Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice Out Strategies

The ice is leaving many of the ponds and lakes in the state and should all be gone by this weekend. Carp tend to begin hitting as soon as the ice leaves. To be successful at this time of year, I empl0y and early spring strategy.

Here are some strategies that should lead to early season success:
Location- Carp tend to bunch up in cold water. It is often hard to pinpoint those spots, and they are often found by putting in a lot of time and effort. However, some places tend to produce. Try to fish shallow water at the north end of a pond. Also, try places where brooks and streams enter. All these spots tend to produce best on sunny days with warming temperatures.
Baits- Simple here. I like to use either sweetcorn from the can or small doughballs. Go with two kernels of sweet corn on a small hair. I usually won't fish flavored maize until mid March. If you use method mix, go with a small ball.
Rigging- Think Finesse. Go with small hooks (I like a #8 at this time), small hairs, short hooklink, and small sinkers (quarter oz.). I also like to go light on the outfit and use ten pound test mono.
Prebaiting- Absolutely. You want to draw the fish back into your favorite swims. You also want to get them used to what you are using. If you are using doughballs, try to fish in places where ducks are fed bread.
If you are planning on fishing in RI in the next month, realize that you need a new, 2010 license after March 1. Trout stocked waters are off limits until after Opening Day. All other waters are ok to fish.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Let the Games Begin

It was almost 50 degrees today and the ponds in the mid section of the state have been losing their ice for almost a week now. However, I was still surprised when I got a call this morning from fellow RI CAG member Nick Newton telling me he was catching carp in one of our early season hotspots. That was all I needed to hear. I got my gear, jumped in my car and headed out. It surprised me that the pond we were fishing still had about a quarter of it covered in ice. Though I caught nothing, Nick was able to land 3 commons up to 12 lbs. (See photo of Nick at right). We were using sweet corn on the hair rig. He used no method.

To catch carp after ice out requires a cold water fishing strategy. Here's a few tips. Try to hit known hotspots that have been discovered in past years. Look for shallow spots at the northwest sections of ponds that may heat up faster. Try places where a brook enters a pond. As far as fishing, go small on the bait end. Sweet corn is hot at this time. If you use method, go with a small amount. Use small lengths of hooklinks and small hooks. Try to fish on warm days.

The 2010 carp fishing season has started here in RI!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Springfield Sportsmen's Show

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be doing my carp fishing seminar at the Springfield Sportsmen's Show on Sat., Feb. 20. The show is called "Secrets of New England Carp Fishing" and has been completely redone this year. It is a Power Point presentation that features lots of photos as well as video clips and is geared to beginners as well as seasoned carp fishermen. It deals with equipment, rigging, baits, spots to fish, CAG information, etc.
The Springfield Sportsmen's Show is held at the Big E in Springfield, MA. It features everything you want to know and see about hunting and fishing and is one of the biggest outdoor shows in the Northeast. The link to the show is below: