Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scoring in Sub Freezing Weather

I landed this good looking mirror
close to dark today in sub
freezing temperatures. Yes,
they are still hitting!
They are still hitting in ice free lakes and ponds.  I got out this afternoon in temperatures that were at or below freezing.  It was so cold that it was impossible to drive the banksticks into the ground on shore because the ground was frozen solid! I had to sink the banksticks into the bottom in the shallow water near shore. Around me were patches of snow that hadn't melted yet.  I'm guessing the water temperatures were in the 30's.
BUT, I still managed to catch a nice mirror close to dark on small kernels of maize fished off the hair rig.  There was nothing sluggish about this fish either, something we usually see in the cold water.  This carp zipped off on the take as if it were a rocket tied to the hook. It also put up a decent fight ripping off drag as it battled away.
From now until the ice comes, the fishing will remain worthwhile though I doubt I'll see the hot and heavy action that I experienced a couple of weeks ago.  Still, if I can get one or two fish an outing I am satisfied. I expect the best fishing will take place during the warmest part of the day which is late afternoon.  Weather warm-ups will also produce better than cool downs. I expect to continue to fish regularly (which is just about every day) until the end of December or when the ice freezes things solid.

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Unusual Mirror

I have been steadily fishing just about every day in the last week in the cold and warm weather.  I am still catching but not at the same rate I was catching last week. I seem to be getting a fish or two on just about every outing so the fishing is still worthwhile.
I caught a very unusual mirror today along with a couple of other fish.  This 4-5 lb. fish had smooth skin on its body that was a BLACK color.  It had a head that was splotchy gold, brown, and gray.  It had a head that looked like a ghost carp.  Its belly was a light golden brown with brilliant gold scales.  The bottom fins and tail were a beautiful orange color. It was one of the most unusual mirror carp I have ever caught.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hitting in the Bitter Cold

This good size common
was landed today in sub
freezing weather.
It felt more like fishing in January today than November.  By 2:00 this afternoon my net was frozen solid.  When I left my spot the temperature was only in the upper twenties.  Welcome to winter fishing for carp.
But, the carp were still hitting.  I didn't exactly kill them today, but I did get a couple of hard earned commons.  Yes, carp will hit in the bitter cold in some spots, but don't expect hot and heavy action.  The fish were sluggish on the take today, and they didn't have the same zip in the fight that you find in the warmer months. 
I got my fish today on small kernels of pineapple flavored maize.  I opted for the maize because dace (fall fish) were in the area I was fishing and they like to pick the sweet corn off the hair. Maize is far more durable.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Back to Reality

It was back to reality today as the super carp fishing of the last two days returned to normal.  I figured this would happen with the cold night and snow of early morning.  I got out today and fished with my friend and fellow RI CAGer Nick. Temperatures today were generally in the forties and high thirties, almost 20 degrees colder than yesterday.
While the fishing was not as fast and furious as the last two days, it was still good.  Nick and I landed a combined 11 carp with many of the fish going 8-12 lbs. That is very decent fishing for this time of year, but far slower than the 37 carp I landed while fishing alone on Wed. and Thurs. Still, we were happy with the results.
We fished with maize today fished on the hair rig with no method ball, generally the bait set up I use in the cold weather months.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best Back to Back Days EVER in November

It was a mix of good size mirrors and
commons today.
The best fish of the day was a big
mirror just shy of 20 lbs.
I was back at it again today focusing on a different spot, and the results were astounding AGAIN.  In a lot of ways this was even a better outing than yesterday.
I landed a total of 17 carp today.  The numbers are only part of the story.  I had bigger fish overall than yesterday with numerous fish from the teens to just shy of 20 lbs.  In addition, I landed a massive wild goldfish, a gorgeous gold specimen that went about 5 lbs., off the charts for this kind of fish.
The fish were super active today.  I switched to maize because dace and suckers kept picking at the sweetcorn.  The carp were right on the maize.  On three different casts, I had carp off and running before I was even able to put my rod on the alarm.  I'm guessing the carp took the bait on the way down or when it immediately hit the bottom. That type of aggressiveness is rare in carp fishing.
My total for 2 days was 37 carp. Those are the best back to back days I have ever experienced in November.  Unbelievable!

The prize of the day was this huge wild goldfish. Note that goldfish have no
barbels and have a straight forward mouth rather than a mouth under its head.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Phenomenal November Day

Today's haul was
a combination of
mirrors and commons.
This chunky mirror in the teens
was one of the bigger ones landed
I 've been on a roll this November as I have been catching good numbers of carp in just short, two hour sessions while fishing in the morning. I've been mostly fishing saltwater in the afternoon and evenings.  Well, I decided to fish for carp all day today and take a break from my striper fishing. The results were astounding for this time of year in November.
Today I landed 20 carp.  These were a combination of commons and mirrors.  I had nothing real big, but I did have some fish between 10-15 lbs.  Nothing wrong with those fish! All these fish were taken on sweetcorn fished on the hair rig with no method, something I usually do in the cold weather months.
I sense that these fish were charged up from all the warm weather we have been having this week. Maybe they sense the cold is coming, and today was an opportune time to feed.  For whatever the reason, they were hitting big time.  There were many times today I couldn't even keep two lines in the water as I seemed to be always either unhooking a fish or baiting up one of my lines.
Man, this was a November day to remember!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Back to Sweetcorn

I'm back to using sweetcorn.  Sweetcorn is generally more effective than maize.  The carp go for the sweet taste and the softness.  I tend to use sweetcorn at this time of year and early spring because the pests like bluegills, hornpout and turtles are dormant.  In the warmer months these pests will take the sweet corn right off the hair rig.  Lately, I have been using Double Luck sweetcorn sold by Walmart.  It is inexpensive and effective. I'm using two or three kernels of it on the hair rig.
I landed several good size mirrors today using the Double Luck sweetcorn (see photo at right of one of the fish).  Yes, it was lucky for me, not so lucky for the carp!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

600th Carp of the Year

600th carp for 2014!
I'm on a bit of a November roll as I have gotten good numbers of fish thus far this month. I hit another big number today as I landed my 600th carp of the year. It was a good looking mirror that was caught on maize. In the last four years I have been able to catch over 600 carp each year.  Last year I landed my 600th fish on Nov. 29.  This year I got it on Nov.9 so I am ahead of last year's pace. Whether I can get to 700 fish this year will depend greatly on the weather, especially in December.  Back in 2011, a very warm winter year, I landed 739 carp, my best year ever in terms of numbers.  It is doubtful that I can get that many this year, but you never know.
I plan to fish all winter long for carp so long as I have open water spots to do it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Carp Moving into Winter Locations

This good looking mirror was landed
in one of my winter spots.
It's getting to be that time of the year when carp shift to their wintering over spots. I saw this today as I fished in one of those locations and saw small schools (6-10 carp) moving slowly around in this location.
Carp tend to do this in winter.  They will bunch up for the winter and congregate in one area.  It might be a deep spot in a river or a lake.  It might be a place where the water is just a bit warmer than the rest of the body of water. These places are hard to find and are generally found by experienced carpers who put in a lot of time and effort. I know of only a few such spots, though I am always on the lookout for more,  If you know of a wintering over spot, it can be a place that produces throughout the winter, especially if it is in an ice free location.
Today was a good day for me as I tried one of my winter spots.  I ended up with six mirrors.  They were all landed on small kernels of pineapple flavored maize fished on the hair rig.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Successful Fish-in on Nasty Day

The RI CAG held our annual fall fish-in today in some very nasty weather. Temperatures were in the thirties with a strong north wind that brought in waves of rain and snow. Five fishermen showed up and within a half hour there were only two left, Bob White and myself.  Well, we decided to brave the cold and stick it out for several hours.
I'm glad we did because we ended up getting 4 carp (all mirrors) with another fish on (see pics of two of them).  The fish ranged from about 5 to 10 lbs.  Not bad in such nasty weather and not bad for a fish-in.  Traditionally, we have not had much success at fish-ins.  We have actually been blanked at a number of them over the years, so four fish from two guys would have to be considered a success.