Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mulberry Drop in Full Swing

Mulberries can come
in pink, white, and
purple colors. Carp
just love them!
This fish was landed this morning
on a freelined mulberry.  Use a
small hook like a size #8.
Do you know where there is a mulberry tree along a carp pond or river?  If so, that might just be your best spot to fish right now.  Carp just love mulberries, and they can't get enough of them.  As the berries fall into the water, you can often see the carp's lips just coming up to the surface to suck in every berry they can find. They are on a mulberry feed right now.
Freelining is your best bet to fishing mulberries since you want a delicate presentation.  Tie just a small hook (#8) to the end of your line.  Then impale a ripe mulberry.  Flip it out to where the carp are feeding and watch the line take off. Simple, yet very effective.
I landed my first carp on a mulberry this morning as I got a fish of around ten pounds.  I also had several other big ones on that I lost.  Losing fish is part of the game when fishing mulberries.  Freelined baits just don't offer the same hooking effectiveness as a hair rigged bait.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Another Good Day in Lousy Weather

Yesterday's haul totaled 7 carp from 10-18 lbs.
Yesterday was the lousiest day of the week, yet it was the best for fishing.
I got out in the morning cloudy and humid weather and landed 6 carp from 10-18 lbs. using maize. I also had two other fish on and another two runners that dropped the bait. The fish were active as I saw a lot of fish moving around, digging in the mud and jumping.  It was the best mornings of fishing I have had in weeks.  I later went back in the evening and had less success.  I did land one fish at dark while floating bread crust.  There were a few fish feeding on bread pieces and this one fish took the hooked piece.
I have written countless times about how lousy weather can produce real good carp fishing.  Yesterday was just one more example.

Monday, June 23, 2014

It just ain't May anymore.....

Suckers (above), dace and
turtles have become active
in this warm weather.

Landed this 8 lb. carp this morning.
It was the only carp caught. 
Here's the best way I can describe recent carp fishing: small fish, less of them and lots of pests.  It's amazing how the abundant larger fish of May disappeared once the warm weather in June set in. And, I'm fishing a lot of the same spots that were super hot a month ago.  In  most places right now the water is low due to the recent lack of rain and it's warming rapidly.  That has the fish quite lethargic by day. This beautiful sunny weather is not helping.
I got out this morning and it was typical of recent outings.   I fished one of my hot May spots.  All I could muster was one eight pound carp that hit maize. That was my only carp run. I also landed a sucker of about 18 inches along with a dace.  I had a lot of pesty fish (turtles, suckers and dace I assume) banging the method ball. I saw no bubble trails or breaking fish.
So, this is June fishing as the summer slowdown begins.  Man, it just ain't May anymore.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Small, Tough and Charged Up

The catches tonight included this mirror double.  Tonight's fish
 were aggressive and charged up.
I tangled with some of the best fighting fish I have caught all year this evening.  Surprisingly, these were all small carp in the 5-8 lb. range.  Summer fish can, indeed, be very good fighters.  They can also be aggressive feeders when they are in the mood, and they were in the mood tonight.
I got home late from commitments today and had a couple of hours to get out after supper. So, I fished locally in one of my"small" spring spots that I rarely fish at this time of year.  I found lots of carp moving around.  Some were grubbing on the bottom, some were moving very close to the shore in small groups.  In all there was lots of activity, and that usually spells decent action.  I landed four mirror carp and lost another in a short period of time while fishing with maize on the hair rig (no method ball).  All the takes were screamers, and these fish were actually ripping drag from my Okuma Avenger reel that was spooled with 15 lb. test mono.  It was like these fish were on steroids.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Scoring in a Slowdown

This is one of 4 mirror carp landed on this hot day
while fishing with maize.
We are in an early summer slowdown.  Fishing is simply not as good as it was back in April and May.  The water is warming, the fish are in a post spawn funk, and they are not feeding as heavily as they were back in the spring.  However, you can still catch in a summer slowdown.  I have been out just about every day in the last week and I have been generally getting one to four fish an outing.  Today I landed 4 mirrors up to 15 lbs.  Not bad in a summer slowdown.
Here are a few tips on how to score when the fishing is slow and the weather is hot:
* Fish the right times.  Best to fish in the coolest hours.  Get out in early morning, evening and nighttime.  Rainy days are also a good bet.
* If fishing in sunlight, try to focus on fishing shady areas.  Carp will seek the comfort of shade on warm days.
* Fish with hard baits such as maize.  The pests will have a field day with sweet corn and you just can't keep it on the hook.
* Try to prebait an area.  That always gets things going whether it's summer or spring.
* Look for hotspots.  Some places fish hotter in summer than others.  It's a matter of fishing and finding those places.
* Moving water (rivers) seem to fish better than stagnant ponds and lakes.  The fish are also more active in moving water.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Winner....Big Carp Tackle's May Carp of the Month

For the second month in a row (first time ever this has happened), one of my fish has been awarded Big Carp Tackle's Carp of the Month in its monthly photo contest for CAG members.  This fish was that beautiful mirror (see photo) with its milky white belly, big gold scales and big whitish fins and tail that I landed three weeks ago. It was one of the most gorgeous mirrors I have ever landed. And, it was 27 lbs. to boot.  The award for winning this contest was a $100 gift certificate to Big Carp Tackle ( ).  I'm sure I can put that to good use.
Tackle companies as well as the Carp Anglers Group are constantly running contests and tournaments for CAG members.  For anyone interested in joining our group, there is a special in the month of June as membership is only $10 for the year.  It's a great deal.  Anyone interested in joining, visit the CAG website at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In A Summer Slowdown

I know when things are slow because my e-mail is lit up with RI CAG members asking where the fish are hitting.  I wish I knew.  For the first time this year I blanked on two days in a row in the last week.  I went out today to two good spots and got nothing in the morning and landed one small one in the evening.  We are in a summer slowdown that was brought on by those recent warm days.
So, how do you score in a slowdown.  Here are a few approaches that just might get you some carp. Fish the right times.  At this time of year early morning and evening into night are your best times.  Fish with maize.  The pests (turtles, dace and bluegills) are out in force and will pick that sweet corn or doughball apart in an instant.  Prebaiting is always a way to up the odds in your favor.  And, finally, look for mulberry trees.  The mulberry drop is about to begin and that will perk up the fishing greatly along shores that have these trees.  Freelining is your best bet when fishing with mulberries.
And, realize the hot spring fishing of May is a thing of the past. I always lower my expectations in June.  There are not as many fish to be had, the fish get moody and the large females seem to go into hiding. It's just harder to score in June.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Once Again, BIG Day in Lousy Weather

Today's double was a rare
leather (top) and mirror catch.
The fish were 20 and 25 lbs.
Here we go again.  Lousy, rainy, miserable weather.  Terrific fishing.  I've written about this theme over and over again in the last five years.  Well, today was once again another example of how miserable weather just turns on carp, especially big ones.
My day started off slowly.  Two hours of fishing and nothing.  And, then all of a sudden, an alarm goes off.  Nothing special as I landed a 12 lb. mirror.  Got that one unhooked and recast.  Three minutes later another alarm sounds and I am fighting a good fish.  As soon as I get near the net, the other alarm goes off setting up a double.  This is another good fish.  The bigger of the two weighed 25 lbs. and the smaller one weighed 20 lbs.  It was a rare leather/mirror double, the first time that ever happened to me.
Things calmed down for the next hour or so and then the big one hit.  This fish was a terrific fighter and when I saw it whirl on the surface I thought it just might be a 30.  However, once in the net and on the scale this long and skinny fish pulled my Reuben Heaton scale down to exactly 29 lbs., a terrific fish and my second largest of the year.
All of today's fish were taken on a combo bait of sweet corn and a pink pop-up ESP artificial corn, the same combo that has been scoring big fish for me in the last month. This was fished ahead of a method ball.

The big fish of the day turns out to be a long and thin mirror carp
that tipped the scales at exactly 29 lbs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

40 lb. Mirror WINS Biggest Mirror Award in CAG Big 4 Tournament

My monster mirror of 40 lbs., 2 oz. won the Biggest Mirror
award in the North American CAG Big 4 Tournament.
That huge mirror carp of 40 lbs., 2 oz. that I landed two weeks ago has won the Biggest Mirror Award in this year's CAG Big 4 Contest. The prizes include bait packages and other carp gear. The CAG Big 4 showcases the very best big carp fishermen from all over North America in a competition to see who can catch the biggest common and biggest mirror along with a Big 4 total.  This was my third winning mirror in the last four years.  We are blessed with an abundance of big mirrors in the northeast, and we can compete nationally when it comes to mirror carp.  My Big 4 total was over 122 lbs. and that was good enough for sixth place overall.  My goal in this tournament is always a top ten finish and that's what I got.  I'm pleased.
Some of the fish taken in this North American tournament will dazzle you.  There were two 50's landed (both commons) and two 40's (one common and my mirror). One of those commons weighed 56 lbs., a new CAG record!  There were a whopping 34 carp in the thirties landed.  The Big 4 winner had a staggering total of over 170 lbs. which amounts to an average of over 42 lbs. a fish.  Holy smokes!
If you want to see some of the winning entries, visit the Carp Angler Group Forum at You will be very impressed at what you see.

Monday, June 2, 2014

First Carp a Real Beauty

This kid's first carp ever turns out to be 15 1/2 lbs.
The people in the background are stunned.
Several members of the RI CAG were carp fishing together tonight in a popular spot.  We were catching a few fish and attracting quite a crowd of onlookers.  This one kid who was fishing for bass nearby came over and asked how we were catching these fish. He said he had never caught a carp before but had seen a lot of them swimming around. One of our members, Tom Ricci, set the kid up with some sweet corn, a method ball and showed him how to fish a loose drag while watching the rod.
Suddenly, the kid's reel starts spinning as a fish picked up his offering.  Like a real pro, the kid picked up the rod, tightened the drag and fought the fish perfectly. Another one of our members, Nick Pacelli, netted the fish for the kid.  I ended up weighing it and taking his photo.  The fish weighed a whopping 15 1/2 lbs.  This was the kid's first carp, and it was a real beauty.  Before he left he shook hands with all of us and thanked us for showing him how to catch these carp. Judging by the smile on his face when he landed this fish, I suspect this was the biggest fish and the biggest thrill of his young fishing life.
Congrats on your first carp and I hope there are many more.