Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still Worthwhile

I took a break from striper fishing today to get out and fish for carp. I hit three different spots in a four hour time frame and caught 2 commons. It was not hot and heavy fishing, but was typical for late season fishing. With water temps hovering around 40 degrees right now, the fish are not that active. I saw no jumps, no whirls, nothing moving around. However, the fish are still hitting if you take a cold water approach.
Here are the basics for this time of year. Go with small hooks (I like a #8) tied on a short hooklink. Go with small sinkers like about 1/2 ounce or less. Use sweet corn instead of maize and use 2 or 3 kernels on the hair. Pineapple is a good cold water flavor if you like to use flavored corn. Small doughballs are a good second choice in baits. If your are using a method ball, make it small. The fish are not voracious feeders at this time. I still like to prebait my spots, though I prebait with less bait. Target small ponds or places where they have been caught in big waters in the past at this time (experience is big here). Finally, lower your expectations. Expect to catch far less fish than the summertime, but still expect to catch some. Usually, the fish will continue hitting until the water temps drop down in the mid thirties or when the ice arrives.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ideal November Conditions Get Carp Feeding

If you had to pick an ideal late fall day for carp fishing, this was it. It poured last night but stayed warm, the temperature today was in the 60's and it was windy. Those warm temperatures sent the water temperatures up a tick, but it was just enough to get the carp in high gear.

I fished three different ponds today for about two hours apiece and caught fish everywhere I went. I came away with three commons and a mirror and lost a couple of more. In addition, I had lots of beeps and taps. And , I saw fish jumping and swirling even in the windy weather. Most of these fish that I caught were about ten pounds apiece. The hot bait today was pineapple flavored sweet corn (what else). Also, I had a hit on a doughball.

Remember that carp will continue to hit in the cold months. They are particularly active on these days when water temperatures are rising. In the past, I have taken them from open water here in RI every single month of the year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Water Temps Dropping; Fish Still Hitting

Got out today as I have been doing all week. I've noticed a steady drop in water temperatures due to those cold nights and NE winds we've had all week. The water temperature today was 47 degrees. It didn't stop the fish from hitting. Landed one good sized mirror of 12 lbs. along with two commons that were a bit smaller. Pineapple flavored sweet corn did the trick. I'm still baiting up a number of locations and those seem to be the spots that are producing. I'm not seeing any activity like fish jumping, bubble trails or mud clouds but the fish are still hitting.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

RI CAG Get Together Yields Mirrors

This morning we held a get together for RI CAG members. With the wind chill in the thirties, it was a day for diehards. Three of us, Nick, Paul and I , hit the shore of Scott's Pond in Lincoln. It was not hot and heavy action but we managed to land two very active mirrors that nearly ripped the rods off the banksticks. Paul got his fish on anise flavored maize and I got my mirror on pineapple flavored sweet corn. We also had a few other bangs. It does point out that the carp will continue to hit in some very cold water, and they can be caught right up until ice out.

The RI CAG group holds two formal fish-ins a year in which the public is invited to come and fish with us, and we also hold informal get togethers for CAG members. Membership in the RI CAG group is automatic when you sign up for membership in the Carp Anglers Group, our national group. Sign ups are online at If you are interested in carp fishing, consider joining our group. We are always looking for new members.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time for a Finesse Approach

It's that time of year when water temperatures are dropping and the carp are getting less active. They are now picky as to what they eat and are wary about taking any offerings.
Time for the finesse game of late fall. This is an approach that Kev Wasliewski, one of the area's best carp fishermen, showed me many years ago. Make everything smaller.... smaller hooks (size #8 works great), smaller sinkers (quarter ounce is good), shorter hook links. Also, go with finesse bait. In this case, sweet corn (flavored or unflavored) is deadly though small doughballs also work. If you use a method ball, make that smaller too.
Prebaiting is still one of the keys to success. So is finding locations where the carp bunch up. They often change locations in late fall.
The carp fishing game will continue until the ice arrives. It's often not hot and heavy at this time of year, but the fisherman who knows what he is doing will continue catching. To catch fish from now until the ice arrives, a finesse approach will be the best way to go.