Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Competing in the CAG Big 4

For the last month I  have been chasing big carp as I have been competing in the national CAG Big 4 tournament.  This tournament pits about 70 of the best carp fishermen in the US, Canada and Mexico against one another in a contest to see who can amass the greatest poundage with 4 of their largest carp.  There are prizes for the top 3 scorers along with prizes for the biggest mirror and the biggest common.
I have no chance to win the biggest poundage.  There are guys from this group that will score an average of almost 35 lbs. a fish!  These are fishermen who fish the St. Lawrence, the rivers along the Great Lakes and big rivers in the Midwest.  My goal  has always been a top 10 finish. In three previous Big 4 tournaments I have placed 6th, 7th and 8th.
What I do have a shot at winning is the biggest mirror carp. We have big mirrors here in NE and guys who fish this area have a shot at the biggest one.  In the past I have won this prize with fish of 32 and 40 lbs.
Currently I am sitting in second place overall with a total poundage of 122 lbs, 12 oz.  My fish weigh as follows: 40 lbs., 2 oz., 28 lbs., 4 oz., 27 lbs., 4 oz., and 27 lbs., 2 oz.  My 40 lb., 2 oz. mirror is the biggest mirror caught thus far and the biggest carp in the entire tournament so far.
The tournament ends in three days.  We'll see what happens.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Color of the Week......PINK

This forty pound monster is about
to be released.  It fell for the bait
combination at the right.
This bait combo of a pink ESP
artificial corn matched with two
kernels of sweet corn on the hair
has been a hot bait for big fish this week.
Make sure you pack a method ball
around the sinker for added attraction.
This has been one of the best weeks of the year for me with lots of carp from the upper teens through the twenties along with that monster 40 lb. mirror.  The common thread here is that all my big fish have fallen for the same bait combination.
The hot bait has been an artificial ESP Big Buoyant Sweet Corn in  a pink color.  That artificial went on the hair first followed by two kernels of real sweet corn.  This was all fished with a method ball packed around the sinker.
I'm not surprised that this bait combo worked.  There was a study done that concluded that carp were attracted to "warm" colors.  The top color was pink followed by orange, red and yellow.  All spring I have been adding color to my bait combinations on the hair, and it has resulted in the best spring for big carp I have ever experienced.
Forty pounders are not easy to fool, but I'm convinced that pink artificial did the trick!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Gorgeous Mirror

Yesterday I landed the most beautiful mirror carp I have ever seen.  This fish was perfectly formed.  It was fat as a pig, had a big head, fins bigger than the size of my hand and had a tail the size of a small broom.  However, the most unique thing about this fish was its coloring.  It had these big gold scales across the middle of its body.  In addition, its belly was a milky white that seemed to run up the lower part of its body.  Its middle fins on the belly were also white and white streaks ran along its tail and front fins.  The fish was truly unique and beautiful, a one of a kind beauty.
And, it was 27 lbs......not too shabby in the weight department either!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

40 Lb. MASSIVE Mirror!

I hit the jackpot today as I landed a gargantuan mirror carp that weighed exactly 40 lbs., 2 oz.  The beast was a whopping 41 inches long.  All spring I have been catching a load of 20's and had flirted with 30 lbs. on several fish., coming up just a little short.  So, my goal was to catch a fish over thirty pounds.  This fish shattered that goal and becomes my second 40 that I  have ever landed.
I just knew I had a big fish on as I picked up the rod with the spinning reel.  True to a big fish, this one stayed deep and moved along the bottom.  There were no fast movements.  The fight became a tug of war.  The critical point in a fight with a big fish is getting it into the net.  I made several stabs with the net before I got her. As I did I couldn't help but notice the fish was barely hooked in the lip and one major slip of the net and it would be gone.  Finally, I had my prize in the net.
When I took a photo of the fish on the self timer I was unable to hold the fish outward due to its weight.  The fish was practically pressed against my body.  After a few photos, the fish was released and swam away in good shape.
When I weighed the beast, the Rueben-Heaton scale settled on just over 40 lbs. This is not a record because it was taken in MA waters where the state record for carp is 46 lbs. 
Every year a very few forties are quietly landed in New England.  Few fishermen can lay claim to catching one of these monsters in their lifetime of carp fishing.  It's unreal that I can now say that I have landed two of them!  Wow!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

200th Carp....a Beast

My 200th carp of the year was a real beast of a fish at just
over 27 lbs.
I just got around today to updating my log and discovered I landed my 200th carp for 2014 a couple of days ago.  In fact, that 200th carp was the 27 lb. common that I landed Friday evening.  It was appropriate that this milestone was a big fish since this whole spring has been the spring of big ones for me with more twenty pounders this spring than I have ever caught in the beginning of any year.  The action is continuing since I landed 6 more fish up to 20 lbs. this morning in just a few hours of fishing.  Wow, this has been a good May!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Day of BIG Fish

I've written this type of post so many times in the last five years.  I got up this morning and KNEW this would be a good day of carp fishing just by looking out my kitchen window.  Carp are turned on by rainy, stormy and nasty weather.
My day started off this morning fishing with my friend Nick.  We fished a venue known for big mirrors.  We landed 6 fish and most of them weighed in the high teens, but the highlight of this morning of fishing was Nick's PB mirror of 28 lbs. 8 oz.  This was a hog of a fish, a big female, that fell for a combination of sweet corn and artificial floating corn, the hot bait combo for the week.
Later in the day and evening, I hit another place that has been producing big commons all week.  I fished that same sweet corn/artificial corn combo and came away with 6 good size commons that went mostly in the high teens and low twenties.  However, the big fish of the night was a big female that weighed a whopping 27 lbs., 4 oz.
All week that ESP artificial corn in combination with sweet corn has been real hot.  The best colors of the pop-up artificial corn has been pink, red and orange.  If you are not using this stuff, you are missing out on some very effective carp bait.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beast of the Day Just Shy of 30 lbs.!

Man, the big fish are on the prowl.  They are in a prespawn mood and they have been super aggressive. They are on the feed.  Today was a great outing with 6 good size fish.  This is THE time of the year to nail a BEAST.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WINNER.....Big Carp Tackle.....April Carp of the Month

Big Carp Tackle, the largest online carp fishing tackle site in the US ( ) sponsors a monthly photo contest for CAG members.  It's a popular contest with upwards of 20-30 carp entered a month.  The winner is not necessarily the biggest fish but it's the best looking or most unusual fish that wins. The payoff is very generous with a $100 gift certificate to the winner.
As everyone knows, I am a big photo guy.  I take a lot of pictures.  I also take a lot of self portrait timed shots by myself with the camera on some kind of mount. I take most of my pictures with inexpensive (about $50-$100) Canon compact cameras.
My winner was a beautiful fully scaled mirror (20 lbs.) that had very unusual scales.  Some of them were as large as baseballs while others were much smaller.  The fish was also especially a golden color, and its scales seemed to shine like gold coins.  I thought it was the most beautiful fully scaled mirror I have ever caught, and that's why I entered it.  I guess the judges thought the same as I did.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rare Leather Carp Highlight of the Day

Leather carp are basically smooth skinned carp that have little or no scales.  In most, the dorsal row of scales are few or missing. Like a common and a mirror carp, a leather carp is biologically the same as the other two.  However, it is distinctly genetically different than a common or a mirror.  A lot of carp fishermen are confused thinking a leather is a mirror carp with little or no scales.  Not true.  Leathers are different from mirrors.  In addition, leather carp have lower red blood cell counts and have much slower growth rates than mirrors.
The highlight of my good fishing day today was catching a dark skinned leather carp.  I landed a good number of carp up to 20 lbs.,  but the 19 lb. leather carp shown here was the first I have gotten this year and the first in a long time.  Once again, the fish were active today.  Chick peas in combination with pop-up artificial corn was the hot bait.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Impressive Catches in May for Big 3

This is the biggest mirror entered
so far in May for the
RI CAG Big 3 at just under 21 lbs.
The biggest common is a whopping
30 lbs., 8 oz.
Our RI CAG members continue to rack up some impressive fish in the second leg of our Big 3 Tournament.  So far in May quite a few fish in the twenties have been landed along with our first 30 pound carp.  This week noted big carp hunter, Kev Wasliewski (known as RI's Dark Carper) set the bar real high with a 30 lb., 8 oz. common carp that he landed from Roger Williams Park.  This was his second thirty pounder this spring, a monumental achievement.  Most RI carp fishermen will never catch one thirty in their lifetime here in RI,and this guy has two of them in just over a month. WOW!  You can read about his catch and see a video at
Big carp are on the prowl now because they are in a prespawn mode.  Prior to spawning, they tend to pack up and feed heavily.  In addition, the females are loaded with eggs, making them even heavier.  This is the time to get out and catch a real big one.
Some other impressive catches in the last couple of weeks that have been entered in the Big 3 include Daphne's 22 lb. common (a new PB for RI's Carper Gal), Nick's 24 lb. common, and Todd's nearly 21 lb. mirror.  Nice going, RI CAG carpers!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On a May Roll

It's been very hot action in the
last three days with 33 carp up to
18 lbs.
The hot bait has been a combo
bait of one chick pea and a kernel
of artificial floating corn on the
hair rig.
It's been a real hot last three days of carp fishing for me.  I've landed exactly 33 carp in a number of different spots.  It just seems like every place I try is producing. The fish I have gotten have ranged from 8-18 lbs.  There have been no real big ones, but I'm not complaining since the action has been non-stop.
The hot bait in this May bonanza has been a combo bait of chick peas with a kernel of floating artificial corn.  This is all placed on the hair rig with a method ball around the sinker.  Chick peas or garbanzo beans are a hot bait here in RI.  I buy mine dry.  To prepare them, boil water then add a handful of them.   Boil for exactly 20 minutes.  I then let them sit and swell for a while and then transfer them to a container that I refrigerate.
In past years May has been one of my hottest months of carp fishing.  This is a month in which the carp hit real well even in the middle of the daytime.  For instance, in the last three days the hot action has occurred from noon to 3:00 PM.  May is one of those months that produce a lot of fish as well as big fish.  In the last five years I have landed 9 carp OVER 30 lbs. in the month of May and generally average about 100 carp this month.
If you can put in a lot of time fishing for carp, this is the month to do it!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Today's haul was a mix of commons
and mirrors.
2 fishermen, 1 afternoon/evening, 40 carp......
The fish went 10-18 lbs.
Yes, that's right, a phenomenal 40 carp in one session.  Fellow RI CAG member Daphne and I hit a pond today and came away with the biggest hit of the year.  We fished in a big wind that also came with heavy showers on and off.  In my mind it was ideal conditions to fish for carp, and the fish were really turned on..  These fish were a mix of commons and mirrors and went 10-18 lbs.  Most of the fish fell for combo baits of chick peas and artificial floating corn with a method ball pressed into the sinker.  Yes, I'm back to  using the plastic stuff. With the Blackstone River running very high I decided to go back to pond fishing today, and it really paid off.  In a sport where two or three fish is a good day, this was just PHENOMENAL!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Impressive Catches for RI BIG 3 in April

3 rd place....21 lbs., 5 oz.
The first leg of the RI Big 3 tournament for RI CAG carpers is in the books, and there were some impressive catches.  Our Big 3 tournament runs for 3 months.  Our guys and gals enter their biggest carp for each month.  The total poundage determines the winner.  We'll award medals for first, second and third. And, boy, did our carpers land some big fish this month.
2 nd place....24 lbs., 9 oz.
Here are the standings for April:
1st- Kevin- 27 lbs.
2nd- Jack- 24 lbs., 9 oz.
3rd- Todd- 21 lbs., 5 oz.
Other fish entered:
Tom- 20 lbs., 8 oz., Nick- 18 lbs., 8 oz., Daphne- 18 lbs., 8 oz. and Ryan- 16 lbs., 8 oz.

Since I am running the tournament, I have opted not to enter any of my fish.
Great job to all who entered.  Now, it's onto our second month.  Let's enter some big ones for May!