Saturday, July 30, 2016

Record Numbers for July

Adaptability. It is one  of the keys to successful carp fishing.  I am talking about the ability to change baits, change rigs and change venues when things are not going well. I have learned a long time ago that I have to adapt to changing conditions if I want to continue to catch good numbers of carp.
This is one of over 150 carp landed in the month of July.
It has been record numbers for me in July's heat.
Most fishermen, including myself, will tell you that July is a difficult month for carp fishing.  The weather is hot, the water is like a hot bath and the pests are ever so pesty. Even the carp seem to go into a funk in the mid day heat. In past years, I fished my summer spots and was content to catch a few fish here and a few fish there.  That was the way I started off this year in the first week of July. During that first week, it was a scant few fish with lots of effort and little return.
That's when I made the change.  I started exploring new spots.  At first it was a hit or miss deal and then I found something hot and stuck with it. Adaptability at work!
The results have been astounding.  So far this July I have landed over 150 carp, the best July I have ever experienced.  I will tell you that the majority of these fish have been small, under 10 lbs., but small is better than nothing in my book. The biggest fish I have been able to catch tipped the scale at just over 15 lbs.
There are other changes I have made since that first week of July.  All my fishing has been short sessions in the morning, the coolest part of the day.  I have gone to using small hooks.  Number 8 hooks with short hairs have done the trick on these smaller fish. I am also using a small amount of bait on the hair, mostly a kernel of maize and a kernel of sweet corn along with a small method ball.  One more thing.....I reel the bait in often to check it.  Yes, the bait stealing turtles have been a real problem, and I seem to catch upwards of a half dozen a week, but that is the irritating part of summer fishing that I put up with.
While fishing is often slow in the summer months, it can also be quite productive as I have found out this year. Adaptability is the key to making it work.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Photo of the Day....Number 400 on the Year!

Here is my 400th carp of the year that was landed yesterday. This hefty
common fell for a combo bait of sweet corn and maize fished
on the hair rig. The weather is hot and the fishing is hot right now for me.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beating the Heat

Man, it has been hot, and I am not talking about the fishing. With temperatures soaring into the 90's in the last couple of days and no relief in sight, I'm sure many of you are wondering if you can still catch carp in this weather. The answer is yes.  You see, carp are very resilient and adaptable fish.  They will feed in water that is in the 80's as well as water that is in the 30's.
This good size mirror was one of
21 carp landed in the last three
mornings.  Yes, they will hit in this
heat but you might have to adjust
your tactics.
I have been out fishing the last three mornings and have gotten decent numbers of fish (21 in all). I have made some changes to my fishing in this hot weather and that has resulted in the good numbers.
Here are a few suggestions to beat the summer heat and improve your summer carp fishing:
1. Settle for any size fish. While I live for chasing the big ones, I know this is a poor time to catch a big fish. So, rather than catch nothing I will take what I can get.  Of those 21 fish in the last three days, none were over 10 lbs.
2. Go smaller. Since I am targeting smaller fish I need to go smaller.  I like a #8 hook at this time of year.  I also like to shorten up the hair to fit just two kernels of corn. My hooklink is also short.
3. Go with a mix of sweet corn and maize. My bait on the hair has been one kernel of sweet corn and one kernel of small maize (nearest the hair stop).  The sun turtles will key on the sweet corn but generally (not always, though) will leave the maize alone. Even if they take off the sweet corn I still have a kernel of maize to lure a carp. I still use a small method ball.
4.  Check the  bait often. Turtles are merciless in this weather and will constantly harass you.  I will check my bait just about ever 15 or 20 minutes.
5.  Fish the mornings.  The fish will be most active at the coolest part of the day and that is the morning. I usually fish until about noontime on a hot day.
6. Some places are better than others.  From experience I know the best summer spots.  They are usually moving water locations and small ponds. I know a bunch of good summer spots that I keep a secret.
7.  Finally, get out and fish. Can't catch 'em if you don't have a line in the water!

Friday, July 15, 2016

From a Slump to a Hot Streak

I'm on a hot streak right now. I've landed some good
numbers as well as some quality fish like this mirror.
Back in the beginning of the month of July I was in a summer slump.  When that happens I usually make some big changes to my fishing.  I will try other spots, search for new locations, change baits, etc.
It usually takes a while for me to break out of the doldrums and find greener pastures elsewhere, but this time it was fast and consistent. In the last week, I have landed over 50 carp, fantastic numbers for the pits of July. I found a productive location that is off the beaten path, and it has really been producing for me. In the last week, my best day was 11 carp while my worst day was 3 fish.  Note that I am fishing short sessions, usually 2-3 hours an outing in the morning, which is the most productive time in the summer. I am catching all these fish on a combination bait of maize and sweet corn fished ahead of a small method ball.
This morning was a hot one weather-wise.  I was debating not going, but figured I would hit my spot for a short period of time.  I'm glad I did because in two hours I landed 7 carp up to fifteen pounds.  In addition, I also landed a large snapping turtle and a big sun turtle.  Yes, the turtles continue to be a summertime nuisance.
I always remind myself of something Kevin Wasliewski repeats several times on his blog, Dark Carping.  He frequently describes the carp year as a marathon rather than a sprint.  It is very true in my own fishing.  I will go through peaks and valleys, yet in the end, the numbers are usually there. A successful year for me is 500 to 700 carp.  I'm on pace to hit that, maybe more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

PB Products

A good number of carp like this
common have been caught on
PB hooks and hooklink this week.
I'll bet most of you have never heard of PB Products.  I know I didn't know anything about them until I won second place in the recent CAG Spring Big 4 contest.  For my winning, I received a generous gift certificate to purchase these products.
PB Products are well known and well repected in Europe.  They are basically terminal tackle and more.  They sell a range of these products which include hooks, swivels, sinkers, hooklink, leader material, line, tools and other supplies.  Saxon Tackle is the distributor of these products in the US.  Big Carp Tackle also has an assortment of these products.
I can tell you I have already used some of their products with good success.  In the last week I have caught a lot of carp with their anti eject hooks. I have been using a #8 and #6.   I have also been using their braided hook link called Chameleon.  It is a camouflaged soft braid and comes in 25 lb. test. It has been outfishing my Power Pro.  I have also been using their braid cutter to tie my hair rigs.  I have a lot of other stuff I will be trying as the year goes on (check out some of the stuff in bottom photo).
Check out the links above if you want more info on PB Products.  A lot of the big names in Europe use PB Products with amazing success.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Inactive Turtles = Good Fishing

I landed 9 carp this morning
in about three hours. The turtles
were inactive and the carp were
My hot bait combo
was one kernel of
sweet corn and one
kernel of maize at the
stop end on a short
hair off a #8 hook.
I had my best day numbers-wise of the summer thus far.  I landed 9 carp.  The action was very good breaking a slump I was in.
Why the sudden good fishing?  For some strange reason, the turtles were inactive.  I fished a spot with lots of turtles and lots of carp.  Earlier in the week I fished in this same location and as soon as my rig hit the water, a turtle was on my bait. The only way I could continue fishing was to reel in the bait every 15 minutes to check it and rebait if needed.  Today, the turtles, sun as well as snappers, were around, poking their sneaky little heads out of the water.  But, unlike other days, they were not feeding and generally left me alone.  That just opened the door for the carp to go after my bait.
I was using sweet corn and maize.  I had one kernel of sweet corn on the hair rig followed by a small kernel of maize at the stop end. Carp and turtles really go for the sweet corn; the maize is not so appealing, but a hungry carp will still hit it. Putting that kernel of tough maize on the hair almost ensures I have at least on kernel of bait. I was also fishing a small method ball.  Once again, that method ball  is very appealing and lures predators to hit.  Going with one as small as I can get helps to keep the pests away (at least for a while) while still attracting carp.  The bigger the method ball, the bigger the attraction for turtles, especially snappers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Slow Climb to 300

It's been a very slow climb to get my 300th carp of the year.  I got it this afternoon, a good looking low teen mirror.
I have been keeping logs for many years, and I can tell you that this is the slowest year so for (numbers-wise) of the last 5 years.  And, the slowness seems to be getting worse.  I am lucky to get one or two carp an outing, way below what I usually catch at this time of year.  Many of our RI CAG members are reporting similar slow fishing.  So, what is going on?  Here are my thoughts:
 Got my 300th fish of the year today.
It's been a struggle lately.
1. Low water- In the last month we have had only about an inch of rain.  Everywhere I go, the water is low, typical of what you would find in late summer or early fall. Low water does not favor good fishing at this time.
2. Weedy- Because of that low water and lots of sunshine and warm weather, weed growth is the worst I have seen it in years.  It is tough to fish in weed infested areas.  It won't die until the fall.
3. Lack of Mulberry Fishing- In other years I was killing them on  mulberries at this time of year.  This year, there is dry ground under most of the trees where I fish, so the berries can't hit the water, killing the mulberry fishing.
4. Pests Galore- Turtles, dace, horned pout, blue gills....there are all super active in this heat and sunny weather. The turtles will pounce on bait that hits the water at times.
5. Lack of stormy weather-  Stormy weather is a mover at this time of year that can set up some great outings.  We haven't had any.
6. Pressure- Lots and lots more carp fishermen around and they are catching them. In some ways, a good thing, but in other ways, a negative.  As fish are caught two, three and four times, they get mighty spooky about taking a bait.
7. Yahoos all over the place- July brings out a lot of knuckleheads.  I see people swimming in the polluted Blackstone River. Others will throw rocks right where you are fishing.  Still, others will throw a stick in for a dog right where your line is.  Boaters think nothing of running over your lines. The madness reaches its peak in July.

Friday, July 1, 2016

RI Big 3 Tournament Ends in Dramatic Fashion

Gold medal winner Tom Perron holds a 25 lb., 3 oz mirror
carp that he entered for June.  This is a PB for Tom.  Well done!
The results are posted below for our RI CAG Big 3 tournament that has been going on for three months.  The idea was to enter your biggest fish for April, May and June and those three "biggies" would be your point total.
This year's tournament ended in dramatic fashion.  First off, our winner, Tom Perron, came from 3rd place to move up to first with a PB mirror of 25 lbs., 3 oz.  That was a FANTASTIC fish for June. Our second place finisher, Angel Medrano, pulled off a "Hail Mary"as he logged in a 23 lb. common on the last day of the tournament (June 30) to grab the silver medal, And, one of our most steady big fish fishermen, Jake Ayotte, landed yet another 20 lb. + fish (his third)  to earn the silver medal.
We had a lot of participation in this year's tournament and a lot of our "new guys" did real well for their first time in the tournament. A huge congrats to all who entered and a thank you to the national CAG group for providing the medals.

Final Standings for 2016 RI CAG Big  3
Tom Perron- 23/ 9 + 21/3 + 25/3= 69/15  (gold  medal)
Angel  Medrano- 25 + 21/8+23 = 69/8 (silver medal)
Jake Ayotte- 24/15 + 20/8 + 21/5= 66/12 (bronze medal)
Keri Doire- 23/9 + 20/2 + 18/7 = 62/2
Todd Richer- 20/ 2 + 19/14 + 15/7 = 55/7
Brian Savage- 17/4 + 14/3 + 15/4 = 46/11
Mike Mercer- 22 + 10/7 + 9/11 = 42/2
Brandon Dee- 21/7 + 15 = 36/7
Tony Carvalho- 4/8 + 21/7 + 4/1 = 32/9
Tom Ricci- 13 + 17/8 = 30/8

Manny Dias- 22/4