Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scoring in the Doldrums

The hot bait in recent outings has been an orange
artificial pop up corn along with a kernel of maize fished
on the hair rig.
If you are a novice to carp fishing you are probably catching few or no fish at this point.  If you are an experienced carp fisherman you are probably getting one or two fish an outing if you're lucky.  Problem here is that we are in the doldrums of summer fishing right now.  That time period from mid July until mid August is probably the slowest time of the year for carp fishing. Rest assured it will all improve with the cooling nights of late August or early September.
I have been steadily getting one to three fish an outing in the last week or so with no blanks.  No great, but not bad either in this slow time. So, how do you score in the doldrums?  Here's a few tips that might help:
1.  A maize/pop up artificial corn combo bait has been the hot ticket for me in the last week.  Orange artificial corn seems to be the best color.
2.  Only certain spots have been producing.  Some spots are much better in the summer than  others.  It's a matter of finding those spots. Try different places until you find a place that works.
3.  Best times are mornings when the temperatures are cooler and evening right before dark.  After dark can also be productive.  Mid day is a poor time to fish.
4.  Get out on rainy, stormy days. On those days the water temps are dropping, and that seems to trigger some feeding.
5.  Moving water in a river is always better than the still water of a pond.  Carp are way more active in moving water.
6.  Lower your expectations.  The hot fishing of April and May is a distant memory.  Any fish at this time of year is an accomplishment.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Disaster Averted....Maybe

Here is one dead
bluegill as a result
of the canal drying up.
I saw at least 20 dead
bluegills and perch.
The water level rose about a foot
today after temporary repairs to
the north end spillway . 
The canal is still
dangerously low but the water
level has improved.
A major fish kill may have been averted in the Blackstone Canal.  After realizing a complete screw up, the Town workers returned the rotting boards yesterday in the north end spillway and that allowed water once again to flow into the Canal.  I checked on it today and the water level has risen about a foot in the entire canal. Places that were dry yesterday had some water today.  It is still dangerously low, but I do believe the fish that survived will make it if the water level stays where it is.
Apparently the Town reacted when there was an outcry from the public.  I called the Town Hall and posted the previous post.  The rangers who work the Bike Path also contacted State officials.  The volunteer group, Friends of the Blackstone, also contacted State officials about the problem. I talked to many concerned walkers and bike riders who said they would contact the Town or State about this serious problem.
However, not all the wildlife survived.  I found at least two dozen dead and rotting fish near the south end spillway.  These were perch as well as bluegills. So, there was a minor fish kill that resulted.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Disaster as Blackstone Canal Dries Up

This is the dried up Blackstone
Canal.  An ecological disaster
is taking place as you read this.
There is an ecological disaster in the making as you read this post.  Many of you have fished the Blackstone Canal for carp which runs along the Bike Path in Lincoln.  This canal has been nearly drained in recent days and could well completely dry up in the next few days killing everything in the canal including the fish, turtles, frogs, etc.
The Town of Lincoln controls the water level in the canal.  Here is the story I have pieced together. Two days ago a crew was sent there to "fix" the spillway that had been leaking. This is an archaic contraption in which boards are either taken out or added to control the water flow.  Those boards were rotting so a crew went there to remove the boards.  But, they had no new boards to replace the rotted ones.  Really smart!  So, most of the water was let out of the canal.
I called the Town to complain, but of course, no one there knew who was in charge of the water flow in the canal.  They thought maybe it was the DPW head so I was connected to him, but he was away for the day.  Isn't Town government a wonderful thing?  Then, I called the RI DEM.  They weren't sure who deals with someone draining a waterway.  Could this be "dam control" I was asked?  They didn't know who deals with this so they told me to call the Town Hall.  Great!
Of course, all of this came about on a Friday afternoon when no one is around to deal with the problem.
So, as nothing is being done, the canal continues to dry up.  There is no water coming in due to the low level of the river and most of the water has been let out.

Friday, July 25, 2014

RI CAG Member Wins Big Carp Tackle Carp of the Month Award

RI CAG first year member Erich Medenbach has won Big Carp Tackle's Carp of the Month Award for June for the best looking carp in its monthly photo contest.  Erich wins a $100 gift certificate for his prize. The fish was a stunning mirror carp and was a nighttime photo.  Big Carp Tackle, the largest online carp fishing tackle site in the US, runs this monthly contest for Carp Angler Group members.  While there are entries for all over North America this is the third month in a row that a RI angler has won the prize.  Just goes to show we have some real beauties here in RI! Congrats to Erich.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

400th Carp of the Year; Turtles on the Rampage

This is my 400th carp for 2014.
Today I landed my 400th carp of the year. It was a common that weighed about 15 lbs. and was caught on pineapple butternut flavored maize, a real hot flavor this summer. I am on a roll this July with over 100 carp landed just this month making it one of the better Julys in the last few years. That's the good news.
Suddenly these beasts are everywhere.
I've landed 8 of them this week and
they ranged from about 10-60 lbs.
The bad news is that the snapping turtles are on the rampage.  In  the last three outings I have landed more snappers than carp as I have gotten 8 of the beasts to shore.  Yesterday I had a brute that I would estimate went 60-70 lbs.  It looked like a prehistoric dinosaur.  There is just no getting away from these pests.  They seem to be everywhere and their activity level has skyrocketed in the heat of this week.  My warning to most carp fishermen is to not mess with these things.  Get them close to shore and cut the line.  One of our guys was bitten by a small one last year.  Fortunately, it just nicked him, but a big one can easily take off a finger.

Monday, July 21, 2014

RI Carp Fishing Coming to On the Water TV!

About a month ago, I was contacted by On the Water TV to do a carp fishing episode here in RI.  We would be going after large mirror carp in RI waters.  I was joined by fellow RI CAGers Jack Sprengle and Erich Medenbach.  On the Water host Chris Megan came down with a tv crew and we went out to tape the episode.  I will leave all the details a surprise, but I will tell you that we landed some quality fish. The episode should be ready soon and is carried by Comcast.  I'll let you know when it airs.
To see the preview of the show, check out this link:

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Last night I was looking for a quiet spot to fish.  I was basically fed up with fishing next to yahoos, rude boaters, jet skiers and all the other bs that goes with summer fishing in the daylight.  So I headed up into MA to a woodsy spot that I had to hike to along the Blackstone River where I have never seen another fisherman or boater. This is a marshy area of the Blackstone where I have seen ospreys and even eagles on occasion.  It's one of those out-of-the-way spots that is hard to get to but oh so quiet, scenic and peaceful.  And, it has fish.
To my surprise, this was a real good night.  I managed to land 4 mirrors and 2 commons (see pics of two of the fish), and I lost another two fish in an hour and a half of fishing. Got them all on maize.  These were not big carp with all of them going less than ten pounds, but they were feisty.  Hey, at this time of the year I will take anything I can get.
Summertime fishing can be tough with all the people out and activity on the waters.  In addition, the carp can be fussy and moody in the summer heat, making for some slow fishing. But, not tonight.  It was good and peaceful!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Carp of the Day

This big common was caught on this very nasty weather day.  It went 20 lbs.  I also
had three more carp that ranged from 6-15 lbs.  They were active
in the bad weather.  Bait that caught the fish....maize.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Berry Drop Done.....Now the Hard Part Begins

This carp was caught recently in a shady spot in the morning.
Fish the cool parts of the day for best summer action.
It's been one of the most successful years ever of mulberry fishing for me. In the last two weeks I have landed over 60 carp while freelining mulberries.  On most days I was averaging 5 or 6 carp an outing with most of those fish going 10-20 lbs.  It was just too easy!
Now, the hard part begins. That summer period from mid July to the end of August is tough for fishing, maybe the most difficult of the year for consistency.  The water is at its warmest and the carp are often not in a feeding mood.  In addition, pests like turtles, horned pout and dace are at their most active time of the year. Yes, you can still catch carp, but it takes some adjustment in your fishing.
Here are a few tips that just might get you a carp of two on a warm summer outing:
1.  Fish the cool times.  Early mornings are good, evenings and nighttime are also good.
2. Really put in some time on crappy, rainy, lousy days.  Those type of days are your best bets for daytime fishing.
3.  Fish with maize, boilies or other hard and big  baits.  This is your insurance against pests stealing your bait.  Of course, nothing will stop snapping turtles.
4.  Seek moving water.  River fish are far more active than still water fish at this time.
5.  Look for summer hotspots.  Yes, some summer places are better than others.  You need to find those spots by putting in your time.
6.  Prebait.  Yes, still one of the most effective ways to get carp feeding in the places you are fishing.
7.  Take what you can get.  In other times of the year I am targeting large carp.  But, I'll take any fish in the dead of summer.
8.  Fish in places where there is limited activity.  Stay away from heavy boat traffic, swimmers, jet skiers, etc.. Many carp spots turn into zoos in the summer heat and that will put the fish down.

Friday, July 11, 2014

"Like they were on steroids...."

The biggest fish tonight was this 17 lber.  It put up one of the
best fights of any fish I have landed this year. River fish
are tough fighters in the heat of summer.
I went out this evening and fished with my friend and fellow CAGer Nick.  We fished a new area of the Blackstone River that I have been exploring.  We landed four carp that went from 8-17 lbs. along with two horned pout and a lost carp.  However, I will tell you those four carp that we caught were the best fighting fish we have tangled with all year.
At times the largest fish, a  17 lber. that I caught, was like fighting a 37 lber. from a pond.  The hit was violent and explosive as the alarm was just humming.  Once the fish was hooked it darted down the river and peeled off line as if there was no drag on the reel.  I can assure you that it was tight.  It screamed up the river, down the river and when I thought the fish was finished it made another wild dash for a snag in which it had me hung up temporarily.  FINALLY, I was able to get this beast on steroids in the net. It was one of my most memorable battles that I've fought this year, and I would have guessed the fish was double its size judging from the fight it put up.
So, this is summer carp fishing at its best....tough fighting fish, lots of action and even a couple of horned pout to boot.  Can't beat it on a summer night when there is little else going on in the fishing world of southern New England!

Monday, July 7, 2014

On a Mulberry High

I've had probably the best July I have ever experienced fishing mulberries.  It's a big year for the berries probably due to the wet spring and cool weather.  The bumper crop is falling like raindrops into the water in places where trees border a carp pond or lake.  And, it has the carp going nuts.
In the last three days I have landed 27 carp while freelining mulberries.  Most of these fish have ranged from 10 to 20 lbs. with at least two of them over twenty pounds.  Today, for instance I got out in the morning and landed 5 commons and 1 mirror.  I went back in the evening and grabbed 2 commons and 1 mirror.  All of today's fish were over 10 lbs.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We seem to be past the mulberry peak as the number of berries is diminishing.  Generally, the berry drop is over by the middle of July.
This hog with its bulging gut has been feeding on mulberries.  It was
landed this evening on a freelined mulberry.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Two Twenty Pound Brutes Landed on Mulberries!

This low to mid twenty pound
mirror was landed on a mulberry
along with 12 other good size
carp today. Best day in months!
This was the first twenty of the day
landed on mulberries.
I had a wild day of freelining mulberries today as the carp were on the feed.  I suspect yesterday's storm with its wind and rain dumped tons of mulberries into the water and the carp were on them big time. The rain also cooled the water further fueling the activity,  While I have been getting mostly smaller carp in the 8-12 lb. range on mulberries for the past week, today was a different story.  I landed 13 fish with most of them going from 10 lbs. up into the 20's.  I had two big mirrors that were over twenty pounds (see photos) along with a near 20 common.  While I have landed 20 lbers. before on mulberries this is the first time I have been able to catch two of them on the same day while fishing mulberries. Mulberry fishing is about the hottest I have ever seen it right now. Those 13 carp landed today amount to the best day numbers wise that I have seen in months,  Quite a day!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freelining.....SO Effective

Freelined mulberries
are very effective
carp baits.
This fish in the teens was landed
this morning on a freelined
mulberry that was fished under
a mulberry tree.
For the last week I have been mostly freelining, and catching good numbers of carp from 10-15 lbs. Freelining is one of the simplest techniques of carp fishing, yet one of the most effective.  It involves simply putting some type of bait on a hook with no sinker involved.  It makes for a very natural presentation that even fussy carp can't seem to resist.
My bait of choice in freelining in the last week has been mulberries.  Carp just love this food, and if you can find a tree that overhangs a shoreline where carp exist you will have a good supply of bait and a good supply of fish willing to eat that bait.  To freeline a mulberry, simply impale the berry with a small hook.  I use a #8 short shank Umpqua Tiemco 2457. This offering will not cast far so the carp have to be feeding in close range.  If the carp are taking the berries on the surface, you will need a floater.  These are usually harder, less ripe berries.  If there is no surface activity, try sinking your offering.  To get a sinker, just squeeze the berry a bit and it will sink after hitting the water.  Once you cast out your offering, pay close attention to the line.  If it starts to take off, pull.
In the past I have freelined lots of other baits including doughballs, bread crust, and corn.  They all will work in the right situation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Check Out This Gold Nugget

You might recall that in January I landed a rare wild goldfish while carp fishing.  It was the first one I had ever caught.  Well, on Monday I went out and landed another one.  This one was a real beauty.  It was covered in shimmering small gold scales that seemed to glow in the dark. Its belly was a shining white and it had orange specks here and there along its body.  It looked like a cross between a white koi and a common carp.  Like the other one I landed, it was short, fat, and wide.  It had no barbels like a carp yet had the same general shape. It hit hair rigged sweet corn.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Todd Richer with a 21 lb., 13 oz.
mirror caught in June.
Nick Pacelli with a 21 lb., 2 oz.
common landed in June.
For the last three months, our state carp fishing club, the RI Carp Anglers Group, has been running a Big 3 tournament.  Those members who participated entered their biggest carp for each of three months.  The event ran for the months of April, May and June. The total poundage was their score. The fish were weighed on accurate scales, and in some cases photographed, and then released. The prizes for the top three scorers were engraved medals provided by the national Carp Anglers Group.
The event proved to be very  popular with our members.  And man, did they land some impressive fish, including a 30 lb., 8 oz. brute landed by Kev Wasliewski in May.  This proved to be the biggest common carp entered.   The biggest mirror carp entered went to Jack Sprengle for a 24 lb., 9 oz. mirror landed back in April.

The top three winners are listed below along with their catches and total scores:
1st place- Kev Wasliewski- 27 lbs., 30 lbs., 8 oz,, 24lbs.   (total- 81 lbs., 8 oz.)
2nd place- Nick Pacelli- 18lbs., 8 oz., 26 lbs., 4 oz., 21 lbs., 2 oz.  (total- 65 lbs., 14 oz.)
3rd place- Todd Richer- 21 lbs., 5 oz., 21 lbs., 8 oz., 21 lbs., 13 oz. (total- 64 lbs., 10 oz.)

I want to personally congratulate all the winners as well as all of those who entered fish in our contest.  We have one heck of a bunch of good carp fishermen in our group!