Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekend Outlook....Fair Fishing, Playing the Spawn and Pests on the Increase

Caught this hefty, big gut mirror
yesterday in the heat.
It's Memorial Day weekend and I assume a lot of guys will get out carp fishing. The outlook is not great due to a number of factors. The carp are spawning in a number of places due to the sudden heat. Usually when they are spawning, they are not hitting. The tricky thing about the spawn is that they are not doing it in all places at the same time.  I noticed that yesterday I found lots of fish spawning in a shallow water spot.  This place warms up very fast due to the shallow water. They were not hitting in this spot. However, when I tried another deeper and more shaded venue, I found they were not spawning and actually hitting.  There, I landed 3 mirrors in a short period of time.
Another irritating thing going on right now is that the pests are super active.  The turtles are onto a bait almost as soon as it hits the water.  These include snapping turtles and sun turtles.  Right before dark, the horned pout are super active in this heat.  And, suckers are on the feed, especially in the Blackstone River.  It all takes it toll on carp numbers.
However, I say get out and fish if that's what you want to do. From the reports I am getting, our guys in the RI CAG continue to catch fish in this heat so they are hitting.  Good luck if you try.

Monday, May 23, 2016

200th Carp for the Year

I landed my 200th carp for 2016 today.  It was a good size common that went 23 lbs.. 2 oz. It was taken on a combo bait of maize and artificial corn. Last year I got my 200th carp at the end of May so my numbers are running about the same at this point.
I'm on a big fish roll in the past week as I've landed a good number of carp between 18 and 23 lbs. They have all fallen for combo baits of maize and artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I've been varying the colors of the artificials.  This week the colors white, orange and pink all worked well in various spots.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Competing in the CAG Big 4 Tournament

This 24 lber. is part of my 4 fish total which currently stands
at 103 lbs.
It's that time of year when the Carp Angler's Group (CAG) runs its Big 4 national tournament.  This is one of the group's signature tournaments, and they offer over $800 in prizes.
For a month and a half (till June 15) top carp anglers from all over the country go out and try to land 4 big fish.  The weight of those four fish becomes your point total. There are prizes for the top ten weight totals. There are also prizes for the biggest mirror overall and the biggest common.
In the past, some of the winners have put up phenomenal numbers, sometimes reaching over 150 lbs. for their four fish. Remember, there are competitors from all over the country and places like the St. Lawrence River and some of the rivers around the Great Lakes can really produce some monster fish. But, we also have some quality waters here in New England, and New Englanders have fared very well in past Big 4 Tournaments.
My goal has always been two fold in this tournament.  I want to try to get to 100 lbs. (average of 25 lbs. a fish), and try to get a top ten finish. I've been able to achieve that in every year I have entered. Currently, I am at 103 lbs. and I also have the biggest mirror at 32 lbs.  But, I also know there is a good amount of time left to this event and many of the heavy hitters have not posted any fish yet. I am hoping to add to my total in the coming weeks.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pic of the Day....An Unusual Double

We all know the drill.  Both alarms scream at the same time.  Chaos follows.
Finally two fish come ashore. Usually it's two carp.  But, this time it
turned out to be a 10 lb. common and a huge horned pout.  First time this has happened!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Numbers Down, but Big Fish Around; 32 lb. Beast Landed

Today's beast weighed in at 32 lbs., 4 oz. It is my biggest
of the year so far.
I landed today what could be the fish of the year for me.  It was a 32 lb., 4 oz. beast of a mirror carp. The fish was short with a huge gut.  It was my only hit and my only fish on the day.  That seems to be a developing pattern for me since May first.  Besides this beast,  I have landed several twenties up to 25 lbs. in May along with some teen fish.  The numbers are not there, but the sizes are big so no complaints from me.
Today's monster hit a combination of a couple of kernels of maize along with a pink, artificial pop-up corn.  This was fished on the hair rig ahead of a method ball. Most of my big fish of May have been taken on a combination of maize and artificial corn.  I have varied the color of the pop-up corn.  It seems like some days white is working, some days pink and on other days, orange.
Today's thirty pound fish is my 17th carp over 30 lbs. Of those, 15 were in the 30's and 2 were in the 40's.  Yes, we have some mighty big fish here in southern New England!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

They Don't Always Hit; Disappointment at NEYC

I often post a lot about all the fish that are hitting.  But, here's a post about very little hitting.
Yesterday we held a big regional tournament called the New England Yankee Challenge on the banks of the Blackstone River in RI in a good spot.  We had some top carp fishermen from all over New England competing.  There were 18 of us from RI, MA, NH and CT.  So, 36 rods were in the water at all time with all kinds of bait and method. In 8 hours of fishing, the whole bunch of us landed a grand total of one 5 lb. common carp.  It was caught by Manny Dias of the combined MA/CT/NH team.
I attribute the poor fishing to the cold and rainy weather that has plagued the area all week.  We started off the day with temperatures in the mid 40's, a northeast wind and drizzle, a real turn off to carp activity. Carp are very attuned to the weather and a big drop in the temperature at  this time of year is not good.  Normally, the weather is warming up at this time and fishing is hot, but not today.
Anyway, we did enjoy some good conversation about carp fishing spots and techniques, reconnecting with old friends and even making new friends.  After all, that is a big part part of what carp fishing  is all about. The catching, on the other hand, was a big disappointment.

Some of the best in New England!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Results for RI CAG Big 3 Tournament

The results are in for our RI CAG Big 3 Tournament and the entries are IMPRESSIVE. This tournament for our CAG members runs for three months.  You enter your biggest fish for April, the biggest for May and the biggest for June.  Your combined weight is your score for the tournament..
Note that a lot of the entries for this month are from our new members, those with less than one year in the club, and that makes the results even more impressive.  Also, many of these newcomers landed PB (personal best) fish.  Huge congrats to them. All of the fish in the tournament were landed in RI waters and released.
Here are the results for April:

Standings for 2016 RI CAG Big Three for April
Angel  Medrano- 25 lbs.
Jake Ayotte- 24 lbs., 15 oz.
Keri Doire- 23 lbs., 9 oz.
Tom Perron- 23 lbs., 9 oz.
Manny Dias- 22 lbs., 4 oz.
Mike Mercer- 22 lbs.
Todd Richer- 20 lbs., 2 oz.
Brian Savage- 17 lbs., 4 oz.
Tom Ricci- 13 lbs.
Tony Carvalho- 4 lbs., 8 oz.