Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hitting Like Crazy in the Rain

I got out fishing this morning in light rain.  It had also rained hard last night.  There were fish all over the surface and in close feeding.  That's because the rain tends to send a lot of food into the water in the form of seeds, bugs, worms, etc. and there were carp just about everywhere I looked.  It was simply a matter of tossing a freelined doughball in front of a feeding fish, and most likely it would grab it. It was that simple. The score for just a couple of hours of fishing in the morning was 11 carp with several other takes and misses. I experienced similar fishing last week on those rainy and cool mornings.
Compare this to the last two sunny days.  I got out both days and BLANKED.  There was just nothing going on and no fish to be found.
Carp are advantageous feeders.  I have always had my best luck in some of the worst weather imaginable.  Yes, rainy and stormy days can be very productive!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Simple but Effective....Freelining Doughballs

With  bad weather and the threat of thunderstorms in the last couple of days, I have stayed close to home and close to my car.  I have been fishing some "small" spots nearby and freelining doughballs.  This is really sight fishing where you see a carp swimming along and you toss a doughball a couple of feet in front of it.  It can be very effective, especially in places where they are used to eating bread.
This is very simple carp fishing, but it can result in a lot of fish.  In the last two mornings, I have landed 11 carp, real good numbers of fish, doing this (see pic of fish landed this morning). For freelining I use just one rod and I am always holding it.  On the end of the line, I've got a #6 hook tied directly to the line (no other hardware or sinker).  I then pack a small ball of the white part of a piece of bread around the hook kneading a ball of bait that is the size of a small marble (see photo at right).  Note that pizza dough does not work.  You want to toss this in front of a cruising fish or even fish it on the bottom while holding your rod.  You can increase your chances of catching if you prebait some bread in the area you are fishing.  If you get a hit, the line will peel out.  Set the hook hard since you need to pull the hook through the dough to hook the carp.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Big Catches this Week on Combo Baits

This has been one of the best weeks for big fish I have ever experienced in my years of carp fishing in the month of May.  The score for the week reads 2 fish in the thirties (31 and 33 lbs.), 9 carp from 20-28 lbs. and 15 carp from 10-19 lbs. About half the fish were taken in MA waters and half taken in RI waters.  But, the common thread here is that all the fish were taken caught on combo baits.
Combo baits are the combination of two or more different baits on the hook or hair.  Since I am using only hair rigs I am putting these baits with a baiting needle on the hair or string that comes off the back of the hook.  There was no one combo bait that caught all these fish.  I kept mixing it up.  Here are some of my favorite combos: one chick pea and one berry flavored kernel of maize (see pic at left), one kernel of berry maize and one kernel of pineapple whiskey, a pop-up boilie (6 mm or 10 mm) and one kernel of maize, one or two kernels of sweet corn and one kernel of maize, an artificial pop up and one kernel of maize.  It is endless on how you can stack these, but I think when you use combo baits, you increase your chances of giving the fish something they really want to hit.
The pic at right is a 28 lb. mirror I caught a couple of days ago.  It was taken on a kernel of sweet and salty pineapple whiskey maize and a kernel of sweet and salty wild berry maize.  Both are experimental flavors that I am testing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spectacular Day Ends with UNBELIEVABLE Double

If I was a baseball player, yesterday would have been a career day.  As for carp fishing,  it was one of the best days I've had in years,  and it ended with an unbelievable finale.
Here's the story.  I went to one of my "big fish" spots in the morning about 9:30 AM.  The day started off sunny.  It was dead at first and there was not a twitch of the rods for over an hour.  Then, clouds began rolling in, the breeze began blowing, and as the weather worsened I saw carp jump here and there.  Suddenly, the slowness of the day was ended with a screaming run.  I grabbed the rod and landed a good sized 20 lb. mirror.  Within a short time later, I had another runner and a nice 18 lb. mirror hit the shore.  At that point the clouds were really increasing, the wind quickened and it started to rain lightly.  That's when all hell broke loose.  Carp started jumping all around to the right, to the left, way out, in close.  The rods were now banging and twitching almost non- stop. It seemed like every ten minutes or so I'd get a screaming run.  This went on for two hours and I landed 11 carp, four of which were in the twenties (up to 25 lbs.) and 7 of which were in the teens.  They were all mirrors. It would have been a great day if it ended right then.  Just about all of the carp fell for wild peach berry maize combined with a kernel of pineapple whiskey maize (another experimental flavor) fished ahead of a method ball.
An unbelievable ending.... The action seemed to slow and I was almost ready to head home when the wildest event that I ever experienced while carp fishing happened.  Without warning BOTH alarms went off at the EXACT same time.  I grabbed one, turned the reel,  put it in gear, locked it in between my legs and frantically grabbed the other rod. I thought at first I had one fish that crossed the other line, but when I saw two lines heading in opposite directions, I knew I had two fish, and they were big judging by the way they were peeling off line.  The fight looked like a Chinese fire drill from my end, reeling one and gaining some line and then reeling the other. After a lengthy battle,  I did manage to work in both fish close to shore where I got to see them.  Both were BIG, real big.  I managed to slide the smallest one up onto the bank into soft weeds while I netted the larger of the two (see pic of both at bottom).  The sight of these two monsters made me think they could both be (gulp) thirty pounds.  A short time later, I weighed the two fish my certified Reuben Heaton scale.  The smaller one weighed 31 lbs. (pic at left) and the larger one weighed 33 lbs. (pic at right).  It was a magical ending to a phenomenal day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Impressive Catches Continue

Some of our RI Carpers have been making some impressive catches in the last week.  Nick, one of our RI CAG guys, landed a PB 26 lb. mirror last week.  Yesterday, he hit the jackpot with another 20 lb. mirror.  You can see his photos and read about his exploits on his blog at
I got out today with another RI carper named Tom.  By his own admission, Tom doesn't catch a lot of carp, but I can tell you  when he catches them, he gets some big ones.  Today he out fished me with a beautiful 23 lb. mirror (see photo at left).  He followed that up with a couple of high teen mirrors.  My biggest today went 20 lbs. (see photo at right). 
This has been a week of big carp here in RI.  Yes, carp fishing for large fish is hot right now.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today's Monster Carp Just Shy of 30 lbs.!

Yikes, I hit the jackpot on this rainy, drizzly morning with a massive common carp that was just shy of 30 lbs.  The hog went 34 inches long and was wide and heavy.  I might also add it gave a terrific fight.
I got the fish on a new experimental flavor of maize called "sweet and salty wild peach berry".  It is not sold anywhere, and I am testing it out for a famous US bait maker.  This bait has been astounding for me in the last several days, catching a lot of fish and some real large ones.  I am using a couple of kernels on a hair rig.  Ahead of it I am using an unflavored oatmeal based method ball that is packed around a 1 ounce camouflaged sinker. 
This is a time to catch some real big fish.  They are on the feed because the waters are warming and they will be spawning soon.  Over the years, I have taken a good number of  30's and even a 40 lber. in the month of May.  For me, it is by far the best month for real big fish here in RI and southern New England.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Two Kids Get Their First Carp

I was out walking for exercise today along the bike path in Lincoln where I met two kids fishing.  I knew one of them from our Little League baseball days.  The kids told me they had been fishing since 7 AM and they were hoping to catch their first carp though they had no luck.  They also tried all day yesterday with no success.
So, I invited them to go out with me this evening in one of my spots that had been producing real well.  I brought along all my gear such as extra rods and reels, alarms, carp net, etc., along with the bait we would need to catch them.  We would be using that wild berry flavored maize that I did so well with this morning.  We planned to put out six rods.  We had just casted rod three out when the alarm went off on the first rod.  I could see this was going to be a wild one.  Tanner, one of the kids, took the first hit.  Within a few minutes, he had his first carp in the net, a beauty of about ten pounds (see photo at right).  We then got all the other rods out and another alarm goes off.  This time, Nick, the other kid, takes the rod and lands another fish about the same size as Tanner's (photo at left).  This just kept going like this for the rest of the evening with a runner about every twenty minutes or so.   Nick and Tanner each caught two carp and I landed one.  They were all mirror carp. We also had a couple of more bumps and short runs.  While all of that was going on, other fish were breaking here and there.  The fish were very active tonight.
So, we welcome two new carp fishermen here in RI.  Hopefully, this will be the start of something big for these kids.

Today's Twenty

I have been on a roll in the last month catching large carp.  It seems like just about every outing has produced a fish over twenty pounds. Of course I am almost exclusively fishing "big fish waters" and that is contributing to the good numbers of large carp. Today's fish was a large common. I landed it on a new experimental flavor of maize called "salty wild peach berry".  It smelled so good, I almost sampled it!  The bait was made by a famous US baitmaker that sends me samples from time to time to test out.  The stuff really worked today. 
I had two rods out.  One had the peach berry and the other had chick peas.  Besides this big one, I also landed a 14 lber. on the maize.  The chick peas, so hot a month ago, did not get a look today.  Hey, that's typical of carp fishing where the fish will key on one bait for a while and then go off it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Check Out Latest Carping Article in On The Water Magazine

My latest magazine article in On the Water is called "Carp Baits".  It is running in the May issue. It's a full feature that tells you everything you need to know about carp baits from identifying the baits to preparation to hooking.  The article is divided into four sections: supermarket baits, natural baits, commercial baits and artificial baits.  On the Water magazine is sold in many book stores and tackle shops. Their website is
If you are looking for lots of information on carp baits, check it out!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chasing Down that PB

In carp fishing, it isn't really about catching the biggest carp.  For most fishermen, it is about catching a PB.  PB means Personal Best, or YOUR largest carp.  Most carp guys are always trying the beat their own biggest fish.
Yesterday morning I went our with two fellow RI CAG fishermen, Paul and Nick. I often fish with fellow club members.  We hit one of my "big fish" spots, hoping to get a PB for one of us.  Well, my friend, Paul, got a beautiful PB mirror of 20 lbs., a large mirror carp by RI standards. We snapped a few photos and released the fish. Congrats on a terrific catch!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

100th Carp of the Year

It took a while this year, but yesterday I landed my 100th carp for 2013.  It is the latest I have reached the century mark in the last three years.
The year started off very slow for me with the ice, snow and cold weather of winter and early spring.  Winter fishing was nonexistent as most places were frozen solid.  And, the beginning of March was no better here in northern RI.  While March was slow for me, April fishing lit up, especially in the last three weeks.  I have been concentrating my efforts in and around the Blackstone River and catching mainly mirrors.  Yesterday's 100th fish was part of an 8 fish haul, a real good day in this game of carp fishing.  Fishing has been steady for me with most outings in the last three weeks producing 1-4 fish.  Those days have been mixed in with better days of 7-8 fish.  I am using chick peas for the most part, but sweet corn is also catching in places where it is legal.  Surprisingly, the best times for me have been late morning into early afternoon.