Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cold Weather Cools Off Carp Fishing

Last week's warm weather and great fishing is now a thing of the past.  The cold weather, big winds and freezing nights of the last two days have slowed down the carp fishing here in RI to a crawl.  I fished the last two days just about all day and ended up with just one small mirror carp.  I've seen no activity, no fish jumping and no bubble trails.  The carp are just laying low and not hitting.  This is not unusual for March fishing.  I've said many times before that March fishing is very inconsistent due to changeable weather.

Terrific Buy in Sweet Corn

My friend Nick put me onto a great buy in sweet corn that is really effective for carp.  Nick who runs a blog,  http://www.southernnewenglandoutdoors.blogspot.com/ , has been slamming the carp this week using Value sweet corn from Stop and Shop. This stuff is durable and larger than most other sweet corn.  You can buy a 29 oz can of it for just $1.25.  Terrific price!  And, it really works. I have fished with Nick and I have been using the expensive pineapple Pescaviva, and I can tell you he is far outfishing me with this plain sweet corn. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Change in Tactics Leads to BIG Mirrors

About a week ago I switched tactics.  First off, I switched locations I was fishing, leaving some good size commons behind to go after some good size mirrors.  I found a new hotspot, a previous unknown venue which held some real good size fish.  Secondly, I changed bait, opting to just go with my plastic pop-ups with one kernel of Pescaviva (see post on making pop-ups from plastic worms).  And, finally I changed my method mix.  I am still going with the basic oatmeal, cornmeal and bread, but I am now going with several handfuls of sweet feed (sold in feed stores) in the mix.  This method smells so good I'm even tempted to eat a handful.
Whether it was one or two tactics from above that worked or whether it was a combination of everything, I had a past five days to remember, landing over 30 good size mirrors that ran up into the twenties.  For sure, the warm weather helped, but I like to think my approach had something to do with my success.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PB's Falling; Big Fish Hitting Like Crazy

The carp fishing has been as hot as the weather in the past week.  It seems like every day, another RI CAG member nails another PB fish (personal best).  Within a three day period this past week, three of our members have landed PB commons of 20, 21, and 23 lbs., all real good sized fish here in RI.  I have also landed 5 commons over 20 lbs. in the last week along with a load of teen sized fish while fishing in the morning.  In addition, in the afternoon and evening I have been targeting mirrors in the last couple of days and have landed fifteen big mirrors from 10-18 lbs. (see pic).  The current string of warm days has charged up the carp and has gotten them in high gear.  With water temperatures close to spawning temps, the fish are active and feeding. If you are looking for a big fish, now is prime time to get it!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

100th Carp of the Year Landed on Other Guy's Rod

I landed my 100th carp for 2012, but it came on another guy's equipment.  I was out fishing today with my friend Nick.  He was getting fish; I was not.  Things slowed down so Nick decided it was time to leave in early afternoon.  He was up at his car bringing some stuff, but left his rods in the water.  Suddenly, his alarm went off.  So, I grabbed the rod and when Nick returned, I had a nice 14 lber. on the shore. Thanks, Nick, you saved my day.....I owe you one!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pop-ups From Plastic Worms!

I stumbled onto something very hot today.  I noticed a bunch of white plastic worms (intended for largemouths) in my basement.  I got the idea to cut some up into small pieces to use as pop-ups. I put them into a small container and added some pineapple flavor (from K-2 baits).  Yes, they do float.  I then tried them fishing and the results were terrific.  I used one of these small pop-ups with a kernel of sweet corn on the hair rig.  Rather than causing the bait to float, the piece of plastic seemed to add a neutral buoyancy to the offering, something that carp find very attractive in bait.  Using this set up I landed 4 good size carp today up to 21 lbs.  On my other outfit, I had just the usual 2 pieces of sweet corn.  That outfit yielded only 1 fish.  Many fishermen like to add these pop-ups to their bait.  Pop-ups usually come in the form of small boilies or plastic imitation corn.  Both are quite expensive.  The cut up worms are a far cheaper and equally effective way to go.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First HOGS of the Year Landed

The large fish are now biting.  I'm catching them, and others are also reporting catching them in various parts of the state.  Credit the big warm up that we are having this past week for getting the big fish moving into the shallows and feeding.  Prior to this week I had been catching good numbers of carp in moving water.  These were mostly small fish under twelve pounds.  However, in the last week, I've gotten about a half dozen fish that went between 15 and 26 lbs.  At the right is my biggest for the week at 26 lbs.  It had a huge gut on it but was a fairly short fish.  All my fish this week have been caught on pineapple flavored Pescaviva (sweet corn) fished ahead of a method ball.  The best fishing time of the day for me has been the warmest part, around mid day. I've also been trying at night and have taken a couple of fish, another sign that fishing is heating up.
With warm weather forecast right into next week, expect the good carp fishing to continue.  Hey, there's a ton of guys out there twiddling their thumbs waiting for Opening Day of trout season to arrive.  Why not give carp fishing a try?  You can legally fish right now in any state waters that are not stocked with trout.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March: A Very Inconsistent Month

In all my years of carp fishing, I have never had a real good March.  Year after year, March has fished very inconsistently.  Good one day, lousy the next.  I was on a bit of a good run this week getting 2-4 fish an outing.  Then, I fished today, a beautiful day weather wise.  I tried spot after spot, and finally I got a 3 lb. common right before dark.  That was my only hit. Not good. This is the way it goes in March. Carp tend to be moody in March and their feeding is on and off.  I think the weather has a lot to do with all this since March's weather is also inconsistent.  Real warm one day, cold and snowing the next. Remember, too, the nights are still quite cold with most nights getting down to freezing, another factor that slows the carp's activity level. So, I don't hold out much hope that this March will fish any differently than all the rest.  Inconsistent is the word for March carp fishing here in RI.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fish the Shallows

This is the first week since early winter that I have been able to catch a carp in a pond or lake here in RI.  Prior to this week, I have been catching in running water.....in rivers, streams and canals.  This past week I targeted a lot of my early spring spots in small ponds that have shallow water that heats up fast on a sunny day.  If you can find some structure in these places like fallen trees, brooks flowing in, sandbars and islands, even better.  The carp in these shallow ponds got active very fast with the warming temperatures which we had this past week.  With temperatures expected to be in the 60's most of next week, look for the pond fishing to really light up.
Best baits for early season action would be sweet corn and doughballs.  Use them directly on the hook or hair rigged.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From Ice to Open Water to Hot Fishing

I went to one of my favorite early season spots this morning and was surprised to find the entire area covered in ice from last nights cold temperatures.  I broke some of it close to shore and it was about half an inch thick.  I left, went home and did a few errands and later went back in mid afternoon and found the ice completely gone so I started fishing.  I was soon joined by fellow RI CAGer Nick and we baited up with sweet corn and put out the lines and waited.  Nick got the first and I believe the second fish.  But, soon they moved into my spot and I started getting them.  And, the hits kept coming and coming as the fishing got hotter as the water warmed in the afternoon sun.  At the end of a afternoon, Nick and I landed a total of 10 carp, mostly mirrors.  Those are fantastic numbers for this time of year. It was a perfect example of how the fish tend to hit at the warmest part of the day in the early season.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Daiwa Euro Products Now in US

Daiwa is the biggest name in carp fishing over in Europe, but many of their products have never appeared in the US until recently. Now, online carp tackle shops like Wacker Baits and Big Carp Tackle are carrying some of carp fishing's top products made by Daiwa. Many of these products are also being sold online at Bass Pro Shops.  For instance, if you are looking for a low cost, quality rod, consider Daiwa's Mad Dragon Series (top).  These 12 foot rods sell for about 60 bucks and the tackle shops can't keep them on their shelves as fishermen race to buy them whenever these stores have them.  Many of Daiwa's high end rods are also being now sold in the US. Another hot item from Daiwa is their Windcast Z (left) reels.  These freespool reels (freespool crank on spool) are some of the most popular big pit reels in the world and are serious tools for big carp hunters and long cast fishermen.  For those on a budget, consider Daiwa's Regal Plus Bite 'n' Run reels (right) that retail for about $65.  Some of our RI CAG members have these and report very good luck with them. This is just a short list of Daiwa products available in the US.  For more products check out the online stores mentioned above.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What is a Dropback?

I got out carp fishing this evening and landed 4 mirrors.  Strange thing is two of these fish were hits that were dropbacks.  So, what is a dropback?  This is simply when the line suddenly turns slack and comes in.  When that happens, the fish is actually swimming toward you with the bait and hook in its mouth..  If I get a dropback, I usually pick up the rod and reel in the slack.  If it keeps coming toward me, I usually just pull and hook the fish.  However, sometimes the dropback just comes back a foot or two and the fish drops the offering.  In that case, I reel in the slack and reset the rod and reel back on the alarm hoping the carp will return.  Dropbacks are fairly common occurrences in carp fishing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Look to the Blog

I have added what  I hope to be a new and improved look to my carp fishing blog.  Blogger has also upgraded a lot of the setting and design choices.  I like it.  The blog seems to have a cleaner and more refreshing look to it and I have upgraded the pictures and captions which are now located on the right side.  While the look may change the content will remain the same.  I will continue to bring you the latest in carp fishing in RI, regional info, equipment info, and news from the RI Carp Anglers Group. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you like the changes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

New License Needed BUT Not Available!

The freshwater fishing rules state that you need a new license on March 1 to fish non trout stocked waters.  But,  you can't purchase one.  That's right....the state doesn't have them.  I tried getting one online today.....the website wouldn't let it go through.  I tried Benny's and Walmart....no good.  They claim the state hasn't sent them out yet and they have tried getting them. 
Is anyone surprised? Maybe no one knows at the DEM even knows that you need a new license to fish non trout waters after March 1. So, I called DEM enforcement and asked them what I should do if I want  to fish this weekend.  At least they knew a new license was needed, but they acknowledged there was a new license problem.  They didn't know what else to tell me.  The DEM officer I spoke to finally suggested that if I was checked I should tell the DEM officer what is going on, show my old license and hope for the best. Huh?

Follow-up to Story:  After numerous attempts at the website with different credit cards, I finally got lucky and it went through.  Good luck if you try....it's an adventure!  License website: https://www.ri.gov/DEM/fishinglicense/