Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yes, They do Hit After Dark

The summertime is one of the best times of the year to catch carp after dark. Yes, they do hit after dark and they hit well.  Take a look at the mirror at right that I landed a couple of nights ago.  In the summer and early fall carp have a tendency to leave deep water daytime lairs and move closer to shore to roam around and feed under cover of darkness.  I can't tell you how many times I am sitting in a chair tending my rods after dark and when I go to get up I suddenly startle a large carp that is sitting in just inches of water right in front of me. Another plus (or minus as some see it) is that you have a shot at catching horned pout or large catfish (channels and whites) after dark.  They hit the same baits as carp do.
If you do try nighttime carp fishing, I would strongly advise that you try to pick an area that is safe and secure. And, bring along lights and lots of bug spray.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What is a Spomb?

A spomb is one of the latest devices for long distance prebaiting.  It actually looks like a small bomb that has fins and all.  This plastic device actually opens with a push of a button at the bottom.  Once open, the spomb can be packed with bait (any particle like corn, chick peas, etc. or even boilies).  The spomb is then closed with bait inside.  The spomb is then attached to the end of a line and the rod casts it outward.  When the spomb hits the water, the button on the bottom opens the spring loaded device and all the bait empties into the water.  The open spomb is then reeled in and ready to be filled and cast again. I will warn you that you need a heavy duty outfit to cast this device since the weight of the spomb along with the bait is at least 5-6 ounces.  But, with a heavy duty outfit, you will cast chum out much further than you can with traditional devices such as a baiting spoon or catapult (sling shot). Spombs are sold in most online carp stores.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Latest Article in Fisherman Magazine

My latest article about carp fishing appears in this week's New England Fisherman magazine,  It is the July12, no.28 issue.  The article is titled Freshwater Giants of Summer and it is featured on the cover of the magazine.  The article focuses on fishing for carp during the summer months here in New England.  It offers tips and techniques on equipment, tackle, bait and rigging.  It also has some reference to hotspots.  I write a lot of articles on saltwater striper fishing in the Fisherman magazine and occasionally I write an article about carp fishing for the magazine.  For information about the Fisherman magazine, see their website at www.thefisherman.com or for subscription information, call 1-866-347-4836.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crazy Good; Method the Key to Scoring

The good times just keep rolling.  After landing 22 carp two nights ago, I went back last night to my hotspot and landed an astounding 26 carp in less than three hours.  I knew it was going to be a wild night when I put my two rods out and started to set up my chair.  Before I could pull out the legs of the chair BOTH alarms started screaming at the same time.  After a wild fight that at times looked like a Chinese fire drill, I landed two mirrors that went about 7-8 lbs. apiece.  From there it was just about non-stop action.  Rarely did I have two rods in the water as I was always baiting up a hook, fighting a fish, netting and unhooking a fish, etc. Three times I had doubles (see photo of double taken at dark) like I started with.  I don't think I sat in that chair for a total of ten minutes the entire evening.

The key once again to the hot action was the use of an oatmeal based method ball along with sweet corn on the hair rig (see photo).  When I ran out of method, the hits decreased big time.  Here is the formula I am presently using to make my method:  3 parts old fashioned oatmeal, 2 parts crushed up bread, 1 part sweet feed (you can skip this if you don't have the feed), 1 part corn meal, 1 part corn.  Add water slowly and knead until it sticks together.  Once made pack the method around your sinker (see photo).  It should stick and cast if you have the right amount of water.  Using method mix will greatly increase your catches. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

HOLY CARP! 22 Carp in One Evening!

Numbers wise, I had one of the biggest summer nights of carp fishing yesterday evening that I ever had as I landed 22 carp (19 mirrors and 3 commons) in less than three hours of fishing. I also had probably another 5 or 6 fish on that I lost.  Fishing had been marginal for me in July up to this point with a couple of fish an outing, but I kept moving to different places until I found the Mother Lode.  Before anyone gets real excited, I will tell you that most of these fish were small and all were under 10 lbs.(see photo at left).  But, who's complaining?  It was great to hear the alarms screaming almost non-stop.
In the last month, I hadn't caught a carp on corn. Doughballs and chickpeas had been the hot baits. That all changed last night as I went with sweet corn after getting nothing on doughballs.  I think sweet corn is far more effective on smaller fish so I'm not surprised at how effective this bait proved to be.  Besides, there were very few pests (turltes and suckers) in this location that would tend to steal the sweet corn. The sweet corn was fished on a hair rig with a small #8 Umpqua Tiemco hook (see photo at right) and fished ahead of a method ball.  When I ran out of method, the hits slowed to almost nothing.  Just goes to show how effective that method ball can be.
As for the hotspot....it's a secret that I don't plan to divulge.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fishing the Right Times

Getting out and fishing the right times make all the difference in the world at this time of year.  We all know it's hot.  The fish know it too and their daytime activity and feeding has slowed to a crawl.  Yet, if you can get out in the coolness of real early morning, evening or nighttime, you'll find fish that are willing to hit.  Those times will be your best bets to catch carp in the dead of summer.
I got out tonight about 6 PM.  A setting sun cast a long shadow and shade in the place I was fishing.  I got nothing for a little over an hour.  Then, from 7:30 until darkness I landed three decent mirrors that ranged from 10-15 lbs. (see photo of fish taken at darkness).  I also noticed an uptick in activity at that time as fish were rolling on the surface and moving in the shallows. The fish definitely became more active as the sun was setting and the weather cooling.  The three fish I landed all took doughballs, the hottest bait for me in the past two weeks. If you are planning on carp fishing in this heat, get out during the coolest parts of the day or fish at night for the best chance at getting fish.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Remote Areas of Blackstone River Producing

This is the time of year to explore the Blackstone River.  The river is real low right now and banks that are usually underwater are now totally exposed and fishable.  The problem is finding these hidden spots that are often off the beaten path.  I like to explore different areas of the Blackstone River on foot and by bike in the daytime. If I find a good looking spot, I will return in the evening to fish.

I've been fishing a couple of these remote spots in the last two days, trying to get away from the hordes of people out and about.  I fished two spots where I don't think human footprints have been this year.  It was virgin territory.  Yes, the carp were around as I landed 5 fish (one common and four mirrors) in the last two evenings that went from 10-20 lbs. (see photo). All these fish were taken on doughballs, my hottest bait of the last month.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Off the Beaten Path for Best Action

The next two weeks will be very tough for carp fishing.  Throngs of people will be hitting the freshwater waterways of RI causing a lot of disruption.  I am seeing canoes and kayaks where I've never seen them before. It is loaded with big motor boats and jet skis in many of the big ponds and lakes. People are jumping in and swimming along the Blackstone River (yuck, is this legal?).  The state parks like Lincoln Woods are a free for all.
Carp are very attuned to their environment.  The slightest disruption will spook them and turn them off to feeding.  For the last week and for the weeks to come I will be concentrating my fishing on a number of spots that I refer to as "off the beaten path".  These are places few people go because they are not well known and are often difficult to get to.  Most of these places hold smaller fish, but hey, smaller is better than nothing in my carp fishing book. I got out this morning and landed several fish to 8 lbs. in one of my "off the beaten path" spots.  Other good fishermen I know will do more fishing late at night in the more popular spots after the crowds depart.  With it getting dark real late, you are talking some very late night hours. I also try to adjust my fishing times, choosing to go out in the cooler hours in this heat, fishing in the morning and evening and skipping the heat of mid day.
So, I know a lot of people are on vacation this week, and they might want to fish.  There are still good numbers of carp to be had  in the dead of summer, but you will have to adjust the times and the places you fish in order to consistently catch carp.