Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Killed it in June

This is one of 150 carp I landed in the month of June. The
fishing has been as hot as it can be for this month.
By far, this was the best June I have ever experienced in carp fishing.  When I totaled up the numbers it came out to 150 carp in the month of June. Everything seemed to be working this month for me and all my spots, many new places I am fishing, were really producing.  Hot fishing with mulberries, hot fishing with corn and artificials, even hot fishing freelining doughballs. While I had the big numbers, I also had some big fish with a lot of fish over twenty pounds with the biggest going 28 lbs.
A lot of my fish were caught on mulberries.  However, I am now back to fishing traditional stuff and the big numbers are still there.  Today I got out and fished two spots with maize and pop-up artificial corn along with a method ball.  I put 10 carp on the bank with the biggest going 13 lbs.  The mulberries are dying out, and it looks like it will be back to the traditional stuff in the upcoming weeks.
I am guessing that if this weather continues to remain cool, then the fishing will continue to be good. It's onto July.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pic of the Day

This hard fighting mirror carp  is one of ten carp taken today freelining
mulberries. Today's lousy weather had the berries falling  and the carp feeding.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Surging Ahead of Last Year's Numbers

This fully scaled mirror is my
300th carp of the year.
 June has been a personal
best as far as numbers. The fish
have been hitting big time.
Since the spring I have been playing catch up to last year's numbers. We lost the month of March, a big setback, due to icing and heavy snow.  However, I have been getting personal best record numbers of carp in April, May and now in June.  In fact, this is the very best June as far as numbers  that I have ever experienced. And, there are still four days left to June, and who knows what that will bring. As of today I am at 110 carp for June.  Suddenly, my numbers have not only caught up but are outpacing last year's numbers, and last year was the biggest year I ever experienced.
Yesterday I landed my 300th carp of the year. The last two weeks have seen sizzling action using freelined mulberries.  Some days I am getting 15-20 carp, astounding numbers for this time of the year. Many of those fish are running in the upper teens, good size for June. I credit the cool weather with keeping the fishing real good. Get a few days of high 80's or even 90's and you will see the fishing cool right off.  With a lot of people going on vacation in the next couple of weeks, it is a great time to get out and try carp fishing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Best Back to Back Days This Year

It's a banquet fit for a carp. A glut
of mulberries were falling today.
Wow, the fishing is red hot for me right now. I'm freelining mulberries for the most part, and I'm catching like crazy.  In the last two days I have landed 34 carp, huge numbers for this time of year, and the best back to back days I've had this year (numbers-wise).  While I've gotten no heavyweights, I am getting good numbers of fish from 10 to 14 lbs.
Today was another hot day of fishing. I fished for a few hours this morning. With the wind howling, the trees were shaking and berries were dropping like raindrops on the water. And, the carp were charged up as they went on a feeding frenzy. At times, I could spot 10-15 fish feeding in a small area right under one tree. I'd toss a berry into the water and sometimes three or four carp would rush to it as they would compete to take the offering. It was wild.  This type of action was happening in multiple spots that I sampled.
Later in the evening I fished with my youngest son, Jon. We hit a number of berry spots and all of them had carp feeding aggressively right under the trees.  I didn't even fish. I just tossed in some berries for chum, netted his fish and snapped some photos.  He landed 6 carp in a short amount of time.

Jon Pickering hoists a mirror carp that fell for a mulberry this evening. He landed
6 of them in a short amount of time in multiple spots.

Monday, June 22, 2015

On a Mulberry High

Mulberries come in various
colors.  In  this case, white.
In the last few days I have abandoned all my fancy and expensive carp fishing gear and have turned to freelining mulberries.  The mulberries are falling from the trees right now, and if you are lucky enough to know where a tree exists close to the water, you can have some real hot fishing.  This morning I got out and landed 11 carp up to 14 lbs. in a short amount time.  Nearly all the fish fell for freelined mulberries.
A berry is impaled with a small, #8 hook
Freelining involves simply using a hook at the end of your line and impaling a berry.  I use a small, #8 hook. That's it....no sinker, no fancy hair rigs, no alarms.  Just cast it hold the rod and watch the line closely.  When it takes off, pull.  The carp are so keyed on these berries that they usually take it as soon as the berry hits the water.
The key to this fishing is to find the mulberry trees.  I know a number of trees close to the water that I have found in the last twenty years.  Their location remains a hidden secret as only my kids and I know their location. Mulberry trees can be found just about anywhere around here.  You just have to be observant to find them.  Mulberries come in various colors which include white, pink and purple.  All of them work with equal efficiency. The drop should continue for the next couple of weeks as the window of opportunity here is a short one.

This common carp that sits in the water in the net was one of many taken in the
last few days while freelining mulberries.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Craziest Fight in All of Fishing

The Double of the Day, mirror carp
of 10 and 18 lbs., sit in shallow
water in the net.  This is one of the
craziest phenonenoms in all
of fishing.
I was in a good spot this morning.  I was sitting on the bank just waiting in anticipation of a run.  I had seen a few fish breach and roll so I knew fish were in the vicinity of my bait.  After two hours went by, I was ready to pack up and leave.  As I was packing my gear, a screeching alarm shot my adrenilin up.  As I reached for the outfit with the fast spinning reel, the other alarm suddenly screeched wildly. While holding one rod in between my feet with a fish running off the drag, I grabbed the other rod, set the reel in gear and that one began melting the line off the spool. From then on, it was chaos.  Reel one outfit a few feet while the other is between my knees.  Switch rods and reel the other a few feet.  This crazy routine went on for quite a while before I got both fish right near shore.  Net one fish (10 lbs.), net the other (18 lbs.) and suddenly I had in the net one of the most excting and crazy events in all of fishing.....the Carp Double.
This was probably my fourth or fifth double of the year. I tend to get 7 or 8 of them in a year.  They happen with such frequency that it can't be by accident.  I believe that as one fish grabs the bait and runs off, it touches off a sudden impulse or panic in another fish that might be in the area of the other bait. The second fishing gets a sudden urge to grab that bait and run with it.
Whatever causes this double to occur, one thing is known for sure.  This is one of the craziest phenomenons in all of fishing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Return to Merrimack River Yields MA PB Common

I used to fish the Merrimack River in MA a lot.  When I first became a serious carp fisherman I was drawn to this river because of its abundance of big fish over 20 lbs. I landed hundreds of carp there, and my biggest was a 26 lb. common. During most summers I would try to fish this place once a week. In recent years I got away from fishing this river and focused my attention on other places.  I hadn't fished this place in two years until today.
My friend and fellow RI CAGer Todd Richer called last night to see if I wanted to go there just to try something different.  So, why not?  It used to be a great spot that I enjoyed fishing so I decided to go.
And, I'm glad I did. Todd and I landed decent numbers of fish today with all the fish being good size.  The smallest was in the 13 lb. range. But, my prize for the day was a magnificent 28 lb. common, a personal best (PB) common for me in the state of MA.  The big common hit a combo bait of two pieces of maize with a white ESP artificial corn sandwiched in the middle. It was fished ahead of a method ball. The fish put up a great fight in the currents of the Merrimack. Todd did the netting and snapped the photo below.
It was a memorable return to the Merrimack for me. I will be back soon!
This large common went 28 lbs., a new MA PB Common for me.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A "Best" Showing in the CAG Big 4 Tournament

This 27 + pound mirror was one of my four entrants in the
CAG Big 4 national tournament.
This is the fourth or fifth time I enter the CAG Big 4 Tournament. My goal has been to always try to get a top ten finish. In the past I have gotten a 6th and several 7th place finishes.  This year was my best showing with a 5th place finish overall.
The goal of this tournament is to enter your four biggest fish for the months of April and May.  The four carp I entered were 27-0, 27-4, 27-8, and 29-2.  My four fish total was 110 lbs., 14 oz.  While I have had higher totals in the past, so have other anglers.  Had I banked a 40 lber. (no easy task) like last year, I would have been in the top three.
This tournament features some of the very best carp fishermen from all over the US, so cracking the top five was an accomplishment for a guy from RI.
I want to also congratulate two of my carp fishing friends for their great accomplishments in this tournament. Todd Richer, RI CAG,  landed the biggest mirror in the tournament and Iain Murray, the MA CAG state chariman, landed the biggest common in the tournament.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Catching on Maize

This carp in the net is one
of 13 landed in the last two
The fishing in the last two days has been as hot as the weather for me. While I indicated in the last post that the fishing was slowing, I was quite surprised at just how good it has been.  I landed 13 carp in the last two days with the biggest one going over 20 lbs.  All have been caught with either maize or a maize/pop up combo bait fished on the hair rig.
A hot bait has been a combo bait
of two kernels of maize along
with a pink artificial pop-up corn.
For those new to carp fishing, maize is big, tough corn.  Though sweet corn is a far better bait for fussy fish, its drawback is that it is flimsy and easily picked off by pests such as horned pout, suckers, bluegills and turtles, all of which are very active in this warm weather.  The tougher maize has a much better chance of staying on the hair.
Most carp fishermen prepare their own maize.  A fifty pound bag can be bought at Tractor Supply for about $9. It is sold as "whole corn".  It then has to be prepared.  This is done by putting it into a large pot and adding water.  Let it sit overnight or for about 6 hours.  I then boil it for exactly 35 minutes.  After boiling, let it sit and soak up the water.  I then pack it into containers and refrigerate it until I am ready to fish with it.  I will use the maize for both chum as well as bait.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In a Slowing Summer Pattern

Here's a fifteen pounder from this morning heading toward the
net.  We are in a summer slowdown with less fish and
smaller fish.
Just as I expected, things are slowing down.  The hot fishing of May and early June has been replaced with much slower fishing.  Not only are the numbers of fish down, but the sizes are also down.  Those big females that I was catching in May have done a disappearing act as they normally do in the summer. In the first 5 days of June I managed to catch 20 carp with a few twenties.  But, in the next five days, I landed just 7 fish with one low twenty.  Get used to it. We are now in a summer pattern.
Here are a few tips  on how to catch in the summer months:
*Fish the cooler times of the day.....mornings, evenings and nighttime.
*Rainy days will also produce.  The crappier the weather, the better the fishing.
*Work the shady areas.  Carp are creatures of comfort.  They like to sit in the sun and warm themselves when the weather is cold, but they will seek the cool shade on hot days.
*Take what you can get.  In the spring I am targeting big fish.  In the summer, I will go for any size fish.
*Moving water is more effective.  I like to fish rivers in the summer.  The fish are more active in the moving water.
*Continue to prebait if you can and prebait multiple spots.  I like to move around and often fish several spots in a few hours.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Cool Weather Favors Better Fishing

The cool weather of this week  has led to some good
fishing for fish in the 10-20 lb. range. Daytime fishing
should remain good in this cool weather.
Normally, in most years carp fishing is slowing down at this time due to the warming weather and warming water. This year's beginning of June has featured much cooler weather, and I believe that cool weather has extended the very good fishing that was taking place in late May.  For me, this good fishing has continued right into June with daytime fishing being very good.
This has been another good week of fishing for me with 20 carp on the bank.  And, many of those fish have been quality size with numerous 20 pounders.  Biggest for the week went 23 lbs. The hot bait continues to be a combo bait of sweet corn and artificial pop-up corn fished on the hair rig.  I will say that pests (turtles, horned pout and bluegills) have also been a problem at times and the bait should be checked fairly often to make sure the sweet corn is still on the hair.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hot Fishing on a Cold, Rainy Day

A big one is in the net in the water
and about to be unhooked.
Today's lousy weather produced
9 carp includeing a pair of twenties.
Today was yet another example of hot fishing in lousy weather. It is something that has defined my carp fishing career over the years. With temperatures only in the forties and a bone chilling wind and light rain, the fish were charged up. I landed 9 of them today and that included a pair or twenties. I was on a big fish roll at the end of May, and it seems to be continuing in June. The hot bait once again was sweet corn and a kernel of ESP,  pink, artificial, pop-up corn.  That was fished on the hair rig ahead of a method ball.
If you can stand the lousy weather, get out and fish it.  It is your best bet to get a big one or many fish.