Saturday, April 26, 2014

Finally, Fish Landed at a Fish-in!

Up until today we had been on a poor streak at fish-ins.  At the two previous ones, we landed nothing, so today's event , held on the Blackstone River was an exciting change.  We didn't kill the fish, but we did manage to bank 6 fish in some real lousy weather.  We had 8 hardy fishermen attend this get together.  These included 6 of our RI CAG members (Todd, Daphne, Bob, Armando, Nick and myself along with 2 MA CAG members (Jerome and Iain).  Five of the fish were mirror carp in the 8-15 lb. range and there was one common landed.  We also missed a couple of runners and lost a couple of fish that we had on. The fish were landed on all different types of baits that ranged from chick peas to boilies.  The RI CAG holds at least two fish-ins a year along with several informal get togethers.  Fish-ins are great times to reconnect with friends and fish and talk fishing all day long while sometimes landing a fish or two.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Change in Baits Lighting it Up

This hefty mirror was caught today on
yellow and orange sweetcorn fished
on the hair rig.  It was one of five fish
landed today.
It's back to sweetcorn for me.  In the last week or so, the artificial baits have not worked well so I 've gone back to using sweetcorn in places that are not stocked with trout and chick peas in places that are stocked with trout.  The results have been very good.  Today, for instance, I landed 5 good size mirrors up into the teens using sweetcorn.
This combo of yellow and
orange sweetcorn has
been hot in the last two weeks.
Chick peas have also worked
well.
There's a little twist on the sweetcorn I'm using.  I am using two kernels of regular unflavored corn and one kernel of orange Pescaviva sweetcorn.  The orange kernel is a sandwiched between the two yellow ones on the hair.  Remember, color does make a difference in baits, and it's a fact that carp are attracted to those warm colors of pink, orange, red and yellow.  I'm beginning to think that color makes more of a difference than flavor.
Fishing remains very good in this up and down spring weather.  Get out and sample it before the real warm weather slows it down.

Monday, April 21, 2014

100th Carp of the Year Turns Out to be a BIGGIE

This 25 lb. mirror was my 100th carp of the 2014 season.
I'm on a pace ahead of last year and have landed many
more big ones this year.
I landed my 100th carp of 2014 today.  It was a BIGGIE, a mid twenties mirror.  It kind of goes along with a theme of big mirrors that I have been catching all spring. In addition to that big one, I also had four other fish of 10, 15 and 21 lbs., so it was a good day.
Last year I  had gotten my 100th fish of the year on May 1.  I am ahead of the game this year by about two weeks.  It's been a very cold spring and a late start, but I still have more fish and more bigger fish than I did last year at this time. The only thing missing thus far is a thirty pound mirror, no easy task in RI, but I can assure you that I am working on it and I have a good idea where I can find one.  It is just a matter of time and luck!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Adapting to Some Tough Conditions

This is typical of the size of the six carp
that I landed on sweetcorn in the last two days.
It gave me a chance to model my new CAG
state chairman sweatshirt!
I have to say that the last two days have been very tough carp fishing days here in RI.  Two days ago we had that big rainstorm. It flooded my hotspots in the Blackstone River making those places unfishable due to high and fast moving water.  In addition, the temperature since that storm has dropped like a lead balloon.  The days have generally been in the thirties and low forties. Carp don't respond well to severe drops in temperatures.
So, it was adapt or sit home on the couch.  I wasn't about to sit home, so I made a quick change in tactics.  I went back to fishing a lot of my "small" spots.  These are small, shallow water places that are not dramatically affected by these weather changes.  I often fish these after ice out and in December.  I also went back to smaller baits and used only sweetcorn.  I'm not going to tell you that I killed the fish, but I did land 4 mirrors and 2 commons, and they were all under ten pounds, typical of what you catch in small spots.  Hey, it was fishing and beat sitting at home and waiting for the weather to change.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On a Big Fish Streak

This mirror carp, 21 lbs., was caught
yesterday.  It is one of 10 fish over
20 lbs. taken in the last five days.
I'm on a big fish streak.  In the last five days I have landed over thirty carp with ten of them going over twenty pounds.  Most of the others have been in the 10-20 lb. range.  That warm weather of the last few days has just lit up the fishing for me.  Surprisingly, morning and mid day action has been the best. I'm catching from multiple venues with a number of places producing. Most of the fish have been mirrors.
This unusual beauty, a linear mirror (one
row of scales across the middle
of body), was landed today in some
stormy weather.
Today I went out in the rain and wind and was rewarded with a five fish afternoon with fish up to twenty pounds.  Carp are very active in nasty weather, and some of the largest fish I have ever caught have been taken on bad or stormy days.
Today's fish were all taken on sweet corn on the hair rig.  I used three kernels.....two regular unflavored kernels along with one orange colored tutti-fruitti flavored kernel.  The fish have been off the pop-up artificial corn in the last few days.  Carp will go on and off certain baits, and the hot baits will often change with the weather or the season. So, you need to do some experimenting to find just what is working.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Warm Weather Brings Some Hot Carpin'

I was not the only one catching in the last couple of days.
Take a look at this gorgeous 20 lb. + mirror landed
by one of our RI CAG members.
This shot of warm weather in the last two days has lit up the carping here in RI.  I have had my best back to back days of fishing this year as I landed 12 carp that mostly averaged in the teens.  However, I also had a few twenties including the high twenty on the previous post. Many of our other fishermen from the RI CAG are also reporting some big catches of 20 lb. carp from venues all over the state.
Today I celebrated Opening Day of trout season by going carp fishing in the Blackstone River and landing two decent fish of 18 and 23 lbs.  As many of you know, I much prefer river fishing over pond fishing, and over the years I have had my best river fishing in the first half of the season. The river is also the water that I know the most about in the state having fished it extensively since I was a kid.  It was great to get back in the currents, even though the river is running quite high at this time and the spots to fish are limited. 
The hot fishing should continue for at least a couple of days as the mild stretch continues.  However, expect the fishing to go on a downhill slide later in the week as the cold and rain arrive.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

For Strength, Nothing Like a River Fish

This seventeen pound river carp fought
much harder that a number of twenty
pound pond fish that I landed last week.
I was reminded again today just how strong river fish can be.  Up until today, most of my fish have come from ponds at the start of this year, but today I hit the Blackstone River up in MA.  I landed two seventeen pound mirrors and boy, did they fight. They made those alarms scream on the take and they were ripping drag at will as they tore down the river currents.  Last week I had a good number of 20 lbers. from a pond in RI, and I can tell you these river fish that I caught today could easily beat the much larger pond fish in a tug of war.  Not even close.
River fish tend to be tougher and stronger than pond fish.  It makes sense.  These fish are constantly fighting strong currents just to survive.  Pond fish tend to be lazy as they live out their existence in still waters. I've landed good size carp from the big New England  rivers like the Merrimack and the CT River, and fish in those places are really hard fighters, but I can also tell you that Blackstone River carp are right up there with those hard fighters.
The most memorable battle I ever had with a carp in RI was that CAG record mirror (31 lbs., 8 oz.) that I caught in the Blackstone River a couple of years back.  It fought much better than that 36 lb. record common that I caught in a pond. This weekend that Blackstone River in RI will open up with the commencement of trout fishing. With water levels dropping, there will be opportunities to get out and do battle with some of the hardest fighting fish you will find anywhere.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just Not in the Mood

The score for the weekend of ten hours of fishing
was one 9 lb. common.  The fish were just not in
a hitting mood.
Carp are probably the moodiest fish I have ever chased.  There are times where they will almost hit anything and other times where they are not interested at all regardless of what baits sit in from of their noses.  Well, this weekend was one of those times where they were not in the mood.
I fish Saturday and Sunday for a grand total of at least 10 hours in some very good spots where I had been catching them for the past week.  I got exactly one common, a 9 pounder.  And, that was it.  I got that fish on Saturday as I fished with two other members of our RI CAG.  We had six rods out and only one fish was landed.  It gets better.  I went out on Sunday in a different spot.  In this location I could see numerous fish all afternoon cruising around in front of me.  I could get nothing to hit my offerings though I did see them picking up chum I was tossing in occasionally.  I tried several different baits and combinations but they would not hit.
I suspect the very cold nights and windy, clear days are not ideal conditions for them to feed at this time of year.  The carp were just hitting this weekend.  I'm used to this as I realize blankings are part of the game.  It will change, but we'll need a shot of warm weather to make that happen.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Special....Join CAG for $10

The national Carp Anglers Group (CAG) is offering a fantastic promotional deal.  In the month of April you can join this group for just $10 for the year.  Normally the cost is $25.
Membership in the national group gets you automatic membership in the state group.  There are lots of advantages to joining this group if you are interested in learning more about carp fishing.  Here are just a few:
*Network of fishermen in this state and other states that you can access
*Full access to the CAG Forum
*Full access to all the CAG sponsored contests and tournaments in which substantial prizes are awarded
*Full access to the NACA magazine which comes out 4 times a year ( a great deal)
*Some online discounts
*e-mailings from the RI CAG group that often focus on club events, fishing updates and reports, club contests (Big 3) and equipment updates
* Fish-ins and get togethers run by the RI CAG group
If you are interested in joining our group, here is the link:  www.joincag.com
The link to the national site is www.carpanglersgroup.com

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Continues Where March left Off

This gorgeous mirror was caught
yesterday.
This big bellied hog of over 20 lbs.
was also caught yesterday.
My good luck fishing for big fish just continues in April.  I got out yesterday and fished a couple of venues.  The score for the day was a  six pounder, a high teen and a couple of twenty pound hogs. No question about it....the big fish, many of them large females, are on the prowl and they are feeding.  Maybe it was the long winter, maybe it's a sudden urge to feed in this nice spring weather.  What I do know is that they are hitting.
I have tried a lot of places in the last couple of weeks since the ice left.  I can tell you that my best luck has been in shallow areas that warm up quickly.  My best bait has continued to be an artificial pop-up kernel of sweet corn combined with a real kernel of sweet corn (supermarket variety).  These are mounted on a hair rig and fished ahead of a method ball.  The time of the day has also mattered with late afternoon, evening providing the best action.
With warm weather coming on the weekend, the outlook for carp fishing is very good.