We are in the midst of our RI CAG Big 3 Tournament. Everyone seems to be asking me the same question. "Where can I catch a 30 lber.?"
Let's be realistic here. Your chances of catching a 30 lb. carp in RI are near zero. Consider that over the last 15 years there have been 14 thirty pounders caught to my knowledge, and I know just about all the good fishermen in RI capable of catching such a fish. Of those 14 that were caught I am almost sure that four of them were the same fish taken at the same venue. I also know of another one that was a repeat capture. So, that makes exactly nine thirty pounders that could be still alive in our state. That's not a high percentage of big fish out there considering all our waters that hold carp.
Consider also that all of those thirty pounders came from only 5 different venues. Once again, not a high percentage. You see, to grow to thirty pounds, the fish must have the genetics and the food supply. Fishermen think these fish keep growing, but they do have a top off point that they reach. Only 5 venues (that we know of) have what it takes to produce such a fish.
Consider also that nearly all the thirty pounders landed in this state, except for one fish, have been low thirties, mostly 30-33 lb, commons. The one exception was that 36 lb. common (RI CAG Record) that I landed three years ago. Only a few have been mirrors with the largest mirror, the RI CAG official record, coming in at 31 lbs., 8 oz.
And, here is one more fact to consider. Of those 14 thirty pound carp that were landed in the last 15 years, most of them, 11 or 12 of them were caught by 2 fishermen. Only three other fishermen that I know of have landed a fish of this size.
So, if your are looking for a 30 lb. fish this spring, good luck. There is, on average, about one caught a year. Some years see no thirties from RI. They are not easy to catch and your chances of hooking into one of them are slim at best.