Friday, May 27, 2011

Carp Spawning, Big Time

It took three eighty degrees days to get things going, but the carp are now spawning in most ponds and lakes in RI. It has come right on schedule as Memorial Day weekend has been the traditional time they spawn here in RI.
Carp will not hit while spawning. Several males are chasing and butting a female in shallow water, and that is all they are interested in doing (can you blame them?). If you are looking to fish, the key is to hit another spot where the fish have spawned already or where the spawn is delayed. I can tell you that some carp already spawned two to three weeks ago in very small and shallow places. In most places, however, it is going on right now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Latest Magazine Article

My latest magazine article appears in the June issue of On the Water magazine. The article is about targeting both carp and catfish here in southern New England Waters. We all know that carp exist in many, many places here in RI, but did you know that white cats also exist in many of those same waters. The article outlines ideas and strategies to target both species at the same time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Impressive Catches for RI CAGers

This has been another big week for RI CAGers as impressive catches keep coming. Jeff, our best RI big carp fishermen, landed an impressive 29 lb. common (see photo). Jason, one of our new guys, had a couple of mid teen commons, PBs for him. I had a bunch of teens and a large fish of 22 lbs. It's been a hot spring for big fish as our guys continue to rack up some impressive catches.

Friday, May 20, 2011

200th Carp of the Year

I got number 200 for the season yesterday. It is the earliest date I have ever reached the 200 mark. It is only fitting that this fish was a mirror since nearly all the fish I have landed this year have been mirrors. This 8-9 lb. fish hit a combination of pineapple and tutti-fruitti sweet corn fished off the hair rig. The weather has been crappy but the carp fishing remains good.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

RI CAGers Lighting Things Up

The carp fishing is hot right now. Carp are in the prespawn mode here in RI. They are active and feeding up before spawning. Females are their heaviest as they are loaded with eggs. Reports are coming in saying our RI CAG members are scoring big here and in nearby MA. To give you an idea of what is happening, member Tom e-mailed about a 26 lb. PB common that he landed this week on a boilie. Jeff and Greg hit one of their spots yesterday and came away with many mirrors up into the upper teens while fishing maize and sweet corn. I have landed countless mirrors in the teens, some in the 20's and a monster of 32 lbs. in the last 10 days. It's about as good as it gets right now.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Discovering New Spots

This is the year that I have really concentrated on carp fishing in new spots. And, the results have been outstanding. I have caught and landed more big mirrors than I have ever caught. Today I fished a new spot that I have been baiting up and landed two good sized mirrors in the teens. My approach has been to do a lot of walking and bike riding in the morning just looking for new spots. When I see fish I begin baiting these spots and return a day or two later to fish. Sometimes the spot really produces, sometimes it doesn't. In today's "new" spot I saw about a dozen carp two days ago that went from 12-18 lbs. Today I went back and fished and fooled a couple of those big boys (see pics).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Potential RI CAG Mirror Record Released

Today I landed the biggest mirror carp that I ever caught here in RI. I am guessing that it was in the mid 20's which would have made it the CAG record. I was in a spot where I never expected to catch a fish even close to this large so I had no camera, no scale and there was no witness. You can see I was really prepared for this. I could have kept the fish and taken it home but in my opinion it was more valuable released than being kept for the record. It was also filled with eggs.
The state does not keep records for mirror carp. It only has one official record for carp in general (mirror or common). However, the CAG does keep records for both mirror carp and commons for each state. My friend, Jeff Allard, has the RI CAG mirror record at 23.5 lbs. In order to get your name in the CAG record books, you do need a picture and it has to be weighed on a decent scale and you must be a CAG member. They also suggest you have a witness.
So, the morale of this story is to be prepared because you never know when a record fish will come your way.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Think FINESSE. Unlike other types of fishing, carp fishing is really a finesse game. Every aspect of the fishing from the way you tie your hair rigs to the terminal gear you are using to the bait presentation all make a big difference as to whether you catch fish or not. Here are some tips to improve your "finesse" approach. Use small hooks, either a size # 6 (bigger fish) or #8 (smaller fish). Quality carp hooks sold online are sharp and strong. Take care in tying hair rigs. Many fishermen like to use 50 lb. test braid and use a knotless knot when tying (see my videos). How long is the hair in back of your hook? Once the bait is attached, it should dangle 1/8 to 1/4 inch off the bend of the hook, no more. Use egg sinkers or inline leads. I can't tell you how many guys use the plastic laden, gaudy fishfinder rig sliders made for saltwater and then they clip on a big ugly bank sinker. Come on guys, think FINESSE. Putting corn on the hair....use two or three kernels. Sometimes less is better. If you are using boilies, go with smaller ones for average size fish. A carp under 15 lbs. has a very small mouth and is not capable of mouthing a large bait. Think of the size of your mouth. Could you eat a grapefruit whole? Think FINESSE. I have fished with some of the best in New England like Kev Wasliewski here in RI and Jerome Moisand in MA, and I can tell you that these guys are meticulous finesse fishermen. That's why they consistently catch carp and do it with ease. Think FINESSE.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Switch to Whiskey Maize

This has been the best week of carp fishing for me since the season began. I have landed loads of carp in the teens along with several 20's and the 32 lber. One of the keys to my success has been my switch in flavors of maize. Every year about the first of May I will discontinue using pineapple and fruitti flavors and replace it with alcohol based flavors. Nearly all my fish this week were taken with Wild Whiskey maize that used to be sold by the Bait Stop (sorry...out of business). If you are into making your own, boil up some maize, put it in a jar and add some whiskey from the bottle. It's that simple. Another flavor that works out real well at this time of year is pineapple flavored Skyy vodka. I guess the carp are looking for that alcohol buzz in the prespawn period which is happening right now in most places..

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Successful Fish-in At Roger Williams

The RI CAG held their spring fish-in yesterday at Roger Williams Park. We had one of the best turnouts ever with 13 fishermen lining the banks and fishing away. The fish were not real cooperative, but we did manage to bank two decent sized fish. We also had a few more on and a couple of more runners. There was also a good number of fish jumping before dark but not real interested in hitting. In addition, there was a large bullhead caught. It was nice to see many of our "new" guys at the fish-in as well as some other fishermen that were interested in joining our RI CAG group. It was also nice to get together to share information and make plans to fish with one another in the upcoming weeks and months. Anyone interested in joining our group must join the national group first at Membership in the RI CAG is automatic when you join the national group.