The ice is leaving many of the ponds and lakes in the state and should all be gone by this weekend. Carp tend to begin hitting as soon as the ice leaves. To be successful at this time of year, I empl0y and early spring strategy.
Here are some strategies that should lead to early season success:
Location- Carp tend to bunch up in cold water. It is often hard to pinpoint those spots, and they are often found by putting in a lot of time and effort. However, some places tend to produce. Try to fish shallow water at the north end of a pond. Also, try places where brooks and streams enter. All these spots tend to produce best on sunny days with warming temperatures.
Baits- Simple here. I like to use either sweetcorn from the can or small doughballs. Go with two kernels of sweet corn on a small hair. I usually won't fish flavored maize until mid March. If you use method mix, go with a small ball.
Rigging- Think Finesse. Go with small hooks (I like a #8 at this time), small hairs, short hooklink, and small sinkers (quarter oz.). I also like to go light on the outfit and use ten pound test mono.
Prebaiting- Absolutely. You want to draw the fish back into your favorite swims. You also want to get them used to what you are using. If you are using doughballs, try to fish in places where ducks are fed bread.
If you are planning on fishing in RI in the next month, realize that you need a new, 2010 license after March 1. Trout stocked waters are off limits until after Opening Day. All other waters are ok to fish.