Monday, August 8, 2022

Double Header Chaos

Today's double header is secure
in the net which sits in the water.
Both fish were in the 14 to 15 lb. 

 It's probably the most chaotic moment in carp fishing.  One rod alarm sings off, you grab the rod and you are onto a fish.  Suddenly, the other alarm screams away, and you are quickly fighting two fish at the same time.  It's the double header in carp fishing, one of the most exciting and chaotic events you'll find in any kids of fishing..

I experienced the double header chaos today.  I was fishing a spot which had not produced in a while.  After an hour without as much as a twitch, one alarm suddenly screamed off.  I grabbed the rod and was onto a decent fish that was peeling off line at a frenzied pace. While trying to gain a little line on the fish, the other alarm suddenly sounded. I awkwardly tried to stick the rod with the fish on in between my legs while grabbing the runner with my hands.  Now, I was onto two fish at the same time and both were peeling off line. I've been down this road many times in the past.  Do a little reeling with one rod while the other is between my legs.  Then switch off and do the same with the other. Try to get at least one fish in the net as soon as possible.  I did just that and once one fish was in the net, I was free to fight the other.  Finally, I had both carp in the net.  These were decent size fish, with both in the mid teen range.

Today's double header was child's play compared to my most memorable double header I ever landed which happened many years ago on a stormy rain day.  After a much more memorable battle I had those two fish in the net. When I got a closer look, I could not believe my eyes. The smaller of the two weighed 31 lbs., while the larger one tipped the scales at 33 lbs. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

Productive in the Heat


I caught this chunky common this morning.  
Carp fishing has been consistently fair in this
hot weather.

It's like fishing in an oven with this heat, yet the carp are still hitting. I was out a few mornings this week and I caught fish every outing. It's not big numbers but I usually can get a fish or two in a couple of hours. I'd call it "consistently fair".

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am using just an artificial corn and a real piece of maize on the hair rig.  I'm not using a method ball because the pests (turtles, bluegills, horned pout) have been super active in this heat, and that method ball really attracts them.

My advice to anyone going out to fish for carp this weekend is to fish in the cooler times of the day like early morning, evening or even at night. Find a shady spot in the daytime because fishing in the sun can be downright dangerous in these extreme temperatures. And, drink plenty of water.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Carp Venues Facing Multiple Threats in RI

 Many of the carp fishing waters in RI are facing multiple threats right now. They are facing a perfect storm of very low water (drought conditions), very warm water and invasive weed. These three threats are so serious in places that I fear we will be seeing fish kills if the weather does not change fast. We need rain and we need cooler weather.

Here's a summary of the problems:

Here is a section of the Blackstone
Canal in Lincoln.  The water level
is down about 4 feet and almost dry 
in places.  In addition, milfoil, an
invasive weed is out of control in 
spots such as the section above.
1.  Extremely warm water-  My guess is that the water is in the mid 80 degree range in some places due to the heat wave we have been having.  That is way too warm for many freshwater fish although I think carp are more adaptable than most fish.

2. Drought conditions-  I was riding my bike along the Blackstone Canal today.  I have never seen the water so low there.  In places it is no more than inches deep across the whole canal. There is a threat of that place drying up completely in the next couple of weeks if it does not rain soon.  The Blackstone River is also at historic lows right now. Scotts Pond in Lincoln is completely dry in the back and water levels are down about 5 FEET!

3.  Invasive weed- It has completely taken over some places.  I saw a carp pond in Attleboro recently.  There was so much water chestnut there you could not even see the water.  The place looked like a golf course.  Milfoil weed
is doing the same thing in places like the Blackstone Canal. This weed is sucking the oxygen right out of the water. It has never been as bad as this year in places.

This is the back of Scotts Pond. That is sand in the
middle of the photo.  There should be 5 feet of water
in this location.  It is completely dry. Drought is
severely impacting many of the carp waters of this 
state right now.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Still Active in this Heat Wave


Here's a little tank that I caught this morning.  
Cooler times like mornings, evenings and after
dark are the best times to fish on these hot days.

I am still catching in this excessive heat that we are experiencing. I've changed my tactics a bit (see last post) and the times I am fishing, and I think that is making a difference.  Here are a few tips to fishing for carp in the doldrums of summer:

1. Fish the "cool" times- This is the time of year where cooler is better.  Early to mid mornings, evenings right before dark and even after dark. The worst time is late afternoon.

2.  Look for shady spots-  Carp will seek the comfort of shade on these hot days. Tossing your bait under a shady overhang might just get you a fish or two.

3. Go light on the bait- I have not used a method ball in the last couple of weeks just to avoid turtles.  I also like to use a combo of plastics and maize.  The turtles tend to lay off the plastics. By the way, a white artificial corn along with a kernel of maize on the hair rig has been hot in the last couple of weeks.

4.  Take whatever you can get- In the spring I was focusing on catching big fish.  Now, I will take any size.  In the past, the dead of summer has not been a time for big fish here in RI.  Far better big fish fishing in spring and fall.

5. Get in a comfy, shady spot, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Changing Tactics Delivers

This has been the hot producer of the
last several days. The white, artificial
pop-up corn is the key.  No method
ball is being used due to turtles.

I had been in a bit of a funk in the beginning of July.  Not many carp, lots of irritating pests, loaded with turtles. So, I decided to change tactics, something I often do when things are not going well. First off, I got rid of the method ball packed around my sinker.  That method ball was a turtle attractor, and I swear every turtle within a hundred yards of my bait made a b-line right to the method ball as soon as it hit the water.  Secondly, I changed colors on my pop-up artificial corn.  I had been using pink which was so hot earlier in the year, but lately it was not even getting a look.  I went back to using a white artificial corn along with a kernel of maize on the hair rig. Carp will often change their color preferences during the year, and white has produced for me in the past in the summer.  Finally, I'm off fishing boilies.  There was a period in the spring in which they were producing but lately they have not.

Those changes have led to some decent fishing in recent days.  I've landed a dozen carp in the last three days with at least two of them in the mid twenty pound range.  Not bad for the dead of summer.

Here's a twenty pounder being released today.  It hit the
bait pictured above.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Final Results of 2022 RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament

Our spring Big 3 Tournament has ended.  In this three months long tournament, RI CAG members enter their biggest fish for the months of April, May and June. We add up the weights and that becomes the total number of points.  CAG has donated engraved medals for the first, second and third place finishers.

Here are the final results of our top three winners and their entries for April, May and June:

1st place, gold medal, Brian Savage- 31/14 + 26/8 + 18/2 = 78/8

2nd place, silver medal, Tom Perron- 21/6 + 16/8 + 16/4 = 54/2

3rd place, Tony Carvalho- 13 +  19/4 + 14= 46/4

Note that our three winners are all very experienced carpers and have been very successful in our past tournaments.  Brian is one of new England's best big carp hunters.  He has won many of our tournaments in recent years.  Tom is our big mirror guy. He frequently catches some of the biggest mirrors in our state. Finally, Tony is a long time member and dedicated carper who has won several medals in past tournaments and always seems to be in the mix. Congrats to all these guys and all who entered.

Brian Savage with an 18 lb. 2 oz. mirror.  It
was the biggest fish entered in June.  Brian
was also the overall winner with 78 lbs, 4 oz.
for his three fish total.  It was an average of
over 26 lbs. a fish!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Another Big Fish on a Stormy Day

 It was my kind of carp fishing day.....torrential rain at times, wind, cooler weather. The stage was set for a big day as I have been down this road many times in the past. 

A 32 lb. monster on this rainy, stormy day.

June has not been a great month for me.  The big
carp of spring seemed to disappear in June.  Prior to today I landed only one fish that was exactly 20 lbs. in June. I got a good number of smaller ones, but only this lone 20.  I knew this cooling, rainy summer pattern after hot spell had gotten the big carp in a feeding mood in the past so I was hopeful my big carp "luck" would change.
Here was the bait that did it
today.....a kernel of maize 
and a large, pink artificial

After a lot of experimenting with boilies in the past month, I went back to my old standby today (maize and a pink artificial) with a method ball packed around the sinker.  I sat for two hours in the rain with not so much as a beep, and then it happened.  The alarm went off like a siren, I grabbed the rod and I was on.  I knew I had a big fish as it ran off maybe fifty yards of line, but stayed deep and slow on the fight, sure signs of a big one.

Once I got her into the net, I knew it was 30, but how much over 30 I was not sure.  Into the sack and onto the scale.....32 lbs. exactly.  It was one of my biggest summer fish that I had ever taken.

It would be the only fish on this day, but I came away with what I was looking for. Another memorable fish on a rainy, stormy, crappy day!