Wednesday, December 25, 2013

RI CAG End of the Year HIghlight Video, 2013

Check out These Free Online Magazines

Looking for some great tips and ideas for carp fishing?  Check out these free online publications.
North American Carp Angler-  This is the latest online magazine from the Carp Anglers Group.  You can access this magazine by going to the homepage of the CAG at
Just scroll down about halfway and you will see the magazine cover and just click.  You do not have to be a member to see the magazine.
US Carp Pro- This is one of my favorite magazines.  If you go to the US Carp Pro site at  and register (free) you will be e-mailed the latest version of the magazine.  You can also access past magazines from the US Carp Pro site.  The latest issue of this magazines have some interesting reads, many of which are directed to fly fishermen.  Patterns of flies, fly fishing from a boat, and dropping and dragging techniques are just some of the fly fishing features. There are also a number of articles for traditional carp fishermen that feature baiting ideas and rigging ideas.  However, I was particularly impressed with the editorial titled "Culture Shock".  It talks about the evolving carp scene here in the US and how their popularity as a gamefish has been surging in recent years, even though they are not treated with respect in some places (RI DEM.....this would be a good read for you guys). Following this article was an advertisement for one of the latest books on carp fishing called "Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp".  Hmm, can't get more mainstream than that. Wouldn't it be great if some of these well respected and conservation minded fly fishing groups like Trout Unlimited here in RI would jump on the carp fishing bandwagon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Can't Beat this Deal on Reels

Just noticed on an Okuma Baitrunner, an Avenger ABF-50, selling for the unheard of price of $37 (and that includes free shipping!).  That is an incredible buy for a quality baitrunner reel for carp fishing.  This is the reel I am using about 80% of the time I am carp fishing. For me this reel has been durable and reliable and has landed some massive fish over 30 lbs.  I have one that I have been using for many years with no problems. If you want to get into carp fishing or are an experienced carper, you know the baitrunner reel is a must, probably the most important piece of equipment you can purchase for carp fishing.
Here is the link on Amazon:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Think "Carp Care"

Carp nets are large nets that feature
fish friendly, soft netting.
If you read any online carp fishing publications, you will see that the topic of carp care is front and center.  We can all do more to ensure that carp are treated in a safe and harmless way before releasing.  Essential to carp care are a few pieces of equipment, namely a fish friendly net, an unhooking mat and a weigh sling.
Nets- Carp nets differ from bass nets in that they have a fish friendly mesh that does not remove or do harm to a carp's scales.  These nets are soft and not abrasive like a nylon bass net. Carp nets are not cheap.  They start at about $70-80 at online carp stores. Check out some of these nets at
This carp was weighed with the
weigh sling and then brought
to the water's edge with
the sling for release.
Unhooking Mats- It can be harmful to a fish if let it flop around on a hard surface such as a rocky shoreline after landing it.  Many of us keep the fish in the net in the water and unhook it there and release it.  However, in some spots you just have to land it.  Once in the net, the fish and net should be moved to an unhooking mat which is usually some sort of soft, foamy material where the fish is placed and the hook removed.  These can be purchased for as low as $10. It is a valuable piece of equipment if you carp fish. Check out the mats at Big Carp Tackle.
Weigh Slings-  These are sacks made of durable but carp friendly material in which a carp is placed for weighing.  The sack usually has a rope or string onto which you hook your scale for weighing the fish.  Note that you should NEVER stick a scale hook in the gill or mouth of a carp because it will most likely cut the carp's sensitive gills and kill it.  By the way, you should also NEVER stick your fingers under its gill plate to lift it up.  Once again, this will harm the gills. Inexpensive weigh slings sell for $15-20.  Check these out at Big Carp Tackle.
When it comes to carp care, the Europeans are masters at this, and much of these carp care techniques originated in Europe where they have the greatest of respect for this fish. We have a long way to go here in the US and many newcomers often have no idea about how to practice carp care for a fish they intend to release.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

End of the Line....for Now

All done for now as snow and ice have
shut down the carp fishing in ponds and
lakes in RI.
The bitter cold weather of the last few days has stuck a dagger in the heart of carp fishing in ponds and lakes here in RI.  I went out checking a few small spots in northern RI today and all are frozen solid.  Some of the bigger lakes have not frozen yet, and of course, the moving water in the rivers is not frozen but extremely cold.  From a practical sense, though, the carp fishing is done for now.  However, we just might get a warm spell later in the month that could open things up and get it going again.
I was at one of my spots today.  It was completely frozen with about an inch of clear ice.  The sun was hitting the place just right and low and behold, there was about 50-60 carp bunched up and moving slowly under the ice.  Ah, what a tease!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Catching in the Cold, Ice and Snow

Today's first fish
was a good looking mirror.
The bank was covered
with snow.
This is winter carp fishing.  Yes, I fished the last two days and did very well considering the conditions which had everything from frozen banks to skim ice to snow covered shorelines.  But, despite the wintry conditions, I managed to land 6 mirrors and a good size common.  All were taken on Pescaviva sweet corn with no method mix.
Today's second fish was a brute that battled me
 under and on top of the skim ice before I finally landed it.
Today was especially wintry.  I got to the spot as the snow was coming down and the ground was covered and the temperature was hovering around 32 degrees.  The place I was fishing was covered with skim ice and a slushy surface from the morning snow.  Still, I had a small opening to fish way out which was ice free.  I had several bangs on the rod and decided to give it a "lucky pull" and sure enough, I hooked a decent fish.  I pulled the fish through the open water but there was skim ice between me and where I hooked the fish.  Here's where it gets wild.  I am now fighting the fish under the ice as the fish is pulling drag and my line is cutting though the slushy surface.  About ten yards from the bank, the fish decides to do battle on the surface.  It thrashed around sending pieces of ice flying as it looked like an icebreaker plowing though the Bering Sea.  Finally, I got it close to shore, pushed my net through the slush ice and netted my prize.
As most of you know, I love this type of weather.  In my mind, the last two days were just great days for carp fishing!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hitting in a FOOT of Water!

One thing I love about this carp fishing is that it is a continuing learning experience.  Take today, for example.  I was having a frustrating day.  I had fished a couple of spots with no success at all.  In those spots, I was casting way out to places I normally catch them at this time.  I moved to the last location of the day and was having no luck there either fishing way out.  I was about to leave when I noticed the slightest movement in the water very close to shore.  It was maybe a foot deep in a lot of muck and leaves.  Was that a carp?  I decided to try this location.  Well, I hit the jackpot, landing 5 mirrors in a short period of time (see pics of two of them at right and left).  There was not one fish but a whole bunch of them just hanging around this very shallow water. And, they were active tearing off with my sweet corn on the take.  Even the thrashing fish that I had on did not frighten the others which usually happens in shallow water. 
The other unique thing about this outing was that I landed all these fish right near and at dark, a time that is usually not good in December.  So, today's outing did not follow the December norm, but we all know that carp fishing is a lot of experimentation, and today's change in tactics really worked out for me.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fishing Heats up with the Weather

It's that time of the year.  When the weather warms, the carp fishing seems to warm up also. Today's beautiful weather wiped out any ice that remained on the places I was fishing.  Shallow spots can warm up quickly on a day like today and that seems to get the carp more active.  They were hitting today as I landed two mirrors and a common on hair rigged sweet corn. No, it was not setting the world on fire, but any carp I can catch in December is really a bonus so I was quite happy with three fish (see pics on right and left side of two of today's fish). 
Check out the weather for the next few days.  With above average temps coming, it looks like  favorable conditions for carp action here in RI.  They should be hitting.


Monday, December 2, 2013

The Winter "Bunch Up"

This good size mirror was landed today in one of the author's
favorite winter "bunch up" spots.  Carp will bunch up in tight
schools in the wintertime.
Here's a big secret about winter carp fishing.  Carp tend to bunch up in large groups in the wintertime in certain places. If you find these bunched up fish and the spots where they do this, you will catch them, even on the coldest of winter days. During the warm months you might find carp in various places along a pond or river.  Yet, in the winter, they will leave their warm weather spots and get together in large groups.  Just to give you an example of how this works, I was checking out a location last week.  It was a sunny day and I could see into the shallow, clear water in this venue.  I moved to this one location and spotted a mass of 60-75 carp just slowly moving around in a tight knit oval that was about the size of a kitchen table.  I suspect every carp in this body of water was in this one tight spot.  I went back later to this location with my fishing stuff and landed three mirrors.  Now, you'd think I would have killed them, but when you hook a fish in these tight bunches, it tends to spook the school. The big challenge for winter carp fishermen here in RI is to find these winter spots that hold big numbers of fish.  It's time consuming challenge, but when you find these spots, you've got some very potent and productive winter locations to fish.

Friday, November 29, 2013

600th Carp of the Year Falls on Cold Day

I landed my 600th carp of the year today on this cold day.  The fish, a mirror of about 10 lbs. hit hair rigged pineapple flavored Pescaviva (sweet corn).  This fish was part of a three fish outing.  I had two other mirrors.  They were hitting in a place that was partially covered with ice, but I was able to fish in an open spot. The best fishing occurred from 1:00 to 3:00, the warmest part of this cold day.  That time period is prime time to fish in the next month. Yes, they will continue hitting until the ice puts an end to the season.  In most years I am able to continue catching carp until mid December, but two years ago, I was able to catch them all winter long in open water.
This good looking mirror was my 600th carp of 2013.

FANTASTIC Deal on Camera

I've got to pass on info on a fantastic deal on a camera.  Most of the pictures you see on this blog were taken with a high end pocket, point and shoot camera, a Canon 2200 Powershot.  Well, on this Black Friday, the Canon store has a refurbished Powershot 2300, an upgraded model, on sale for $44.99.  That also includes a card and a case, and even includes free shipping!  That price is unheard of for a top quality camera. This camera is a 16 megapixel camera that has a zoom and can also take HD video.  It also has that all imprortant variable self timer that will let you get into a picture holding a fish with time to spare.  Don't let "refurbished" scare you.  That is all I buy.  These cameras were thoroughly reconditioned and carry the same guarantee as a new one.  If you are interested, the link is below:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Kind of Carpin' Weather

This is the first of three commons landed
today in the wind and rain.
I fished just about all day today in the wind and rain, and it was productive.  I love fishing in this kind of weather. It seems to put a charge in the carp, and I have had some of my best fishing days ever on some of the nastiest days imaginable. Hey, compared to last year when I fished in Hurricane Sandy today was a piece of cake.
I landed three commons today, all around ten pounds and had another fish on,  They were all taken on sweet corn fished ahead of a method ball.  The fish were active as I saw several fish jump, and I had a number of taps on my bait in this mild weather.  Just yesterday many of the places I fish were iced over, but all the ice disappeared today in the sixty degree temperatures.  With another cold spell on the way, it looks like the ice might return to these spots and shut the fishing down once again. The roller coaster ride continues.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Not Your Typical November

This is one of three decent commons caught on
this cold day using sweet corn.
I went out this week on Wednesday morning to one of my productive "small" late season carp spots.  When I got there I was shocked to see the place completely frozen over with a thin coating of ice.  This has never happened in recent memory in this location at this time of year.  But, this is not your typical November.
The weather along with the fishing has been on a roller coaster ride this November. Overall, the weather has been colder than normal, and I believe that has led to one of the most inconsistent Novembers I have ever fished.  I have been out every day in the last 6 days.  I blanked three of the days and caught fish the other three days.  Today, I went out with little expectations of catching anything on this cold day.  Besides, I had blanked on the last two outings.  Well, it turned out to be a decent outing as I landed three commons, all around 10 lbs. I got them all on Pecaviva sweet corn fished ahead of a method ball.  All of the fish also came in the early afternoon sun when things had warmed up a bit.
So, if you can put up with the cold, the inconsistencies, and the blanks, you may just luck into a decent day once in a while.  That's carp fishing this November, 2013.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Persistence Pays Off

Most fishermen would hang it up at this time of year.  Carp fishing is so inconsistent in late fall that it seems like there are just as many blanks as there are productive days. But, persistence can pay off.  I had been having a miserable two days of trying to find any fish.  I went without as much as a hit in those two days in some good spots.  The weather was just right but the carp were not in the mood.  Today everything was wrong.  It was cold, very windy and very sunny.  Yet, the fish were hitting.  I landed three commons and a mirror and all the fish were decent from 10-13 lbs. (see one of them at left). They all were taken on pineapple flavored Pescaviva, a form of durable sweet corn. By the way, Pescaviva is no longer sold.  I had been saving a can of it for the "tough times".
I even saw a few fish jumping today so they were active.  It all goes to show you just have to get out and try it regardless of the weather. So long as there is open water, I plan to continue fishing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Iced Over in the Morning; Productive in the Afternoon Warmth

Today was an interesting day.  I checked out a few spots in the morning, and to my surprise, the place I wanted to fish was completely iced over.  It was skim ice, but nevertheless, the place was covered.  So, I went home, got a few things done, and went back later in the day.  When I went back in the afternoon after the temperatures had warmed considerably, the ice was gone and the fish were active.  It was typical about what can happen when air temperatures and water temperatures are on the rise in late fall and early winter.  I landed 4 mirrors and had several more hits, a real good day at this time of year. Check out the pics of three of the four fish landed today. The key here was that I was fishing the warmest part of the day from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  From now until the end (late Dec.), that will be the best time of the day to fish, especially after a cold night. The other key today was that I was catching on sweet corn with no method ball.  From now until the end, sweet corn will be the most effective bait to use. I was also fishing a spot that is a good producer at this time of year.  Carp tend to bunch up in the cold and it is a matter of finding those winter spots where big numbers of fish bunch up.  It's a matter of putting in your time in order to find those productive spots.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Catching in the Freezing Cold

When I left the house this afternoon I was dressed as if I was going ice fishing.  With the temperature hovering around freezing, I decided to give it an hour or so at a local pond that had produced well in  the past in late fall/early winter.  With a wind blasting in my face, the wind chills were in the 20's, yet there was one carp interested in hitting.  Nothing sluggish about this guy as it tore off on a screaming run on the take.  The hard fighting carp turned out to be a 7 lb. mirror (see photo).  It was not a headliner by any means, but I was glad to catch at least one fish on this brutally cold day.

Here's a few tips for cold weather fishing at this time of year:
*Go with sweet corn on the hair rig.  Very effective bait at this time.
*Go small....small hook (#8), small sinker, small hair, short hooklink.
*Fish the warmest part of the day.  That time from 2:00 to 4:00 PM is a good time.
*Prebait if you can.  Yes, it still works.
*Look around for places that produce in the cold.  Not all spots are good.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"New" Guys Catching on Cold Morning

Ask some of our new guys, and they'll tell you the carp are still hitting.  I got out this morning with our newest RI CAG member, Todd, along with his friend Jimmy.  The air temperature was in the thirties and there was ice on my car when I went out in the yard.  Still, the carp were hitting.  The new guys ended up with two mirrors and a common, not bad for this time of year.  They were using lots different baits....sweet corn, maize and chick peas, all fished ahead of a method ball. Put in your time, even in the cold, and you will be rewarded.  Nice job, guys!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Disappointing Week

It has not been a good week of carp fishing.  I have been out just about every day in the last week, I have fished at least 6 different spots, and I have landed only three fish.
Novembers are usually not this bad.  In the past I have been able to average about 50 carp in the month of November. This November has been colder than normal and I attribute the cold weather, especially the cold nights, for the dismal start.  However, I also know that November can be streaky.  In other years, I have had some hot periods where I might catch 15 or 20 fish in a few days.  Let's not forget also that I landed the biggest freshwater fish ever caught in RI (36 lb. common carp) two years ago on November 10.  So, yes it can get very good in November.
If you look at the forecast for the next week, it is not good.  Temperatures next week will be in the 30's and low 40's for the most part by day and in the low 20's at night. So, looks like the tough fishing will continue until and extended warm period lights things up.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Nice fish, but it was sluggish on the take
and sluggish on the fight due to the cold.
When I left the pond this afternoon, the temperature was a cold 39 degrees.  Last night the low was in the in the high 20's.  It's been mighty cold for early November and the carp are feeling it.
Carp turn sluggish in the cold, especially when air and water temperatures drop suddenly.  Today I had a lot of small taps.  I'm sure these were carp, but they were too sluggish to take the bait.  I tried the usually tricks.....smaller bait, smaller hairs, smaller sinkers.  Finally, I had a fish take or I should say a continuously tapping of the bait, another trait of sluggish fish.  I pulled and was onto a sluggish fighter.  It turned out to be a mirror carp of about 10 lbs.
The good news is that the weather can't stay this cold at this time of year.  If you look at the forecast for later in the week, the temperatures should shoot up into the 60's.  That should improve the carp fishing and get the fish active again. The fishing season is far from over.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Should have been better.....

This is one of two small mirrors that ended a
disappointing day.  The fish was caught on maize.
Today should have been better.  It had "big day" written all over it.  We had a perfect late fall set up. The weather had been cold all week.  Yesterday turned warm with a warm night followed by a warm, rainy day today. That pattern usually lights up the fall fishing.  But, the carp were not cooperating. Ah, the inconsistency of fall carp fishing!
I got out today with three fellow RI CAG carpers.  We fished two different venues that had produced in past years at this time.  In all I saw one fish roll and that was it.  We had no hits.  Think about it....4 experienced carpers, 8 rods out, 4 hours of fishing and NOTHING.  It should have been better.
I did salvage the day as I stopped at another venue on my way home and managed two small mirrors in a couple of hours. Also, had another fish on. So, two small ones was better than nothing I suppose, but in my mind the day was disappointing. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hotspots Change With the Seasons

I caught this nice size mirror in one of my
cold weather spots today.  The carp fishing
 hotspots tend to change with the seasons.
That spot that was producing in either the spring or the summer probably isn't giving up fish right now. One thing I've learned after 20 years of serious carp fishing is that hotspots usually change with the seasons.  Since this cold spell hit last week I have abandoned my early fall spots in favor of late fall and winter locations.  While I am not killing the fish in these cold weather locations, I am catching a steady couple of fish an outing.
Knowing those spots that produce in late fall comes from years of experience.  I've been keeping logs for all those years I have fished.  The logs tell me which spots are productive at certain times and which are not, and you can clearly see patterns that develop over the years. My list of productive spots in late fall is a short list.
Here is one interesting note from all my logs. I have never caught a carp in the Blackstone River here in RI after Nov. 1.  I can't tell you why, but the river shuts down in the cold weather.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Carp Fishing Cools Off With the Weather

Carp fishing has taken a dive in this cold weather.  In the last three days I have landed exactly three mirrors that I found in one particular spot.  Other than that it has been one blank after another in various locations.  Contrast that with last week when I was getting five or six quality fish an outing.
This is a taste of late fall fishing.  It will be inconsistent from now until the end, and the fishing will be greatly influenced by the weather.  I find that when water temperatures are on the way down the fishing cools right off.  However, when water temps are on the increase the fishing perks up.  That explains why a warm day in December can produce while a cold day in October shuts the fishing right down.
Regardless of how good or bad the fishing is, I plan on going right until the ice comes.  For me worthwhile fishing continues right into December and even beyond if the weather remains warm.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hot Stuff

This decent common took a combo bait
that included 2 kernels of maize along
with an orange 6 mm Mistral boilie.

This has been a real good week of carp fishing for me.  I've been getting good numbers of good size fish from 10-20 lbs.  The common theme has been the carp have ALL been caught on combo baits that have included a 6 mm Mistral boilie.  These smaller than normal boilies are unique in that they are pop ups, meaning they float.  When used in combination with other baits, they give the bait a slight lift that the carp find very appealing.  In addition, these boilies come in glowing colors that the carp also find attractive.  I've used these boilies along with chick peas, maize and doughballs.  All have proved to be effective. Today I landed 4 good size commons using two kernels of maize along with an orange Mistral boilie that was all fished on the hair rig.  In addition, I am also using a method ball.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another Newcomer Catches Her First Carp

Yet another RI fisherman (or fisherwoman?) has landed her first carp.  Daphne is a well known saltwater angler that I have fished with many times along the oceanfront.  So, when she contacted me about wanting to try carp fishing, I said "sure!".  Well, it was her lucky day as we hit one of my hot October spots and we landed a total of 8 carp from 8-16 lbs. They were hitting well, the alarms seemed to sounding every 20 minutes and the scenery was gorgeous.  The photo at right shows Daphne with a beautiful mirror carp.  Once again, she's another established angler who is very impressed with carp fishing.  I think she is hooked!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beautiful Scenery; Good Fishing

One of six carp landed today.
Today was one of those days that you didn't have to catch a fish to enjoy just being outside.  The weather was beautiful and the scenery was gorgeous.  As a bonus the fish were hitting.  I'm on a hot October roll with some of the best numbers of fish I have ever taken this month.  Most of the carp I'm catching are good size fish from the teens to the low twenties.  Today, for instance, I landed 6 carp, from 10-20 lbs. I went out this morning and landed a few fish and went back in the evening/night and landed a few more.  They seem to be hitting at all times of the day as the carp are clearly on the fall feed.  The hot bait lately for me has been chick peas on the hair rig fished ahead of a method ball. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Baits that are HOT Right Now

I have been fishing some crazy hours this week but catching some decent fish up to 20 lbs. I have been catching in the daytime as well as at night.  Here are some of the hot baits I have been using:
* Maize/6mm pop up boilie combo bait- This is a 6 mm Mistral boilie with one kernel of maize threaded on the hair rig (see photo at right).
*Maize/doughball combo-  I have used this before but it seems to be very hot right now.  The doughball is made from white bread and is the size of a small marble.  It is also hair rigged (see photo at left).
*Chick peas- I keep going back to this bait because it works real well.  I use dried chick peas from the supermarket that I boil for exactly 20 minutes. You can use one, one and a half or two peas. It is also hair rigged (see photo at right).
And, yes, I am using a method ball with all of the above baits.

This super long streaker was caught on a chick pea.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lighting It Up at Night

My friend and fellow RI CAG member Nick and I did a nighttime session tonight.  I mentioned that nighttime carp fishing can be very good at this time of year.  Well, we hit a new location tonight and did real well with good size commons. As fall moves along and darkness arrives earlier and earlier, nighttime carping is a good option for those who want to fish in the evening after work. Yes, it can be productive at times.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nighttime Adventure

Catfish and horned pout are
active nighttime feeders.
This mirror was taken tonight.
It hit a boilie/maize bait combo.
With darkness coming earlier and earlier, this is the time to get out and go carpin at night.  I've been doing this on a regular basis for the last couple of weeks and getting some fish here and there.  I've been getting carp as well as horned pout.  Pouts as well as catfish are known nighttime feeders. If you are planning to try carp fishing at night here are a few tips:
*Do everything you would do in the daytime.  Baits and rigs are the same.
*Get yourself a good headlamp.  It's a must.
*Bite alarms are also a must.  They make an audible sound and light up on the hit.
*Focus on fishing safe spots that are close to your car.  I also like to fish in places that are lighted with street lights.
*Such places like the Tiogue Lake causeway, the Twin River causeway (Rt.7), and parts of Roger Williams Park are all safe places to fish that are lighted.

Monday, October 7, 2013

500th Carp for 2013

Today I landed my 500th carp for the year.  It was a common of 18 lbs. (see pic).  Every year I have several goals.  One of them is to catch 500 that one.  My second goal is to catch at least one thirty pound fish....I've got two of them so far.  And, finally, I try to get a good number of fish over 20 that also.
The last two seasons I ended up with 738 carp in 2011 and 729  carp in 2012 according to my logs that I keep.  I doubt that I will hit the 700 mark this year, but 600+ seems to be a real possibility.  I'd be more than satisfied with that number.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Newest RI CAG Member Scores PB Common

Our newest member to join the RI CAG (RI Carp Anglers Group) is Eric.  He joined last night.  That must have been a lucky move because today we went fishing and Eric scored a PB (personal best) common carp of 21 lbs. 8 oz. The fish was not long but had a big stomach that looked as if it swallowed a beer barrel. And, it put  up one heck of a fight.
You might remember that Eric.  He was the photographer that I took out earlier in the year.  He has been lucky on the times we have gone fishing, but he is also a fast learner and a fisherman who sticks with it and really puts in his time.  He has landed many twenties (commons and mirrors) this year, a fantastic start for a first year carp fisherman. So, congrats Eric on your new PB and may you score many more.
RI CAG members often fish a lot together.  I try to take all new members out and personally show them the ropes.  We also offer fish-ins and get togethers and the CAG national club offers events, contests, Forum threads for members, discounts and an e-magazine.  If you join the CAG, you automatically become a RI CAG member.  If you are interested in joining you can sign up on the CAG website at

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Fishing Hot Right Now

Carp are on the fall feed and the fishing is darn good right now.  I have been getting out just about every morning and hitting many fish in the upper teens and low twenties (see photo of this morning's catch).  Carp are now feeding up in anticipation of winter.  Many of the fish that you catch have bulging stomachs that look like they swallowed a beer barrel.  This is the time of year in which you could land a monster.  A couple of years back I landed that 36 lb. common from RI waters in the fall.  That is the biggest carp and the biggest fish ever taken from RI.
The hot bait for me continues to be a combo bait of a small doughball and a kernel of maize on a hair rig.  Some of the other RI CAG guys have been having good luck with sweet corn. I'm fishing a method ball ahead of my bait.
If you can find the time to fish, this is prime time to catch good numbers of carp as well as large ones.  The bite should continue to be very good for the next month.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Big Carp in Small Spots

This 22 lb. common was landed in a "small"
spot in 2-3 feet of water.  Small spots can hold big carp.
I've broken with my own tradition and am fishing a number of new September and October spots.  Many of these are what I would call "small" spots.  By small spots I mean small ponds, canal areas, shallows in a river, and other places with shallow water (say under 3 feet).  You can't believe how many of these places can hold some very large carp.
Today I fished a new small spot where I had never caught a carp.  I baited the place up last evening and hit it this morning.  I hit the jackpot on my first fish with a beautiful 22 lb. common.  A while later I had a 10 lb. common in the net.  Still an hour later I had a monster on that eventually took me into a tree branch and got away. All these fish were landed on the doughball/maize combo bait fished on a hair rig ahead of a method ball.  Wow, this was an eye opener!
If you do find a productive small spot, here are a few suggestions that might add some success.  Try to prebait these places, and prebait more than one spot in the area.  Go light on the tackle.  Fish in small spots tend to be spooky and super selective.  If you do catch a fish, move to a new location after landing the fish.  Carp that are fighting and thrashing around in a couple of feet of water tend to scare off others that might be hanging around the area.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Rare Double

This double was a first.  The catch was a 10 lb. common
along with a 13 lb. mirror.
This has been a big year for doubles for me.  But, today's double, my seventh of the year, came with a big surprise.  It was the first time I have ever landed a common and a mirror on at the same time. The first alarm went off and I fought the fish and got it just about to the net when the second alarm went off.  So, while fighting two fish at once, I rushed the first fish to the net and fought the other.  Once in close, I grabbed the other with the net that held the first fish.  Now, I have two hooked fish in the net at the same time.  When I finally got a good look at them, I realized I had one common (about 10 lbs.) and a mirror (about 13 lbs.).  That was a first for me.
Today's catch were those two carp along with three more decent fish.  The hot bait today was a maize/doughball combo (see photo at left) fished on a hair rig and fished ahead of an oatmeal based method ball. This has been a hot bait combo in the last month.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Best Two Day Haul in Months

The carp are on the fall feed, especially in the places I have been fishing in the last two days. Maybe it's this cool weather and cold nights that have set the feeding in motion.  I landed a total of exactly 26 carp in the last two days. I haven't landed numbers like this since the spring.  These fish have ranged from small ones of a couple of pounds to fish in the upper teens (see photos of two of them at right and left).  They have all come from two different venues that I have been baiting and fishing.  The hot bait continues to be unflavored maize fished on a hair rig with a method ball packed around the 1 oz. sinker.  Note that at least a quarter of these fish have been taken after dark.  I have already mentioned in previous posts that carp do feed well after dark at this time of year.  The carp are on the fall feed right now!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sometimes Night Time is the Right Time

In the next couple of months I will do more night fishing for carp than any other time of year.  Most fishermen don't realize that carp do feed well at night, especially in the fall when they are really on the feed fattening up for winter. In addition, it gets dark real early in the fall so you have a lot of time to fish in the darkness. 
I know nighttime fishing is not for everyone. Sitting in a chair at night in total darkness and eerie quiet waiting for a hit seems crazy to a lot of non fishermen.  However, there is an excitement to nighttime fishing.  There is nothing like a screeching alarm and its light excitedly flashing to get the adrenalin pumping.  I will also tell you that over the years I have landed some very large carp at night and that keeps me coming back for more. I fish for stripers all the time at night so carp fishing at night is no big deal for me.
Tonight I fished the Blackstone River in the evening into the night.  I wasn't getting anything fishing way out in deeper water.  But, I noticed a fish grubbing at night right in front of me in about a foot of water.  From experience I know that carp will come in very close to feed under cover of darkness.  So, I put out a flip cast of about 10-15 feet with both outfits.  That did is as the alarm went off about 10 minutes later.  A good fight ensued in total darkness and soon I flipped on my headlight to see a big mirror carp at my feet (check out photo of fish at left).  Yes, they do hit at night.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stealthy Approach Works

This is one of several carp landed today while using
a stealthy approach in a "small", shallow location.
I had an interesting day of fishing today.  I fished in a spot today in which I suddenly came upon a group of carp feeding in close  to shore. As soon as I spotted them, they spotted me, and sped off all at once leaving mud trails in their wake.  So, I knew the fish were in my area.  I prebaited the area and put my lines out.  I sat on the bank by my rods. Nothing happened for a while so I got up to recast my outfits.  As I stood up, swoosh, a bunch of fish right in front of me took off again. 
Time to go with a stealthy approach.  I casted my rods out again, and then put them on my alarms, but this time I sat about ten feet away hidden behind a bush. I couldn't see the fish, but they couldn't see me.  That did it.  About fifteen minutes later one alarm sounded and I landed a decent size mirror. I even landed a couple of more fish later on taking this stealthy approach.
Carp can be very touchy and skittish, especially on these bluebird sunny days. Sometimes it takes a stealthy approach to score on these days.  This is especially true when fishing "small" spots with shallow water where fish tend to hang out close to shore where you might be fishing.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Charged Up

The weather is turning cooler and the water temps are dropping.  Every year about this time I notice the carp reach their peak strength.  Maybe it's the cooler water, maybe it's because they are on the feed.  For whatever reason, they seem to be stronger right now than any other time.
Here's the proof:
*I got out with my friend Nick a couple of days ago.  Nick had a screamer of a hit.  His line took off as if it was tied to a rocket.  The fish just continued ripping line after it was hooked.  I would have bet Nick had a fish in the mid twenties.  It turned out to be a 17 lber., a fish that seemed to be on steroids.
* I fished in a small spot this morning.  I hooked a fish that was about 6 or 7 lbs. It started ripping line (15 lb. test) and pulling drag, heading for a bush.  I pushed my  palm against the spool to add pressure to the drag.  It didn't help as the bulldog of a fish pulled me into the bush.
*Tonight I fished the Blackstone River.  I hooked a fish that tore down the river. I was using my 12 foot rod, an Okuma Avenger reel and 20 lb. test line.  Even with the heavy artillery in use, the fish continued ripping drag.  I figured I had a fish at least 20 lbs.  It turned out to be a 12 lb. mirror (see picture), one of the strongest 12 lb. I have ever caught in either fresh or saltwater.
In my mind, carp are some of the best fighting fish in freshwater, but at this time of year they are simply extraordinary