Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Doldrums of September

I landed this mirror this morning.  It was my only 
fish today.  For the most part, September fishing
has been slow.

 I'm in the September slow down.  This seems to happen to my carp fishing every year.  The September negatives that contribute to the slow down are many. The water is warm and the fish are not on the fall feed yet. In addition, the pests are all over the place.  Sun turtles and snapping turtles are particularly active and irritating. Weed growth is at its maximum.  Also, this year the water levels are high due to excessive summer rains.  High water is always difficult to fish.

Still, I am still catching, though not at the same levels that I was getting back in the previous few months. I've had only one blank in September. Most of my outings have produced only one or two fish. For the most part, the carp have been small, under ten pounds. The best bait continues to be a combo bait of maize and one artificial corn on the hair rig. I haven't been using a method ball lately because it is a real turtle attractor.

I know better days are coming as October and November have proven to be big fish months in the past.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

High, High Water Makes Fishing Difficult


My chair is actually sitting in the water along 
this flooded bank.  The shoreline bushes and
vegetation that were on dry ground several
days ago is now underwater.  It makes for
difficult fishing conditions.

Those flooding rains we had this week dumped 6 to 9 inches of water onto RI. It has resulted in very high flooding waters all over the state. That has been problematic carp fishermen. River fishing is out and even pond and lake fishing is difficult.

I've gotten out three times since the rain and it has been a fish here and there along with a blank yesterday.  In the places I have fished, the water is into the woods as the water levels rose about 3 feet in the last three days. All the vegetation and bushes along the shore are underwater in some spots.

So, how do you fish in those conditions.  Since most of the fish will be poking around the underwater vegetation near shore, I like to fish in real close, usually a flip cast away.  I also try to get into a spot where there are not a lot of obstructions in the water. I want to have a good chance to land a fish if I hook one. This morning I fished such a spot and came away with a nice 10 lb. mirror.

The flooding rains and resulting high water has not shut down the carp fishing here in RI, but it has certainly made fishing more difficult.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Heat + Sun + Calm = No Good

 I fished in the tropical storm on Sunday, and caught good numbers of carp.  I also fished the next day in the wind and cloudiness and caught good numbers of carp. Then, I fished in the heat wave on Tuesday and Wednesday and did not even get a hit.

Experienced carpers know that carp turn on during those rainy, crappy and stormy periods.  That low pressure gives carp a sense of reckless abandon and the urge to feed.  I could see it on that tropical storm day as I saw some some big carp jumping through the waves and white caps and others were torpedoing out of the water. They were as charged up as the weather.

Over the years I have learned to fish nasty weather, and quite frankly, I like fishing in the storminess.  I have had some of my biggest days with some of my biggest fish on days of northeasters, tropical storms, downpours and hurricanes. And, I have had some of my poorest outings on tranquil days with sun and heat.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Tropical Storm Henri Delivers

A 25 lb. carp sits in the net in the water in
the pouring rain.  Tropical Storm Henri 
delivered good numbers of carp today.

 Yes, I did fish today in that wind and rain from Tropical Storm Henri. Like every other time in the past that I have fished in these stormy events, it was very good.  I fished in a location that I had been fishing on and off for the last three weeks.  In those three weeks, I have not gotten a carp over ten pounds.  Yet, I was barely in the spot a half hour when the alarm sounded, and I knew from the fight I was onto a good fish.  Turns out the fish weighed 25 lbs., really big by RI standards and the biggest fish I have landed in weeks. My day followed with 3 small ones and another decent fish that was just shy of 20 lbs. Indeed, the storm lit up the fishing. Again!

The conditions today were brutal.  At times the wind was probably gusting over 50 miles per hour and the trees in the distance were swaying and bending to the breaking point. The wind driven rain was coming down sideways in sheets.  As miserable as this was for the fisherman, the carp loved it.  I saw many big jumps in the white capped water, and I had many other bangs and hits (guessing after the method ball).

I was using a combo bait of maize and a white artificial pop-up corn along with a method ball packed around my sinker. I'm guessing a boilie would have also done the trick as the carp were aggressively on the feed in this charged up weather. 

Saturday, August 21, 2021


Number 500 on the year.

 I landed my 500th carp of the year today. It was a good looking mirror that weighed about 8 lbs.  In past years, I have reached that 500 mark right around September 1st, so in that respect this number is about average.

What sets this year apart from others for me is the number of big fish I have been able to land. Already, I've logged in 5 fish over 30 lbs. here in RI. That is the most fish over 30 I have ever landed in a calendar year in RI, and with several more months to go, there is a good chance I will get a couple more.  In addition, I've landed big numbers of carp from 25 to 29 lbs., sizes considered very large for RI.  I credit a lot of stormy weather for that big fish success. It's amazing how these big fish come to life in crappy weather.

I do plan to get out and fish in this tropical storm/hurricane forecast for tomorrow. My success on these types of days has been incredible in recent years.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Cool and rainy Keep it Hot!

Here's the biggest carp of the day on Thursday
in those monsoon rains. The fish went 20 lbs.

 It's been a cool and rainy summer so far and that has kept the fishing hot for me.  I had one of the better Julys this year as I landed well over 100 carp.  Not only did I have big numbers, but I also had big fish with many  carp over the 20 lb. mark.  The crappy weather along with the hot action just continued into August. I got a rare  RI August 30 lber. about a week ago along with several more fish in the twenties.  Smaller carp have been abundant.

I fished Thursday in that monsoon rain.  Once again, crappy weather and hot fishing.  There were times when I would cast out and even before I could position the rod on the alarm, the line was screaming off.  They would pick up the bait almost immediately.  I ended that rainy day with 10 carp with the biggest going 20 lbs.

Here's a rare 30 lb. common being released
from the weigh sling. Fish this size are rare in
the dead of summer.

All of my fish in the past month have fallen for the combo bait of maize and a white pop-up on the hair rig.  I'm also packing a method ball around my sinker which has also attracted turtles, catfish and suckers at time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

In the Palm of My Hand....


I landed this small common this morning.  For
me, it's been a lot of small ones lately.

They are not always big. I'm on what I'd call a "small streak".  I have gotten a number of small carp in the last week in a place where I was catching bigger fish several weeks ago.  That's the way it goes. Groups of fish move in, groups of fish move out. The bigger ones, which probably headed to deeper and cooler water, will be back eventually.

We are in a difficult period of carp fishing right now in southern New England.  There is extremely high and unfishable waters in many places, particularly in the rivers.  Many of the ponds are choking with weed brought on by the run-offs from all these big rainstorms making fishing difficult.  In addition, the vegetation growth along the shore is awful and I find that I am constantly trimming the shoreline vegetation with a clipper that I carry in my bag. Finally, the mosquitoes are out in force due to the rain and warm weather.

Still, the carp continue to hit.  A combo bait of maize and a white, artificial corn pop-up on the hair rig is my main bait these days.  I am also fishing this bait with a method ball packed around my sinker. Mornings and evenings have been the best times, just what you'd expect in the dead of summer.