Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hotspots Change With the Seasons

I caught this nice size mirror in one of my
cold weather spots today.  The carp fishing
 hotspots tend to change with the seasons.
That spot that was producing in either the spring or the summer probably isn't giving up fish right now. One thing I've learned after 20 years of serious carp fishing is that hotspots usually change with the seasons.  Since this cold spell hit last week I have abandoned my early fall spots in favor of late fall and winter locations.  While I am not killing the fish in these cold weather locations, I am catching a steady couple of fish an outing.
Knowing those spots that produce in late fall comes from years of experience.  I've been keeping logs for all those years I have fished.  The logs tell me which spots are productive at certain times and which are not, and you can clearly see patterns that develop over the years. My list of productive spots in late fall is a short list.
Here is one interesting note from all my logs. I have never caught a carp in the Blackstone River here in RI after Nov. 1.  I can't tell you why, but the river shuts down in the cold weather.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Carp Fishing Cools Off With the Weather

Carp fishing has taken a dive in this cold weather.  In the last three days I have landed exactly three mirrors that I found in one particular spot.  Other than that it has been one blank after another in various locations.  Contrast that with last week when I was getting five or six quality fish an outing.
This is a taste of late fall fishing.  It will be inconsistent from now until the end, and the fishing will be greatly influenced by the weather.  I find that when water temperatures are on the way down the fishing cools right off.  However, when water temps are on the increase the fishing perks up.  That explains why a warm day in December can produce while a cold day in October shuts the fishing right down.
Regardless of how good or bad the fishing is, I plan on going right until the ice comes.  For me worthwhile fishing continues right into December and even beyond if the weather remains warm.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hot Stuff

This decent common took a combo bait
that included 2 kernels of maize along
with an orange 6 mm Mistral boilie.

This has been a real good week of carp fishing for me.  I've been getting good numbers of good size fish from 10-20 lbs.  The common theme has been the carp have ALL been caught on combo baits that have included a 6 mm Mistral boilie.  These smaller than normal boilies are unique in that they are pop ups, meaning they float.  When used in combination with other baits, they give the bait a slight lift that the carp find very appealing.  In addition, these boilies come in glowing colors that the carp also find attractive.  I've used these boilies along with chick peas, maize and doughballs.  All have proved to be effective. Today I landed 4 good size commons using two kernels of maize along with an orange Mistral boilie that was all fished on the hair rig.  In addition, I am also using a method ball.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another Newcomer Catches Her First Carp

Yet another RI fisherman (or fisherwoman?) has landed her first carp.  Daphne is a well known saltwater angler that I have fished with many times along the oceanfront.  So, when she contacted me about wanting to try carp fishing, I said "sure!".  Well, it was her lucky day as we hit one of my hot October spots and we landed a total of 8 carp from 8-16 lbs. They were hitting well, the alarms seemed to sounding every 20 minutes and the scenery was gorgeous.  The photo at right shows Daphne with a beautiful mirror carp.  Once again, she's another established angler who is very impressed with carp fishing.  I think she is hooked!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beautiful Scenery; Good Fishing

One of six carp landed today.
Today was one of those days that you didn't have to catch a fish to enjoy just being outside.  The weather was beautiful and the scenery was gorgeous.  As a bonus the fish were hitting.  I'm on a hot October roll with some of the best numbers of fish I have ever taken this month.  Most of the carp I'm catching are good size fish from the teens to the low twenties.  Today, for instance, I landed 6 carp, from 10-20 lbs. I went out this morning and landed a few fish and went back in the evening/night and landed a few more.  They seem to be hitting at all times of the day as the carp are clearly on the fall feed.  The hot bait lately for me has been chick peas on the hair rig fished ahead of a method ball. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Baits that are HOT Right Now

I have been fishing some crazy hours this week but catching some decent fish up to 20 lbs. I have been catching in the daytime as well as at night.  Here are some of the hot baits I have been using:
* Maize/6mm pop up boilie combo bait- This is a 6 mm Mistral boilie with one kernel of maize threaded on the hair rig (see photo at right).
*Maize/doughball combo-  I have used this before but it seems to be very hot right now.  The doughball is made from white bread and is the size of a small marble.  It is also hair rigged (see photo at left).
*Chick peas- I keep going back to this bait because it works real well.  I use dried chick peas from the supermarket that I boil for exactly 20 minutes. You can use one, one and a half or two peas. It is also hair rigged (see photo at right).
And, yes, I am using a method ball with all of the above baits.

This super long streaker was caught on a chick pea.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lighting It Up at Night

My friend and fellow RI CAG member Nick and I did a nighttime session tonight.  I mentioned that nighttime carp fishing can be very good at this time of year.  Well, we hit a new location tonight and did real well with good size commons. As fall moves along and darkness arrives earlier and earlier, nighttime carping is a good option for those who want to fish in the evening after work. Yes, it can be productive at times.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nighttime Adventure

Catfish and horned pout are
active nighttime feeders.
This mirror was taken tonight.
It hit a boilie/maize bait combo.
With darkness coming earlier and earlier, this is the time to get out and go carpin at night.  I've been doing this on a regular basis for the last couple of weeks and getting some fish here and there.  I've been getting carp as well as horned pout.  Pouts as well as catfish are known nighttime feeders. If you are planning to try carp fishing at night here are a few tips:
*Do everything you would do in the daytime.  Baits and rigs are the same.
*Get yourself a good headlamp.  It's a must.
*Bite alarms are also a must.  They make an audible sound and light up on the hit.
*Focus on fishing safe spots that are close to your car.  I also like to fish in places that are lighted with street lights.
*Such places like the Tiogue Lake causeway, the Twin River causeway (Rt.7), and parts of Roger Williams Park are all safe places to fish that are lighted.

Monday, October 7, 2013

500th Carp for 2013

Today I landed my 500th carp for the year.  It was a common of 18 lbs. (see pic).  Every year I have several goals.  One of them is to catch 500 that one.  My second goal is to catch at least one thirty pound fish....I've got two of them so far.  And, finally, I try to get a good number of fish over 20 that also.
The last two seasons I ended up with 738 carp in 2011 and 729  carp in 2012 according to my logs that I keep.  I doubt that I will hit the 700 mark this year, but 600+ seems to be a real possibility.  I'd be more than satisfied with that number.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Newest RI CAG Member Scores PB Common

Our newest member to join the RI CAG (RI Carp Anglers Group) is Eric.  He joined last night.  That must have been a lucky move because today we went fishing and Eric scored a PB (personal best) common carp of 21 lbs. 8 oz. The fish was not long but had a big stomach that looked as if it swallowed a beer barrel. And, it put  up one heck of a fight.
You might remember that Eric.  He was the photographer that I took out earlier in the year.  He has been lucky on the times we have gone fishing, but he is also a fast learner and a fisherman who sticks with it and really puts in his time.  He has landed many twenties (commons and mirrors) this year, a fantastic start for a first year carp fisherman. So, congrats Eric on your new PB and may you score many more.
RI CAG members often fish a lot together.  I try to take all new members out and personally show them the ropes.  We also offer fish-ins and get togethers and the CAG national club offers events, contests, Forum threads for members, discounts and an e-magazine.  If you join the CAG, you automatically become a RI CAG member.  If you are interested in joining you can sign up on the CAG website at

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Fishing Hot Right Now

Carp are on the fall feed and the fishing is darn good right now.  I have been getting out just about every morning and hitting many fish in the upper teens and low twenties (see photo of this morning's catch).  Carp are now feeding up in anticipation of winter.  Many of the fish that you catch have bulging stomachs that look like they swallowed a beer barrel.  This is the time of year in which you could land a monster.  A couple of years back I landed that 36 lb. common from RI waters in the fall.  That is the biggest carp and the biggest fish ever taken from RI.
The hot bait for me continues to be a combo bait of a small doughball and a kernel of maize on a hair rig.  Some of the other RI CAG guys have been having good luck with sweet corn. I'm fishing a method ball ahead of my bait.
If you can find the time to fish, this is prime time to catch good numbers of carp as well as large ones.  The bite should continue to be very good for the next month.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Big Carp in Small Spots

This 22 lb. common was landed in a "small"
spot in 2-3 feet of water.  Small spots can hold big carp.
I've broken with my own tradition and am fishing a number of new September and October spots.  Many of these are what I would call "small" spots.  By small spots I mean small ponds, canal areas, shallows in a river, and other places with shallow water (say under 3 feet).  You can't believe how many of these places can hold some very large carp.
Today I fished a new small spot where I had never caught a carp.  I baited the place up last evening and hit it this morning.  I hit the jackpot on my first fish with a beautiful 22 lb. common.  A while later I had a 10 lb. common in the net.  Still an hour later I had a monster on that eventually took me into a tree branch and got away. All these fish were landed on the doughball/maize combo bait fished on a hair rig ahead of a method ball.  Wow, this was an eye opener!
If you do find a productive small spot, here are a few suggestions that might add some success.  Try to prebait these places, and prebait more than one spot in the area.  Go light on the tackle.  Fish in small spots tend to be spooky and super selective.  If you do catch a fish, move to a new location after landing the fish.  Carp that are fighting and thrashing around in a couple of feet of water tend to scare off others that might be hanging around the area.