Tuesday, August 26, 2014

0 to 2 in 5 Seconds!

It's been a poor couple of days
of fishing but this double
proved to be the thrill of the day!
I had been having a bad week  of fishing.  Yesterday I fished in the morning and again in the evening and got nothing, not even a hit.  So, this morning when I went out I wasn't expecting much. After setting out the two rods and tidying up my stuff, I settled into my chair. All of a sudden an alarm screams off.  I jump off the chair, grab the rod, click the reel in gear and the drag starts humming. No more than five seconds into the fight the other alarm screams off.  I stick the first rod  between my knees and grab the other outfit that is running off.  Now, I am into a double.  Anyone who has ever had a double knows this is a Chinese fire drill  and a contortionist act all rolled up into one adrenalin rush.  Well, after shifting the outfits from my knees to my hands and gaining a little line at a time, and doing this numerous times with both outfits I finally landed yet another double. These were two good looking mirrors.  I would like to tell you that this broke my slump, but I only got one other fish this morning and I went back tonight and blanked.
But, that double sure was a thrill in an otherwise dull week.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Right Hook

This carp was hooked with an Umpqua Tiemco TMC #8 hook.
These are moderately priced and very reliable hooks.
I've done this type of post loads of time in the past, but it is worth repeating.  The hook you use for carp fishing is probably the most important component of your rig.  Here is summary of what to look for in hooks:
*SIZE-  Carp have a really small round mouth so you need to use a small hook.  Most beginners are using hooks that are way too big.  Most experienced carp fishermen are using a size #6 hook.  If you are after small carp under 10 lbs., consider a #8.  Some fishermen who target large carp use a #4.
*SHAPE-  The ideal carp hook is a short shank hook with no baitholder barbs. Circle hooks offer no advantage since carp are always hooked in the lip when using a hair rig.
*BRANDS- I think the best buy in carp hooks is an Umpqua Tiemco TMC fly tying hook sold by Fishwest (http://www.fishwest.net/flyfishing/product/UM72TMC2457100.html#.U_oW4c90zIV ).
This hook is moderately priced and sells for about 30 cents apiece. I am using these hooks about 80%of the times I am fishing.  By the way, Fishwest offers free shipping. Most real serious carp guys will go for the Euro hooks made specifically for carp fishing.  These tend to be super sharp and super strong, ideal for big carp over 20 lbs.  Check out the hooks online at www.bigcarptackle.com or www.wackerbaits.com In the past, I have used Fox Amour Point hooks and Kamassan Carp Max hooks.  I use these when targeting big carp over 25 lbs. These specific carp hooks are very good, but very expensive.  Most will run about 50-75 cents apiece.  I know many guys use Eagle Claw hooks like a model 184 or 84 because they are found in most tackle shops.  These are inexpensive and will work with small carp.  However, they will bend under the weight of a heavy fish.  If your Eagle Claw comes with baitholder barbs, consider crushing them before use.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ploddding Along

It's been one, two or three fish an outing in the last week.
Best action seems to come in the morning when the weather
is cooler.
Nothing great to report. I seem to have settled into typical August fishing.  It's just fair, and I have been able to pick up a fish or two every outing while avoiding the blank for the most part.  In my mind these beautiful, warm, sunny, bluebird days are the worst types of days for carp fishing. My best success in the last week has come in the mornings in the cooler weather.  Evenings seem to yield very little until right at dark when the alarm usually goes off. It seems to be a one fish deal in the evening.
The pests are really bothersome also.  In addition to the carp I have caught numerous horned pout, suckers and snapping turtles. These pests have also been masters at bait stealing.
So, it's August, a month in which the carp fishing just seems to plod along. Bring on the cooling rains of September and the fishing will light up.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nasty Weather Delivers.....Once Again

This is one of 7 carp landed
today in the wind and rain.  Carp
just love this type of weather!
This may sound like a broken record, but I have to tell you that today's nasty weather delivered a big day for me once again.  I fished this morning in the pouring rain and actually blanked at my first spot.  I went home for lunch and did a few things and went out again to another location in the afternoon/evening.  That's when I hit it big nailing 7 carp with another fish on and two more runners.  These fish were in the 8-14 lb. range and they were all commons.  The hot bait was that pop-up ESP artificial corn used in combination with maize or chick peas on the hair rig.  This was one of my best days in the last few weeks as far as numbers proving once again that carp love to feed in crappy weather.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Very Slow Going

The rod tips have hardly moved and the alarms have
been silent in the last few days.  The August doldrums
have arrived.
The August doldrums have arrived.  I had been doing well in the beginning of the month when we had a little shot of cool and wet weather, but the fishing has hit the skids in the last few days.  I got out yesterday and fished some very good spots in the morning and evening.  I got one small carp about three pounds and that was it.  Today I followed the same pattern but fished different locations.  The result was the same with one small carp. Hey, it's August, a time of the year when carp fishing bottoms out. Things will improve as we move toward fall, with cooler weather that will lower the water temperature. With the seven day forecast calling for beautiful, sunny weather, don't expect the fishing to improve any time soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pic of the Day

When you get a double header within two minutes after putting out
your lines, you just know it is going to be a good day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hot Stuff

This decent size mirror
was caught this
morning on maize
flavored with One On
pineapple butternut.
This flavor from One On Baits has
been very hot lately.
One of my big discoveries this summer has been flavoring from One On Baits (http://www.oneonbait.com/shop/41446).  I won a supply of a lot of different flavors from this company when I won the Big Mirror Award in this year's CAG Big 4 contest. 
In the last couple of weeks I have been exclusively using maize flavored with One On's Pineapple Butternut flavor.  This is real concentrated liquid flavor and I add it to my maize.  I boil my own maize (whole kernel corn from Tractor Supply), and when it is still hot I transfer some into a small container.  Then I add the flavoring.  While I am not completely sold on flavoring during some times of the year, this stuff has really worked for me in the heat of the summer.  I have been fishing it alone or in combination with an artificial corn.  Either way it has really worked and has taken all those 20 lb. carp that I have landed in August.
I will also tell you that I have tried other flavors from One On Baits.  Their Scopex works well, and I also had real good luck in the spring with a pineapple banana flavor.

Monday, August 4, 2014

On an August Roll

The good times just keep rolling for me.  It's not supposed to be this good in August for large fish, but I have found something hot in a new spot I am fishing.  Today's action yielded 5 good size mirrors from 10 to over 20 lbs.  I had one real "big" one that was in the low twenties (see photo at right).
The hot bait today was maize flavored with a pineapple butternut flavor made by One On Baits. I'll talk more about this in another post. I got away from the artificial corn today because the turtles have really been attracted to the bright colors of the artificial corn and they have been super pests lately. The maize was fished on the hair rig with a method ball on the sinker.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Quality Fish

Biggest carp of the last two days
was this 23 lb. common.
I spent the last two days targeting big carp.  Usually, in August I take what I can get, but I had the conditions (rainy and cool) to go after big fish in some of my big fish spots.  I came away with 5 good size ones.  I had two mirrors in the teens and had three commons in the twenties.  The biggest fish turned out to be a 23 lb. common, a real good fish for the dog days of summer.
Large fish don't exist in all carp waters in RI.  I've written about this before, but it is worth repeating.  A carp's size is generally determined by two factors: genetics and food supply. Many novices make the mistake of thinking that a fish they are releasing will keep growing and growing.  Not true.  There is a top off limit in all ponds and lakes.  For instance, I live almost on Scott's Pond in Lincoln, and  I've caught hundreds of carp from this location.  I can tell you that a 20 lb. carp (large by RI standards) does not exist in Scott's Pond.  The largest I have ever taken in this place is 18 lbs.  The genetics aren't there and the food supply is poor.  On the other hand, a place like Roger Williams Park is well known as a big carp haunt here in RI.  Twenty pounders are numerous here.  The food supply is good and the genetics are obviously there. Big carp produce offspring that have the potential to also grow very large.
So, if you are looking for a large fish as I was in the last two days, my advice is to fish a place where they exist!

This 15 lb. fully scaled mirror was the biggest mirror of the last two days.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Biggie of the Day

Another twenty pounder falls in some nasty weather today.
The fish was caught on a combo bait of artificial corn and maize, a hot
bait combo in the last two weeks.