Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Heavy Rain, Gusty Winds Light up Fishing

I've carp fished in hurricanes, tropical storms and northeasters, and I can tell you that for two hours this
morning the weather was as nasty as anything I've fished in. The rain was falling in wind driven sheets. And, like all those other bad weather days, today's storm just lit up the fishing. The fish were active and charged up, more so than I have seen them since the spring and early summer.  They were rolling around, sending off bubble trails, shooting out of the water like missiles and they were HITTING.  I put 11 fish on the bank today with sizes going upwards to 20 lbs.  I also had a lot of other bangs, hits and taps.  These were not horned pout or turtles.  They are not active in this nasty weather.
The hot bait today was a combination of maize and a white pop-up artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I was using a method ball ahead of the bait.  With nasty weather forecast for the next few days, it will be an opportune time to get out and fish. Bring on the wind and rain!
This large carp coming to the net was one of 11 fish landed today during the storm.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Nighttime Action Far Outpacing Daytime

This was one of three carp landed
tonight after dark. Hair rigged maize
did the trick.
Things have perked up a bit in the last few days for me.  That's because I am fishing much more at night.  The same spots that will not produce as much as a twitch in the daytime are giving up three or four runners in the dark of night.  Not exactly hot fishing, but not blanking either.
Tonight I got out for a couple of hours after dark.  I had four screaming runs.  Man, that screeching alarm really cuts through the quiet of darkness and gets the adrenalin rushing.  I landed three out of the four runs.  They amounted to two mirrors and a common and all were under ten pounds. While not large fish, they were feisty.  All were caught on hair rigged maize with no method ball.
As I drove home the temperature outside was a cool 49 degrees.  With cold nights forecast for this week, the carp fishing should continue to perk up here in RI.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Typical September Slump

This good size mirror was the
highlight of the day. It was caught
after dark on maize.
I'm in my usual September slump. This happens just about every year, but it seems to be worse this year due to the warm days, the relatively warm nights, the extremely low water and the lack of rain and storminess. In most years September does turn out to be my worst month numbers-wise, and it is following the same pattern this month.
So far in September I have 42 carp.  Most fishermen would think that is pretty good but all the other months this year I have averaged about 75-80 carp a month with several months over 100 fish. It is not for lack of trying. For example, I got out this morning and fished till early afternoon in two good spots.  Got nothing.  Then I went out again this evening. After two hours of trying, I thought I was going to blank until an alarm sounded well after dark.  I got that fish, a mirror of about ten pounds  and shortly after nailed another one. Considering the time I spent fishing today, it was not good.
Note that Kev Wasliewski, one of our best carp fishermen in RI, wrote about this same topic in his Dark Carping Blog. I think we are experiencing the same September slump.
This marginal fishing has prompted me to fish a lot more at saltwater in September.  It's a different story there as the fishing has been excellent.  There have been big numbers of false albacore, big bluefish and lots of stripers. You might want to check out the action on my striper blog.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pic of the Day

A good size September common was the best fish of the day.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nighttime Producing

Here's nice mirror caught a few nights ago on maize.
Most carp fishermen who know me know that I don't fish a lot after dark for carp.  My schedule on most days is to fish for carp in the morning/early afternoon and then fish for stripers in the evening/nighttime.  Can't be two places at the same time!  But, fall is the time of year I do fish more and more for carp at night. With darkness setting in early, I will go out at night and try for them when I am not fishing at saltwater.
In the last week I have fished a number of times for carp after dark, and it has been good. Other RI CAG members have also been scoring decent fish at night. Carp will go on  the feed in fall and with water temperatures still warm.  And, with the air temps relatively mild at night, carp fishing is just as productive at night as it is in the daytime.
It's done the same way at night as in the daytime.  Baits at the same, good spots remain good.  The one thing I have noticed, though, is that carp will feed much closer to shore after dark.  That cover of darkness gives them a sense of security, and they will sometimes come so close to shore that I have spooked them right in front of me when getting up from my chair.
Night fishing will work well until the weather turns colder.  It works terrific in Sept. and Oct, but quickly dies out when the nighttime temperatures really drop in November.  So, if nighttime fishing is your thing, it's prime time right now.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Rain, Cool Weather Light Up the Fishing

Up until yesterday I had been having a poor start to September. For the first nine days I had caught exactly ten fish, and I had put in a lot of effort to get those ten.  That was during that hot, humid weather, tough conditions to catch in.
Things started to change for me yesterday as I got out and landed three good size commons up into the teens.  If things were looking up yesterday, it was out of sight today.  My friend and fellow RI CAGer Nick and I got out this morning.  Together we landed a whopping 20 carp, and they were all decent size (see pics at left and right) running up into the mid to upper teens. We probably lost another five fish on the way in and had several more runners that we missed.  It was simply fabulous fishing for this time of year.
And, everything seemed to be working in the last two days. The carp were caught on sweet corn, maize, boilies, chick peas and artificials. All of these baits were fished ahead of a method ball.  Just everything seemed to work as the carp were on the feed.
This is what happens when the carp turn on in the fall. It can be poor in the hot weather, but get a change, a little rain and cooler weather and it just lights up!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament Underway

RI CAG member Tom Perron has entered an impressive
34 1/2 inch mirror to take an early lead in our fall
Our RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament began on Sept. 1 and runs until the end of November. Here's how it works.  You must enter both a common and a mirror (thus the combo name).  We are taking the biggest fish by LENGTH. At the end of the tournament, the lengths of your biggest mirror and your biggest common are added together to give your final point total. The fish entered must be caught in RI waters. The tournament is open to CAG members only. Engraved medals will be awarded to the first, second and third place finishers.
Already we have had some hefty entries.  The biggest carp entered in this first week of the tournament is an impressive 34 1/2 inch mirror. Yes, some real big carp can be landed in the fall here in RI.
Medals purchased by the CAG will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Understanding Fall Carp Fishing Here in RI

Once that calendar changes to September, it's fall in my book, and that means a move to fall fishing. A lot of newcomers to carp fishing think the fall fishes just like the spring. No way!  The months of April, May and June offer the best fishing of the year in terms of numbers of fish and sizes.  The months of Sept., Oct., and November can be good but don't even come close to offering the good fishing that we see in the spring.  In fact, I would say it is inconsistent at best.
I landed this good size mirror today that sits in about a foot
of water. Yes, the fishing will improve, but don't expect
fall fishing to be anywhere near as good as the spring.
The spring is so good for a number of reasons.  After ice out, the fish get feeding very fast because they are hungry.  Warming waters add to their activity levels.  In addition, they get into a prespawn mode in late April to mid May.  During that time they might travel in large groups.  Big numbers of fish can be taken when they are like this.  Finally, after the spawn, they will have a short burst of feeding activity in June. In addition, the water is usually high and rivers are moving, plusses to carp fishing.
Sure, they feed up in the fall for winter, but the feed is inconsistent.  Early fall, like right now, brings real warm weather and low water, a bad combination. A shot of cool weather and/or rain will help the situation in the fall.  Once the temperatures really drop, a slowdown comes (usually mid November.  While night fishing can be good in early fall, it generally dies in November due to cold nights and dropping temperatures.
Still, there are opportunities to catch a big carp in the fall.  The two biggest commons that I have ever caught here in RI came in September and November.  Those fish went 33 and 36 lbs. In addition, I have had some fantastic days in big time stormy fall weather.  The fish are particularly active on those fall days of drenching rain and wind.
So, I am looking forward to getting rid of this heat and hoping for an uptick in the fishing.  It will come but it will also be inconsistent.  It just ain't the spring.