Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Fish-in Today Yields a Few Fish

We held our annual RI CAG spring fish-in today at Brickyard Pond in Barrington, a place that is usually loaded with carp.  Not today.  With a cold northwest wind blowing and very cold morning temperatures, the fish were just not in an active mood.  However, a small group of us did manage to catch two decent size carp and a couple of nice size trout.  All the fish fell for doughballs.  Corn, the hot bait in most places, is illegal to use in Brickyard since the place is stocked with trout. The carp, both commons, were good size (for this place) in the 8-10 lb. range.  There was also at least one other carp on that was lost.  So, considering the conditions, we had an ok day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flooding Forces Change in Locations

My number 1 and number 2 spots are flooded out right now due to yesterday's drenching rains.  They are basically unfishable  So, that caused in shift in my strategy over the last two days. I am back to fishing the small spots I fished so often in March when things went sour in the big waters.  I'm not catching the record breakers of last week, but I am having some decent action with smaller fish.  In the last two outings, I have landed 7 mirrors (see photo of today's fish) in a short amount of time and had several more misses.  Only drawback to fishing these smaller spots is that the sun turtles are now a menace, picking away at the sweet corn that I'm using for bait.  Not much I can do about it other than check my bait after about 20 minutes of fishing.
The flooding is so severe in places that I suspect it will take up to a week before the water returns to fishable levels.  The Blackstone River, in particular, is severely affected by this high and fast moving water. I scouted around today and it wasn't pretty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mentoring Leads to Big Fish for Newbies

The RI CAG has a few experienced fishermen.  But, we have many more inexperienced carp fishermen.  This is the type of fishing that is very difficult to learn by yourself.  So, our group has set up a mentoring program where some of our experienced guys have volunteered to take out the less experienced beginners.  I have been taking out some new guys and Jeff Allard, one of our most experienced big fish hunter, has volunteered to take out some new guys also.  It has paid off BIG TIME as these newbies have scored some impressive fish recently.  Jeff took out a guy named Mike who was new to carp fishing.  Mike ended up landing a 19 1/2 lb. mirror, a very large fish (pic at left).  I took out a guy named Tom who I met carp fishing last year.  Tom went out and bought a lot of the gear needed for carp fishing, but couldn't seem to break the 10 lb. mark.  So, we went out one day to one of my prime spots.  Tom ended up landing a 21 lb. 12 oz. mirror (pic at right), huge for this state and his very first 20 lb. fish in either salt or fresh water.  Check out this fully scaled beauty.

The RI CAG is always looking for new members.   If you join the national group, you are automatically enrolled in the RI group.  The national group  offers everything from member packets when you join to discounts to tournaments to a newsletter.  The RI group offers you a very valuable and friendly network of fishermen who constantly communicate by e-mail.  We also offer fish-ins and get togethers, and we'll even set you up with a mentor if you need one.  To join, visit the Carp Angler Group website at  "Join CAG" is located at the top of the home page.  Note that before joining you will need to register and then proceed to signing up.  Consider joining our group.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Third CAG Record in a Week, 31 1/2 lb. Mirror!

Never before in the history of carp fishing in RI has a 30 lb. mirror been landed. Not even close. Well, another record got smashed today as I landed the mirror of a lifetime here in RI with a 31 lb. 8 oz mirror carp.  This was the third time I've broken the RI CAG mirror record in the last week with a string of three fantastic mirrors that weighed 25 lbs. 12 oz., 27 lbs. 2 oz and 31 lbs. 8 oz. Most carp guys never thought we'd ever see a thirty pound mirror here in RI, but here it is. The massive fish hit a combination of a plastic pop-up sliced from a white plastic worm along with a kernel of sweet corn on a hair rig.  It was all fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball flavored with sweet feed, the same bait combination that caught all three records. The fish was unhooked, photographed and released.  So, it still swims RI waters!  Hopefully, we will meet up again.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Second CAG Record Mirror in Two Days!

Hold the record books.  I landed yet another RI CAG record mirror today.  This fish topped the scales at 27 lbs., 2 oz.  It surpasses the 25 lb., 12 oz mirror that I caught just two days ago.  I am on a wicked hot streak this week landing 8 mirrors in the twenties (20-27 lbs.) in the last three days alone along with a bunch of teen size mirrors and commons. In RI a twenty pound mirror is considered huge.  Just a few years ago the RI CAG record stood at 21 lbs. for years.  This fish was landed on a plastic cut up worm pop-up along with a lone kernel of sweet corn fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball that was flavored with sweet feed.  The pop-up/sweet corn combo has been red HOT this week and has outfished anything else I have tried.
I suspect the fish are in a prespawn feeding pattern and some real hogs should fall in the next few weeks.  You are seeing just the beginning of some of the best carp fishing of the year.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New CAG RI Mirror Carp Record

I hit the jackpot today as I landed a new RI Carp Angler Group mirror carp record.  The beast weighed 25 lbs., 12 oz.  I already hold the mirror carp record for RI at 25 pounds so this fish beat my previous record by 12 oz.  The fish was caught in a new venue I have been fishing lately.  Besides this brute, I landed two other two other mirrors of 20 and 23 lbs. today along with a smaller fish.  All of these fish were taken on a plastic pop-up (from cut up plastic worms....see ) with a single kernel of unflavored Stop and Shop sweet corn on the hair rig.  It was all fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball that was flavored with sweet feed.
The national Carp Anglers Group maintains records for mirror carp and common carp in every state.  To qualify for these records you must submit a picture of the fish, a weight, and a witness to the catch and the weigh-in.  I had all three! The fish was released in great shape. Hopefully, one of our members will meet up with her again!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Prime Carp Waters Open Up on Saturday

Finally Opening Day is here, and I'm excited.  I'm not excited about fishing for hatchery raised trout, but I am glad that many quality carp waters will now open up after this weekend and I can finally fish them.  There are many places where trout are stocked that also hold great numbers of carp and some real large ones.  These places have been off limit since March 1 due to trout stocking and Opening Day. Places like Brickyard Pd. in Barrington, Olney Pd. in Lincoln Woods State Park, Lake Tiogue in Coventry and the Blackstone River are all famous and popular carp places in RI and will be open soon.
I should remind everyone that the use of corn for bait is prohibited in these trout stocked waters.  It's a crazy rule unique to RI.  Corn is ok to use in every other state's waters, but not in RI trout waters.  Hmm, what's that all about? If you do fish these spots, try such baits as chick peas, doughballs and boilies.  Also, chumming is prohibited in these waters.  But who's chumming?  Most of us are "prebaiting".
This weekend will be a zoo in the above locations with tons of trout fishermen, but after this weekend....look out carp, we're coming!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Location Strategy....Under Bridges

I love fishing under bridges.  A bridge along a river can offer so many advantages in fishing for carp. A bridge acts as a giant canopy and provides shade and cover for carp.  They especially like to hang in these spots on a warm day when they are trying to escape the heat (those days are coming!).  In addition, bridges cast a shadow line in the waters below.  Most predators like to lurk along this line to ambush food that might be floating down a river.  The shadow line is a prime spot to cast your offering, especially at night if the bridge's lights shine below.  I also like to fish under a bridge in the rain.  It's kind of eerie as raindrop can be noisily pouring down, but under the bridge remains quietly rain free. I've had real good luck fishing under bridges in the rain, and I stayed dry also.  So, if you know of a bridge that looms above a carp filled river, try to get under it and start fishing.  These are prime spots to catch carp.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Small Ones Can Offer A Challenge

My big fish spots have not been producing in the last few days, but the small spots that offer small fish (under 10 lbs.) are producing like crazy.  I've landed 24 carp in the last four days and I have only been fishing a couple of hours in the morning as I have begun my striped bass fishing in the evening.  Don't underestimate these smaller carp that tend to run 3-10 lbs.  They will produce some of the most violent hits you've ever seen and they are real scrappy on the fight. They can be a challenge to land just like the larger fish.  The smaller ones also tend to bunch up at this time of year so if you find one carp, you are likely to find a good number of them.  With the nights being very cold and daytime temperatures back to normal, the water has cooled considerably, and that has shut off the bigger fish that tend to hang around big waters and big rivers.  But, these dropping temperatures have had little effect on the smaller carp. So, right now, they are your best best.  Hit small, shallow ponds, rivers and canals, and you should find decent number of carp that want to hit.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Change in Strategy Leads to Hot Fishing

For two days in a row I blanked....nothing, not even a hit.  So, today I made a big change and it paid off as I landed 6 mirrors in a short amount of time.
We are in the midst of a real cold spell.  In one big water spot I have been fishing, the water temperature last week was 62 degrees.  Two days ago it was 42 degrees. The water temperatures have fallen off a cliff and it has turned off the fish big time.  So, in this cold weather we had today I figured I would change strategy and fish some of my winter and early spring locations, places I fished back in late February and early March. These tend to be small, shallow water spots that heat up quickly when the sun comes out. Even though it was cold today (mostly 40's) the fish were still active in these "small" spots.  I also went back to using pineapple flavored Pescaviva, a bait I was using back in the winter. I wasn't using Pescaviva during the warm spell of a week ago, but it was back and producing today.
Carp fishing is always a changing game as the year moves along....spots change, baits change, tactics change and you have to keep up with these changes if you want to consistently catch.