Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mirror Madness

I am "in a zone" right now and can do nothing wrong. In the last few days, I have had unbelievable fishing, especially fishing for mirror carp. I have been targeting the Blackstone River in MA and RI where the action has been terrific. The numbers of the last few days read like this: 1 fish over 25 lbs., 5 fish over 20 lbs. and 9 fish over 17 lbs. There have been lots of other smaller ones! At one point, I had 6 eighteen pound mirrors in a row before I got a smaller fish! My biggest was a mirror of 28 lbs. (see photo), the biggest mirror I have ever caught in 20 years of fishing the Blackstone River.

My key to success is what I have been preaching in previous posts. Prebait, fish the margins and use wild whiskey maize. I am also using an oatmeal based method ball that is packed around the sinker. That method ball is flavored with chili powder. The fish are hitting in the daytime and at night.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fish the Margins

I am having a banner year of carp fishing and I credit that to learning to fish the margins. In carp fishing lingo, that means fishing close to shore where the shoreline drops off. It doesn't matter whether I am fishing the Blackstone River or most of the carp ponds in the state, I am now catching most of my fish quite close to shore.

I was fishing the Blackstone River last night and I was simply using a flip cast to get my rig out about 15 feet in front of me. I landed several good sized mirrors to 18 lbs. That spot where the shoreline dropped off was where the fish were hanging out. A day before I did the same thing while fishing Scott's Pond in the morning and Roger Williams Park in the evening. That day I had 6 fish from 10-20 lbs. fishing very close to shore.

My tip here is try to avoid that long cast that often lands in dead water. Prebait the margins and then fish it close to shore. In addition, get some wild whiskey maize on that hair rig.....very hot stuff right now. Learning to fish the margins has been my ticket to some great success with big fish this year!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New "Unofficial" State Record for Jeff Allard

Last night, Jeff Allard, one of our RI CAG members unofficially broke the state record for carp at 33 lbs. 8 oz. It is an unofficial record because Jeff released the fish after weighing it and taking some photos. In order to qualify as an official state record, the fish must be weighed at a bait shop on an official certified scale and then submitted to the state for review. Since the fish was caught at night, it would not have been weighed until the next day, meaning almost certain death to to this huge fish which was probably filled with eggs. There was no question in Jeff's mind that he would release it. His words after catching the fish, " I can't keep this fish and kill it. It's not worth my name on a piece of paper. " So, being the true sportsman that he is, Jeff released it!

Jeff's catch will be listed as a new CAG (Carp Anglers Group) record since the CAG requires simply a weight and a witness (Nick Newton was fishing with Jeff).

Many of us in the RI CAG predicted the record would fall this year since our members have been landing some massive fish in the last year. It's great that Jeff was the one who landed it. It's a well deserved honor.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Fish Night

Tonight was a big fish night. My son, Jon and I were out in one of our favorite spots. Fellow RI CAG members, Jeff Allard and Nick Newton, were out in another spot. We were communicating by cell phone. I struck first with a decent 17 lb common. Next, Jeff landed a couple of good fish of 11 and 21 lbs. in his spot. My son, Jon, got the next fish at 20 lbs. Finally, Jeff hit the jackpot with the biggest carp and quite possibly the biggest freshwater fish ever caught in this state. I will follow up with a story when I get all the details. It was quite a night for RI CAG members.

Tastes are Changing

I went out this morning carp fishing. As usual, I was using Big Time Banana flavored maize from The Bait Stop. It had been my hot bait for the last month. Not today. I had a few taps and short runs and that was it. I blanked.
I went back to the same spot in the afternoon and used Wild Whiskey flavored maize from The Bait Stop. In one hour, I had four blistering runs and landed three good sized mirrors. The same pattern happened last year. In the first week of May the fish started really hitting Wild Whiskey maize and continued hitting it throughout the spring and into the summer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

100 th Carp of the New Season

Got my 100 th carp of the 2010 season this week. It was about a 10 lb. common. The majority of fish I have caught this year have been mirrors since I have targeted them. Things have perked up this week as I caught carp from six different waters in RI.

Cheap Chum and Bait

Here's how most of us veterans get our corn for prebaiting a spot. Go to any feed store like an Agways and purchase whole kernel corn by the fifty pound bag. You can even buy this stuff at Bass Pro where it is sold as deer corn. It costs about $10.
This corn is dry and hard. Here is how to prepare it. Place a good amount in a large pot. Fill the pot with water and let it sit overnight with the corn soaking. In the morning boil for exactly 35 minutes. Take it off the burner and let it sit for a while and the corn will really soak up the water.
Next, I like to package my corn in plastic containers or zip lock bags. I keep it in the fridge until I am ready to use it.
If you want to flavor your own corn, use this prepared bait. Place it in a jar and add your flavoring. Such flavors as banana extract, anise, vanilla, pineapple Skyy vodka (nip), whiskey and tequilla all work well. Let it sit for a day or two and it is ready to go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Corn....The Right Flavor???

I've always said that flavored corn is very effective to use. Only problem is that you have to be using the right flavor. Flavored corn can be a blessing or a curse. Pick the right flavor and you are in. Pick the wrong flavor and it won't get a lick.

So, what are the right choices. First off, these are my picks for fishing here in RI. What works here may not work in other parts of NE. In the early to mid springtime (up until the end of April), I like to go with fruity flavors. I used to fish a lot of "tutti-fruitti" but in recent years, my best producer is Big Time Banana from the Bait Stop. I also fooled around a lot with pineapple flavors this spring and that did work also, though not as good as the banana. By the time the warm weather arrives, banana loses its appeal. Starting in May I like to go with a couple of flavors. The alcohol based flavors from the Bait Stop such as Wild Whiskey and Carpquila are good producers. Last year I had exceptional luck on a homemade Pineapple Skyy Vodka mix (nip poured into a jar of boiled feed corn). Pineapple in general is a hot summer flavor as is Scopex. In past years, I liked Scopex Pescaviva sold by Wacker Baits. In the fall, the alcohol flavors continue to produce as do the pineapple flavors. Anise is also a good fall flavor.

This is just a general guide and nothing is set in stone when it comes to flavors. You may have to cahnge often to find the right flavor. I also seem to discover a new flavor every year.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jungle Fishing

It's been a lean month of carp fishing, but I think I finally have it figured out.

Take a walk around your favorite carp pond. Any place you find a tree in the water, look around because some carp are probably sitting right under the downed tree just sunning themselves. There are probably others moving around the tree below the surface. These days they are especially around structure close to shore. That includes blown down trees, bushes and dead branches in the water. They are not in the open spots. In order to catch them, I have been fishing especially close to this structure and very close to shore. It's like playing with fire. I sit very close to my rods and watch. At the first sign of a take, I pull since I don't want them to bolt off into structure. All hell breaks loose when I hook a fish near a blow down as it becomes a battle to keep them away from the snags. You win a few and you also lose a few in this game. That's jungle fishing!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Change in Strategy Leads to Hot Fishing

I have changed strategies greatly in the last few days, and it is paying off. I have been observing lots of carp this week very close to shore in flooded locations and near structure. I had to ask myself why I was casting way out in open water when I saw so many fish close to shore.
So, I am now concentrating my efforts on the margins and making short casts of only 6-15 feet. I am also being very quiet along the shore. I am taking a finesse approach using just maize on my rig with no method. The flavored maize that has been hot has been Big Time Banana and Creamy Pineapple from The Bait Stop. It is working like a charm as I had one of the hottest outings of the year, catching 9 decent sized carp in just one hour of fishing today.