Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Closing the Book on 2014......A Record Year with 749 Carp Landed

Big Carp Tackle's Carp of the Month
for May
Big Carp Tackle's Carp of the Month
for April
For me, 2014 will go down as a personal best year.  I caught more carp in 2014 than any other year. The final tally in the logbook reads 749 carp landed for 2014. My previous best year was back in 2011 when I landed 738 carp.
While the numbers were there, the sizes were also.  I landed more carp over 20 lbs. than I had caught in any other year.  In addition, I landed that monster 40 lb. 2 oz. mirror that captured the Biggest Mirror Award in the North American Big 4 Tournament sponsored by the CAG. Over the years there have been very few forties taken in New England waters so this was a real prize.  It was also my second 40 lber. I have ever landed.  While I didn't land a carp in the thirties this year I got a good many fish in the 25-29 lb. range, not too shabby as far as size is concerned.
When it comes to remembering 2014 highlights, two other fish stick out in my mind.  These were the two winners in Big Carp Tackle's Carp of the Month Contest.  I had the winner for April and the winner for May.  Both of these were gorgeous mirrors that weighed 26 and 28 lbs.
The three mentioned fish above were all caught on combo baits that featured artificial, plastic floating corn matched with some type of natural bait and fished on a hair rig.  Plastic corn would have to be considered the "Bait of the Year" my book.  If you have never used this stuff, order some of the ESP plastic corn in a pink, red or orange color.  They were terrific producers for me when it came to big fish.
Note that favorable weather, especially in the fall and early winter, played a big role in keeping the fish hitting and active.  By far, it was the best September to the end of December I have ever experienced and the numbers of fish just piled up non-stop at times.
So, I am closing the book on another great carping year.  Time to start a new log as I plan to get out and hit the waters in the coming week. For me, the fishing just keeps going year round.  Let's hope 2015 brings another great year of fishing.

This 40 lb. 2 oz. mirror carp was my biggest carp for 2014,  It won the Biggest
Mirror Award in the 2014 CAG Big 4 Tournament.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Subfreezing Temps., Icing, and HITTING Like Crazy

This 13 lb. mirror sits on some
shoreline ice.  It was one of 15
carp landed today.
This 10 lb. mirror also sits in some
shoreline ice. Most of the carp today
were taken with a delicate approach
geared to winter fishing (see post).
I ventured out this morning with temperatures in the mid 20's.  I would have guessed the cold would put an end to my terrific streak of winter carpin.  I was wrong as today turned into one of my best winter days as I landed 15 carp from 5-13 lbs. A good number of fish went over 10 lbs.  At times the action was non-stop.
I even switched venues today as the pond I had been fishing was completely iced up when I got there.  So, I put into action Plan B and I headed for some ice free river currents where I was able to fish although the shoreline was frozen in spots.  I was experimenting with a new rig today which was basically made with a long (12-14 in.) monofilament hooklink (10 lb. test mono) with a tiny #10 hair rigged hook (hair rigged on fly tying vice with nylon thread) at the hook end.  I used a small 1/2 oz. steel egg sinker and a small method ball.  I used only two kernels of sweet corn on the hair.  This delicate presentation, fished on a light, 9 ft. steelhead rod and a baitrunner reel spooled with 10 lb. test mono, was highlighted in some UK sites for winter fishing. It worked like a charm and caught a good number of the fish today. The delicate rigs and presentation really appeal to winter carp that are touch about feeding and taking a bait.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sweet Corn a Killer Bait Right Now

It was another big haul today with good numbers of carp
along with two doubles.
Sweet corn has been THE bait this week as I have landed close to 50 carp in my last three outings on the sweet corn.  Most carp fishermen know this is the bait of choice for carp fishing but for much of the warm weather months it is a problem to keep the stuff on the hair rig.  Pests like turtles, bluegills, horned pout, dace and other small fish will just pick the delicate sweet corn apart.  But, alas, the water is just too cold for those pests to be active so the carp have it all to themselves and they will pounce right on it.
Today was another torrid day of fishing for me with good numbers of carp landed. Here's a few tips that you might find helpful if you are looking for December Carp:
I like three kernels of sweet corn on
the hair.
*In a big warm-up, hit shallow spots in small ponds that warm up quickly. I am fishing in water that is generally 3-5 feet deep.
*I use three pieces of sweet corn on the hair.  Hair rigging is far more effective than putting the bait on a hook. I am using no method.
* Go small.  Small hooks (#8), small hooklink (4 inches maybe), small sinker (one oz.or less)
*Fish the warmest part of the day.  Last three days that time from noon to 3:00 has been very good.
*Keep chumming or prebaiting. I use maize or sweet corn.
*I am using "Double Luck" sweet corn from Walmart (48 cents a can.  Can you beat that deal?)
*Put in your time and move around if the fish are not hitting in one spot.  Sometimes you have to find the "winter bunch".

Friday, December 26, 2014

700th Carp of the Year on a Sizzling, Hot Day of Fishing

Nick hold a good size mirror.
I hold a mirror that was one of 29
that we landed today!
Wow, the fishing is hot, hotter than I have ever seen in the month of December.  Credit this real mild spell for turning on the carp fishing.
Today was a milestone for me as I landed my 700th carp of the year.  There have been only two other years in which I have been able to get to 700 so this is a big deal for me.
I got out today with my friend and fellow RI CAGer Nick.  We hit the venue where I have been experiencing hot fishing in the last few days.  Today was even better than those days.  Nick and I landed a grand total of 29 carp, all mirrors.  Those numbers are off the charts in the month of December.  There was a period of time today (early afternoon, warmest part of the day) in which we could not keep four lines in the water.  Several times we would BOTH have a fish on at the same time. It was like fishing a pre-spawn bonanza in May. The hot bait continues to be sweet corn on the hair rig without any method ball.
As long as this mild weather sticks around, expect the fishing to remain very good.

My 700th carp of the year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Gift of Carp on Christmas Morning

This is one of 16 carp landed in just an hour and a half of
fishing.  The Christmas morning fishing was phenomenal.
I must say upfront that I don't normally fish on Christmas Day.  However, a number of "circumstances" led to my going out for a short period of time this morning.  My young adult sons went out last night and got home real late so they planned to sleep till about noontime.  My wife was cooking away and wanted me out of her way and out of the house so she could "cook in peace". My son and his fiance Kristy were coming in from New York in early afternoon.  I was told I had to be back around noontime to cut up the turkey and get ready for the dinner and the family party.
So, I decided hit a nearby place on this very mild Christmas morning.  I figured I was going  out to get some fresh air and exercise and maybe, if I was lucky, I would catch a carp.
Lucky I was as I experienced one of my best late fall/early winter days ever.  The action began almost immediately as the carp pounced on the sweet corn almost as soon as it hit the bottom.  From that first fish on it was nearly non-stop action.  Rarely did I have two outfits in the water as I seemed to be battling a carp, taking off a fish, snapping pics, rebaiting, etc.  In a short period of one and a half hours of glorious fishing, I landed 16 carp, maybe the most I have ever gotten in that short a period of time.  Included in that take were three doubles.
Yes, I was a good boy and left the hot fishing to get back in more than enough time for the turkey carving, the dinner and the party.
Some Christmas gifts are surprises The carp on this Christmas morning were on of those surprises and one of my best gifts of the day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

On a Spring Roll in Late December!

This is one of six carp landed today while fishing sweet
corn on the hair rig in some rainy, mild weather.  
The carp are on a spring rampage, but it is late December! Charged up by this mild, warm weather, they are hitting.  In the last two days I have landed 11 carp and have had a number of other fish on and hits.  Yesterday I got them on maize.  Today the hot bait was sweet corn on the hair rig.
If you have never gotten a carp in winter, the next week will be an opportune time to get out and fish.  With unusually mild weather and warming water temperatures, the fish are acting like it's ice out in March.  They are on the feed. Get in on the action because I can tell you it won't last!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Casting to Bubble Trails Leads to Good Day

Persistence pays off.  I finally had a good day of carp fishing in December.  I changed strategies a bit, hitting a smaller spot that held carp in the past at this time of year.  I also targeted bubble trails that I noticed moving along the surface.
Bubble trails are an indicator of carp in an area. In the warmer months bubbles on the surface can mean a variety of things.  Yes, it could be carp rooting on the bottom but it could also be turtles moving along the bottom or even an old piece of debris pressing along a soft bottom.  Today, I landed a couple of fish just casting blindly.  Then, I noticed several bubble trails just to the left of where I was fishing.  So, I began pinpoint casting to those trails with my hair rigged maize.  In two instances, I had running takes before I could even set the rod onto my alarm.  In another case, it took seconds after the rod was set to get a runner.
In all I landed 5 carp today (see photos). Anytime you can score even one carp in December, it is an accomplishment so I am thrilled with today's results. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December Fishing Way Off

The alarms have been silent lately
as December fishing has been poor.
December has never been a big month of carp fishing here in RI, but I have always been able to average 15-20 fish in the month of December in past years.  Not this year.  So far, the fishing is way, way off.  I've been looking in lots of spots and getting out several times a week, but I have only been able to get three carp so far in December.
So, what's wrong.  I attribute a lot of this lousy fishing to that very cold spell that we had back in late November around Thanksgiving.  At that time, the ice was forming in a lot of places and the carp went into their winter funk.  They have not really perked up since.  In addition, we have had a lot of cloudy, rainy, cold weather.  I find that when the sun is shining on shallow water, it tends to perk up the carp.  Cloudy and cool weather has always fished poorly at this time of year.  Also, the weather has not been cold but it has not been warm either. It seems to be steadily in the thirties and low forties by day and in the high twenties at night. Finally, all this rain has really swelled the Blackstone River, one of my prime winter places to fish.  The River is unfishable right now.
So, my plan is to keep slugging it out and hope that the fishing perks up before the ice arrives.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Product Review.....Fox Specialist Compact Rucksack

Rucksacks, or knapsacks as we call them here in the US, have become very popular carry bags for carp equipment.  I have used shoulder bags as well as rucksacks and I greatly prefer using a rucksack because it adds to my mobility.
Last year I purchased a Fox Specialist Compact Rucksack to replace a Nash Hooligan rucksack that was well worn after years of use. The Fox Compact Rucksack is a smaller rucksack made for short sessions.  It has an inside space of 35 liters, ideal for my use. If you are looking for something bigger, the Fox FX Rucksack is a 55 liter bag ($139).  There are lots of things to like about the Fox Compact Rucksack.  It is very comfortable on the shoulders due to the heavy padding on the back. The heavy duty material that the bag is made with seems solid and long lasting.  The storage is also very good. The inside is large enough for me to store containers of bait, a container of method, my lunch, my compact camera, my banksticks and even a lightweight jacket.  The bag has a large pocket on the front that holds my rigger pouch.  One side of the bag has a large elongated pocket that holds such things as my scale, brush cutter and other tools.  The other side has two small pockets.  These hold such things as my boxes of hooks, sinkers, hair stops, extra line for rigging and packs of plastic artificials.  The top of the bag has yet another big pocket.  I keep a long plastic box in this pocket.  It holds such things as extra sinkers, small pliers, scissors, small tools and baiting needle. The top of the bag also has a couple of straps with pulls that hold my compact unhooking mat.  I like that feature. Those are the pluses about this bag.
There are a few minor negatives I should mention.  The heavy duty zippers, though high quality, are only single, one way zippers. I much prefer double zippers.  It also has an elasticated strip on one side that is supposed to be able to hold backsticks and alarms.  No way.  The strip is way too flimsy to hold regular size banksticks with alarms.
This rucksack sells for $73.95 at Big Carp Tackle ( ).
Mostly everyone knows I am a big fan of Fox products.  Every Fox product I have ever used has been top quality and this bag is no different.
Final Verdict:  Recommended!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

On the Board in Dec.

I got out today and landed several nice carp (2 mirrors and a common) in some cool, raw weather (see photos).  These are my first ones in Dec. as I blanked on Dec.1st. For the first time this fall I noticed the fish were sluggish on the take as well as the fight.  That does happen in cold weather and cold water.  The takes were very subtle, sometimes just a series of small taps on rod tip.  When this happens, pick up the rod, engage the reel and give it a slight pull and hope for the best.  It worked that way several times today.  The best bait today was a small kernel of maize with a small artificial kernel of yellow pop up corn.  I used no method, an approach I generally use in winter, a time when less is usually better.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Todd Richer Wins RI CAG Tournament

RI carp fishing expert Todd Richer has won our
fall mirror/common combo tournament.
A big congrats to RI CAGer Todd Richer who has won our fall Mirror/Common Combo Tournament.  This tournament ran from Sept. to November.  Basically, you had to enter your biggest common and your biggest mirror caught from RI waters.  The combined weight was your point total.  Todd logged in a grand total of 33 lbs., 6 oz. for his two fish total.  For winning Todd gets a gold engraved medal from the Carp Anglers Group.
The RI CAG holds tournaments and fish-ins throughout the year for its members.  In addition, the national CAG holds fishing contests, photo contests, writing contests and numerous tournaments for its members.  For those interested in joining the CAG go to its website at .  Membership in the national group gets you free membership in the RI CAG.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scoring in Sub Freezing Weather

I landed this good looking mirror
close to dark today in sub
freezing temperatures. Yes,
they are still hitting!
They are still hitting in ice free lakes and ponds.  I got out this afternoon in temperatures that were at or below freezing.  It was so cold that it was impossible to drive the banksticks into the ground on shore because the ground was frozen solid! I had to sink the banksticks into the bottom in the shallow water near shore. Around me were patches of snow that hadn't melted yet.  I'm guessing the water temperatures were in the 30's.
BUT, I still managed to catch a nice mirror close to dark on small kernels of maize fished off the hair rig.  There was nothing sluggish about this fish either, something we usually see in the cold water.  This carp zipped off on the take as if it were a rocket tied to the hook. It also put up a decent fight ripping off drag as it battled away.
From now until the ice comes, the fishing will remain worthwhile though I doubt I'll see the hot and heavy action that I experienced a couple of weeks ago.  Still, if I can get one or two fish an outing I am satisfied. I expect the best fishing will take place during the warmest part of the day which is late afternoon.  Weather warm-ups will also produce better than cool downs. I expect to continue to fish regularly (which is just about every day) until the end of December or when the ice freezes things solid.

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Unusual Mirror

I have been steadily fishing just about every day in the last week in the cold and warm weather.  I am still catching but not at the same rate I was catching last week. I seem to be getting a fish or two on just about every outing so the fishing is still worthwhile.
I caught a very unusual mirror today along with a couple of other fish.  This 4-5 lb. fish had smooth skin on its body that was a BLACK color.  It had a head that was splotchy gold, brown, and gray.  It had a head that looked like a ghost carp.  Its belly was a light golden brown with brilliant gold scales.  The bottom fins and tail were a beautiful orange color. It was one of the most unusual mirror carp I have ever caught.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hitting in the Bitter Cold

This good size common
was landed today in sub
freezing weather.
It felt more like fishing in January today than November.  By 2:00 this afternoon my net was frozen solid.  When I left my spot the temperature was only in the upper twenties.  Welcome to winter fishing for carp.
But, the carp were still hitting.  I didn't exactly kill them today, but I did get a couple of hard earned commons.  Yes, carp will hit in the bitter cold in some spots, but don't expect hot and heavy action.  The fish were sluggish on the take today, and they didn't have the same zip in the fight that you find in the warmer months. 
I got my fish today on small kernels of pineapple flavored maize.  I opted for the maize because dace (fall fish) were in the area I was fishing and they like to pick the sweet corn off the hair. Maize is far more durable.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Back to Reality

It was back to reality today as the super carp fishing of the last two days returned to normal.  I figured this would happen with the cold night and snow of early morning.  I got out today and fished with my friend and fellow RI CAGer Nick. Temperatures today were generally in the forties and high thirties, almost 20 degrees colder than yesterday.
While the fishing was not as fast and furious as the last two days, it was still good.  Nick and I landed a combined 11 carp with many of the fish going 8-12 lbs. That is very decent fishing for this time of year, but far slower than the 37 carp I landed while fishing alone on Wed. and Thurs. Still, we were happy with the results.
We fished with maize today fished on the hair rig with no method ball, generally the bait set up I use in the cold weather months.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best Back to Back Days EVER in November

It was a mix of good size mirrors and
commons today.
The best fish of the day was a big
mirror just shy of 20 lbs.
I was back at it again today focusing on a different spot, and the results were astounding AGAIN.  In a lot of ways this was even a better outing than yesterday.
I landed a total of 17 carp today.  The numbers are only part of the story.  I had bigger fish overall than yesterday with numerous fish from the teens to just shy of 20 lbs.  In addition, I landed a massive wild goldfish, a gorgeous gold specimen that went about 5 lbs., off the charts for this kind of fish.
The fish were super active today.  I switched to maize because dace and suckers kept picking at the sweetcorn.  The carp were right on the maize.  On three different casts, I had carp off and running before I was even able to put my rod on the alarm.  I'm guessing the carp took the bait on the way down or when it immediately hit the bottom. That type of aggressiveness is rare in carp fishing.
My total for 2 days was 37 carp. Those are the best back to back days I have ever experienced in November.  Unbelievable!

The prize of the day was this huge wild goldfish. Note that goldfish have no
barbels and have a straight forward mouth rather than a mouth under its head.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Phenomenal November Day

Today's haul was
a combination of
mirrors and commons.
This chunky mirror in the teens
was one of the bigger ones landed
I 've been on a roll this November as I have been catching good numbers of carp in just short, two hour sessions while fishing in the morning. I've been mostly fishing saltwater in the afternoon and evenings.  Well, I decided to fish for carp all day today and take a break from my striper fishing. The results were astounding for this time of year in November.
Today I landed 20 carp.  These were a combination of commons and mirrors.  I had nothing real big, but I did have some fish between 10-15 lbs.  Nothing wrong with those fish! All these fish were taken on sweetcorn fished on the hair rig with no method, something I usually do in the cold weather months.
I sense that these fish were charged up from all the warm weather we have been having this week. Maybe they sense the cold is coming, and today was an opportune time to feed.  For whatever the reason, they were hitting big time.  There were many times today I couldn't even keep two lines in the water as I seemed to be always either unhooking a fish or baiting up one of my lines.
Man, this was a November day to remember!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Back to Sweetcorn

I'm back to using sweetcorn.  Sweetcorn is generally more effective than maize.  The carp go for the sweet taste and the softness.  I tend to use sweetcorn at this time of year and early spring because the pests like bluegills, hornpout and turtles are dormant.  In the warmer months these pests will take the sweet corn right off the hair rig.  Lately, I have been using Double Luck sweetcorn sold by Walmart.  It is inexpensive and effective. I'm using two or three kernels of it on the hair rig.
I landed several good size mirrors today using the Double Luck sweetcorn (see photo at right of one of the fish).  Yes, it was lucky for me, not so lucky for the carp!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

600th Carp of the Year

600th carp for 2014!
I'm on a bit of a November roll as I have gotten good numbers of fish thus far this month. I hit another big number today as I landed my 600th carp of the year. It was a good looking mirror that was caught on maize. In the last four years I have been able to catch over 600 carp each year.  Last year I landed my 600th fish on Nov. 29.  This year I got it on Nov.9 so I am ahead of last year's pace. Whether I can get to 700 fish this year will depend greatly on the weather, especially in December.  Back in 2011, a very warm winter year, I landed 739 carp, my best year ever in terms of numbers.  It is doubtful that I can get that many this year, but you never know.
I plan to fish all winter long for carp so long as I have open water spots to do it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Carp Moving into Winter Locations

This good looking mirror was landed
in one of my winter spots.
It's getting to be that time of the year when carp shift to their wintering over spots. I saw this today as I fished in one of those locations and saw small schools (6-10 carp) moving slowly around in this location.
Carp tend to do this in winter.  They will bunch up for the winter and congregate in one area.  It might be a deep spot in a river or a lake.  It might be a place where the water is just a bit warmer than the rest of the body of water. These places are hard to find and are generally found by experienced carpers who put in a lot of time and effort. I know of only a few such spots, though I am always on the lookout for more,  If you know of a wintering over spot, it can be a place that produces throughout the winter, especially if it is in an ice free location.
Today was a good day for me as I tried one of my winter spots.  I ended up with six mirrors.  They were all landed on small kernels of pineapple flavored maize fished on the hair rig.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Successful Fish-in on Nasty Day

The RI CAG held our annual fall fish-in today in some very nasty weather. Temperatures were in the thirties with a strong north wind that brought in waves of rain and snow. Five fishermen showed up and within a half hour there were only two left, Bob White and myself.  Well, we decided to brave the cold and stick it out for several hours.
I'm glad we did because we ended up getting 4 carp (all mirrors) with another fish on (see pics of two of them).  The fish ranged from about 5 to 10 lbs.  Not bad in such nasty weather and not bad for a fish-in.  Traditionally, we have not had much success at fish-ins.  We have actually been blanked at a number of them over the years, so four fish from two guys would have to be considered a success.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Just Been an Average Fall So Far

The weather has been great this fall, but the carp fishing
has simply been average.
I've been describing this fall's carp fishing as simply fair.  Well, I'll throw another word out there....average.  In the last ten years I have averaged about fifty fish in each of the months of September and October.  This year I landed 57 carp in Sept. and 55 in Oct.  Pretty average in my book.
Fall fishing for carp can vary greatly.  Last year, my best early fall ever (September and October), I landed 163 carp in those two months.  Way above average.  However, back in 2010, I landed only 52 carp in those two months. Way below average. Note that I am fishing about the same number of days and times.
I thought this would have been one of those very good years because the weather has been warm so far.  But, I guess the weather has not been much of a factor.  The big issue is that I can't seem to find a hot venue.  I'm talking a place where I can rack up some big numbers in a short period of time.  Those hotspots are just not happening this fall for me. Maybe something hot will turn up in November.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Best Hour of the Fall

This is one of six carp landed in
just one hour of fishing tonight.
This has not been a banner fall.  I've written a number of times about how the carp fishing has only been "fair" thus far here in RI.  So, when I went out tonight locally for a short session of only hour or so I was hoping for maybe a fish or two.
I got a surprise.  The fish were active and hitting.  In a short hour or so I landed 6 mirrors.  This was the best hour of fishing I have had all fall.  The fish tonight started hitting a half hour before dark and continued hitting after dark.  I landed all the fish on maize fished on the hair rig. I will also tell you that I prebaited the area I fished earlier in the day. Prebaiting always ups the chances of catching fish.
I suspect that the recent cold nights have gotten a fall run going and gotten the carp feeding in anticipation of winter as water temperatures are on the way down.  Let's hope this sudden good fishing I had tonight continues.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Even Bad Weather Not a Turn-on

This decent size common was
landed yesterday in some rainy
and windy weather. The fishing
has not improved in the nasty
weather of the last few days.
In the past I have posted numerous posts about how lousy, rainy and stormy weather was a turn-on in carp fishing.  I have had spectacular days of fishing in some of the lousiest weather imaginable.  I'm talking fishing in hurricanes, tropical storms and windswept heavy rains.
However, the northeaster of the last two few days has had little effect on carp fishing.  I'm still getting them, but I continue to rate the fishing as only fair.  The bad weather has not made the fishing any better or any worse. For instance, I fished a good spot this morning in the wind and light rain and landed just one carp.  I went back to another spot tonight in pouring rain and got one decent size carp after dark.
So, what's wrong.  I believe that the current northeaster is bringing with it a lot of cold weather that is dropping the water temps.  Sudden drops in water temperatures are just not good at this time of year.  There is no question in my mind.....if we had a south or southeast wind with warm temperatures in the 60's and 70's with rain, we would have some terrific fishing. Warm rain tends to be a turn-on for carp in the fall while a cold rain at this time of year has little effect on the fishing.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

After Dark Working

In the last three nights I have fished a lot in the evening into the night.  The carp have been active at and after dark.  The daylight has produced very little when I fished in the morning lately.
Most fishermen don't associate nighttime fishing with carp fishing. I will tell you that they do feed well at night, sometimes just as good as they feed in the daytime.  Fall is one of the prime times to fish at night, although some fishermen like RI CAGer Kev Wasliewski gets them throughout the year at night.
The approach at night is the same as fishing in the daytime.  I think bite alarms are almost a must at night since it can be mighty dark in some spots, and the sound and light on the alarms are great to alert you to a hit when you can't see a thing.  Baiting is the same as fishing in the daylight.  Wear some warm clothing and bring a quality headlight and you are set for night fishing.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New RI CAG Tournament in Progress

RI CAG member Bob White holds a good size mirror
carp that he entered in our fall tournament. Nice looking fish!
The RI CAG is running a new tournament this fall for its members.  It is called the Common/Mirror Combo Tournament.  Here's how it works.  Members enter the biggest common and the biggest mirror they catch in the fall months of Sept., Oct., and Nov. in RI waters.  The combined weight of the two fish is your total number of points. First, second and third place will be awarded medals.
Already we have had some impressive fish entered.  These are carp with weights in the teens and twenties.
We have an active RI CAG club of carp fishermen here in RI, and we run our own fish-ins and tournaments. To join our group, you must be a member of the national Carp Anglers Group (CAG). The national group also runs a number of tournaments, photo and writing contests and fish-ins.  It also puts out a magazine four times a year.  Members also have total access to their popular and informative Forum. Information on joining is on the CAG website at .

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stormy Weather Fails to Perk Things Up

I landed only two
carp in 8 hours of
fishing yesterday. I
expected better fishing.
I was all excited when I saw yesterday's forecast.  Stormy weather in years past meant big days of carp fishing with lots of fish and big ones.  Not yesterday.  I spent 8 hours fishing two different venues in the wind and rain and came away with two carp in the low teens along with a large horned pout.  It was just not that good. And, I saw little activity with only a few fish jumping.
So, just as my previous post describes the fishing for the month, yesterday's results were just "steadily fair".  It should have been better for this time of year. Maybe we need some cold weather to perk things up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Consistently Fair

This large common measured 34
inches and was landed this morning.
It was one of four decent commons
landed in a 3 hour short session.
The carp fishing thus far in October is typical of what I've seen in other years.  I would describe it as consistently fair.  Carp fishing in the fall is kind of like the weather.  Hot one day, cold the next and somewhere in between on other days.
I've been fishing mostly short sessions in the morning. I usually get out for two or three hours.  On just about every outing this month I have been getting one to four fish. Not great numbers but consistently fair.  However, I have been getting some hefty fish this month with numerous 20 lbers. coming to the net.  This morning I got a beast of a common that measured 34 inches long.  While I didn't weigh the fish, I'm guessing it was in the low to mid twenties.
Many novice carpers try to equate fall fishing with spring fishing.  Well, that is like comparing apples to oranges.  During the spring months of April, May and June, I generally average 100 or more fish a month.  At the other end of the calendar in the months of Sept., Oct. and Nov., I average 50 fish a month, half of what I catch in the spring.  Realize, though, big fish can be caught in both the spring and fall.  The largest carp ever caught in RI was a gargantuan common that tipped the scales at 36 lbs. I caught that fish in November.  So, it can happen in the fall.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tough Choices

Where to fish, what to fish for?? This is always my dilemma in the fall as I am fishing both salt and freshwater.  It's a time of the year that I fish more for striped bass than I fish for carp.  Nevertheless, I am still carp fishing, mostly in the mornings and on very stormy days.
Today was typical of my schedule at this time of year.  I left the house at 9:00 AM and headed for one of my favorite carp spots. I had my saltwater gear with me along with my freshwater gear.  I fished freshwater for about two and a half hours, and landed one good size carp.  I left my freshwater spot about noontime and headed for Narragansett.  I slugged it out there in some rough water but was rewarded with a 40 striper day. I got all schoolies and no keepers although last week I had two big stripers over 40 inches from shore.  Tonight I fished until dark in Gansett then headed to another location to try for a big one after dark.  Got nothing in the second spot.
I ended up getting home about 9:00 PM.  This has been my schedule for the last month. Tough choices.....I'm sure many of you would love to make these "tough choices"!