The summer slowdown has arrived. The water is unusually low in most places due to lack of rain. Weed growth is awful because of the low water and sunny weather. In addition, pests are in peak form with snapping and sun turtles aggressively chasing down any bait that hits the water. And, the carp are in a lazy summer feeding mode. Welcome to summer carp fishing here in RI.
I have been out a good amount of time in the last three weeks. In that time, I have been getting some smaller fish that I have to really work for. I've gotten only one decent fish, a near 20 lb. mirror that I landed on a freelined mulberry. So, it's been a bit of a struggle, but expected at this time. I can also tell you that our CAG members who have been fishing our RI Spring Big 3 tournament are also struggling to find large fish.
I'm back to fishing hair rigs with sweet corn or maize on the bottom. Realize that when fishing any bait on the bottom at this time of year, you will have to reel in often (suggest every 15-20 min.) just to check the bait to make sure it is still there. Yup, turtles, dace and horned pout are super aggressive in this heat.
So, the way I approach this time of year is I will take whatever I can get. If it's small ones that are hitting, ok. If I can find bigger ones, all the better. This morning I went out, sat under a shady tree and landed 4 fish (see photos of two of them at right and left). Not one was even close to approaching 10 lbs. but they provided some decent summer action, and that's what I was looking for.