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!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Invasive Weed a Growing Problem


The entire back end of this pond is
covered in milfoil weed.  Just a few
years ago there was none in this 

Many of the carp waters of RI are plagued by invasive weed.  This is not a new problem, but it has gotten really bad this year.  Many of these waters are being choked by this weed, and it makes fishing in a lot of good places near impossible during the summer and early fall.

MILFOIL- This weed is particularly bad in the Blackstone River system in RI and MA.  Any waters that come off the Blackstone have big amounts of it, and it is spreading rapidly. Some places are unfishable because of it.  This is a slimy green weed that has these long root-like vines coming off it. The green slime clings to your line, and you'll be picking at it forever if you have a fish that has run through it. The roots will grab onto your line like clinging vines and can get so bad that you have to break off.

WATER CHESTNUT- This is some of the nastiest stuff I have even seen.  It is widespread in the Ten Mile River system that runs from MA through RI.  It originates from a seed that is black with sharp spikes on it.  The spikes cling to the bottom and a vine-like weed grows.  These vines and be 7,8 and even 9 feet long.  The end of the vines develop leaves which cover the surface.  It is a rapidly growing weed.  I have seen some ponds that have this so bad you can't even see the water.  It looks like you are looking out on a golf course. In one particularly lake, I saw the DEM with a fleet of kayaks and canoes out onto the lake pulling it up last year.  This year it came back as bad as ever. Many of the waters that it's affecting are  unfishable.

These are the invasive week I know about.  I'm sure there are more.  We will have this stuff around until late fall and early winter when the cold water tends to destroy some of it.

You have to really look, but there is a carp in this photo.
Getting a carp to the shore through the milfoil weed
can be a big problem as the weed clings to anything
it comes in contact with like this fish and my line.

Friday, June 17, 2022

4th Place Finish- National CAG Spring Big 4

 It was quite a tournament for me.  I just finished up fishing in the  the national CAG Big 4 tournament.  The tournament started back in March and has been running for three months.  It featured over 60 of the best carp fishermen from all over the US.  You could fish anywhere and catches had to be weighed on your own scales and photo proof had to accompany an entry.  You could enter as many carp as you wanted but only your top 4 fish (by weight ) would count.

I took an unusual approach this year.  In other years I would hit some of the big carp venues in the tri-state areas of MA, RI and CT.  But, with high gas prices and Covid still around, I decided to only fish here in RI. I knew a couple of big fish venues that just might work out and I pounded those spots. The results were astounding.  I entered 4 potential STATE RECORDS.  Since these fish were all released in good shape, none will qualify as official state records (here in RI you must bring the fish to an official weigh station which would result in killing the fish). My four biggest carp weighed 32 lbs., 8 oz., 34 lbs., 35 lbs., 4 oz and 36 lbs., 8 oz.  My grand total was 138 lbs., 4 oz., good enough for 4th place overall and the highest total of anyone in New England. It was also my best total in doing these tournaments for the last ten years. By the way, all those fish were weighed on my certified Reuben-Heaton scale so those weights are dead accurate.

For my fourth place finish I will receive a $75 gift certificate to Big Carp Tackle. I'm sure I can find plenty to spend it on!

Here is one of 4 potential state records that I entered in
the CAG National Big 4 Tournament.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

May Results for RI CAG Big 3 Tournament

 It looks like it is a three man race for our RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament, and the standings have not changed since

Tom Perron entered a chunky
16 lb., 8 oz mirror for May.

April.  For May we had three entries.  Brian Savage checked in with a 26 lb., 8 oz. common.  Tom Perron entered a big mirror that went 16 lbs., 8 oz. and Tony Carvalho landed a common that weighed 19 lbs., 4 oz. The April and May entries are in the chart below.  We have one more month to go on this tournament.  We will add up the entries for April, May and June and that should give us the winners!

1. Brian Savage- 31/14 + 26/8= 60/6 points

2. Tom Perron- 21/6 + 16/8 = 37/14 points

3. Tony Carvalho- 13 + 19/4 = 32/4 points

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Big Baits Effective Now!

Here is a "big bait" that
I used today to catch
the mid twenty pound
carp at the right. The
boilie is a homeade
15mm strawberry boilie.

We are in the post spawn period right now.  This is a time when big carp are
really feeding after doing little feeding in the spawn.  Last year at this time I switched tactics and went to larger baits which seemed to catch far more carp and bigger carp than the smaller baits. I'm doing that again this year and it is working, especially with carp over 20 lbs. Here are a few "big bait" ideas:

1. Boilie/ maize combo- I used a homemade strawberry boilie today along with a kernel of maize to nail a mid-twenty pound carp.  Boilies were really hot last year at this time. I landed several thirties last year at this time on boilies.  I will use 12, 15 and even 20 mm size boilies. Fruity flavors and coconut flavors are good.

2.  Snowman set up-  Many big fish sharpies will opt for two 12 mm boilies on a hair rig which is called a snowman rig.  Good idea to have two different colors and two different flavors. I have a friend who landed several twenties this week on a snowman rig.

3. Two quads- I have been writing a lot  about using Mainline Quads.  I have used two of them (different colors) to catch some decent size carp in the last week. A lot of buoyancy with the two quads.

Note that boilies can be purchased at online stores such as Big Carp Tackle.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Photo of the Day..."On the Quad"

Here is a twenty pounder that I landed 
yesterday.  The hot bait was a combo bait
of a chartreuse quad with a kernel of maize
on the hair rig. For more about quads,
check out the previous post.