Tuesday, June 20, 2017

On the Mulberries

I landed this good size mirror this morning
on a freelined mulberry.
The mulberry hatch is on.  In the last couple of days I have landed several carp while freelining mulberries under trees that were dropping this fruit.
The mulberry is impaled with
a #8 hook and simply free-
lined under the tree that
is dropping them.
In the carp world, mulberries are delicacies, and the carp will eat as many as they can. The key here is to find a tree right along the water that is dropping them, and fish right under that tree. This does not work if you have a tree in your backyard and you grab a cup of them and head to the water to fish.  The fish have to get conditioned to eating them in a spot in which the berries are dropping into the water.
Fishing them is simple. These are freelined....no sinker, no hair rig.  I use just a number 8 hook at the end of my monofilament line and impale the berry.  If you want the berry to sink, you might have to squeeze it gently to make it more compact. Just flip it into the water under the tree and watch the line.  If a fish picks it up, the line will shoot out.  Set the hook and you should be on.
There is a small window of opportunity in the game of berry fishing. The mulberries might last two to three weeks and that's about it. So this mulberry fishing season is usually a short, but memorable one.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Phenomenal Day in the Rain; Two Thirties Landed!

32 lbs.
Two THIRTIES, three TWENTIES, five HIGH TEENS and two smaller ones. This all unfolded for me today in a phenomenal outing at the Connecticut River. This was the BEST day of the year for me in terms of numbers and sizes of fish. My biggest one went 32 lbs. (biggest one of the year for me), and I also had another fish of just 30 lbs.  In all my years fishing, this is only the second time that I was able to catch two thirties in one day.
Credit the rain and a dropping barometer for getting the fish in high gear. I got all my fish on a combo bait of maize (2 kernels) and a pink artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I was also using a method ball packed around my three ounce sinker.
Over the years I have had some of my best big fish fishing on rainy and crappy days.  This was just another example of fantastic fishing on a lousy day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

500th Carp Landed; Pests on the Prowl

This good looking mirror is number 500 on
the year.  It was landed right at dark.
I landed my 500th carp of the year today in a good day of fishing.  I fished for a few hours this morning and landed 7 carp. Later, I fished a couple of hours in the evening and landed 3 more.  The 500th carp of the year turned out to be a good size mirror carp that was caught on two kernels of maize fished on the hair rig.  It was landed right at dark. This is the earliest in the year I have ever reached the 500 mark.
Today fished like a typical mid summer day as I was continually bothered by pests.  Those three ninety degree days shot up the water temperatures and put the pests into high gear. Besides those ten carp, I also landed three horned pout, one snapping turtle and one sun turtle.  The turtles were particularly pesty as they kept stealing the bait.  In the evening it was impossible to fish a method ball as that would only draw the turtles into my offering. Oh well, summer fishing has arrived.  Just have to put up with the pests and check the bait often.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Rare Beast

This was a first for me....a fan tailed common carp.  These are rare and are generally only found in certain sections of the CT River. It is a beautiful fish with long draping fins and tail.  I got one today and it was a beast of a carp that weighed exactly 29 lbs!
The fish was caught on a combo bait of 2 kernels of maize and a pink artificial corn on the hair rig.  I also used a method ball that was packed around the sinker.
This is my biggest carp of the year so far.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Cart

Either I am getting old, or I am carrying too much stuff.  I like to think it is the latter. Anyway, I broke down a couple of weeks back and I bought a cart to carry my carp fishing stuff to my fishing spots.  I thought about a "barrow" as many carpers use in the UK, but I wanted something that would fold up in a compact fashion that could fit in the back of my truck easily.
The cart I bought is a Quest (see photos left and right).  I bought it at Dick's Sporting Goods for a sale price of $59.  I love this thing.  It's quite roomy when opened up and I can fit my bag, net, chair, bait bucket and extra clothing with room to spare. I drag the cart by the front handle with one hand and carry my rods in the other.  The cart also folds up easily at the end of the day. Just pull up the inside loop and it is all folded up.
I will say this makes life easier and I have to wonder why I hadn't bought something like this years ago.




Friday, June 2, 2017

RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament Update

Tom Perron holds a 30 lb., 8 oz.
carp. It is a PB for him and the
largest landed in our tournament.
We have completed the second leg of our RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament and our guys have, once again, caught some magnificent fish from RI waters.  This tournament runs three months and participants enter their biggest for each month. The total weight becomes their points.  Medals provided by the national CAG are awarded for first, second and third places.
The big news for May is that Tom Perron, last year's gold medal winner, has entered a whopping 30 lb., 8 oz common.  This is the biggest carp entered in our tournament this year and has propelled Tom into first place.  However, with another month left to go, nearly everyone has a chance to get on the medal stand with a big June fish.
The results are below:




April and May Results for RI CAG Big 3

1.      Tom Perron   21 lbs., 8 oz. + 30 lbs., 8 oz. = 52 lbs
2.      Brandon Dee   20 lbs. + 29 lbs., 10 oz. = 49 lbs., 10 oz
3.      Josh Sanville  23 lbs.,  2 oz. + 25 lbs., 2 oz= 48 lbs., 4 oz.
4.      Jake Ayotte   20 lbs., 9 oz. + 23 lbs., 9 oz. = 44 lbs., 2 oz.
5.      Ryan Bunker   19 lbs., 11 oz. + 22 lbs., 10 oz = 42 lbs., 5 oz.
6.      Todd Richer   18 lbs., 14 oz. + 20 lbs., 4 oz. = 39 lbs., 2 oz.
7.      Brian Savage   17 lbs., 11 oz. + 16 lbs., 6 oz. = 34 lbs., 1 oz
8.      Mike Stevenin    18 lbs., 8 oz.
9.      Sean Reed   16 lbs.

10.   Tony Carvalho  11 lbs.




Sunday, May 28, 2017

Photo of the Day......First Carp

This young angler landed his first carp today.  In fact, this was his THIRD
carp today, and it was the biggest at 12 lbs. Nice going!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bad Weather, Good Fishing

Here we go again.  The weather turns nasty and the fishing turns very good. I know it sounds like a broken record but this has happened countless times for me. I had another banner week of carp fishing as the big fish continue to hit.  Biggest one for the week turned out to be a 27+ pound common while the biggest mirror tipped the scales at 22 + pounds (see photo).  I had at least 25 fish over 15 lbs. while fishing venues in RI, MA and CT.
The big surprise of the week for me turned out to be a big channel cat (see photo) that I landed in the Connecticut River while fishing for carp on a rainy and miserable day. Yup, the carp hit there in the rain also and apparently the catfish like the nasty weather too.
The hot bait for the week continues to be a combo bait of maize and artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  The hot color of artificial corn this week was a kernel of pink ESP corn. I was also fishing a method ball packed around my sinker.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Targeting Big Fish

My biggest carp this spring is this
28+ lb. mirror. I've landed very good
numbers of carp over 20 lbs.
As I have written in a previous post, I am currently taking part in the national CAG Big 4 Tournament. My goal was to get to 100 lbs. for my total (combined weight of four biggest carp) and I gotten to that today. So, I have been on a quest to catch some big fish in the last three weeks.
In those three weeks, I have landed many fish from 15-28  lbs.  Just today I had a great day with 7 fish from 13-27 lbs.  I had three carp over 20 lbs. today so pretty good with the bigger fish.
One interesting thing about chasing down bigger carp is that you have to target those spots that have them. For instance most ponds and lakes in RI can not support large carp. Many of our RI venues do not even hold a 20 lber.  I have been fishing mostly places in which I could potentially land a 30 or even 40 lb. fish. To hit those some of those well known big fish spots my travels have taken me to waters in MA, CT and RI.
While I have landed numerous 20 lbers. this spring, I have not tangled with a 30 yet.  But, still time as the Big 4 runs until June 15.  In addition, it will be a late spawn this year with the cooler weather extending the big fish possibilities into June.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Onto Maize

Maize is used as both chum
and as a hook bait. After
preparing it, store it
in zip lock bags and
refrigerate.
This is one of four fish landed in a couple
of hours this morning on maize.  In this case,
two kernels are fished off the hair rig.
Several cans of sweet corn sit on a shelf in my basement, unused.  It has been several weeks since I used sweet corn. There are just too many pests (turtles, sunfish, horned pout) around right now that can easily take the bait off the hair. So, I've moved onto the more durable maize. I'll save those cans of sweet corn until late fall.
Maize is really a larger, harder na more durable corn than sweet corn.  Before using it, it must be prepared.  I buy my maize in a dried form at Tractor Supply stores.  It comes in 50 lb. bags and sells for about 9 bucks.  It is listed as "whole corn" in the animal feed section of the store. To prepare it, I put a good amount in a large pot and add water.  Just let it sit overnight or for several hours in the water.  Then, boil it.  Once the water is boiling, set a timer for exactly 35 minutes. When it's done, I let it sit for a while since this is when the maize soaks up a lot of water.  Finally, I package it in zip lock bags that I put in the refrigerator until I am ready to use it.  It will now be used as chum or a hook bait.
I got out for a couple of hours this morning and landed 4 nice fish.  I got them all on maize as I used two kernels on a short hair. I also use maize a lot in combination with artificial corn.  That has been a big fish producer for me in the last few weeks.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

400

This 18 lber., landed this past weekend is my 400th carp
of the year.  It has been a fantastic spring so far.
I have never caught so many carp in the spring as I have this year. I landed my 400th carp of the year this past weekend.  This is the earliest I have ever logged in my 400th so I am off to a personal record start to the year.
For me, this spring's carp fishing has been nothing short of fantastic.  If you fish for these things long enough, you know you can really get on a roll, and you can't seem to do anything wrong.  The spots you pick really produce, the fish seem to be always hitting and the bait choices work out every time.  Well, I am on that kind of a roll.
What's unique about this spring for me is that I am not only getting numbers, but I am also getting good size fish.  In the last couple of weeks I estimate I have gotten at least 50 fish between 15 and 23 lbs., real good size fish for around here. These have all been taken in RI waters.
The only thing missing so far is that real big one of thirty pounds or more.  I am looking for that hog, and I am hoping I find it in the coming weeks.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

CAG Big 4 Tournament

Here is one of my entries at 18 1/2 lbs., which was caught
yesterday. I'm looking for bigger!
The Carp Anglers Group (CAG) is running one of their signature tournaments right now.  It is the Spring Big 4.  Many of our RI CAG members have registered for this event and are competing. For the next six weeks (ends June 15), CAG members from all over the US will be trying to catch four large carp.  Your four biggest carp by weight will be your point total. CAG will award some impressive prizes for the top ten finishers.  At this point 40 of the best carp fishermen in the country are taking part in this event.
I've done this tournament just about every year for the last six or seven years and have placed in the top ten every time.  The best I was ever able to place is second place.  My goal every year is to try to get to 100 lbs. (average of 25 lbs. a fish), which is not an easy task.  My other goal is also a top ten finish.
At this early stage of the tournament, I currently have 78 + pounds for my four fish, but that will likely change in the coming weeks.

Friday, May 5, 2017

In the Rain.....Best Outing of the Year

This good size common was one of 14 carp landed in today's
torrential rain. Note the combo bait.....maize and a white
pop up artificial corn.
Most of you who frequent this blog know I like to fish in the rain and nasty weather.  I've fished in northeasters, tropical storms and even hurricanes.  But, I can't remember a nasty weather day in which it rained harder than today.  For three to four hours, it absolutely POURED.  But, past history tells me the nastier the weather the better the carp fishing, and today did not disappoint as I had the best day of the year in terms of bigger fish.
I landed a whopping total of 14 carp.  But, here's the catch....ALL of them went 12-19 lbs. There were no small ones.  While I didn't get a real big one, I will say that these were all quality fish that averaged about 16 lbs.  I got 9 of them in late morning and early afternoon, went home and took a supper break, and went back and landed 5 more.
The fish were super aggressive today as they usually are in nasty weather. They would zip off the alarm big time on the hit, and the drag would scream on the fight.  It was real terrific carp fishing and made me forget just how lousy the weather was.
I got all my fish on a combo bait of maize (2 kernels) and a white, pop up artificial corn on the hair, the bait combination that has been so effective in the last couple of years.
So, once again, the nasty weather delivers.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Results for RI CAG Big 3 Tournament

New member Josh Sanville landed the biggest carp
for April at 23 + pounds!
The first leg of our RI Spring Big 3 is in the books and the RI CAG members who entered landed some impressive fish (once again). Our Big 3 runs for three months.  Our guys enter their biggest fish each month (April, May and June). All fish entered must be caught in RI and the fish must be released.
 The total weight becomes their points.  Medals provided by the national CAG are awarded for first, second and third places.
The results are listed below:

April results for RI CAG Big 3
1.      Josh Sanville  23 lbs.,  2 oz.
2.      Tom Perron   21 lbs., 8 oz.
3.      Jake Ayotte   20 lbs., 9 oz.
4.      Brandon Dee   20 lbs.
5.      Ryan Bunker   19 lbs., 11 oz.
6.      Todd Richer   18 lbs., 14 oz.
7.      Mike Stevenin    18 lbs., 8 oz.
8.      Brian Savage   17 lbs., 11 oz.

9.      Sean Reed   16 lbs.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Photo of the Day.....Another Big Boy Comes Ashore

Action for bigger fish continues to be excellent.  This 18 lber. is about
to be netted.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Photo of the Day....20 lber. on a Stormy Day

This 20 lber. was one of six good fish landed in some miserable weather
today. Once again, the fish were on the prowl in stormy weather.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Poundage

This is one of 16 good size carp
landed in the last two days.
The action has been hot in this
cold and lousy weather!
I was in a slump last week.  So, I did what I often do when in a slump.....make some adjustments.  I decided to really switch venues and try a spot that I have only had marginal success with in the past.  I also changed baits.  And, I decided to target larger fish.  Heck, if I was going to only get one or two fish, it might as well be big ones.
Maybe it was this crappy weather, maybe it was the adjustments or maybe I just got a little lucky, but I hit it BIG these last two days.  I landed a total of 16 carp that ran from 8 to 20 lbs. in two short sessions.  I would say the average fish went 14-15 lbs. So, the poundage for the two days amounted to over 220 lbs. of carp.
Now, that's breaking out of a slump in a big way!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cold Weather Cools Off Fishing

This good looking mirror was landed
right before dark. It's been slow going
in this cold and lousy weather.
The last few days have not been good. This current cold spell has put a shiver into the fishing and has really slowed the spring express that had been rolling along for me. I was out carp fishing all day today and hit a bunch of spots.  I was staring at the ole skunk until right before dark.  Luckily, I landed a pair of good looking mirrors at sunset on sweet corn on the hair. That was about it....six hours of fishing and just ten minutes of any activity.
The other other troubling aspect to today was the fact that I hooked and landed two large snapping turtles.  I also had the bait taken off several times by sun turtles.  Yes, these armored beasts are starting their rein of terror on my carp fishing.  Oh well, another sure sign of spring!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Photo of the Day....Number 300

This good size common is number 300 on the year.  It was one of 8 carp landed today.
The hot spring fishing just continues rolling along!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

RI CAG Big 3 Tournament Off and Running

Tom Perron has grabbed the early lead in our RI CAG Big 3
with this large common carp.  Tom was last year's winner
and one of the favorite's for this year's event.
Our annual RI CAG Big 3 Tournament is off and running. This popular event runs for the months of April, May and June.  Our members enter their biggest carp for each month, we add up those weights and the total poundage is their point total. The top three scorers are given engraved medals that are provided by the national Carp Anglers Group. All fish entered in the tournament must be caught in RI and released in good shape.  We also strictly adhere to all the RI fishing regulations.
We have just begun the tournament and already many good size carp up over 20 lbs. have been landed. Last year's winner and one of our most consistent big fish fishermen, Tom Perron, has grabbed the early lead with a big common in the 20's.
This should be a very competitive event since we have some of the best carp fishermen in the northeast right here in RI.
Anyone interested in joining our group here in RI must join the national Carp Anglers Group.  Info for joining is on their website at www.carpanglersgoup.com. Membership includes state events, national events, full access to the Forum, a magazine, and a wonderful network of carp fishermen all over the US. Most of our carp fishermen learned how to catch carp through this club.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Activity Levels Surge in Warm Weather

The carp's activity level has surged in the last two days
with the warming weather.  This brute, landed today,
is putting up a great fight!
The seventy degree temperatures of the last couple of days has things hopping in freshwater.  The turtles have emerged, the bluegills have invaded the shorelines and the carp have become much more active in the warming water.
Just last week carp activity was sluggish at best.  In the last two days, the alarms have screamed on the take, and the fish are fighting so much better. They are also on the spring feed as my numbers have increased big time in the recent warm days.
Spring has finally arrived!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Photo of the Day.....One of THREE Doubles

Seventy degree weather today just lit up the carp fishing. It was big numbers of fish.
Here is one of three doubles landed today. All the fish fell for sweet corn fished on the hair rig.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

On a Hot Streak; 200th Carp of the Year Landed!

This good size mirror is number 200 for the year. Fishing
has been hot in this cold and miserable weather.
It took me three months to get my first hundred carp for the year.  It's taken just 8 days to get the next hundred.  Man, I am on a real hot streak.  The weather has been lousy, but the fishing has been very good, even on those rainy, crappy days.
Right now, I feel like a baseball pitcher who is in a groove.  Every thing is going just right. I seem to be in the right spots at the right times and using the right baits. That's what happens in carp fishing when you get on a roll.  Oh, it will all unravel eventually, but right now, everything is right.  In the last two days, for instance, I have landed a whopping 34 carp that ranged from small ones all the way up to fish in the teens. I have been concentrating on shallow ponds and lakes since the rivers are unfishable due to high water.
All of my fish have been caught on sweet corn or a combo bait of sweet corn and artificial corn fished on the hair rig. I'm also using a method ball.  Another key to my success is that I have been prebaiting the locations I have been fishing, and that has made a major difference.  If I am fishing a place in the evening, I try to prebait in the morning or early afternoon.
So, fishing is as good as it gets right now.  I have seen very few fishermen venturing out in this cold and miserable weather, but it is working for me in a big way.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Extreme Weather Brings out Big Fish

First fish....18 lbs.
Second fish....20 lbs.
Yes, I did fish today.  My kind of weather! As many of you have read over the years, extreme and nasty weather really turn on the carp, especially the big ones. I've fished in hurricanes, tropical storms, northeasters and driving snowstorms, so today was just another day at the office.
When I got to my location, the water was very high, more like flooded.  Debris from the shoreline was floating all over the place.  And, it was really cold and snowing. But, I was ready for the extreme weather as I wore my 5mm neoprene waders made for icy waters along with many layers and a waterproof ski jacket.  I also wore ski gloves.
Today's nasty weather did not disappoint. The fish were active and on the prowl.  I landed three commons all on a combo bait of sweet corn and a white artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I was also using a small method ball ahead of the bait. I had three runners and landed all of them.  The first was a hefty fish of 18 lbs.  The second was a 20 lber. that pulled the scale just past the 20 lb. mark. Finally, the third runner was a strong 15 lber. which seemed to put up the best fight of the day. These fish were all caught in a short 3 hour session.
So, the big fish spring fishing is in full swing even though it feels like the dead of winter. Fishing should continue to run hot in the coming weeks as April is one of the prime months for carp fishing here in RI.


Third fish....15 lbs. Note the combo bait in its lip. Sweet corn and a white artificial
corn fished on the hair rig has been the hot producer all week.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Photo of the Day....Catching in Today's Cold and Sleet

Got this hefty, good looking common along with another decent fish in today's
miserable  weather.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

From TERRIBLE to TERRIFIC

This good size mirror is one of
40 carp landed in the last three
days! The carp have been on the
rampage at ice out.
Wild, hybrid goldfish have also
been hitting as I have landed two
of these "rare" fish in the
last three days.
I have fished the last six days in a row. These were mostly short sessions of 3 to 4 hours a day.  The first three days I blanked.  Yup, not a darn thing in a number of different places in RI and MA waters.  In most of those places there were pockets of ice along the ponds I fished so the water was super cold.  Then, the ice disappeared in the rainy weather we had this week, and the fishing went from terrible to terrific. In the next three days I managed to land a whopping 40 carp with a couple of goldfish also. It was as good as it gets at ice out at this time of year.
The carp I landed were all sizes from small ones to good size fish up near 20 lbs. I got them either on just sweet corn or a combo bait of artificial corn and sweet corn fished on the hair rig.  I also used a method ball packed around my sinker.  In these three "active" days I saw numerous fish jump and whirl, a sure sign that fish are getting more active.
As a bonus I was also able to land two "rare" wild hybrid goldfish.  These fish, which look like commons but with smaller scales and no barbels,  were fat as footballs, an indication that they were full of eggs and getting ready to spawn.
I'm guessing the nasty wintry weather predicted for the next two days will likely cool things off. But, if I can get to the water, I plan to fish the nasty weather.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

100

Got my 100th carp of the new year today.
This good size common is my 100th carp of the new year.
It was a good day today with several fish this size.
Chalk up another big score on a rainy, lousy day. I had a decent afternoon with five carp on the bank along with a couple of more runners that dropped the bait.  These were decent fish in the 10-20 lb. range.  All fell for a combo bait of sweet corn and a white artificial corn fished on the hair rig with a method ball ahead of the bait.
This spring's fishing has been particularly tough.  The weather has been extreme and all over the place....very cold one day, warm the next, snowing one day, rainy the next, waters iced over one week, gone the next.  The inconsistency of the weather has led to inconsistent fishing at best.  So, it has been a slow climb to 100 fish for me this year. March has been especially difficult this year with the colder than normal weather.
But, spring keeps ticking forward, and I can at least see that the fishing for larger fish is slowly improving. If the ice and snow is behind us, the fishing should continue to get better.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

First 20 of the New Year

First 20 lber of the new year.
I have been catching decent numbers of carp this winter (nearly a hundred fish) despite the weather. But, the biggest fish I was able to land was a fish in the low teens.  That isn't surprising since the smaller ones seem to be more active in the cold water, and I have limited options of places to fish in the wintertime.  That is all changing as more and more water opens up for carp fishing with the departing ice. I know things are getting serious when I can catch my first 20 lber. of the year, and I got that one today.
I fished today in that brutal wind and wind chill.  I was determined to hit a number of spots and take it from there.  If I found fish after an hour or so I would stay; if not, I would move to a new location.  I found what I wanted at my second location.  There, I landed two decent fish.  One was a low teen and the other was a twenty pounder.  For the first time this year I fished plastic artificial corn and that seemed to do it.  I was using one kernel of sweet corn along with a kernel of white, ESP, artificial corn on the hair (see photo at left).  That artificial gives the bait some color and lift, two factors that lure fussy carp into hitting. That combo bait has been my ticket to catching some very large fish in the last two years.
Tonight's cold and tomorrow's cold will likely set things back a bit.  However, next week's forecast looks to be warmer and rainier, a deadly combination at this time of year. The fishing will only get better in the coming weeks. The serious spring fishing has begun.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Limited Options

It was five carp today landed
on a snowy bank.  Most still water
spots have ice so moving water
 is your best bet right now.
It's been nine days since I have been out fishing.  That's a long time in March.  So, today, with my limited options, I headed out. On a day in which I would have been happy to get one fish, I did manage to land 5 carp up to ten pounds.  Nice to get back in the game.
I scouted around yesterday and here is what I found.  Many of the lakes and ponds south of Providence have some ice.  Some are half frozen, some are almost clear of ice.  I suspect many of those places will be ice free by mid week.  North of Providence is a different story.  In many places it is solid ice covering the whole pond.  Some, though, are partially frozen.  Places north of Providence will take some time to shed their ice.
So, with the still water of ponds and lakes a poor bet, I headed to moving water which is never a sure bet in cold weather. Those carp I did manage to catch today were taken on sweet corn on the hair along with a small method ball. The takes were sluggish, but the fight was ok.  Yes, everything is  slowed in thirty degree water.
I have never been a fan of March fishing.  The up and down weather of March makes for inconsistent fishing at best. However, if you put in your time in March in open water, you still can catch carp even in the worst of conditions.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Good Fishing About to Hit the Skids

The snow was falling today but the
fish were still hitting. Looks like
fishing is heading downhill, again.
Get ready for the deep freeze that is coming weekend along with a snowstorm that has the potential to bury us next week.  Here we go on the March roller coaster.  Just when carp fishing was coming alive, it's all about to go downhill.  In the last three days I have landed 24 carp, real good numbers for this time of year. That warm spell on Wed., and Thurs., of this week really got the fish feeding. I even got out today in the snow and cold and landed 5 fish on a snowy bank.
I will have to say that while the fish have been hitting they have been sluggish on the take and on the fight.  That's all due to the cold water.  So, I changed up tactics a bit.  Instead of putting the bait directly on a small hook (not working this week), I tied up some smaller hair rigs.  I used a #10 hook and tied a small hair that would take only two small pieces of sweet corn, used lighter line on the hooklink (30 lb. test Power Pro), and added a small swivel.  I also went smaller on the sinker, opting for a half ounce steel egg sinker.  I also used a small method ball. It all worked great as I seemed to do much better with the smaller stuff.  I even set up a light steelhead rod and loaded it with a Shimano baitrunner with 8 lb. test mono.  That outfit seemed to get the most attention.
I'm more than certain the coming cold and snow will put the ice back onto still waters. I'm guessing we might be looking at 7-10 days before I can get again. So, it's back to the ski slopes for me!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ups and Downs of March Fishing

Today's beautiful weather had the fish
active. Looks like a return to winter in
the next few days.
Overall, carp fishing is very dependent on the weather most of the year. In March that weather effect is super magnified. This month's weather and fishing have been a roller coaster thus far. It's sixty degrees one day, 20 degrees the next. It's snowing one day, beautiful and sunny the next. The ice comes, the ice goes.  All of this has made the fishing very inconsistent at best.
I got out yesterday and could barely find a section of open water in the ice to fish.  There was ice in most of the places I checked.  I got nothing in an afternoon of fishing.  Today I went out again in some beautiful weather.  All that ice that was around yesterday was gone today, and the fish were hitting.  I landed good numbers of them today using sweet corn on the hair. The water was freezing cold to the touch and the fish were sluggish on the take, but still hitting.
If you look at what is coming in the next few days, it looks like a return to severe cold, icing and maybe even snow. That will surely put the fishing down once again. Welcome to the ups and downs of March fishing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Big Carp Fishing Show Coming to Middletown, CT

North East Carp Conference 2017
When: Saturday April 8th 2017 10am – 6pm      
Where: Elks Club, Middletown CT
This will be the first of its kind anywhere in North America!
Organized in association with the Carp Anglers Group we are anticipating that this will be a sell-out event attracting carp anglers from all over New England, NY, NJ, PA and perhaps even further afield. In addition to Guest Speakers & Carp Tackle Vendors there will be a TAG Sale where you can buy, swap or sell carp tackle (space is limited so if you want to sell items please book early!). This will be a great opportunity to meet fellow carp anglers as well as learn more about the tackle and techniques for catching these incredible sport fish. Each Conference attendee who pays in advance will also receive 10 free raffle tickets to use toward the door prizes! We'll be updating details on speakers, prizes and much more over the coming weeks.
  •       TAG Sale – Bring along your carp gear to sell or swap!
  • ·         Rig, Bait & Beginner Clinics
  • ·         Tackle & Bait Vendors
  • ·         Expert Panel Q&A – We are planning a live video link with one of the UKs top carp anglers!
  • ·         Guest Speakers – talks from top level carp anglers.
  • ·         Door Prizes / Raffle – Hundreds of $$$ worth of top tackle prizes.
  • ·         Food & Beverages on sale during day

T   Tickets in Advance: $15 entry ($5 CAG members)
     TAG Sale Space* $10 ($5 CAG members)
Advanced Purchase of CAG membership with Door Entry Only: $25
 * * * Advance Ticket Purchasers will also receive 10 free raffle tickets to use toward the door prizes! * * * 
Advance Ticket Purchase link: http://bit.ly/2017NECC
On the Day: $20 ($15 CAG member).

How to get there:
The Elks Lodge, 44 Maynard St,  Middletown, CT 06457 is easily reached just 5 mins from J13 on Route 9.  
Route 9 connects directly with several major interstates I-91, I-90, I-95 or I-84 placing the venue only 2 hours from Boston, NYC or Albany and within 4 hours of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hair-less

Sweet corn can be
fished right on the
hook.
I've been doing a lot of carp fishing seminars this winter at various shows.  One question that keeps coming up is "do you need to use the hair rig?". The simple answer is no.  The hair rig allows easy use of harder baits such as boilies, maize, tiger nuts, chick peas, artificial corn, etc.  All those baits must be threaded with a baiting needle and then put onto the hair and held in place with a hair stop. I also think the hair rig generally gives the fishermen a big edge in hooking a fish since that exposed hook will always get the carp in the lip.  If you are using soft baits such as sweet corn or dough baits, you can put the bait directly on the hook and you should have decent success.
Having said all that I fished today without using a hair rig. That's because I was using sweet corn and the fish were on the small side. I was also using a small hook (#10) and I was putting only one or two kernels of sweet corn on the hook which was attached to a foot long monofilament leader or hooklink. It worked like a charm as I had my best day of 2017 with 12 carp up to 8 lbs. on the bank.
This is one of 12 carp landed today on sweet corn fished on the
hook. This technique works best with small hooks.
Sweet corn is working great right now, but be aware that as soon as the warmer weather comes along and the pests (turtles, bluegills, dace and horned pout) get more active, the sweet corn will be picked apart whether you use it on the hair or on the hook.  I got a taste of that today as I landed my first bluegill of the year on a single kernel of sweet corn on the hook and had other baits taken off the hook with little taps of the rod tip.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Off and Running

Here is one of 8 carp landed in the last three outings. Yes,
spring is here (at least temporaily) and the fishing are hitting.
I'm back fishing to a semi-normal basis mixing skiing with fishing these days.  Some days I am doing both.  I got out three times in the last 6 days and landed 8 carp up to 10 lbs. The are hitting and getting more active by the day.
Realize that carp can be sluggish in the early going.  The water is certainly under 40 degrees and that contributes to their sluggishness on the hit and on the fight. I've been experiencing a lot of "taps" and abbreviated runs in recent outings and that is quite normal for this time of year.
I am just using sweet corn either on the hair or on the hook.  I have been experimenting with two different rigs on two different outfits.  The first rig is the traditional hair rig which is baited up with 2 kernels of sweet corn off a #8 hook.  The second rig is just a straight monofilament leader with a hook tied at the end.  The hook is a #10.  I hook two small kernels of sweet corn on the hook. My thoughts on this is that the more concentrated bait on the smaller hook might just be the ticket to catching sluggish hitting fish.  Both rigs have small method balls packed around the sinker.
But, so far, I  seem to be catching equally on both rigs. So, maybe that hair rig is not needed in the early going???  More experimentation is needed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

About to Bust Open

This good size mirror is one of
several that I landed this week.
There is still snow and ice in places,
but it is disappearing quickly.
Get ready because carp fishing is about to bust open this coming week. It will be an earlier than usual start.  I went around scouting the last couple of days and can tell you that most of the ice is at least partially off most of the ponds.  Some places were half iced in, others had sparse icing along the shorelines.  Ponds and lakes south of Providence had little ice while places to the north had more.  However, I suspect the all the ice will be gone by the weekend. The rivers are ice free but the water is high and really moving in most places.
I did also fish a couple of times this week in moving, ice free water and landed a few mirrors.  The water is still super cold with the ice and snow melting and the fish are sluggish, but that will change rapidly in the next week. Sweet corn was the bait of choice this week.
Realize that early season fishing is complicated because of RI DEM rules.  Here are some things to keep in mind:
* You will need a new 2017 license to fish after March 1 in RI. Your old (2016 ) license is good until the end of Feb.
* All trout stocked waters are closed and off limits until Opening Day (second Sat. in April).  All other waters are open to carp fishing.
*The Blackstone River is mostly closed to carp fishing  after March 1 due to limited trout stocking.
*Once Opening Day comes along, the use of corn is prohibited in trout stocked waters.  You can use corn everywhere else.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Next Stop on the Seminar Tour....Springfield Sportsmens Show

My next stop on my winter seminar tour is the Springfield Sportsmens Show at the Big E in Springfield, MA.  I will be there on Sat., Feb.25.  I will be doing my saltwater seminar titled Keeper Bass and Big Blues from Shore and Boat along with my latest carp fishing show, Targeting Large Carp. The exact seminar time schedule should be posted soon.  I did the carp fishing seminar at the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo in Boxboro, MA several weeks ago and it was well attended with novices as well as veteran carpers. I expect the a similar turnout in Springfield.
The Springfield Sportsmens Show is a huge event billed as the biggest outdoor show in New England.  It features everything outdoors with an emphasis on hunting and fishing. All the show information is HERE. 
I hope to see many of my followers at the show.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Check Out The Interview on Pond Tuna Blog

I was asked by fellow RI CAGer and carp enthusiast Angel Medrano if he could set up an interview with me for his blog, Pond Tuna. I agreed and quite frankly, it was an honor. You can find it at
Angel is one of our premier carp fishermen in this state. He writes an informative blog that I check out almost daily.  He has some unique and interesting perspectives on carp fishing along with some very good photography. Check it out!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Photo of the Day

Got out this morning in 20 degree weather.  The shore had ice, the shoreline had
snow.  Yet, I managed to land this good size common on hair rigged sweet corn.
Yes, they can be caught in February!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Passing of RI CAG Member Richard Bessette

At 82 years old, Richard Bessette of Providence was one our most enthusiastic members of the RI CAG. Here was a guy who had found a new passion called carp fishing, and he was out doing it just about every day of the year. I fished with him on dozens of occasions and always enjoyed his stories about fishing and life, and I can tell you he had a lot of them.  He was always showing me some newfangled gear that he had bought for carp fishing. He was also one who would lend a hand or advice to any newcomer who wanted to get into carp fishing. I often saw him fish with a friend and he would let the friend use one of his rods while he would fish the other.
I did a post about Richard earlier in the year.  He was so hooked on carp fishing that he bought a vanity plate for his car that read "Carp 7".  He was real excited the day he got it and called me over to proudly show me the plate on his truck. He also had CAG (Carp Angler Group) stickers on a lot of his gear as he was a proud supporter of our group.
He was a guy who had a lot of health problems in his life, but never showed it. He always had a positive outlook and like many of us, saw carp fishing as a means to relax with friends and get away from life's problems.
And, he also knew how to catch carp.  He told me that he landed 150 carp this year, his best year ever. He was looking forward to having an even better year next year. He would never see the next year as he passed away this week.
For all who knew and fished with Richard, he will be sorely missed in the upcoming season.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Photo of the Day

It's January, but the fish are hitting as if it's the middle of March. Here is one of several mirrors
 landed today. Get in on the action soon because it won't last.  Looks like the ice will be returning next week,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yes, They Will Hit!

In my last post I discussed whether carp would hit in non moving water in the middle of January.  I got my answer today as I banked a couple of good looking carp.  In past years I have landed a good number (upwards of 25 fish for the month) of carp in January.  But, it has always been in moving water with current. Carp tend to be more active in moving water in the middle of the winter.  I have had no success in the non moving water of ponds and lakes.  Well, today I got my first ones here in RI in non moving water.
I landed a couple and had a couple of more taps on the hair rigged sweet corn I was using. My advice to any winter carpers out there is this.  Go small.  I was using only two pieces of sweet corn on a small hair that came off a small hook (#8).  The hooklink was also short. Sweet corn is a great winter bait.
Don't expect any screaming runs at this time.  The carp are sluggish and they tend to tap away at the bait.  One fish even dropped it back a bit today.  I will pull if I see any tapping or movement of the line or rod.  Note that the fish are also very sluggish on the fight.  It's much like reeling in a tire at this time of year.  The only time they fought today was near shore in sight of the net.
So, yes, they will hit at this time of year in non moving water. That is certainly good news, and opens up the possibility for RI carpers to get their first fish of the new year.
This good looking common is one of two carp landed today in non moving water.
This warm weather has gotten things going real early in the year.
.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ice Gone......But, Will the Carp Hit?

The good news is that the ice is gone in just about all the ponds and lakes in RI.  The bad news is that we are still in January.
I got out today in a good early season RI spot, and fished non moving water. It was cold and raw but there was not a shard of ice to be found. I saw nothing and got nothing.  Not even a hit on my hair rigged sweet corn.
We are in uncharted waters with ice completely gone at this time.  Even last year, a real warm winter, saw thin ice in most places in January and February.  Remember, too, we are still in mid winter, a time of little activity for carp.  The days are still short, the sun is at a low angle, and I'm sure the carp sense that spring is still a good month and a half away.
I think that your best bet at this time would be to fish a small, shallow pond on a sunny day.  That would give you the warmest water and a better bet to find active fish.  Today was not that type of day.
So, with no ice around, I will go hunting this week for a January carp in non moving water. Hopefully, I'll find a few interested in hitting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Show Stop.....New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo, Boxborough, MA

I'll be on the road again this winter doing saltwater and freshwater fishing seminars.  My first stop is the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Boxborough Holiday Inn located in Boxborough, MA right off Rt. 495. The show runs Jan. 27, 28 and 29.  Check out their website for directions.
This big outdoor show was the show that used to be in the DCU Center in Worcester. Since moving to Boxborough several years ago it has gotten bigger and better every year and features one of the best and most extensive seminar schedules you'll find at any outdoor show.
My two seminars are new for 2017. Here is my schedule and the seminars I will be doing:
Keeper Stripers and Large Blues from Shore and Boat.....Sat., Jan. 28 at 12:00 and Sun., Jan, 29 11:00 AM
Targeting Large Carp.....Sat., Jan. 28 at 5:00 PM
Hope to see many of you there.

Friday, January 6, 2017

CAG's FFF Tournament

I am releasing one of two fish that I
landed on Jan.1 in the CAG's
FFF nationwide tournament.
It's become a tradition that I carp fish on New Year's Day every year.  That is because the CAG (Carp Angler's Group) runs its annual FFF (First Fishing Folly) tournament on that date.  This is a national tournament with $700 in prizes and cash, and it is a free event for CAG members.  It is also what I would call a "fun" tournament.  There are awards for the smallest carp, the first ones caught as well as the usual bigger fish category and the most poundage. They have photo contests and writing contests. The FFF is divided into the northern zone of the US and a southern zone.  This year 53 CAG members around the country went out carp fishing on Jan. 1.
Here is a double that Todd and I landed on Jan.1. I landed the
common (above) and he landed the mirror (below).  Both
were hooked and landed at the same time!
This tournament also gives me a chance to get out and fish with some of my fellow RI CAG members. This year I started off on my own in a spot here in RI where I caught nothing.  Later I called my friend Todd Richer who was fishing in MA and having more success than me so I joined up with him.  Together we landed 6 carp ( I got 2 and Todd got 4).  They were all small and ranged from 3 to 7 lbs. But, let me tell you we are not looking for any monsters on New Year's Day.  I am happy catching anything on this date.  Just not that easy to do in cold water.
As it turns out my two fish earned me $35 in prize money.  I was part of the Lucky 13 category (first 13 fish landed for 2016, won third place for the smallest carp category and won 2nd place in the largest mirror category.  Todd ended up being the top prize winner in the tournament as he placed in the top three in at least 5 or 6 categories.