Sunday, November 25, 2012

Carp Fishing Comes to a Grinding Halt

I've been out in the cold in the last four days trying for late season carp in many different locations.  I have not had a beep on the alarms, haven't seen any signs of fish, and have not seen another person out fishing.  Carp fishing  has come to a grinding halt here in RI.  So, what gives?  You may remember that last winter I was having decent luck, catching fish in areas that were partially iced over in January and February. Certainly the water was colder back then than it is now.
Here's the key. I believe it all has to do with whether water temperatures are rising or falling.  In recent days, the air  temperatures have been falling like a lead balloon.  That has led to rapidly falling water temperatures, a turn off to carp feeding and activity. The sudden cold is like a shock to their system.  Last winter, I had my best luck  on warm, sunny days.  Even though ice covered parts of the waters I was fishing, the shallow open areas heated up.  So, water temperatures were on the rise, causing the carp to become active enough to feed. I just hope we have a few more of those warm sunny days in the next few weeks or it will be an early end to the season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tie Game in Sweet Corn Shootout

In the last couple of days I did an experiment to see which kind of sweet corn was more effective at catching carp.  On one outfit, I went with the very inexpensive Stop and Shop Value sweet corn.  You can get a big can of this stuff for $1.29.  On the other outfit, I went with my favorite, pineapple flavored Pescaviva. You can get this from Wacker Baits at about $5.00 for a small can.  Clearly the Pescaviva is far more expensive. Both kinds of corn were hair rigged with two kernels on the hair. I used the same sinker, same hooklinks, same line.
Well, here are the results.  I landed 10 carp.  Five of the fish were caught on Value Sweet Corn and five fell for the Pescaviva.  Hmm, I'm quite surprised since I always have favored the Pescaviva in the past.  Remember, though, this is a small sampling and it is what happened on a couple of outings  in November.  I know carp can change their preferences in bait almost daily, and at different times of the year, they will prefer different baits or flavors of baits.  However, it was an eye opener for me that the inexpensive corn fared so well.  I plan to continue testing out both in the coming cold months.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This Time of Year.....A Bonus in Many Ways

I actually enjoy fishing in late fall and winter.  Yes, it's cold, but there are so many bonuses to going fishing at this time.  For one, the crowds are gone and you pretty much own the spots.  There are no more boats, canoes and kayaks to contend with.  The pests like turltes, bluegills  and horned pout are all dormant.  When the rod bounces you know it's a carp.  And, it's peaceful and serene sitting outside on the bank tending your rods on a late fall day.
And, let's not forget that the fish are a real bonus too.  They usually don't hit as well in the cold as they do in the warmer months, but they still DO hit.  I got out today late in the afternoon for a couple of hours.  It was cold, but a real nice day.  I landed 5 beautiful mirrors (see pic)  up to ten pounds, very good numbers for this time.  They were all caught on pineapple flavored Pescaviva with no method ball.  I was fishing my winter tactics as described a couple of posts back. From now until the ice comes, I will continue fishing just about every day. In my mind, all the fish I can catch will certainly be a bonus to a year that has been very good for me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beer Barrels

I had the right conditions today for a late fall day of carp fishing.  It's been warm for three days in a row, and it was rainy with temperatures dropping today.  That is the perfect set up for a big day in late fall. I was fishing winter tactics as described in my previous post.  My bait was pineapple flavored Pescaviva with a small method ball ahead of it.  I landed what could only be described as carp that looked like beer barrels. I got three of them.  These fish were so fat they could barely swim, and quite honestly, they were sluggish on the fight..  And, they had size to them as the three were in the 15-20 lb. range (see pic of 20 lber.) but measured  less than thirty inches. Yes, they are feeding up big time for winter.  Now, if I could only get one of these beer barrels that measures about 40 inches, I would have a monster of a fish.  Can you say 40 lbs.? Yikes, I do think it's out there in RI. Gotta think BIG!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Time for Winter Tactics

I'm now using my winter tactics on most outings even though the temperature today was a beautiful 65 degrees.  The water is definitely cooling and the nights are much longer signaling a change in tactics.  It has been working since I am picking up a few fish here and there like the mirror I landed today (see photo).
Here are some ideas on a winter approach:
1.  Go small....small hooks (I am using a Tiemco 2457 #8), small bait ( I am using only two kernels of corn on the hair, see photo), small hooklinks and the smallest sinker you can use to get the bait out to where you want to cast.  Carp tend to get lethargic in the wintertime and smaller is often better.
2.  If you use a method ball, go smaller.  Sometimes I don't even use it and make out just as well.
3.  Two baits that are very effective in the late fall and winter are small doughballs and sweet corn.  No need to worry about pests since they are pretty much dormant right now.
4.  On cold days I like to fish the warmest part of the day, say noon to three.  However, realize that carp will still hit on warm nights (check out Kevin Wasliewski's Dark Carping blog at ).
5.  I like to continue to prebait, but not at the same level as in the earlier months.
 6.  Focus on small spots like small ponds, canals and small rivers.  Carp tend to bunch up in the winter and small places are far easier to find them and far more manageable than big spots.
7.  Keep fishing until the ice comes.  It remains productive, but realize you will not catch the same numbers you were getting in the warmer months.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Carp Fishing Cools with the Weather

As I write this it is snowing outside and the temperature is in the thirties.  The last few days have only been in the low forties with nighttime temperatures dipping down in the twenties.  This sudden drop in temperatures and cold spell have really affected the carp fishing as it has slowed to a crawl.  I've gotten only 1 fish in the last two outings with no other hits.  There has also been no activity with no fish jumping and no bubble trails.  Rest assured, though, the season is far from over.  The weather forecast calls for temperatures to rebound next week into the fifties and sixties by day.  That should perk up the fishing.  At this time of year, a warm spell following cold weather usually lights up the fishing.  Hopefully, it will happen that way next week and I can get back on track.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November....Last Real Good Month

The season is winding down with about a month and a half of good carp fishing left here in RI.  November traditionally offers the last real good full month of carp fishing here in RI.  December is always a crap shoot.  Sometimes the snow and ice arrive early, shutting down carp fishing in most spots.  Sometimes the fishing lasts almost until Christmas like last year. Wintertime fishing can be somewhat productive, but the carp are bunched up and their metabolism slows at that time, making fishing difficult.
With so many saltwater fishermen staying home and idle due to Hurricane Sandy, why not head for freshwater and try carp fishing.  They are still hitting real well and they are in just about every body of water in RI.  I got out today and tried this morning for a couple of hours.  I was rewarded with a near 20 lb. common carp that fell for pineapple Pescaviva (sweet corn) fished on a hair rig ahead of an oatmeal method ball.  In the last week I have landed a good number of fish in the 15-21 lb. range, real decent for here in RI.  So, our good carp fishing continues and offers one of the best alternatives right now for catching large fish here in this state.