Monday, July 29, 2013

Only Horned Pout Landed at Fish-in

Members of the RI Carp Anglers Group held a fish-in yesterday evening on the Blackstone River. A fish-in is simply a  gathering of carp fishermen who get together and fish a certain area.  We were fishing a good spot that had been giving up good size carp in recent weeks.  But, not tonight.  There were 6 experienced fishermen that showed up to fish.  Each guy put out two rods with a variety of baits.  In addtion, I had baited the spot up two days in a row.  The total catch was three horned pout or bullhead.  That was it. We did see a few carp jump but they would not hit. It points out three things about carp fishing in RI that many of us know all too well:
1.  Carp are difficult fish to catch.
2. Summertime fishing is very much an on and off deal.  It was off last night.
3. We seem to blank at most fish-ins here in RI regardless of where we fish or when we fish.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Coolness, Rainy Weather Light Up Carp Fishing

I've written about this many times.  Stormy weather just lights up carp fishing. It's happened once again.
The last two days have been cool and rainy with a northeast wind.  That all comes after a miserable heat wave.  That cool weather got the carp active and feeding.  Although fishing was decent in the hot weather, it definitely took a big uptick in the nasty stuff.
I have been fishing different places in the last couple of days.  Sometimes when you move around you discover stuff in new spots that can really open your eyes.  A couple of days ago I fished with my brother Steve in a new location in which we found fish breaking and cooperative (see photo of Steve with decent mirror).  Then, yesterday I fished with my friend and fellow CAGer Nick in the rain in another new location.  We hit the jackpot with 9 good size fish between 15-19 lbs.  The previous evening Nick landed a PB 26 lber. in this same spot.  The fish here were active and busting all over the place and hitting.
The hot bait continues to be maize with the unflavored stuff outfishing the flavored variety. A method ball is a must if you want to catch.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Biggie of the Day

I'm on another hot streak in the past week for big fish and have landed a carp over 20 lbs. just about every day.  Today's biggie went 23 lbs.  What was interesting about this big  mirror was that it went a whopping 36 inches long, but the fish was skinny.  At that length it should have been over 30 lbs. if it was an average build.
Flavored maize fished on a hair rig continues to be the hot bait. The hot flavor for me today as well as in the last several days has been scopex.  Scopex has always been one of my favorite summer flavors.  It's difficult to describe....sort of a buttery, nutty flavor that smells real good.  The carp love it.  I have the flavoring and  I make my own flavored maize although this is sold at many online bait  stores.  Today I set out two different baits on my rigs.  One had scopex and one had a fruity flavored maize.  The scopex landed two fish of 10 and 23 lbs.  Yes, it is effective.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Massive 30 lb. Mirror Landed in RI

Another 30 lb. mirror has been landed in RI waters making this fish  the second thirty pound mirror ever recorded in this state. 
I got out today with my friend Jack and my brother Steve in this ninety degree heat.  We went to a location that has been hot for me this week for large mirror carp. We put out six rods, the legal number three guys are allowed to fish and took turns on the hits.  First fish runs off and Jack manages a 12 lb. mirror.  Next alarm zings off and Steve gets a chunky six pounder that looked like it swallowed a keg.  Next alarm goes off and I get it.  It turns out to be a fiesty 15 lb. mirror. 
Then it happens.  Jack gets the next hit.  The fish was simply a tapper, banging away at the rod tip and pinging the alarm, but not really taking the flavored maize.  Then it ran slowly and Jack sets up on the fish.  The fish was typical of a big one, digging the bottom and not showing. Then, as it gets close to shore the fish hangs up on a snag.  Jack slowly pumps the rod repeatedly, trying desperately to unsnag the large fish which is caught on a branch as well as a log on the bottom.  Suddenly, it comes off the snag and we see the fish.  Yes, it is large, very large.  Jack finally works it close to shore and I grab it with the net.  Holy smokes, this thing is huge as I go to lift it. The thought crosses my mind that this fish could be (yikes) thirty pounds.
I get the scale out and weight it and the scale settles right at thirty pounds.
Jack has just landed the second largest mirror carp ever caught in RI.  It is just 1 lb., 8 oz. shy of the CAG record mirror that I landed last year.  The pic was taken with a wide angle lens which has amplified the size, but believe me when I tell you this fish was HUGE.
It was released after a few pics and still swims in state waters.  Hopefully, I'll meet up with this beast in the future!
Congrats to Jack as he joins an elite club of RI carp fishermen who have landed fish over 30 lbs. here in RI waters.  A great feat and a catch to remember!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Holy COW! Now, That's a HOG!

Landed yesterday in mid ninety degree heat!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ya Just Never Know.....

In this game of carp fishing, you just never know what is going to happen.  I had been in a bit of a slump, catching a small fish here and there in this heat.  So, I didn't expect much this morning as I set out to a spot I hadn't fished in a while.  I figured I'd get in a shady spot, put the lines out for a couple of hours and hope I got something.  A five pounder would have been ok in my mind considering the weather and the way things had been going.
After about an hour, one Delkim alarm screamed as a fish went on a rampage with my offering.  I grabbed the rod and held on as this fish was a terrific fighter, ripping off drag at a frenzied pace.  I figured I had a real big fish, but when I got it close and netted it, it turned out to be a hard fighting 18 lber.  Ok, I'm more than satisfied with that.
Ten minutes later I get another hit.  This time it is a slow runner.  I grabbed the rod and hooked the fish, but a far different fight followed.  The fish was moving quite slowly just digging the bottom, but it felt heavy.  This goes on for quite a while but I never see the fish until the end as it continues to hug the bottom.  As it does come off the bottom and I get a glimpse of the fish, I realize I have a hog of a fish....maybe 25.... gulp, maybe 30.  I am nervous now as I make several stabs with the net and miss the fish at least three times as it bolts when it gets close to the net.  Finally, I get it.  Once on shore I get a good look at the fish.  Yes, it's big, but not fat.  In fact, it is quite skinny for a carp of this size.  Nevertheless, I weigh it and measure it.  The fish weighs 26 lbs. and change and measures a whopping 36 inches.  Had this fish been fat, we are talking 30-33 lbs. for sure.
I get the rods back out and another fish zings the alarm.  This is a weird fight as the fish is moving fast and darting here and there.  Turns out to be a frisky 5 lber.
So, it's hot fishing today on this ninety degree day, something I didn't expect.  Sorry I have no pictures.  I didn't bring the camera along figuring I would catch nothing. Wow, you just never know what is going to happen in this game of carp fishing.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Maize Getting the Job Done

Maize is a large, tough corn, and is much more durable than sweet corn. For the last two weeks, this is the only bait I have been using.  Pests such as sun turtles and horned pout have a difficult time stealing maize off your hook or hair rig.  Look at the pic at the right. Sweet corn is in a pile on the right side of my hand while maize is on the left side. 
You can purchase maize, mostly in a flavored variety from online bait stores. Fruity or alcohol flavors tend to work well at this time of year. You can also prepare your own very cheaply. To do this you will need to buy a 50 lb. bag of whole corn from an animal feed store such as Agways or Tractor Supply (cost is $12-14). To prepare this dried corn from the bag, fill a large pot about a quarter full with the corn and add water.  Let that sit overnight or for about 4-6 hours.  Next, boil it.  Once the water is boiling, let it cook for exactly 35 minutes.  At that time, take the pot off the heat and let it cool down.  During this cooling process the maize will absorb a lot of water, so you might need to add more water to the pot.
Once finished, I pack the maize I want to chum into plastic containers and refrigerate for later use.  I might also pack some into a container, add some flavoring and use that to fish with.
It's about the best bait to use during the summer months to fish for carp here in RI.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Slowdown in the Heat

Well, the heat has finally taken its toll.  The water is really warm, weedy and discolored in most places and the carp are in a funk.  It happens when things get really warm.
I am still catching though the numbers and sizes of my fish are way down.  I'm lucky to catch one or two fish per short session these days and the fish in the last ten days have been generally small, going 4-12 lbs. on average. I'm seeing more fish than I am catching since I have seen some fish lazily swim by me or I've seen some whirling on the surface, but their feeding activity seems to be minimal. I know sweet corn would be a better choice in many of the places I am fishing but the turtles and dace have been  so pesty I've had to resort to the more durable, though less effective, maize.  I've tried staying later in the evening and even after dark, but the horned pout are getting into the act and hitting after sunset. So, we are into a summer slowdown.  Still fish around, but the action has slowed considerably, and I don't think it will perk up until this hot weather breaks.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I have very little to report about carp fishing so I thought I would discuss the big issues of the last week of so......PESTS.
The number one pest on the recent hit parade is mosquitoes.  Man, this is the year of mosquitoes.  The state DEM reports there are more mosquitoes this year than in any time in the last twenty years.  It's about the only thing I have ever agreed with that the DEM has said. In the last two weeks I have gone through an entire can of spray.  Without spray, your next of kin would find your bones along the fishing bank the next morning.
The number two pest is one of my favorites.....turtles.  Both sun turtles and snapping turtles are just all over the place and active in this heat.  Those pesty sun turtles will poke up their heads like a submarine's periscope and they will just watch your every move.  Make a cast and they will make a b-line for the ring in the water where your bait hits.  Those sneaky buggers will then dive down and take the bait off the hair rig without making so much as a twitch on your rod tip.  They will eat everything, including the plastic hair stop. And, after they are done, they will come to the surface again just waiting for your next cast. Wow, they are bad!
Finally, there is this pesty fish called a dace which inhabits the Blackstone River in incredible numbers in some spots.  These 6-10 inch pests are like piranhas.  The minute you cast a bait, any bait, hard or soft, they are on it causing the rod tip to bounce continuously until the bait is gone.  Try a bigger bait you say.  They'll devour a 20mm boilie like a kid eating a candy apple until there is nothing left. And, rarely are the sneaky buggers hooked.
And, yes, every once in a while you get lucky and a carp beats some of these pests to your bait.  Unfortunately, you are probably swatting mosquitoes when that happens and in all likelihood, you end up losing the fish.  Ah, summer fishing!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Adjustments in Tactics in 90 Degree Heat

Yesterday's big fish was a porker in the teens.
I've adjusted my tactics in the last few days of 90 degree weather and it has really paid off in good numbers of fish as well as big fish.
A double of 10 and 12 pounders  landed
this morning.
Yes, I am still fishing big time in the daylight, but I have adjusted my times.  I'm fishing the coolest times, fishing in the morning and again in the evening.  After dark also works well at this time of year.  The Dark Carper, Kev Wasliewski, reports very good fishing on his blog while fishing after dark in this hot weather. All these times are the coolest times of the day for the fisherman as well as the fish.  I've also changed locations, focusing on fishing deep and moving water, something I only do in the dead of summer.  In the places where I am fishing I am only fishing shaded areas.  That means under trees, along shady banks and under bridges.  Finally, I'm also fishing one bait....maize.  This tougher brand of big corn is generally pest resistant (except for turtles) and catches larger carp with no problem. I'm using maize that has a fruity flavor and I have a method ball packed around my sinker.  Since I am targeting larger carp I am  also using at least three pieces of maize on a longer hair.
The adjustments have led to 2-5 carp per short session, and they have all been decent size, going 10-25 lbs.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Carp Fishing as Hot as the Weather!

Ben Pickering holds a chunky mirror carp
that hit a freelined mulberry.
This is the best July start I have ever experienced.  The carp in RI are on the feed.  In the last three days I have fished alone as well as with friends in RI waters.  The total score has been 44 carp landed and at least another 8 fish on and lost.  Those are phenomenal numbers for this time of year.
In addition, the fish are hitting a number of baits.  All the fish mentioned above have been landed on such variety as sweet corn, maize, doughballs and mulberries.  I'm also catching fish in a variety of spots.  Once again, the totals mentioned above have been caught in at least 7 different spots.  That shows that carp in RI  are hitting all over the place.  I'm also getting them at all times of the day.  Mornings, evenings and even the middle of the daytime has been producing. The one thing missing in my fantastic July start has been very large fish.  I've gotten nothing over 20 lbs., but I have landed many fish in the teens so no complaints from my end.
I know a lot of fishermen out there have time off from work during this holiday week.  If you are looking to get out fishing, the carp bite is very good right now.  In my mind, it is as good as it gets in July.
This is just one of TWENTY FIVE fish caught by
three guys in a short session two days ago!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Big Start to July

I had all the right conditions today for a big day and the fish did not let me down.  It was cloudy and windy with some rain, ideal conditions to fish for carp.
I started off meeting a couple of friends at one pond.  There, we used flavored maize with a method ball. While things started off slowly, we had a hot hour in which we had four runners and landed three carp (see pic of one).  We left that spot in early afternoon and my friends went home, but on my way home I checked out a mulberry tree in an out of the way spot that I rarely fish.  The fish were just stacked under this tree scooping up mulberries that were being blown into the water by an approaching thunderstorm.  In one short hour I landed 7 more fish from 8-13 lbs. on freelined mulberries. When I got home, my son, Ben, who rarely fishes for carp, wanted to hit a few berry tree spots.  So, off we went.  Ben landed three more fish from 6-10 lbs. but lost a couple of big fish (see photo). 
So, as I've seen so many times this year, the right kind of day often produces big time, and today was the right kind of day.