Thursday, September 29, 2011

500th Carp of 2011

I landed my 500 th carp for the 2011 season today (see pic).  It was a beautiful common of about 12-13 lbs.  About 80 % of my fish this year have been mirrors so this guy came as a bit of a surprise. It is only the second time in my carp fishing career that I have been able to hit the 500 fish mark.
It continues to be a record breaking year for me with more large fish than I have ever landed in RI.  I've gotten some real quality with three fish in the thirties (two from RI and one from MA) and countless big mirrors in the high teens and twenties.  I am still looking for that super fish in the mid thirties to low forties that I do believe exists in RI, quite possibly at an unknown venue that I am searching for.


I took me twenty years to nail my first RI thirty pound carp.  It took me just one week to catch my second thirty!  One week ago I landed a 33 lb. 2 oz common carp, a fish that would have qualified as a new state record had I killed the fish and had it officially weighed.  Instead, I released it   Today I got another 30 lber. that just hit the 30 mark that I also released (sorry, no picture).  I got today's fish in a different location than last week's lunker.  Big fish are hitting right now in RI as they are feeding up for fall and the coming winter. It is prime time to catch the fish, or two, of a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

50,000 HITS!

Wow, the blog hit a real milestone this week with 50,000 hits.  I started this blog two and a half years ago as an informational website for RI anglers interested in carp fishing.  Originally, it was meant to be a communication tool for our RI Carp Anglers Group (CAG) that I run here in RI.  Well, things have taken off and the blog has enjoyed national and international fame as it has been visited by carp fishermen from all over the US as well as in Europe.  I was surprised to see the site showing up in search engines in the UK as well as in other parts of Europe. It just goes to show the high interest in carp fishing.  I'm honored by the response that the blog has gotten and will continue to bring you the latest info on carp fishing. 
Enjoy and thanks for all your support,
Dave Pickering

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pop-Ups Hot Once Again

It has been a real big week for me here  in RI.  Yes, that 33 lber. was the highlight, but I have also been banging a lot of big mirrors while fishing in the morning in various spots along the Blackstone River.  Without question, the hottest bait of the week for me has been 10 mm pop-up boiles from World Classic Baits.  I am using these in a pineapple flavor.  These pop-ups move alluringly above the sinker when used in a river current.  I think that provides added attraction which the carp just love, especially when you pack your sinker with a method ball of bait (see photo).  This bait combination has outfished everything else I have tried in the Blackstone.  It has accounted for a number of large mirrors up to 22 lbs. for in the last week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Potential State Record RELEASED.....33 lbs., 2 oz.

Well, I got the fish I have been trying to catch for a long time.  A RI thirty had eluded me until today.  In a little known carp venue that I had been trying on and off with marginal success, I hit the jackpot on this rainy and nasty day.  I landed the RI common of my dreams, a 33 lb. 2 oz. hog of a fish.  It was one of the fattest and widest fish I have ever landed.  It was caught on scopex flavored Pescaviva (imported sweet corn) fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball.
The fish would have probably established a RI state record as the current record is 32 lbs. 8 oz.  landed by former RI CAG member Steve Wasliewski.  However, to qualify as an official state record, the fish must be brought to a tackle store and weighed on a certified scale.  With this late afternoon catch, it would have been impossible to get this fish weighed alive.  So, I let it go.  I got far more satisfaction watching it swim away than I would have gotten with my name in the record book. And, who knows we could meet up again when this big girl is a mid thirty!  I did get several pics and I had two witnesses that saw the whole thing.
I do plan to enter this fish in the CAG (Carp Angler Group) record catch list where you only need a weigh in and a witness.  It should establish a new RI CAG record for common carp.  I landed the new RI record for mirrors at 25 lbs. back in June.


I got the biggest carp I have ever landed in RI waters today. In fact, it was the potential state record, a fish in the thirties.  More info, pics and the full story are coming. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Do You Need the Hair Rig?

This is a question asked so many times by beginning carp fishermen.  The answer is no. I know many fishermen want to try carp fishing but lack the knowledge to tie their own hair rigs, and they don't have stuff like bait needles and hair stops that go along with hair rigging.

When using a hair rig, you are putting the bait on a string that dangles off the bend of the hook.  You are fishing an exposed hook and this offers a very efficient way of hooking a carp that takes your bait. For most experienced carp fishermen who use a variety of baits, it is the preferred way to fish.  However, beginning carpers can put the bait directly on the hook provided the bait is soft. Packing bait on a hook (see pic of sweet corn on hook) works well if you are using soft baits such as sweet corn or dough.  Both of these baits are soft, and the hook will pull through the bait easily to hook a carp that hits.  Note that this works especially well only if you are using the right hooks.  You want to go small on the hook with sizes #6 or #8 being ideal.  Most beginner carp fishermen are using hooks that are way too big for carp which tend to have small round mouths (see photo). If you are a beginner or a fisherman who wants to try carp fishing, you don't need a hair rig to catch these fish.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Acorns for Bait, Huh?

I got out today and fished with one of our experienced members named Tom.  We were sitting under an oak tree talking carp and hoping for a fish.  Not much was happening on our lines that were baited with sweet corn.  We started talking about acorns for bait, and I told Tom about one of our former members, John Joseph, who actually used to use shelled acorns and who actually caught fish on them.

So, Tom decided to shell a couple of small acorns and hair rigged them ahead of a method ball.  It took about three minutes for his alarm to scream and he was onto a mid sized common.  Yes, this fish hit an ACORN!  I decided to try one and within a short period of time, I was onto a fish and soon landed another common on an ACORN (see fish at left).  It was an eye opener.
If you are into trying this, try to fish a "greenish" acorn, crack it open and you will see a seed-like middle to it.  The baiting needle passes through this easily and you are ready to hair rig this bait (see photo at right).  Tom claims he is going to try flavoring some and try using some in a natural state. I believe him because as I left he was crawling along the ground gathering acorns like a busy squirrel.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Good Session

My friend Paul and I went out carp fishing this morning at one of our favorite spots.  It was a gorgeous late summer day with near perfect temperatures, and the carp were active.  We had a number of hits and runners and we landed four good looking commons that went 6-7 lbs.  In addition, we landed 4 snapping turtles (yes, they are still active).  The hot bait today was doughballs fished off the hair rig. Late summer and fall is a great time to get out carp fishing here in RI as the boating activity decreases, temperatures are just right and the fish are hitting.