp are still hitting.
I have had good success in the last week using any type of pineapple flavored sweet corn. I usually flavor my own by buying sweet corn from the supermarket, picking the largest kernels and then adding a pineapple dip or flavor that can be purchased from online bait stores (try K-1 baits). Pineapple Skyy vodka is also good. Flavored sweet corn was my most effective bait last fall and produced until the ice arrived.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Big Fish Alert

I've noticed an uptick in fishing for large carp this week. They are active and hitting after dark. I got two real hogs this week with both fish pushing into the low to mid twenties, quite large for carp here in RI. Take a look at the one I landed last night (at right). I've also gotten a few smaller ones. The large fish are now on a fall feed, eating as much as they can in anticipation of winter. Just may be the time for a PB (personal best). Get out and try while the weather is still bearable at night.

Fall Fishing: Nothing like Springtime

Air temperatures and water temperatures are about the same but that is where the comparison of spring and fall RI carp fishing ends.
Fall fishing is nowhere near as productive as spring. In the spring the fish awaken after a long winter and are really on the feed. They are aggressive. They are also in the prespawn mode, often bunching up in large groups. It all makes for some incredible action at times.
I find fall fish to be moody. Sometimes I will blank for days even though I may see a few fish jumping (but not feeding). Ponds that are so productive in the spring are often dead in the fall. It makes you wonder where the fish are. However, I have taken some of my biggest RI carp in the fall. Just the other night I had a low to mid twenty pounder that was fat as a hog. It was my largest fish in months from RI.
So, fall fishing is what it is. It's a slow time, but nevertheless, a time in which a real trophy can be caught. I plan to continue my RI carp fishing until the ice arrives.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


You don't see many people using boilies in RI, but let me tell you that it is a super bait when you are targeting big carp. I have been using boilies a lot in September since I ordered some from
K-1 baits (, one of the big online bait stores in the US. I have been using their pineapple boilies in a 16mm size. Here's how effective they have been for me. The 8 biggest fish I have landed in September, sizes 16-25 lbs have ALL been taken on boilies. I have experimented with using corn on one rod and boilies on the other and the boilies have gotten all the action. They are that effective. I might add that I am using them with an oatmeal based method ball packed around the sinker.

Boilies are hardened balls of bait that have been cooked or boiled. A baiting needle goes through easily. They are very durable and can not be picked apart like a doughball by pesty horned pout and bluegills. They are also convenient. They come in a zip lock bag. They are also inexpensive since a one pound bag is about 8 bucks.

Boilie fishing has been an eye opener for me this month and I plan to stock up on different flavors and sizes in the off season for use next year.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hot Times in Sept.....Dusk and After Dark

In the last week or so, the hot period of time has been at and after dark. We have gotten a shot of cooler weather and that has gotten the fish active all over the state. If I had to pick the best month to catch carp at and after dark it would be September. It seems that that drop in temperature at and after dark seems to be a trigger that gets the carp feeding. As the water temperatures also drop, the fish begin to sense a need to feed in anticipation of winter coming.

I have been all over the state in the last week catching fish and all the places are producing (see photo of last night's fish caught at dusk). I've fished the Blackstone River, Scott's Pond, Ryco Pond, Lake Tiogue, Warwick Pd., Mashapaug, and Brickyard Pond and have taken fish out of all these places. I've also seen an upswing in activity in these spots with fish whirling and cruising around.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sweet Corn Tactics: Colors and Flavors

Sweet corn is very hot right now. Maybe it's because the water is so warm and the fish are a bit picky. I have been having very good luck using flavored sweet corn. I often will mix different flavors as well as colors and that sometimes makes for an irresistible combination (see photo at left). Three flavors have been hot this week are carpquila, spicy peach and pineapple. At times, I have loaded the hair with all three. I also like to vary the color. The peach is a red color and I usually sandwich that between two yellow kernels (pineapple and/or carpquila). For whatever the reason, threading different colors on the hair has worked especially well for me this week. In the last two days I have landed over a dozen carp using this tactic (see photo of one of today's fish at right). You can purchase flavored sweet corn from The Bait Stop, or you can buy a can of sweet corn from the supermarket and add your own flavoring.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weather Turns Bad; Fishing Turns Good

The doldrums are over at least temporarily. It has been a hot summer thus far weather wise and that has put the carp in an August funk. While nighttime fishing has been fair, the daytime action has been nonexistent. That has now changed. The rain, cool weather and northeast winds of the last two days have lit up the carp fishing in RI, even in the daytime. There have even been some big ones around like the 15 lb. mirror in the photo that was taken in the Blackstone River two nights ago. It's my type of fishing weather, and I've landed more fish in the last two days than in the previous two weeks! I've also noticed lots of whirling, bubbles and fish moving around. Hot bait continues to be flavored sweet corn with carpquila, spicey peach and pineapple doing most of the damage.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nighttime is the Right Time

I have blanked now six times in a row in the morning. Yet, I have landed a carp or two five straight times in the evening/night. To say nighttime is the right time is an understatement. With the warm water temperatures and the hot days, it seems logical that the cooler nights would produce. The hot time has been from sunset to an hour or two after dark. The action isn't hot and heavy but there are some fish around. I also might add that the horned pout have been bothersome. They have been more active than usual. Sweet corn is still the hot bait.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Switch to Sweet Corn

Fishing has been tough, very tough. Hey, it's August in RI. It's way too hot and the fish are simply not feeding like they were earlier in the year. Up until this week I had been using maize because it is much more durable than sweet corn and with a lot of turtles, sunfish and horned pout around, it was a better choice. Sun turtles, in particular, are very clever about stealing the bait without even twitching the rod tip. But, the maize was not working with the carp.
So, I went back to using sweet corn and taking my chances with the turtles. I'm not killing the fish, but I am catching one or two on just about every outing. I am using carpquila and pineapple flavors as well as unflavored sweet corn. All have produced about the same results.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in the Swing of Things

Still handicapped but that has not stopped me. You know things are returning to normal when you're fishing again and catching!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Making In-line Leads

I use a lot of 3 oz. in-line leads for carp fishing in many of the big rivers here in southern New England. I also lose a lot of them so it becomes an expensive proposition. So, I have been on a quest to make my own.
First problem....could not find a place in the US that sells the molds needed to do it. However, I found a great online store in the UK that sells these molds and ships to the US at a reasonable price. It is called The Tackle Box. The mold I bought was a CJT in-line flat pear bomb, code 10240, website, (see pic at right). It is a single, small mold that is held together by clamps or pliers. Before pouring, a rod is inserted into the mold which forms the inside hole that houses the insert. Once the lead is poured, the rod is pulled out. It's a very simple procedure.
Once my leads are all made, I paint them with a brown or green powder paint that produces a real durable finish.
The final step involves placing an insert into the lead that will hold your line and swivel. You may have to trim the elongated part of the insert for a good fit. Finally, I place a tail rubber on top of the insert section to complete my lead.
While molding leads are not for everyone, this can save you a bundle if you use and lose a lot of them. The Tackle Box also has many other types of lead molds that you can't find in the US. Check them out.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the DL

It's not pretty.
I've been dealing with a tennis elbow for over a year in my casting arm. Finally, I had an MRI two weeks ago that showed a tear in a ligament. It required surgery and elbow reconstruction. Yesterday I had the surgery.I am now wearing a cast that runs from shoulder to my hand.
I will be at least three months before all is healed. And, that will be after extensive therapy.
However, I will continue to post on this site. I plan to check out new venues and also write about tackle and technique.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Crappy Month

In past years, July was a very good month of carp fishing here in RI. Last year when the weather was rainy and cool, I caught over 150 carp in just the month of July. Not so this year. I will be lucky to log in 35 fish this month and I am putting in the same amount of effort in the same spots as last year. So, what's the problem?
I believe the problem started in early spring when we had the severe flooding. That moved a lot of nutrients into the water and also displaced a lot of fish, especially in our rivers. The oppressively warm weather in July has boosted freshwater temperatures into the eighties in some spots, a major turn off to feeding. In addition, the water is very low, near drought conditions in the Blackstone River. Also, the water is very discolored in many spots due to algae growth ( caused by heat and nutrients from flooding). It all adds up to very poor carp fishing in the month of July.
My limited success has come from fishing in late evening, just before and after dark. That time seems to produce some fish if you can stand the big numbers of mosquitoes around. A hot night for me these days is two fish, extremely poor for this time of year.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Making your own Sinkers

I've had it with the high cost of sinkers these days so I am now making my own. One kind I am making is a no roll sinker. This has a flat pear shape and has a hole through the center just like an egg sinker. The mold is produced by the Do-It corporation ( and has 4 cavities for sinkers of 1, 1 1/2, 2, and 3 oz.

It is easy for me to do since I have all the supplies such as melters, ladles, molds and cutters needed to make sinkers and jigs. The mold is fairly easy to pour except for the 1 oz. cavity which must really be heated in order to work. A pin is inserted into each cavity before pouring and after pouring, the pin is pulled out with pliers. Later, I paint the sinkers using brown or green powder paint. The finish is beautiful. It is tricky doing this since the sinker must be mounted on a piece of wire first, heated for 4-5 seconds with a small torch and then sort of rolled on each side in a shallow dish of powder paint. I later cure them in the oven at 350 degrees. If you are into making sinkers and jigs this is all standard procedure.

I know this is not for everyone since lead is a toxic material and getting all these supplies is quite costly. But, if you do make your own sinkers and jigs, consider making your own carp sinkers. You will save a bundle.

Flavor of the Month....Carp Quila

While I am not catching loads of carp, I am getting some fish in this heat. And, I am getting them all on the same flavor.....CarpQuila. Carp Quila is sold by The Bait Stop. However, it only comes in sweet corn, impossible to keep on the hook in the summer due to turtles and sunfish. So, I bought the Carp Quila dip from The Bait Stop and added the dip to a jar of my own boiled field corn. It works terrific and has been my hottest flavor this summer. Just ask that mirror on the left that hit my Carp Quila maize!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Slow Going

It's been slow going in the last week for carp fishing here in RI. The water is warm and the ponds and lakes are exceptionally low for this time due to little rain in the last month. The fish seem to be in the shady spots and are not real active in the daytime. It seems to an early morning or evening before dark bite, typical of mid summer fishing.

I'm generally getting either one or two fish on every outing. I've tried a lot of different spots and all seem to be producing the same marginal results. My best outing was last Saturday at the Take a Kid Fishing event held on the Blackstone Canal. It was very disappointing that I was the only fishermen to show up to this event. So, what the heck, I figured I might as well fish. Well, I ended up with 5 mirrors (see pic at right) and lost a couple more in just two hours of fishing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Take A Kid Carp Fishing Day.....June 27

The national CAG (Carp Anglers Group) has designated the weekend of June 26 and 27 "Take a Kid Carp Fishing Days". Our group in RI will be having a kids carping day on Sunday, June 27, at the Blackstone Canal off the Bike Path in Lincoln. It is open to the public. We will be fishing in the wide area just north of the Martin St. Bridge. Members of the RI CAG should be there around 10:00 AM and we'll fish till mid to late afternoon. If you have a young fisherman who would like to try for a carp, bring along your rod and reel and come and join us. We'll offer advice to get you started, have the bait and rigs for you and hopefully you'll catch a carp. All kids attending should be accompanied by an adult.

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Carp

Went out last evening carp fishing with my friend, Paul, from Wrentham, MA. Paul is an accomplished bass fisherman but he had never caught a carp. Well, by the end of the evening Paul landed two good sized mirrors. Congratulations on your first carp!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making Method Mix

It's a simple formula: 2 parts oatmeal, 1 part crushed up bread, and 1 part cormeal and corn. You can also add flavoring if you want. Mix it altogether in a container and slowly add water and knead. Once it packs you are done. It should pack around a sinker and cast without falling off. Once it settles on the bottom, it should break apart in a short amount of time leaving a round area of chum around your baited hook. Using method should greatly increase your catches of carp.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Doughballs Can be Hot

Many carp fishermen think doughballs are the most effective bait overall. To some extent I would agree. However, while a doughball appeals to carp, every other fish and turtle that lives in freshwater loves them too. So, that is the drawback when using a doughball.

My son, Jon, and I fished this spot today where people feed ducks loads of bread. The carp are conditioned to hit this bait, and it is the most effective bait in this location. There are really two ways to fish a doughball (white part of slice of bread). One way is to simply mold a doughball about the size of a marble around a # 6 hook (see photo at left). Freeline it with no weight at all. This can be super effective, especially with finicky fish. I like to fish it using an open bail and I just really watch the line for any movement. The other way is to roll a doughball and let it set in the sun for a while so the outer part will harden. Now, load this on a hair rig and fish it on the bottom with a sinker set up.

Any way you use it, doughballs can be very effective for carp. Just take a look at the pic on the right of the decent fish my son, Jon, landed on a doughball.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Stay Put or Move

I went out yesterday to one of my favorite June spots. This place has had a tendency of producing real well on cloudy or rainy days which was the case yesterday. I arrived around noontime and got my two rods baited up and in the water. There was no activity. After about an hour, I had a runner and landed a beauty of around 20 lbs. (pic at right). That was it for the entire afternoon. Not another hit or beep hours and the time was creeping up to 4:00.

I had a dilemma often faced by carp fishermen. Should I stay or move to another spot? Based on my previous experience that told me that late afternoon and evening were the best times here, I decided to stay. I also had a sixth sense that told me things would perk up. They did. In the next two and a half hours, I landed 8 more fish, all decent sized teen fish. In carp fishing, sometimes it is just a case of being patient and waiting it out.

Carp Scales

If you are looking for the best scale in the world to weigh your trophies, there is only on....Reuben Heaton. This is the standard scale world wide for weighing. They are large round scales that work by spring. Some of them weigh in kgs and lbs. (dual scale) while others just weigh in lbs. Unlike the cheap digital scales that bounce around on the weighing, the Reuben Heaton moves right onto the weight of the fish and stays there to give the fisherman an accurate reading.

These are not cheap. Typically, they run over a hundred bucks in US online carp stores, though you can get them less than that from the UK (I got mine from Specialist Tackle). Want a padded case (a necessity I think)? That amounts to another twenty bucks. Quality carp fishing equipment is not cheap, but in this case a Reuben Heaton scale is well worth the investment.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mulberry Drop in Full Swing

The mulberries are now out and dropping. Carp just love these things. If you can find a mulberry tree along a carp pond or river, you are golden.

Mulberries come in all different colors. They can be pink, white or purple. Once you find a tree, just get yourself a cup full of bait. You want to freeline sinker. Just impale a soft berry on a #8 hook and cast. Many times the carp will take them on the drop. Sometimes they will scoop them up off the bottom. Berries are effective to use in the vicinity of a tree where the berries are dropping. They are no so effective if you get a supply and move to a location that does not have trees.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

RI Carp Angler at the Mighty St. Lawrence

One of our most accomplished CAG members, Tom Stefanowicz, recently went to the St. Lawrence River for a week long dream vacation of carp fishing. The St. Lawrence is considered one of the best areas in the WORLD to fish for carp. He and his father hit it big, catching large numbers of fish as well as a couple of thirty pounders. You can read about their exploits on Tom's blog at

Congratulations on your successes, Tom and Jan. We are all jealous!!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jon Pickering, CAG Big 4 Junior Winner

Jon Pickering has posted the most points in the junior division of the National CAG Big 4 contest. Jon's big 4 catch total for the month of May was forty four pounds. All of his fish were taken in RI waters and included catches in the Blackstone River, Scott's Pond and Spectacle. For his efforts Jon will be rewarded with gift certificates from several online carp tackle shops. It is quite an achievement to have national winner in this tournament coming from RI. Congratulations Jon!

RI Blackstone River Fishing Off

It has been a disappointing spring for me on the Blackstone River here in RI. The fishing is off, way off. I suspect the severe flooding of the spring has something to do with this. In past years, the flooding has had two big negative effects. It has moved a lot of fish to different spots. It has also killed a lot of carp. Carp tend to move onto flood plains during flooding. Many become trapped in deep basins and holes and die when the water recedes. When I was a kid I used to see hundreds of dead carp on these flood plains after flooding. I can only hope this is not the reason for the sub par carp fishing on the Blackstone. I continue to search for big numbers of mirrors, but am having little success.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Terrific Day

I headed out yesterday to do some carp fishing in one of my favorite spots. Everything was just right for a big day. It was cool and cloudy with a rain threat, and there was just a slight breeze. It was ideal carp fishing weather to fish in the daytime.

As for the fishing, I ended up landing 18 carp with the biggest one going 26.5 lbs. (pic at right). I had two other low twenties and nearly everything else was in the teens. It was my best day this year numbers wise. The hot bait was Wild Whiskey maize (what else?) fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball. But, here's a surprise. They stopped hitting the wild whiskey so I fished doughballs made from wheat bread on one rod. That was hot as I had three fish in less than an hour on it with no hits on the wild whisky on the other rod. Don't underestimate the power of a doughball. It can be real effective.

RI CAG Members Scoring

In the last week, many of our members have landed some hefty fish. Here is just a sampling of what has been taken. Nice catches, guys!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In a Summer Mode

I know the weather has become cooler, but it seems to me that the carp are moving into a summer feeding pattern. In the last week or so, I have noticed that the action has been the best right before and right after dark with the daytime action really trailing off. The rainy days have also been good. That is similar to what happens in summer fishing.

Earlier in the week, I went out on a rainy day and landed 5 good sized mirrors up to 18 lbs. Tonight my son Jon (photo at right) and I went out and sure enough, three runners went screaming off right after sunset. We had fished for an hour and a half before that and nothing. The times you fish do make a difference in your success rate in the coming months.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The CAG "Big 4"

The Carp Anglers Group is holding a tournament for its members that runs the whole month of May. It is called the Big 4, and it is the total weight of the biggest four carp you can catch in the month of May. This is the first year that I have entered the contest. In fact, I don't believe anyone from RI has entered this event in the past. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a Rhode Islander to win this thing considering you are competing against fishermen from big carp hotspots like Texas, the St. Lawrence River, Ontario and Michigan.

When I started, my goal was a top ten finish and landing 100 lbs. for 4 fish. I am happy to say I've already surpassed the hundred pounds and currently I sit in second place. At the present time, I also have the largest mirror entered at 29 lbs., 4 oz. Lots of things will change before the end of the month as some of the big names in carp fishing have still not even entered a fish.

The CAG offers many events such as this to its members. Membership certainly has its privileges. You can join the CAG by going to its website at

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Not Always Hot

The RI CAG group held their spring fish-in yesterday at Roger Williams Park. We had about 12 fishermen (over 20 rods) and guests and everyone who was fishing knew what they were doing. We also prebaited the area yesterday so we did everything just right. We were also fishing a place that had hot fishing for the last week. We didn't make out well. There was one small fish on and lost at the net and that was it. For six hours, there was not one fish landed.

It points out the difficulties of getting these fish to hit at times. They are moody fish, especially during this prespawn period. They also react to changes in the weather, and yesterday was a big change to hot weather. So, it all points out that things are not always hot in the world of carp fishing, just like any other fishing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mirror Madness

I am "in a zone" right now and can do nothing wrong. In the last few days, I have had unbelievable fishing, especially fishing for mirror carp. I have been targeting the Blackstone River in MA and RI where the action has been terrific. The numbers of the last few days read like this: 1 fish over 25 lbs., 5 fish over 20 lbs. and 9 fish over 17 lbs. There have been lots of other smaller ones! At one point, I had 6 eighteen pound mirrors in a row before I got a smaller fish! My biggest was a mirror of 28 lbs. (see photo), the biggest mirror I have ever caught in 20 years of fishing the Blackstone River.

My key to success is what I have been preaching in previous posts. Prebait, fish the margins and use wild whiskey maize. I am also using an oatmeal based method ball that is packed around the sinker. That method ball is flavored with chili powder. The fish are hitting in the daytime and at night.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fish the Margins

I am having a banner year of carp fishing and I credit that to learning to fish the margins. In carp fishing lingo, that means fishing close to shore where the shoreline drops off. It doesn't matter whether I am fishing the Blackstone River or most of the carp ponds in the state, I am now catching most of my fish quite close to shore.

I was fishing the Blackstone River last night and I was simply using a flip cast to get my rig out about 15 feet in front of me. I landed several good sized mirrors to 18 lbs. That spot where the shoreline dropped off was where the fish were hanging out. A day before I did the same thing while fishing Scott's Pond in the morning and Roger Williams Park in the evening. That day I had 6 fish from 10-20 lbs. fishing very close to shore.

My tip here is try to avoid that long cast that often lands in dead water. Prebait the margins and then fish it close to shore. In addition, get some wild whiskey maize on that hair rig.....very hot stuff right now. Learning to fish the margins has been my ticket to some great success with big fish this year!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New "Unofficial" State Record for Jeff Allard

Last night, Jeff Allard, one of our RI CAG members unofficially broke the state record for carp at 33 lbs. 8 oz. It is an unofficial record because Jeff released the fish after weighing it and taking some photos. In order to qualify as an official state record, the fish must be weighed at a bait shop on an official certified scale and then submitted to the state for review. Since the fish was caught at night, it would not have been weighed until the next day, meaning almost certain death to to this huge fish which was probably filled with eggs. There was no question in Jeff's mind that he would release it. His words after catching the fish, " I can't keep this fish and kill it. It's not worth my name on a piece of paper. " So, being the true sportsman that he is, Jeff released it!

Jeff's catch will be listed as a new CAG (Carp Anglers Group) record since the CAG requires simply a weight and a witness (Nick Newton was fishing with Jeff).

Many of us in the RI CAG predicted the record would fall this year since our members have been landing some massive fish in the last year. It's great that Jeff was the one who landed it. It's a well deserved honor.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Fish Night

Tonight was a big fish night. My son, Jon and I were out in one of our favorite spots. Fellow RI CAG members, Jeff Allard and Nick Newton, were out in another spot. We were communicating by cell phone. I struck first with a decent 17 lb common. Next, Jeff landed a couple of good fish of 11 and 21 lbs. in his spot. My son, Jon, got the next fish at 20 lbs. Finally, Jeff hit the jackpot with the biggest carp and quite possibly the biggest freshwater fish ever caught in this state. I will follow up with a story when I get all the details. It was quite a night for RI CAG members.

Tastes are Changing

I went out this morning carp fishing. As usual, I was using Big Time Banana flavored maize from The Bait Stop. It had been my hot bait for the last month. Not today. I had a few taps and short runs and that was it. I blanked.
I went back to the same spot in the afternoon and used Wild Whiskey flavored maize from The Bait Stop. In one hour, I had four blistering runs and landed three good sized mirrors. The same pattern happened last year. In the first week of May the fish started really hitting Wild Whiskey maize and continued hitting it throughout the spring and into the summer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

100 th Carp of the New Season

Got my 100 th carp of the 2010 season this week. It was about a 10 lb. common. The majority of fish I have caught this year have been mirrors since I have targeted them. Things have perked up this week as I caught carp from six different waters in RI.

Cheap Chum and Bait

Here's how most of us veterans get our corn for prebaiting a spot. Go to any feed store like an Agways and purchase whole kernel corn by the fifty pound bag. You can even buy this stuff at Bass Pro where it is sold as deer corn. It costs about $10.
This corn is dry and hard. Here is how to prepare it. Place a good amount in a large pot. Fill the pot with water and let it sit overnight with the corn soaking. In the morning boil for exactly 35 minutes. Take it off the burner and let it sit for a while and the corn will really soak up the water.
Next, I like to package my corn in plastic containers or zip lock bags. I keep it in the fridge until I am ready to use it.
If you want to flavor your own corn, use this prepared bait. Place it in a jar and add your flavoring. Such flavors as banana extract, anise, vanilla, pineapple Skyy vodka (nip), whiskey and tequilla all work well. Let it sit for a day or two and it is ready to go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Corn....The Right Flavor???

I've always said that flavored corn is very effective to use. Only problem is that you have to be using the right flavor. Flavored corn can be a blessing or a curse. Pick the right flavor and you are in. Pick the wrong flavor and it won't get a lick.

So, what are the right choices. First off, these are my picks for fishing here in RI. What works here may not work in other parts of NE. In the early to mid springtime (up until the end of April), I like to go with fruity flavors. I used to fish a lot of "tutti-fruitti" but in recent years, my best producer is Big Time Banana from the Bait Stop. I also fooled around a lot with pineapple flavors this spring and that did work also, though not as good as the banana. By the time the warm weather arrives, banana loses its appeal. Starting in May I like to go with a couple of flavors. The alcohol based flavors from the Bait Stop such as Wild Whiskey and Carpquila are good producers. Last year I had exceptional luck on a homemade Pineapple Skyy Vodka mix (nip poured into a jar of boiled feed corn). Pineapple in general is a hot summer flavor as is Scopex. In past years, I liked Scopex Pescaviva sold by Wacker Baits. In the fall, the alcohol flavors continue to produce as do the pineapple flavors. Anise is also a good fall flavor.

This is just a general guide and nothing is set in stone when it comes to flavors. You may have to cahnge often to find the right flavor. I also seem to discover a new flavor every year.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jungle Fishing

It's been a lean month of carp fishing, but I think I finally have it figured out.

Take a walk around your favorite carp pond. Any place you find a tree in the water, look around because some carp are probably sitting right under the downed tree just sunning themselves. There are probably others moving around the tree below the surface. These days they are especially around structure close to shore. That includes blown down trees, bushes and dead branches in the water. They are not in the open spots. In order to catch them, I have been fishing especially close to this structure and very close to shore. It's like playing with fire. I sit very close to my rods and watch. At the first sign of a take, I pull since I don't want them to bolt off into structure. All hell breaks loose when I hook a fish near a blow down as it becomes a battle to keep them away from the snags. You win a few and you also lose a few in this game. That's jungle fishing!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Change in Strategy Leads to Hot Fishing

I have changed strategies greatly in the last few days, and it is paying off. I have been observing lots of carp this week very close to shore in flooded locations and near structure. I had to ask myself why I was casting way out in open water when I saw so many fish close to shore.
So, I am now concentrating my efforts on the margins and making short casts of only 6-15 feet. I am also being very quiet along the shore. I am taking a finesse approach using just maize on my rig with no method. The flavored maize that has been hot has been Big Time Banana and Creamy Pineapple from The Bait Stop. It is working like a charm as I had one of the hottest outings of the year, catching 9 decent sized carp in just one hour of fishing today.