Thursday, May 28, 2015

200th Carp of the Year

Landed this near smooth skinned, 20 lb.  mirror today.  It was my 200th carp
for 2015. I'm on a big time late May roll with good numbers of large carp in the last week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Best Day of the Year

This 27 lb. mirror was one of five fish over 20 lbs. taken
on this warm and sultry day. 
A big day seems to come along every May for me and today was THE day. It was warm and sultry and the fishing was simply as hot as it gets at this time of the year.  I had my best outing of the year banking over 200 lbs. of carp! The big fish totals were just staggering.....5 fish over 20 lbs., which included two 27 lb. hogs, and 9 more fish in the 15-19 lb. range. In addition, I lost two other good fish.
The hot bait ticket today was just what I had posted yesterday....that combo of sweet corn and a pink pop-up fished off the hair rig (see photo at right) and fished ahead of a method ball. That was the same bait combo that produced that 40 lb. monster that I landed last year around this time.
I suspect the fish were in a prespawn mode today as there were a lot of them bunched up in one location, a phenomenon that usually happens before spawning.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Back to Sweetcorn

This released carp was one of 9 carp landed today on
sweetcorn or sweetcorn/artificial corn fished on the hair rig.
I was in a bit of slump in the last few days.  It was a fish here, a fish there.  So, I checked back on my log from last year to see if I was doing anything differently. I found that I was using sweetcorn a lot more than I was using it this year in May.  In the last few weeks I have been using maize in combo with artificials. I went this route because of the pests like turtles, horned pout and suckers who would take off the bait. But, maize is far less effective than sweetcorn.
So, I went back to using sweetcorn today and the results were impressive. I was either using sweetcorn alone or in combination with artificial corn.  I did two short sessions today, three hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.  In that time I managed to put 9 carp on the bank up to 20 lbs. It was very good fishing, and I credit the sweetcorn for the success.
I will warn fishermen that if you use sweetcorn at this time of year you had better check your bait fairly often like every 20 or 30 minutes.  Several times today I found out I had no bait. I'm sure turtles and suckers were taking it off. But, when it stayed on, it was very effective.
If you are looking for some inexpensive but quality sweetcorn try "Double Luck" sweetcorn sold at Walmart. It sells for about 50 cents a can.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How Long in One Spot?

A nice mirror sits in the water in the net.  On this day it was
a hit or fish about every hour and a half which is good action
when carp fishing.  I stayed and landed 5 carp.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from beginners is this.  How long do you spend in one spot?
There is no simple answer to this question.  Most experienced carpers get a feel for a spot and generally know when to stay and when to leave.  Here are a few general guidelines I use in most places.
* Did you prebait the spot?  If so, you should get a hit or a fish within about an hour and a half of starting. With no prebaiting, I might toss in some bait when I get to a spot and I usually give the place a couple of hours.
*Are you seeing any signs of fish?  I'm talking jumping fish, whirls, bubble trails, mud clouds or fish moving close to shore.  If so, I will usually stay fishing and try to change baits to get them to hit rather than moving to a different spot.
*Are you catching?  If I am getting runners or catching fish, I will stay.  In carp fishing, one fish an hour is really good.
*Did you bait other spots?  I will tend to move if I have another good option which means that I usually bait 2 or 3 spots.  These spots can be in the same body of water or in different venues that are close by. You are more likely to catch in prebaited spots.
*Do you have the right conditions or time?  High percentage times include rainy days, daybreak and sunset.  I usually don't move when I have the right time or conditions.
So, no hard and firm rules when deciding to stay or leave.  As you put in more time in this game, you develop a sixth sense that tells you how long to stay in one spot.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lousy Weather Turns it On

The biggest fish of the day was this 27 1/2 lb. beast.
Once again, stormy weather has delivered a big day of fishing.
When I left the house this morning I knew the fishing would be at least good.  I thought it might even be terrific.  Lousy, rainy and stormy weather at this time of year really turns on the fish. It has happened to me on so many occasions that I see it as almost a sure bet. Some of the best spring days I have ever fished have been in stormy weather. Many of my largest fish over 30 lbs. have fallen on stormy days.
Today was a good day for big fish.  Fishing in the rain, I landed 5 decent fish that ranged from 15 to 27 1/2 lbs. I got them all on combo baits of 2 kernels of maize along with a kernel of pink, ESP artificial corn.  It is the same bait combo that has been scoring big fish for me much of the spring. The fish were also active today as I saw a lot of fish jumping and rolling on the surface.
Unlike most people I am hoping for some more stormy weather in the upcoming weeks!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

CAG Big 4 Tournament

This 26 + lb. mirror is my latest entry for the Big 4 Tournament.
I am currently competing in the national CAG Big 4 Tournament.  This is a "major league" tournament for members that runs in the months of April and May.  The idea is to enter your 4 largest carp taken in that period.  The weight total becomes your score.  There are prizes for the biggest common, the biggest mirror and the top three finishers in weight total.  Three times in the past I have won the prize for the biggest mirror.
My goal is always to try to come in the top ten overall.  This is very difficult to do because you are competing against some of the very best carp fishermen in the country. These guys are also fishing big fish spots.  Areas like New York, NJ, the Great Lakes and the Midwest will give up the majority of the real large fish, with commons sometimes reaching upwards to fifty pounds. So, I have little chance to crack the top three.
Last year I had a point total of 122 lbs. and that was good for sixth place overall.  I had a 40 lb. carp (winner of biggest mirror) and that helped to really boost my overall total. That 122 lbs., an average of over 30 lbs. a fish, was my best showing ever.
So far this year I am currently sitting at 106 lb., 8 oz. My smallest fish for the Big 4 is 25 lbs. while my biggest is 29 lbs. I figure I have to get up to about 110 lbs. to crack the top ten.  I'm hoping for that real big fish in the upcoming two weeks.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Biggest Carp of the Year (So Far)......29+lbs.!

Here is a brute of a mirror carp that I landed today.  It tipped the scales at 29 lbs., 2 oz.
It is my biggest so far this year.  It fell for a combo bait of 2 kernels of
maize and one kernel of pink, artificial, ESP  pop-up corn fished on a hair rig.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Big Numbers Weekend

This decent size mirror carp
laying in the water was one of
15 carp landed today in two short
sessions. It was a big weekend
of fishing for me and other RI
CAG members.
In the last post I wrote about how carp fishing for May has been mediocre so far.  Well, that changed for me this weekend as I hit some big numbers of fish.  My totals for Saturday and Sunday were 23 carp landed.  Just today I had 15 of them, making this the biggest day in terms of numbers this year. And, I landed all these fish in multiple locations.  That tells me that the fish have suddenly gotten active all over the state in this warm weather.  While I wish I could tell you these were all big fish, I did not have a 20 lber. in the bunch although I put in a good amount of time in some big fish spots.  My fish for the weekend haul went 6-16 lbs. They were all caught on many kinds of bait from sweet corn to double pop-up boilies to maize and artificials.
While I was having a big weekend of carp fishing, other RI CAG members were also hitting it big.  Todd Richer reported an impressive day of fishing on Saturday with good numbers of good size fish.  Daphne Forster banked a couple of big ones into the twenties.  And, RI big carp hunter, Kev Wasliewski, had a banner weekend knocking off big numbers of fish and big ones to boot with a 28 lber. topping his list.  You can read about Kev's adventures on his blog at Dark Carping.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Mediocre May so Far

It's been a mediocre May so far.  Numbers are
down and sizes are down.  But, still plenty
of time left to nail that big one!
Most carp fishermen around here will tell you that May is the very best month of the year to fish for carp.  The fish are usually their most active in this prespawn period.  Over the years I have caught the majority of my big fish (over 30 lbs. into the 40's) in the month of May.
But, so far this year, May has been just mediocre for me.  I'm averaging 2 carp an outing for May, way off compared to other Mays when I got an average of 4 or 5 fish an outing.  I have no real big ones yet with the biggest going in the low twenties.
I must be the only one in RI  hoping this string of beautiful, sunny days comes to an end. It is not the greatest of conditions to fish in the daylight hours.  In the past I have had some real big days in stormy, rainy weather in May. We haven't seen a drop of rain so far this month.  Some storminess could really light up the fishing.
There is still a lot of time left to the month and I know that just one fish could really make my spring. I am on the prowl for that high 30 or even 40 lber. Might just never know in this game.

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Bait Combo Really Producing

The hot bait combo has been a
kernel of  ESP artificial corn matched
with a Nash 10 mm pop-up boilie.
Keep in mind that color
contrast has been
Most carp fishermen who read this blog know that I am really high on using combo baits. In the last week I have landed good numbers of carp by using pop-up combo baits. The hot combo for me has been a small, 10 mm pop-up boilie (Nash) combined with a pop-up kernel of artificial corn (ESP brand).  This combo is completely buoyant and floats about 5 inches (length of hooklink) above the sinker when on the bottom.  I am also mixing up colors, with one of my best combos being a yellow boilie with a red kernel artificial corn.I've also used orange and pink kernels of corn. I am also using a method ball packed around the sinker. This has fooled a number of big carp this week with most of my fish in the high teens to twenty pounds.

This is one of many good size carp landed this week on the new
pop-up bait combo.