Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

 I want to wish all my loyal followers a Happy Thanksgiving.  

Here in RI we are fortunate to have some of the best carp fishing around.  It's a small state but we have that rare combination of lots of mirrors and lots of commons along with an abundance of places to fish. Good luck if you get out in the coming days and weeks to catch some end of the year carp.

Monday, November 22, 2021

What is it? Hint: Not a Common!


Take a look above at this "carpy" fish that I landed today.  At first glance, most fishermen would think it is a small common.  But, it has very tiny scales that extend all the way to the bottom of the belly.  It also has a mouth that is not under the head; rather it is across the middle. And, the big hint to solving this mystery fish is that it has no barbels under its chin as a common carp has. This fish is actually a wild hybrid goldfish.

These wild hybrid goldfish inhabit parts of the Blackstone River system.  I've caught others in the past.  Though they are usually quite small, I did get a 4 lb. "monster" years back.  They seem to be active in late fall, early winter and early spring all cold water periods.  They will hit the same baits as carp.  This one took a kernel of maize with an artificial fished on the hair rig.

Take a look at the head and mouth of this wild hybrid
goldfish.  It has a mouth that comes across the
middle of its head and it has no barbels like a carp.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Lot of Searching Pays Off


This mirror is one of 17 carp landed in the last
two days. Prior to that, fishing was slow.

I had been having only a fair November up until two days ago. I've fished a lot in November hitting many of the spots that had paid off in recent years according to my logs. Those places that were so good last year and the year before gave up only a fish here and a fish there.  So, I did what I normally do during times of marginal fishing.  I started looking elsewhere, trying out numerous places, and it has really paid off.  In two days of hot fishing (17 carp landed) I landed the equivalent what I caught on the other 18 days.

Carp fishing is really time consuming. You often have to turn over a lot of rocks to find what you are looking for. For that reason, a lot of fishermen get frustrated with it. Yes, it's a lot of work if you do it right. But, that hard work often pays off.

November fishing, traditionally, is a hit-or-miss deal.  It's a transition period.  The water is cooling rapidly, the fish are turning sluggish and the weather is all over the place. I find the month to be quite challenging to find any consistency.

All the fish I landed in the last couple of days fell for my combo bait of maize and a pale pink, pop-up, artificial corn all fished on the hair rig. I may switch to sweet corn this week which is a more effective choice of bait in cold weather.  With many of the pests disappearing, the sweet corn should stay on the hair.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Cold Nights Slow the Fishing

A carp landed recently swims off.
Carp fishing has been slow in the 
last week.

We have quickly moved into an early winter fishing mode.  Those nights below freezing last week put the chill in carp fishing in RI and slowed things greatly.  Here are some observations of the last week:

*The water has really cooled down.  I'm guessing it has dropped at least 10 to 15 degrees and that sudden drop has really slowed the fishing.

*I have seen little to no activity.  No jumps, no bubble trails, no fish cruising in close.

*The fish are sluggish on the fight.  The few I have caught are noticeably sluggish on the fight, a sure sign of cold water.

*The pests have disappeared.  Turtles, bluegills and horned pout have been non-existent in the last week.

*Big fish are not hitting.  All the fish I have taken in the last week have been under 12 lbs. Those big fish of October are just not hitting.

*The warmest parts of the day have been best.  Late afternoon and early evening into early night have been the best times.

*Smaller bodies of water have been best.  These are places that will heat up the most on a warm day.  Big bodies of water have not been productive for me. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Results of RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament (Sept. and Oct.)

 We are now 2/3 of the way through our fall Combo Tournament.  In this tournament, we measure our fish in inches

CAG member Laura Mitchell holds a big 
31 and 1/2 inch mirror carp that moved
her into 4th place.

and that that becomes the point total.  There are three categories- Common, Mirror, Bonus (catfish, horned pout or sucker).  All fish must be caught in RI and all fish must be released. The tournament ends Nov. 30. 

Here are the results as of Nov.1:

(Common + Mirror +  Bonus= Points)

1. Brian Savage- 33 + 37 + 19 1/2 = 89 1/2

2. Tom Perron- 34 + 31 + 18 = 83

3. Tony Carvalho- 29 +  0 + 12 = 41

4. Laura Mitchell- 0 +  31 1/2 + 0 =33 1/2

5. Manny Dias- 33 +0 + 0 =33

6. Jeff Henderson- 31 +0 + 0= 31

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Big Carp on the Fall Feed


Here's a good size carp landed today.  Big fish 
are on the fall feed right now!

Right on schedule.  It's mid October and the large carp are on the fall feed in anticipation of winter coming.  In the last week, I have caught a good number of carp in the 15 to 24 lb. range.  Other RI CAG members have been doing the same thing as reported by the large fish entered in our RI Fall Combo Tournament. I expect this good fishing for larger fish will continue in RI waters until the temperature really drops and ice starts to form.  That means you can expect a solid month left to this big fish fishing.

I have been going with my old favorite of maize and an artificial corn on the hair rig. Recently I have been favoring a pale pink pop up artificial. If there are turtles around I do not go with a method ball as the turtles have been bait stealing pests on these 70 degree days in October.  Remember, too, that this is the time of year in which night fishing is very productive.  These warmer nights (that we have been having lately) are quite pleasant compared to those 35 and 40 degree nights that are coming.

The first very large carp over 30 lbs. that I handed in RI was caught on Nov. 9 many years ago. That fish actually weighed 36 lbs. and was the unofficial state record back then. So, the potential is there to catch a real monster in the coming weeks.  Good luck if you get out and try.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

One of the Rarest Carp I Have Ever Caught


The albino mirror koi is in the net ready to take

I had a rare and unexpected treat today while carping.

I would identify this carp that I landed today as an albino mirror koi.  This fish had large white scales like a fully scaled mirror along with sprinkles of faded pink spots on its body.  It was both beautiful, and probably the rarest carp I have ever caught.

I have only landed 2 koi in the past so this is unusual for me.  I also landed this fish in a spot where I have never seen one. The fish hit a combo bait of maize and a white artificial pop-up corn.

I've often said that when carp fishing, you never know what you are going to catch. Proves it today!

Beautiful and one of the rarest carp I have ever caught!