Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Big Mirrors on the Feed

This has been a real good week for me with big mirrors.  As many of you know, the Blackstone River is one of the premier places in the entire US to catch mirror carp.  Many fishermen around the country marvel at what we've got here in RI.  I have been fishing exclusively in the Blackstone in the last week and making some big scores. 
Here in RI, a big mirror is about 20 lbs.  A huge one would be 25 lbs.  There has only been one documented  thirty pounder ever landed and I got her this past spring (31 lbs., 8 oz.).  I've landed 15 good size mirror carp in the last five outings.  All of these fish have been over 10 lbs.  However, of that bunch four of them were over 20 lbs. as I had fish of 20, 22, 23 and 25 lbs. (see pic of 23 lber. landed yesterday).
The big fish, commons as well as mirrors, are on the feed right now as they fatten up for winter.  It is prime time to catch a trophy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Big Carp Being Caught by RI CAG Members

It's big fish time here in RI.  With the cool nights dropping water temperatures, large carp are on the feed packing up in anticipation of winter.  It happens every year in mid to late September as our RI CAG members start reporting big catches.  In the last three days, I have gotten news about some outstanding catches. RI CAG member Nick landed a hefty common of 24 lbs. in one venue while fishing in the daytime.  On the same day, CAG member Kev landed another 24 lb . common from a different venue while fishing at night.  Finally, a day later, I got out and landed a 20 and 25 lb. mirror from yet another venue.  Today I followed that up with a 22 lb. mirror.  A 20 lb. carp from RI waters is  considered a "big" carp.  So, these reports of mid 20 lb. fish would be considered outstanding catches. The big fish should continue hitting for the next month, maybe two months as October and November are prime times to score a big fish, maybe even a record.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pop-Up Boilies.....What Color?

I have been on a pop-up kick these days and catching fair to good numbers of fish while using it.  This morning I went out and landed several decent size mirrors in the 10-13 lb. range (see photo of carp landed this morning).   I was using a small, pop-up boilie along with a kernel of flavored maize on the hair.  The pop-ups I was using were Mistral 6 mm boilies that my friend Paul brought me back from France.  They come in a container that has a load of them in all different colors (see photo).  So, which color is best to use?  I would have guessed white or yellow. However, truth is that all the colors seem to work with equal effectiveness....the greens, reds, purples, etc.  I would have never guessed it.  I suspect that it is more the action since a pop-up gives the bait a buoyant quality rather than the color that is the turn on here.  And, remember, too, there is a kernel of maize along with the colored pop-up so maybe that is what the carp are keying on.  For whatever the reason, this is hot right now and color doesn't matter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nasty Weather Lights up Fishing....Again

It is no secret that I love to fish for carp in nasty weather.  Some of my record fish were taken on some of the lousiest days imaginable.  In addition, I have concluded from past logs that September is an especially good time to fish nasty weather. So, today's weather offered the perfect opportunity to get out and fish and break a bad streak I was on.  It worked.
I landed several decent commons (see photo at left)  and a white cat  in a short period of time in some very windy and showery conditions.  Today's hot bait was a combination of flavored maize and pineapple Pescaviva sweet corn.  I put one kernel of each on the hair. Check out the bait in the fish's lip at top right. It was fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball. This is a bait set up I have been using in the last two weeks and has proven very successful. 
There are two prime times to fish in the month of September if you can.  Nighttime is especially good for big fish, and rainy and stormy conditions will produce well in the daytime.  Sunny, warm days are usually the least effective conditions to fish.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let the Fall Games Begin!

There are two major times of the year in which I catch a lot of huge carp.  Prespawn in the spring, that time from mid April to mid May, is one prime time. Earlier this year I landed the RI CAG Mirror record of 31 lbs. along with the CAG Big 4 Tournament "Biggest Mirror" of 40 lbs.  Both fish, along with a bunch of other 20-30 lb. carp, fell in that time period.
The other big fish time period goes from Sept. until the cold weather arrives.  Last year I landed two common carp of 33 and 36 lbs. in the fall  that would have set the official state record here in RI, but I chose to release them rather than kill those fish to have them officially weighed.  I also landed a load of other big fish last fall.
Well, that big fish in the fall event is starting.  It didn't take long...a few cool nights and some rainy weather and we are in business.  I've gotten a couple of good fish in the twenties this week as I have been fishing hard in nearby MA and RI.  Large carp feed heavily in the fall in anticipation of winter.  The next two months is prime time to catch a monster. The pic at the right is a very big mirror in the low twenties that I landed today on a kernel of flavored maize along with a pop-up boilie fished on a hair rig.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Power of Pop-Ups

I landed a couple of good fish up near 20 lbs. in the last two days.  The key to success was using a pop-up.  I've written before about pop-ups.  These are buoyant baits (sometimes plastic, sometimes boilies) that are hair rigged with regular baits such as corn.  The buoyant pop-up lifts the bait slightly or gives the offering a neutral buoyancy that carp seem to love.  You see, carp have a tendency to bang your bait with their head or swish it with their tail before taking.  When carp do this, neutral buoyant baits tend to lift up and settle down in a natural look that the carp find very appealing.  You may remember back in the spring when I landed those record size mirrors using a pop-up that I made from a white plastic worm
I'm getting more sophisticated.  My friend and fellow RI  CAGer Paul brought me back from France some very interesting 6 mm Mistral pop-up boilies.  I used one of these along with a kernel of maize (pineapple/whiskey flavored) to score my big fish of the last few days (see photo at right). Just corn on the hair got nothing. The one place in the US you can buy these small boilies is Big Carp Tackle ( ).  Note that most bait makers in the US sell 10 mm pop-ups which work well with big fish.  Another friend and fellow RI CAGer  Kev Wasliewski, known for his creative baiting techniques and catching unusually large numbers of big carp here in RI, swears by plastic pop-ups.  These are sold in every online store that deals in bait.  They are plastic imitators of maize, tiger nuts, and boilies.  They can be placed in flavoring to spice them up. They, too, can  be used with real bait (corn, chick peas, nuts, boilies, etc) the same way I am using my pop-up boilies.  If you want to use pop-ups, you almost have to be fishing with a hair rigged hook.  It just wouldn't work putting the pop-up directly on the hook.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bad Start Ends With a Wild Day

I set out this morning with two spots in mind.  According to my logs, both places had fished well in the past in the beginning of September and both places had a history of producing in the rain.  I met my friend and fellow CAGer Paul at the first spot.  We fished here in the rain for over an hour.  We didn't get a hit or even see a fish jump the whole time I was there.  So, it was on to Plan 2.
I went to one pond; Paul went to another.  When I got to spot 2 I knew right away I was in for some action.  Fish were rolling and jumping out of the water like missiles being launched.  I casted two rods out and set them on the alarms.  Just as I was about to sit down, both alarms  went off at the same time.  Yup, a double header to start the outing (see pic).  From there the fishing progressed at a fast rate as I landed 12 decent sized commons up to 10 lbs. and had another two fish on. I also had another double later in the day.  This was all happening in a backdrop of torrential rain and gusty winds. To give you an idea how hard it rained, while I was at the pond, the water level rose at least three inches in just a few hours.  I credit the wild weather for the hot action.  This is a pattern I have seen played out over and over again with carp fishing. They go nuts in bad weather.
Once again, the hot bait was a combo of one kernel of sweet corn along with one kernel of pineapple/whiskey flavored maize on the hair rig all fished ahead of a method ball.  But, I will tell you that I ran out of method and still caught fish with just the bait.
This is the start of the fall feed.  Carp fishing should continue to be good in the coming weeks and months as we enter one of the best times of the year to fish for them here in RI.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Active in the Rain

Today was a day that I was looking forward to for a long time.  It's been months since we had an all day rain with stormy weather, probably the best conditions to catch carp in the daytime at this time of year.  The fish did not disappoint me. They were active and lots were jumping even in the heavy downpours.   I got out this morning and landed 6 commons in a few hours of fishing.  I had another two fish on that I lost.  This has been my best day in weeks as the fishing had been poor.  My bait of choice today was a kernel of maize (experimental flavor, pineapple/whiskey, that I am testing for a bait company) along with a kernel of unflavored sweet corn on the hair.  I like that combo because the pests will sometimes take the sweet corn off the hair, but they have a hard time stealing the more durable maize.  So, you still have one bait to attract a hungry carp. Once the water cools and the pests disappear, I will go back to using just sweet corn.  This was all fished ahead of a method ball. I suspect we are in the start of fall fishing for carp, a real good, though sometimes inconsistent time of year.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Better Days Are Coming

I believe we have hit bottom as far as carp fishing goes here in RI.  This is the slowest time of the year to fish, and my lack of success while fishing in the daytime every year in late August seems to prove me right.  Daytime fishing, the time I go most often, is poor right now. It has been poor for the last two weeks.  The water is the warmest it will get, and the fish are lethargic.  Weed growth is at its maximum.  Many ponds are experiencing a green algae growth. The pests are many and they include turtles, horned pout, bluegills, and dace, and they are most active at this time playing havoc with my bait.
But, September is here and that means turning the corner with improving fishing.  I suspect there will be a dramatic uptick in carp fishing as the fish will begin to feel a need to feed as a sense of fall arrives with cooling days and colder nights leading to cooling water.  In the past, some real big carp have been taken by RI CAG members in mid to late September. The good fishing should extend into October and November.  Last year I landed three thirty pounders here in RI in the fall while fishing in the daytime. So, I am really looking forward to fall fishing again.  Hey, who knows, maybe a RI 40 lber. (YIKES!) might just make it to my net this fall.