Friday, December 29, 2017

2017....A Very Good Year for Carp Fishing

While I had big numbers of fish, I also had good numbers
of large carp in the 25 to 34 lb. range.
For me personally, 2017 was a very good year for carp fishing.  I had the numbers and I had the sizes, a rare combo.  In all, I landed 1,125 carp according to my logs. This makes 2017 my second best year numbers-wise that I ever experienced.
As for numbers, I had 564 mirror carp and 561 commons. Usually, I catch 3 mirrors to every common but not this year.  It was the first time ever that my common total and mirror total were nearly identical. I attribute this to the fact that the Blackstone River here in RI did not fish well for me this year for mirrors, so I went out in search of other places where common carp were more abundant. While on numbers, my biggest day of the year was on April 10th, a day that I landed 32 carp. My best month in terms of numbers was April, a month in which I landed 219 carp.
My most unusual fish this year was
a sturgeon.
It was also a year of big fish for me.  I had three carp over 30 lbs. I also had a good number of them in the 25 to 29 lb. range. Admittedly, I spent more time targeting big fish in the Connecticut River and the numbers of big fish landed reflects that.  My biggest CT River fish went 34 lbs. My best month for big fish was June.
I landed good numbers of fish this
year making it my second biggest year.
It was also a big year for unusual fish.  I landed my first ever sturgeon, my first ever fantail common,  my second every pike on a hair rigged bait, and more channel and white catfish than I have ever caught. Catching these unusual fish adds to the excitement of carp fishing.
So, with everything frozen up at this point, it is unlikely that I will see another carp in 2017, but nonetheless, this year will go down as a real good carp fishing year for me.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

In the Winter Mode

I landed this gorgeous common today using hair rigged
sweetcorn.  Not bad for Dec. 20!
Most people know that I fish year round for carp here in southern New England. With a lot of the small ponds iced or semi-iced over, I am now in my winter fishing mode. I am fishing either moving water or larger ponds and lakes that are free of ice. I'm also using my winter techniques.
Many people think that carp go dormant in the winter. Not so.  I've always found that they are still actively moving around, albeit slowly, in the winter in the moving waters of streams and rivers.  They are less active under the ice of a pond. Problem in the winter is that they often are not in a feeding mood.  I've watched in frustration while fishing in small streams as carp would move right over my bait without even looking at it.  Yet, at other times, they will scoop up anything on the bottom.  You have to catch it just right to have a good day in the dead of winter.
Winter techniques also come into play. The key is to go light...light sinkers, light line, small hooks, small baits, small method and short hooklink. Carp are not voracious feeders in winter and usually a kernel or two of sweet corn on a short hair rig off a #8 or #10 hook is as good a bait as any. Watch your rod tip also as the hits will be subtle bounces rather than screaming runs.
I was out today testing the waters in various locations.  Yes, the right spot makes a big difference and the hotspots can change in winter just like they do during the year.  I managed to get a few good fish today using my winter techniques. One common, about a 15 lber., was the highlight of my day. Not bad for a December outing in which the temperatures remain in the thirties!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Still Water Fishing Done?

Carp fishing can still be done in the winter in river currents.
It gets a whole lot tougher with the icing and cold temperatures.
I headed out carp fishing yesterday in one of my "small" winter locations.  I was shocked to find the place completely frozen. So much for that.
With low temperatures coming in the next few days, I think it is a safe bet to say that carp fishing in still waters like ponds and small lakes in RI  is done for 2017. It was a quick and disappointing end to the still water fishing.
I still plan to hit some river spots with current that don't freeze easily.  However, that river winter fishing is always a crap shoot and difficult to do when the air temperatures are down below freezing.  That kind of weather will freeze your bait, freeze your method and freeze you.  So, winter fishing is a matter of picking and choosing the best days to fish.
For me, it's never over, but it gets a whole lot tougher in winter.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Warm Rain Heats up Fishing

This good size mirror is one of 13 carp landed in the last
two days.  The warm rain and above normal temperatures
got the carp active and feeding again.
Nothing like a warm rain in December to perk up the carp fishing here in RI.  Yup, it's happened again. Prior to yesterday, it was a pick with a fish here and a fish there with no sure bets. Temperatures were on a downhill slide and so was the fishing.  It all changed for me yesterday evening as a warm rain enveloped the area. That rain event, combined with way above normal temperatures last night, got the carp feeding.  Yesterday evening I landed 4 carp in a bit over an hour.  Today I added 9 more fish as they were really hitting in the warming waters.  All the action in the last two days have come on hair rigged sweetcorn, a bait I feel is your best bet at this time of year.
Realize the fish are still sluggish.  Most of the hits were just taps rather than screaming runs.  The fight, too, was sluggish as these fish, which ranged from 6 to 10 lbs.. could barely pull any drag. These are not the same active fish of a couple of months ago, but this is December and I am still catching carp.  I'll take it!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament Winners

Brian Savage, gold medal winner, with a
35 inch common.
For the past three months our RI CAG members have taken part on our annual RI Fall Combo Tournament.  The idea was to try to catch and enter your biggest common carp, your biggest mirror carp and your biggest catfish or horned pout.  The fish would be measured in inches and your point total was the combined inch total. The tournament has ended and here are the medal winners:
Gold medal- Brian Savage- 70 pts (35 inch common, 35 inch mirror)
Silver medal- Tom Perron- 48 pts. ( 34 inch common, 14 inch cat)
Bronze medal- Tony Carvalho- 47 pts. (32 inch common, 15 inch cat)
The winners will receive engraved medals provided by the national CAG.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Winter Tactics Getting It Done

Sweetcorn on the hair did
the job yesterday.
I got out yesterday, and for the first time in a while I was able to catch more than one carp. I actually landed three carp and had a couple of more hits. It's been tough going this month. For the first time I employed what I call winter tactics to catch these fish. Here's a review of those tactics:
1. Go with sweet corn- The pests are gone and my sweetcorn is back.  Carp really go for this bait, and for the first time in a long time I went with two kernels on the hair rig and it paid off.
2. Go small- Yesterday I went back to using #8 hooks with short hairs.  I did not use a method ball.  I also used the lightest sinker I could to hold bottom and cast. Smaller and lighter is better when the fish are sluggish in the cold and hard to catch.
This was one of three mirror carp landed yesterday.
Note the gorgeous golden colors, something we find
in fish caught in cold water of winter.
3. Move around to find the fish- I almost gave up yesterday as I had to fish four different spots before I found anything.  Carp tend to travel in small or large groups in the winter, and it is often a case of finding where those groups of fish are lurking. I rarely stay in a spot more than an hour if I am not getting anything.
4. Don't expect any screaming runs- The fish are sluggish on the take at this time and usually just keep tapping away.  Pull when you see the rod tip bouncing.  Note that they are also very sluggish on the fight in cold water.
5. Try to fish the warmest part  of the day- I did get these three carp in late afternoon, the warmest part of the day when fish are most active at this time of year.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tough Going

I landed this six pound mirror this morning.
It's been a slow November so far.
This is turning out to be the worst November in years for me in terms of numbers of carp landed. Since that very cold spell hit back in early November, the fishing has gone downhill.  In the last five outings, I have gotten exactly two carp. I haven't seen much moving around and haven't seen any jumps. It's like everything just died!
I attribute this poor fishing to two factors: that sudden drop in water temperature back in the beginning of the month and the very high water from all the rain this month. High and fast water is a problem because it kills the river fishing which tends to be more consistent than pond fishing in the cold.
But alas, things seem to be heading in a moderate direction in the next week.  The temperatures will moderate and there are no big rain storms coming so I see the fishing as picking up in the coming two weeks. In the last two years I have experienced excellent fishing in November and December.  Well, November was a bust this year so I am hoping for a turn around in December.  We'll see.
Like in the past, I plan on fishing right through the winter unless we get a hard freeze.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Two RI CAGers Place in National Big 4 Tournament

Todd Richer....5th place.
Dave Pickering....7th place.
The National CAG has completed the Big 4 Tournament as two RI anglers placed in top ten. This tournament ran for six weeks.  You entered your four biggest fish and the combined weight was your point total.  This is a tough one to place in the top ten since some very good carp anglers from all over the US compete in this event.
Todd Richer, on of our most experienced and committed carp anglers here in RI, placed 5th in the event.  Todd had a total of 101 lbs, 3 oz. At an average of over 25 lbs. a fish, that was a big accomplishment.  Congrats to Todd!
I had the other top ten finish with 87 lbs., 12 oz.  That was good enough for 7th place. My goal every year in this event is to finish in the top 10. So, I'm pleased with the results.
In the past RI has had many top ten finishers in the spring and fall Big 4 Tournaments.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Carp Fishing Turns Ice Cold

I landed this common this morning.  It was
my only fish in the last three outings.
Too cold. Too fast. The sudden and dramatic drop in water temperatures has the carp in a funk. I've mentioned many times in the past that the carp don't react well to those sudden and fast drops in water temperature, and this is a prime example.
In the last three outings I've gotten exactly one carp which I caught this morning.  Another tell tale sign of the cold is that the fish I caught this morning was very sluggish on the take and very sluggish on the fight.  This happens when the water temps are way down.  Here's yet another sign that winter is quickly approaching.  I was driving up to skiing today (yes, I am now skiing) and I drove by a number of small ponds north of the RI border.  Nearly all of them had a thin coating of ice. I've never seen that this early in November.
We've been spoiled in the last couple of years with very warm weather in November and December, and very good carp fishing that held up till late December.  I think this year is a different animal.  Unless things warm up mighty fast, I hate to say this, but we are approaching the end of productive carp fishing in the ponds and lakes around here. It will end with the ice arrives. The way the weather is shaping up, we are not far away from that happening in RI.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November off to a SLOW start

I landed two mirrors after dark tonight. It
wasn't great but better than the daytime action.
I have been spoiled.  Last year and the year before November carp fishing was fantastic. That's because the weather stayed consistently mild all fall those years.  The water was also low.  Combine that low water and mild weather and you have the formula for great late fall carping here in southern New England.
This year the temperature is all over the place and the water is high from that big storm we had two weeks ago that dumped four inches of rain on the area. It's all affected the carp fishing making for slow going thus far in November. I'm averaging less than two fish an outing so far in November and that is way off compared to the last two years.
I got out today from morning till night and tried a whole lot of spots that usually produce at this time of year. Daytime fishing was poor. The water was high and the temperature was cold.  I  only banked one small common, and I lost another fish. Nighttime was a bit better.  I landed 2 decent mirrors of about 10 lbs. apiece. Compared to last year, this was a slow day for me.
I don't think this frigid weather we will get in the next two days will  help the situation.  I see the fishing as maybe picking up next week after the weather moderates a bit, but I don't expect anything great. It's looking like a slow fall. I hope I am wrong.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Nights

Here's a chunky 23 lb. common that was recently
landed while fishing on a warm night.
This is the time of year that I spend the most time fishing after dark. Yes, that time change to standard time is a killer.  So, with it getting dark real early I will get out more and more after dark in the coming days and weeks.
I have already been fishing after dark a many  times already in the last month, and it has been productive in terms of bigger fish. I've banked  a good number of high teen and twenty pound plus fish. Carp do hit after dark as they will come close to shore in the dark of night to forage. My best luck at night has been to fish on those warm nights in the 50's and even 60's.  That works especially well if the warm night comes after a cold spell. Warm, rainy nights are also great.
I fish it the same way at night as I fish the daytime.  Prebait if I can about 4 hours before fishing. I like to use a combo bait of maize and artificial corn on the hair rig with a method ball packed around the sinker.  I have been having very good luck with white artificials in the last month or so.
I am now fishing in the CAG Big 4 fall tournament.  Of the four biggest fish I have entered (all fish in the twenties), three have come after dark.  That should be proof enough that the after dark fishing is productive for large carp.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Not a Fan of High Water

The Blacktone River was a raging torrent of
water today and was unfishable in every place
I looked at. It was also dirty and loaded
with debris.
Sunday's storm with drenching rain has really caused the water to rise in the rivers, ponds and lakes.  It has made for difficult fishing in the last couple of days.
I'm not a fan of high water. High water will send the rivers up to unfishable levels.  The Blackstone River right now is a raging torrent of fast currents and high, high water.  In many places I scouted today, the water was in the woods and you couldn't even get near the water. The water was also dirty and carried with it loads of debris.
The ponds and lakes are not much better. They are also very high too.  In one place I fish, the water came up over a foot overnight. In places I scouted today, the water was in the woods and under bushes. Leaves and other floating debris were all over the place. While those places are still fishable, finding fish that want to feed can be a challenge.  Many fish will tend to feed along the shore in the woods and under bushes since there might be a foot or two of water where there was dry land a week ago.
So, hopefully the water will recede in the coming days and we can get back to catching carp again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crappy Weather Lights It Up

A chunky 17 lb. common sits in the net in
shallow water.  It is one of 17 carp landed in
the last two days of lousy weather.
This may sound like a broken record, but here we go again.  The lousy. rainy, windy weather of the last couple of days has just lit up the fishing for me once again.  Up until yesterday, it had been a struggle to put one or two fish on the bank.  All that changed in this crappy weather.  In the last two days I have landed 17 carp up to 23 lbs.  Most of the fish were over 10 lbs. It's like this weather kicked them into a fall feeding mode.
The bait that has been working for me has been a combo of maize and a white artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I'm fishing that with a method ball packed around my one ounce sinker. I've used that combo bait in multiple venues, and it seems to be working all over the place.
Daytime as well as after dark fishing has produced in this lousy weather.  Of those 17 fish I landed in the last two days, 7 have been caught after dark and 10 were caught in the daytime.  Nighttime fishing can be very productive at this time of year.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Curse of the 18's

A beautiful 18 lb. common sits in the water in the weigh sling.
The fish had me fooled into thinking it was much bigger.
I am now fishing in the annual CAG Fall Big 4 Tournament.  My four biggest fish so far run from 18 to 21 lbs.  Not bad, but it could be better.  So, in the last week I was on a quest to catch some bigger fish to add to my total.  Fishing multiple big fish venues I managed to get three decent fish.  All weighed exactly 18 lbs.  Hmm, decent fish for RI but not exactly what I was hoping for.
Funny how a fish can fool you even though you have landed thousands of them.  I had a screaming run yesterday, and when I picked up the rod the fish bolted on a drag screaming run in which it ran off about thirty yards of line.  I thought I had a real big fish.  It also did all the normal big fish tricks. I would gain some line and then it would take more out as I slowly gained on it. It also stayed near the bottom on the entire fight, and I did not see it until it was right at the net.  What a surprise. While I was near certain I was fighting a mid twenty, it turned out to be one heck of a strong and smart 18 lb. common.
Back in the Spring Big 4 I had the same curse of the 18's.  I must have landed about a dozen 18 lbers. However, persistence paid off, and I did manage to get several good fish in the mid to upper 20's. Hopefully, the same thing will happen this fall.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Champion of the Queen Award

I am proud to announce that the Carp Anglers Group has selected me for the Champion of the Queen Award for 2017.
Carp, the number one gamefish worldwide, is considered the "Queen of the Rivers" around the world. So, this award is given to the CAG angler who champions carp fishing causes here in the US. It is the highest award given by the Carp Anglers Group, the largest and most influential carp fishing group in the US.
When presenting this award at the annual meeting, Jerome Moisand, CAG Treasurer and Iain Sorrell, CAG VP cited my witing and seminar work on carp fishing, this website, my work as the CAG State Chair (RI one of the most active carp fishing states in the country), my serving on the CAG Board of Directors (CAG Secretary) as well as my passion and devotion to the sport.
If you look at past winners, the list reads like a who's who of carp fishing in the US and features some of the best promoters and carp fishermen in the world.  Some names include Nigel Harrison, David Moore, Andy Sprinkle, Jerome Moisand and many more.  I am honored to be listed with this group.
I received a beautiful glass engraved trophy and this award carries with it a CAG membership for life!

Sunday, October 8, 2017


This common that is splashing around in the
net is number 1,000 on the year.
I hit a major milestone today with my 1,000th carp of the year.  The fish was a common that weighed about 10 lbs. It hit a combo bait of maize and a white artificial corn fished on a hair rig.
Already this is my second best year numbers-wise.  Back a couple of years ago I had over 1,300 carp and that was the only year I was able to get above 1,000.  Beating my own record is still a possibility as I have a solid two and a half months left of fishing and if the weather stays warm, especially in December, anything can happen.
While numbers don't tell the whole story, this has also been a great year of bigger fish for me.  I have three thirties so far and a good number of 25-29 lb. fish.  It's also been a year of surprises as I have landed a big fan tailed common, a sturgeon, a pike and many good size catfish, all while carp fishing!
So, if my year ended today I would have to say it was a big success.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Photo of the Day- Cats on the Prowl Today

The channel cats were on the prowl today, with some big boys hitting. Wish I
could say the same about the carp.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Photo of the Day....Fall is in the Air

The leaves are falling, and there has been an uptick in
the fishing this week.  Expect the cooler weather to bring
improved fishing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Slow Going

This common, landed this moring, sits in the net. Carp
fishing has been on the slow side so far in September.
September is turning out to be the slowest month of the year for me in terms of numbers of carp  landed. The water is warm, the pests are abundant and the carp are not in any fall feeding mood. And, for the past couple of days the wind has been horrendous, sometimes pulling the line right off the spool. However, I'm steadily getting one or two fish an outing. Slow but I guess you could say steady.
With September carp fishing on the slow side, I have been fishing far more in saltwater than freshwater these days.  Prior to this big blow the saltwater fishing for false albacore and stripers has been some of the best I have ever seen in September along the oceanfront.
My strategy in fishing has always been to go for the best bets.  So far this September that has been saltwater fishing and not carp fishing. I'm hoping things improve as the weather cools.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament Underway

Todd Richer with an entry
of a good size mirror carp.
We'll be going by length in
this tournament. 
Our RI CAG Fall Combo tournament is underway with many entries on the board already.  The idea in this catch and release tournament is to catch your biggest mirror carp, your biggest common carp and your biggest catfish (bonus fish).  You measure your catches by inches and then enter them.  Your total points is the number of inches added together of your three biggest fish of all three species. The tournament runs from Sept. to the end of November.  All fish must be taken in RI waters.We have already had some impressive entries of carp over 30 inches landed, real good size for RI fish.
At the end of the tournament, medals purchased by the national CAG group will be awarded to the top three finishers.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Carp 'n' Cats Active Right Now

Catfish have been active
in the daytime this week
taking the same baits as
the carp.
Carp have been active too.
Maybe it's the cooler nights
that have gotten the action
in high gear.
It's a fact of carp fishing.  If you fish for carp, you are going to catch catfish, and here in RI that includes brown bullhead, yellow bullhead and white catfish.  Catfish, like carp, are bottom feeders and will hit the exact same baits as carp.  However, catfish tend to feed at night, but this week I have been catching good numbers of them in the daytime.
This past week I have caught equal numbers of catfish and carp.  The cats are on the feed, and they have been aggressive. They have even been taking those plastics.  I don't mind as I do like catching them, especially the larger ones.  Biggest cat of the week for me was 18 inches, a good size one here in RI.
The carp have  been equally active this week in the daytime.  I suspect the cooler nights have gotten a fall feed going here in RI.  I've gotten them all sizes with the biggest going a respectable 24 lbs. The hot baits continue to be white plastic corn in combo with real maize fished on the hair rig.
Fishing is good right now.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Plastics Continue to Score

This mirror took two small
plastic corns. Small stuff
tends to work well for
fussy fish.
This common took a
combo bait of one kernel
of white plastic corn
and two kernels of real maize.
With this shot of cooler weather, there has been an uptick in the carp fishing for me in the last week or so. I've landed a decent number of fish, and they have all been caught on some combination of plastic, artificial, pop-up corn. This bait has worked fairly well at keeping the turtles from hitting (though some will take it) while at the same time catching carp.
The hottest colors in plastic corn in the last few weeks have been white and yellow. Funny thing about plastics is that the best colors can change from spot to spot as well as season to season. Experience often dictates what to use. At times I just use the plastic corn with either one large kernel or two smaller kernels on the hair rig. The small kernels have worked well for fussy fish.  At other times (places with less turtles) I might combine real maize and plastic maize setting up a combo bait on the hair. Sometimes I also use a method ball (place with few turtles) and sometimes I don't.
In addition, I've landed a few horned pout and catfish in the last couple of weeks.  They will take the plastic stuff with no problem.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Photo of the Day- "Pike on Plastics!"

I was out carp fishing this morning and got quite a surprise as a pike
took my two plastic corns.  The fish was about 2 1/2 feet long. This is a year
of unusual fish for me....first a fan tailed common, then a sturgeon and now
a pike. What will be next?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In a Summer Slowdown; 900th Carp of the Year Landed

This good looking common is my 900th carp of the year.
It looks like a thousand fish season will be a sure bet in 2017.
This past week has probably been the slowest week of the summer for me.  The only highlight was that I landed my 900th carp of the year today, setting up what is a sure bet to reach 1,000 fish this year.
I have been out every day in the last week, fishing mostly in the mornings.  I had one blank and got 2 to 6 fish all the other days. Today I was looking at a blank and was about to pack up and leave when I suddenly landed 3 carp in 15 minutes, but that was it.  This is all way off compared to what I had been doing. Yes, I'm in a summer slowdown.
There's a lot of reasons why we hit this slowdown every year about this time.  The water is at its warmest point of the year, the water is low and river flows are slow, pests are at a peak, and the weed is awful this year.  I have really been bothered by pests this week.  I've landed many brown and yellow bullhead (horned pout) and snapping turtles continue to grab my plastics.  I've abandoned all the real bait in favor of plastics to try and cut down on pests. Many of my favorite spots to fish are also unfishable due to low water and weed growth, a bad combination.  All that rain and spring run-off has caused big time weed to form in some places.
So, I'm looking forward to cooler weather, cooler nights in the fifties and some rain.  Whenever all that happens will determine when the carp fishing picks up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Self Photos with Your Smartphone

Here is everything you need
to take great cell phone photos.
Gardner Camera Angle
Most carp fishermen have to learn the art of taking a self photo.  You’re alone the bank alone and you catch a good size fish, and you want to get a photo of you holding the fish.  How do you do it? The “old” way I used to do it was with a camera.  I had a Canon compact camera and I set the timer for the shutter and the number of shots. Then I pressed the shutter button and ran into the camera’s view with the fish while the self timer clicked away.
Vastar Tripod Adapter
Cell Phone Mount
Phone set up and ready
for me to say "cheese".
I now generally have a better and more convenient way to get the photo with my smartphone.  I should mention that I do not have an expensive smartphone.  It is a recently purchased LG Aristo phone that I bought for $100 on sale.  But, it has some phenomenal features when it comes to taking pictures. It also takes 13 megapixel photos. The most important feature is something called voice shutter.  It’s in the settings and I keep it turned on.  This eliminates any self timer.  You get into the picture and simply say “smile” or “cheese” and it snaps the picture when you say so.  I will hold the fish at different angles and direct the phone when to take the photos.  In addition, my phone has photo editing capabilities.  I can rotate the photo, crop it, enhance it, etc. right in the phone.  It’s a photo editing program built into the phone. Amazing!
Here’s what else you need for those self photos with the phone.  You will need some type of holder.  You could use a tripod, but I prefer to use a bankstick with a mount called a Gardner camera angle (screws into the bankstick). The cell phone will not screw into my camera mount as a camera does so I purchased an adapter called a Vastar Universal Tripod Adapter Cell Phone Holder. This ingenious little tool is a cell phone holder that screws into the Gardner camera angle, and it is adjustable for your size cell phone.  I got it at Amazon for about 8 bucks.  A real buy!

So that’s it.  Take a look at the photo I have for an example.  All done very easily and conveniently with my smartphone!

This beautiful shot of a mirror landed yesterday was taken
and later edited with my smartphone.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Catching on the Green Seed Once Again

The green seed is in the pod
of this tuber that comes
off Arrowhead plants.
Multiple seeds can be
found in these pods.
I ran a post last year on this green seed  that was catching carp for me.  The green seed is now out again this year, and today I caught again on it.  I put two rods out.  One rod had plastic corn.  The other had hair rigged green seed.  The score for the morning was 6 fish on the plastic and 4 on the seed. Pretty even.
This green seed comes from a water plant that I believe is called Arrowhead.  The seeds are in pods in  the tubers that come off the plant. I hair rigged either one or two seeds, and that that seemed to do the trick. These seeds seem to be an August/early September thing so now is the time to fish with them.
These seeds can be hair
rigged.  Use one of two
This mirror was one of
four fish taken on the
green seeds this morning.
Carp tend to eat all kinds of seeds and berries and I would guess that this is one more example of natural food that they eat when available.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Photo of the Day.....Yes, they will eat plastics!

Did I say in my last post that turtles would not hit plastics?
Well, I was wrong. This big snapper grabbed my plastic
artificial corn today. I happen to think these guys will
eat ANYTHING.  They are super active right now.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Avoiding Turtles by Using Plastics

This large mirror took two small. artificial.
pop-up, plastic corns fished on the hair
with no method ball.  It was a great way
to avoid the pesty turtles and catch the carp.
In this case I am using
just one piece of artificial
corn on a short hair. That
also worked well today.
The good news of the day is that I landed 12 carp this morning.  The bad news is that I also landed 3 large snapping turtles. Turtles are a fact of life if you fish for carp in the warm summer months around here,  but there is a way to avoid them while still catching carp. Plastics.  The turtles (for the most part) will not grab your plastics, although I have gotten a few in the past with plastics, but not at the rate that you will lure them with regular bait.
Today I did an experiment.  I fished one today with regular maize and a method ball.  I fished the other outfit with just a plastic piece of corn or two and no method ball. I landed 6 carp on the real stuff and landed 6 carp on the plastic corn.  But, all the turtles went for the real stuff. So, my little sample from today shows that the plastic artificial corn is just as effective on the carp as the real stuff while not luring the turtles. It's a great way to beat the turtles at their own game.
This is no new revelation.  RI's Dark Carper, Kev Wasliewski, has been touting plastics for years on his blog as a bait that turtles will avoid but carp will hit.  You can read some of his stuff on his blog here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Photo of the Day....A Big Summer Common

I landed this terrific 28 + lb. common today.  It hit a combo bait of maize and
an orange artificial pop-up corn. Big August fish have been rare for me
in the past so this big boy was a big surprise!

Monday, July 31, 2017

800th Carp Landed; On a Record Pace

This rugged common is number 800 on the year. Numbers-wise,
its been a record pace for me so far.
I landed my 800th carp of the year today.  It was a short, but rugged common that was caught on on single kernel of maize fished on the hair.
I have never caught this many carp at this point of the year.  By far, this is the most.  In fact, we are only about half way through the carp fishing year (March through Dec. for me), and already this is the third best year numbers-wise that I have ever had.  There has been only one year in which I was able to reach a thousand fish and that was two years ago when I caught over 1300. This could be a better year with some favorable weather and a little luck.
I try to best the previous year every year.  I keep extensive logs of my catches and go back over the years to see what was producing and where I was catching at certain times of the year.  That has helped to increase my knowledge of waters as well as my catches every year.
This year has been unique in that I have had few, if any, dry spells. I have been on a roll since ice out in the spring and good fishing has continued non-stop for me.  I also think this cooler weather with few heat waves has helped the fishing this summer, a time when the fish can go into a funk in real warm weather.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cool Weather Lights Up Fishing

This good looking mirror was one of 21 carp
landed today in three hours of fishing.
The cool weather had the carp charged up
and feeding.
It's a pattern I  have seen many times in the dead of summer.  The weather is warm and suddenly we get a cold spell that usually comes with a northeast wind and rain.  Today's fall chill came without the rain, but temperatures stayed mostly in the cool sixties, and that was enough to just light up the fishing.
For the first time in months I was able to land over 20 carp in today's fabulous short session of a few hours. That drop in temperature got the fish super active.  I saw a lot of carp cruising around, some jumping and bubble trails all over the water's surface.  The fish were super aggressive on the take and were quick to hit right after the bait hit the water, a sure sign of active fish.  The hot baits today were maize on the hair rig and artificials fished alone on the hair. Both caught good numbers of fish and were equally effective.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Photo of the Day....A Morning Mirror

A gorgeous mirror comes ashore this morning. Morning fishing has been
very productive in the last week.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo of the Day....Catching in 90 Degree Heat

This chunky mirror is one of four carp landed in today's oppressive heat.
Yes, they still hit in hot weather!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Orange Pop-up Rules This Day

The orange pop-up artifical corn is circled
in red.  Orange was a hot color yesterday
and caught most of my fish. The pop-up
was used on the hair rig along with 2 kernels
of maize.
I have a fascination with color, and I am always experimenting with colored pop-ups. I'm talking about colored artificial corn that is used in combination with regular maize on the hair rig.  Research tells us that carp are attracted to warm colors like orange, pink, yellow and red. So, many of us add a colored artificial corn or two to our hair rigged offering to further enhance our chances of getting fussy carp to hit.
Most of the time I tend to use a white or a pink artificial corn simply because that has been what has worked consistently for me in the past. But, yesterday I experimented with adding an orange pop-up, and it worked great.  Of the five carp I caught, four of them went for the offering that had the orange artificial corn, and only one fish went for the rig that had the pink.
I realize you can't draw a lot of conclusions from one day's experience. But, here's the things I have concluded from using pop-ups for several years. The most effective colors can change through the seasons, and the most effective colors to use can also change in different waters.
So, finding that best color to use is often an adventure and an experiment. In my mind that best color to use is limited to three.... white, pink or orange. So, my advice is to try changing colors to find which one is the best on any given day.
Yesterday it was orange.