Monday, February 29, 2016

Sun Turtles, Bees and Carp

It's Feb. 29, and it feels like April 29.  I fished a spot today, and immediately I was greeted by a sun turtle on a log.  Then, a bee buzzed by my head.  Within the next few minutes I had my first rod out.  Before I could even bait up the second outfit, the alarm goes off and I am fighting a decent size carp.  Welcome to spring fishing, 2016.
What a difference a year makes.  On  this date last year I couldn't even get to this location because of the deep snow, and there also had to be at least 15-20 inches of ice.
Sixty degrees today, fish hitting like it was late spring.  Landed real good numbers of fish up to 10 lbs. and lost some too (see pics above of today's fish).  However, it just felt great to be out and about fishing on this Feb. 29, 2016.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Carp are now hitting in many of the
ponds and lakes around the state. I
landed this hog this morning along
with several others.
Whenever anyone asks me when the carp start hitting in RI ponds and lakes in the early spring, my answer is "as soon as the ice leaves." In every pond I know in RI, the ice has left and in the few places I have tried in the last couple of days, the fish are hitting.
I've been fishing hair rigged sweetcorn, and I have landed my first carp from RI waters in 2016 (though I have landed good numbers this winter from MA waters). I have been focusing on shallow ponds, the best place to catch carp in the early going. Shallow ponds will heat up faster, especially on sunny days, and that warmth is just what is needed to get the carp hitting. I like to prebait my fishing spots if I can since that ups my chances of catching in the early going.
Note that in RI waters where trout are stocked (Blackstone River for instance), fishing with corn is prohibited.  Those trout stocked waters will also be off limits for any type of fishing or bait once March 1st arrives. All non stocked waters will remain open for carp fishing or any other type of fishing.
Expect a bit of a setback this weekend as the temperatures will really drop tonight and  skim ice could form in most spots. However, if you look at the weather forecast for next week, it looks like warm weather will return by Monday. And, I suspect the fishing will be good. Let the spring games begin!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ice Out Alert; Expect an Early Start

This year will be a very different start to fishing than last year.
The wait is nearly over.  Spring fishing for carp in most places
 in RI should get started right after ice out. The ice is going in
most ponds and lakes around the state.
If you remember, last year at this time we were up to our ears in snow, and we had over a foot of ice and growing on most ponds. Not this year.  The snow is gone and the ice is quickly leaving many ponds around the state.  I have been checking out numerous places in the last few days.  Most places had a partial ice covering, but I suspect much of the thin ice will be gone by the end of the week.  That all translates to a very early start of carp fishing here in RI.
Carp will start feeding as soon as the ice departs.  Expect the sunny, warm days to produce the best as a slight uptick in water temperatures will get the fish in a feeding mood. On the other hand, cold days are often a bummer at this time of year. The weather at this time of year is so inconsistent and up and down and the fishing seems to mirror the weather pattern.  Still, I have had some very good days of fishing in March.
Here's yet another big reminder, Starting March 1, you will need a new RI freshwater fishing license. Your 2015 one expires at the end of February. While Opening Day of trout fishing doesn't come until the second week in April, for those who want to fish in March and early April in non trout stocked waters, a new license is needed. Note that any kind of fishing is off limits in trout stocked waters.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's on to the Springfield Sportsmen's Show

My next stop on my winter seminar tour is the Springfield Sportsmen's Show, a very popular outdoor show located at the Big E in Springfield, MA.  I will be there on Sat., Feb. 20.  As of this post, the exact times for my two seminars are not set yet.  Keep checking back at their website here for updated seminar information.
I will be doing two seminars at Springfield.  One of them is titled Discovering Carp Fishing and the other is a saltwater show titled The Surfcaster's Edge: Strategies for Catching Stripers, Blues and Albies.  I already did these shows at The NE Fishing and Outdoor Expo, and they were very well received.
If you are longing for the upcoming season and suffering from cabin fever, why not visit the Springfield Sportsmen's Show where hunting and fishing is featured big time.