Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In a Major Slowdown

Since that big rainstorm last week that dumped upwards of 3 inches of rain and the cold days that followed, we have been in a major slowdown.  I have been out in a number of places in the last few days and have only taken one mid sized mirror.  The water in most ponds is very high and in the woods in most places.  The Blackstone River has not been fishable for a week now due to high and fast moving water.  I also noticed that nothing is going on at night, probably due to the cold temperatures.  So, we are headed for November and the fishing is marginal at best.  Make no mistake about it. Carp fishing slows down greatly at this time of year.  The fish's activity levels and feeding levels slow in the cooling waters.  Peak time has passed and the fishing is nowhere near what it was one or two months ago.  However, there still are fish available, and that's what will keep me fishing till the ice comes and beyond.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

They Don't Always Hit

If you've tried carp fishing and blanked, rest assured you are not alone.  They are moody fish greatly influenced by weather changes.  They are difficult fish to catch on rod and reel at times as they don't always hit.
Yesterday the RI CAG held their annual fall fish-in at Scotts Pond in Lincoln, a place that has a lot of fish.  For two days I prebaited the area with about 5 gallons of maize.   There were 11 of us fishing, with many of the guys being highly experienced at this.  The result.....not one carp was caught in four hours of fishing.  The lone fish that was landed was a horned pout (see photo). This clearly proves that carp don't always hit.
Up until mid week, the October fishing in RI was red hot. On Wed., we had a big rainstorm that dumped over two inches of rain on the state and caused very high water everywhere.  I suspect that storm, along with some cooler weather that followed, shut things down.  I've tried several spots since Wed. and landed a grand total of one small mirror carp.  They are just not hitting right now.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've met a lot of non carp fishermen in the last two months who see me catching fish.  Their first question is "what are you using for bait?"  What they should be asking is about my set up.  You see, without the proper set up, using the right bait is worthless.

You need the total package for this to work.  Here is a list of what needs to be put together if you expect to consistently catch fish.
1.  Do you have the right kind of sinker and size sinker (egg sinkers, 1/2 to 1 oz work well in ponds)?
2.  Is your leader or hooklink the right length (6-9 inches)?
3.  Do you have the right hook (size 6 or 8 generally does the trick and use a carp hook)?
4.  Is your hair rig set up right (right length for your bait)?
5.  Finally, are you using the right bait (type and flavor)?
Many wanna be carp  fishermen are using hooks that are too large (take a look at ridiculous photo of corn packed hook I found  at left), looped hook rigs that are geared to flounder or scup fishing, excessive hardware like wire leaders, and reels that have worthless drags.  Come on guys, the info is out there.  Get in the game.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

82 Year Old Nails RI PB

My 82 year old father, Ralph Pickering, landed a RI PB common today.  The fish weighed 21 lbs.  It was caught on pineapple flavored Pescaviva fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball.  We had a great day of fishing today as we landed a total of 13 carp and this was the biggest. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another 20 lber. Visits the Shore

We carp fishermen never tire of catching 20 lb. carp, a fish considered "big" here in RI.  I've landed a good number of 20's this October with fishing in the daytime being particularly hot.  Today I landed this 21 lb. common.  This big fish hit pineapple Pescaviva fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball, a very hot combination all this month.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Terrific Week

It has been a terrific week of carp fishing for me here in RI, one of the very best weeks I have ever encountered in fall fishing.  In the last four days I have landed 40 carp (see pics of two of my fish).  Most have been good sized fish from 8-18 lbs.  What's amazing is that I have been catching in a variety of spots so that says that the fish are very active for this time of year.  I consider it a good day if I can get one or two of these hard to catch fish an outing, so averaging ten fish a day is phenomenal.  The hot bait this week has been pineapple flavored Pescaviva, a sweet corn sold by Wacker Baits (http://www.wackerbaits.com/) .  When fished ahead of a method ball, it has far outfished everything else I have tried (and I tried a lot of different baits).  So, if you are looking for some hot action, get out and try because it is happening right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Most Carp in One Day!

I landed the most carp I have ever caught in a day of carp fishing here in RI.  In just three hectic hours of non-stop action, I landed 20 carp from 5-16 lbs.  and had at least another five fish on! I suspect the cool and cloudy weather sent these fish on a feeding spree, and I was in the right spot at the right time.  The action for the last week has been the best I have ever seen in October as I have been getting lots of fish and some big ones too. Hot baits have been scopex pescaviva and pineapple flavored pop-up boilies fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball. The hot fishing should continue until the real cold weather sets in.  I suspect that will occur in mid November.  So, we have about one good month left of fishing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Real Big Mirrors This Week

It's definitely big fish time here in RI.  I have targeted large mirrors this week getting many in the teens upwards to over 20 lbs., very large mirrors by RI standards.The hot bait continues to be 10 mm pop up pineapple flavored boiles from World Classic Baits.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mystery Solved.....Official Word.......Not a Record Bullhead

Two posts ago I reported catching a large "catfish" that I thought at first could have been a RI record brown bullhead.  I sent a load of photos to the state DEM for positive identification.  I also sent the photos to the Carp Angler Group Forum where there are many catfish experts.  Word from the state biologist was that he thought it was a white catfish.  Word from the Forum was unanimous that it was a channel cat.  So, from these replies we can definitely conclude that the fish in question was NOT a brown bullhead.  The forked tail (see photo) was the clue that ruled out a bullhead and made this fish some type of catfish.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gardner Camera Angle......A Real Handy Device

Most of the pictures you see of me holding large carp on this site were taken by a self timer shot with my camera. I usually set the camera for a 20 second delay and set it to take 5 shots in succession. In order to do this right, the camera must be mounted on a device such as a tripod. I'm sick of lugging my tripod around so I bought a neat device called the Gardner Camera Angle. This small device is really a camera "holder" that screws into a bankstick. Since I always carry an extra bankstick for my throwing spoon, this was easy to set up on that stick. The device has a ball and socket with a handle that lets you rotate the camera and then lock it in place if you need to change the angle. It works terrific. They sell for about $18 at Wacker Baits (www.wackerbaits.com ). They are also sold at Big Carp Tackle. Avoid the cheaper models since they are not good quality (sent one back). Take a look at the latest picture using the camera angle to snap a shot of a beautiful 20 lb. mirror that I caught today

Sunday, October 2, 2011

State Record Brown Bullhead or Big Channel Cat

I landed today what at first I thought to be the new state record for horned pout, or brown bullhead.  But, it could also be a channel cat. The fish weighed (officially on tackle shop certified scale) 6 lbs. 15 oz.,  and the tackle shop identified it as a brown bullhead. I filled out all the paper work, took a load of pictures, and will file it with the state. I am hoping the biologists will positively identify the fish by the pictures I took.  It looks like a bullhead as far as color, but has the tail of a cat.   I caught this fish while fishing for carp in the Blackstone River, a place I had never seen a channel cat.  The fish hit a pineapple flavored boilie intended for carp.  After catching, I kept the fish in a net then transferred it to a large cooler and brought the fish for offical weigh-in at Big Bear Tackle Shop in Harmony.  Later, the fish was brought back to the river in the cooler and released alive.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Get Together Leads to PB

Four members of the RI CAG got together in a new venue today to fish for carp.  It was myself, Jeff, Keith, and Nick.  We had some decent success in the short session we were there.  Keith landed a couple of decent commons of 10-12 lbs. (see photo at left) while Nick hit the jackpot with a smooth skinned  17 lb. mirror (see photo at right), his personal best (PB) for mirrors. Nick also landed a small common.  Members of the RI CAG frequently get together and fish in small groups.  I also try to get out with all our new members to show them the ropes and get them started.  The RI CAG also holds at least two fish-ins a year in which all members try to get out and fish together and share information.