Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rain/Warm Weather Charge Up Fishing

This is one of 20 carp landed in
the last few days.  Fishing has really
perked up in this warm and rainy
Carp fishing took a noticeable turn for the better in the last few days with this shot of warm weather and rain.  I did three short sessions in the last few days and put 20 carp on the bank.  Most of these fish were in the 5-10 lb. range. This recent "perk up" is a characteristic of early winter fishing.  In those periods of warm weather in which the water temperatures rise, the level of activity also rises and the fish go on the feed.
I have been using winter tactics as described in my previous posts to catch these fish in multiple venues.  The bait of choice has been sweet corn on the hair.  Two kernels on a short hair seems to do the trick.  Sometimes I am using a small method ball, sometimes I'm not.  I will put the ball on one sinker, leave it off the other outfit and see what happens.
Many newbies ask when this will end.  Fishing should continue to be worthwhile, sometimes very good, until the ice arrives.  I have no timetable for ending. If this is an ice free winter, I will fish for them all winter.  Realize that the cold months can be very productive. Last year, for instance, I landed a whopping 292 carp in just the month of December.  That is what warm weather can produce.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Onto a Winter Approach; 900th Carp of the Year Landed

Today I landed my 900th carp of the year using what I call a winter fishing approach. Here is generally the way I target carp in the wintertime:
Venue- Your best ponds will be small, shallow ponds.  Those places heat up fast on a sunny day and that often gets the carp feeding.  In bigger and deeper ponds and rivers I try to find those places where the carp will bunch up for winter.  Those are often deep spots that are found by trial and error and lots of trying.
Rigs- Go small.  Small hooks, small hook links, small hairs, small method ball and the smallest sinker that will get the job done.  I only use a #8 or #10 hook in winter fishing. Sometimes I will put sweet corn directly on a #10 hook and not even use a hair rig.
Bait- Sweet corn that is bought in a supermarket is your best bet.  I have also done well with small doughballs. On my small hairs I will generally use only 2 kernels of sweet corn.
Time of Day to Fish-  Best time is the warmest part of the day.  That is mid to late afternoon.  The exception here is a real warm day. Sunny days generally fish better than cold, cloudy days. Warm, rainy days can also be good.
When to Quit- When the ice arrives.  Up until then, carp can be caught!
This good looking fully scaled mirror that was caught today is my 900th carp for 2016.
It was caught using a winter approach described above.

Monday, November 21, 2016

RI CAGers Score BIG in Big 4 Tournament

Tom Perron, 4th place
Dave Pickering, 3rd place
Our RI CAG members scored big this year in the Carp Anglers Group Fall Big 4 Tournament.  Our guys and gals placed in 5 or the 10 main prize categories, a very impressive showing.
The CAG national Big 4 Tournament ran from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15.  In that six week period, CAG members from all over the US who signed up for the event went out and fished.  They entered their four biggest fish by weight.  The combined weight total was your total number of points.  Those who finished in the top ten were awarded gift certificates.

Here is a summary of where our members placed:
1st- Jake Ayotte- 134 lbs., 14 oz.- $150 gift voucher
3rd- Dave Pickering- 91 lbs., 10 oz.- $75 gift voucher
4th- Tom Perron- 84 lbs., 3 oz.- $50 gift voucher
8th- Keri Doire- 70 lbs., 6 oz- $20 gift voucher
9th- Todd Richer- 60 lbs., 10 oz.- $15 gift voucher
Jake Ayotte, 1st place along with biggest mirror, biggest common and biggest combined!

In addition, Jake Ayotte won another $150 in gift vouchers for the biggest common, biggest mirror and the biggest combined mirror/common. Quite an achievement for Jake.
This tournament puts the whole US on notice that we have some of the very best carp fishermen in the country right here in RI.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ocean State Tackle Loaded with Carp Gear

Baitrunner reels, bite alarms and
Ocean State Tackle, 430 Branch Ave., Providence, RI is the latest tackle shop in RI to stock carp gear.  I stopped at the store today and spoke with Dave Henault, owner of the shop.  He told me he wanted to be the biggest dealer of carp gear in RI and MA, and after seeing what I saw today I would say he is there.
Nets, carryalls, mats and scale
If you are looking for general and specialized carp fishing gear, take a look at this store. He showed me loads of prepared baits as well as artificials baits.  He has lots of artificial pop up corn in all colors, something a lot of guys have been looking for.  I saw a big assortment of baitrunner reels from Okuma, Shimano and Tica. He has a big assortment of rods that will go with these reels.  Soon, he will have some of the Daiwa Euro reels.  He has a display of terminal tackle which include PB carp hooks, pretied hair rigs, and sinkers.  He has a big supply of bite alarms as well as various sized banksticks.  And, I saw some hard to get items (that are in demand) which include Euro carp nets, padded mats and even a Korda Rueben Heaton scale, a real tough to get item.
Loaded with bait- boilies as well
as artificials
This is just the beginning.  Dave has plans to bring in carp rods, more reels and  more baits in the future.
Already, Ocean State is reporting brisk business in carp gear sales, and this is November.  My guess is that he won't be able to keep this stuff on the shelves come March.
The website is Ocean State Tackle. Check it out or stop by the store.  You'll be impressed!
Check it out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Still Cooking

Here's a hefty 14 lb. common
that was landed this morning.
This is one of 6 mirrors landed
after dark tonight in 43
degree weather.
Despite the fact that we are getting late in the year, carp fishing continues to be very good for me.  I got out today for a short session in the morning and again for a short session after dark.  The total for the day was 8 carp from 5 to 14 lbs.  Not bad for mid November! I have fished three out of the last four days and have landed 16 carp.
What really surprised me about today was how active the fish were after dark.  It was a cold 43 degrees where I was fishing tonight, yet the fish were hitting.  In two hours I managed to bank 6 mirrors.  They were especially keying on a combo bait of maize and a white, artificial corn combo fished on the hair rig. That white ESP artificial corn has been a hot producer for me all fall, and it continues to work.
I will continue with my carp fishing until the ice comes. If this warmer than usual weather continues, I suspect the carp fishing will remain good until the end of December just like it was last year. As the weather cools into December, expect the daytime (especially late afternoon) to produce the best while the cold night fishing will gradually shut off.
At this point I need 125 carp from now till the end of the year to reach the 1,000 mark for 2016. It is possible, but I will have to find a hotspot or two to make it happen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Big Changes=Big Day

Sweet corn on the hair was the bait
of choice today.
I had one of the very best fall days of carp fishing numbers-wise that I have ever experienced in November.  Fishing a few different spots, I landed a whopping 28 carp on the day.
Before I headed out, I just knew it would be good.  The weather set up was ideal.  We had a cold couple of days and suddenly it is a very warm day, something that turns the carp onto feeding at this time.
This common was one of 28 carp
landed today in one of the best
November days I have ever
experienced. The warm weather
was a factor.
In addition, I made a number of changes to my own fishing which is constantly evolving and changing throughout the year.  First off, I changed venues.  For the last month I had been concentrating on several spots which had been producing some large fish for me.  However, the last couple of outings have not been good. It only takes a blanking or two, and I am ready to make a move.  Secondly, I changed baits.  For the last month I had been using maize and artificials.  Today, I went with sweet corn on the hair rig.  Carp in cold water prefer the soft and sweet taste of sweet corn over maize, and it worked like a charm today.  With many of the pests dormant now (although I did catch two horned pout today), sweet corn is a more effective choice in the cold weather months.
From now until the ice arrives, look for these warm days and warm spells to really perk up the fishing. It did today, and I suspect we'll see more of these super good days from now till late December.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Award Winning Carp Photo

Check out my award winning carp photo.  This photo captured first place in the national CAG Discovery Month Photo Contest. The winning prize was a gift certificate to Big Carp Tackle, a CAG hat and a year's free membership to CAG. It was the first time a RI CAG member ever won this event.
Most people who know me know that I love to take pictures, especially fishing related photos. I have a lot of high tech photo equipment that can really deliver a stunning shot.  In this case I was using my Canon SLR with a 55-250 mm telephoto lens attached to it. I was shooting at about 150 mm. The trick here is that I was using a continuous shooting mode which means when I pressed the shutter button down, the camera continuous shot off photos at a rapid pace. The camera was also in the auto focusing mode.  While balancing the camera with one hand and my rod with the other, I took a lot of photos whenever I had the fish in view on the surface.  Once home, I downloaded the photos, sorted through the dozens of pictures and picked the best one.  That one shot proved to be the contest winner!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

"Fat as Pigs"

Most of my recent catches
have been super fat and heavy fish.
I have been catching some very good size carp in the last week. These fish have ranged from the high teens into the low twenties. I am catching these fish in the daytime as well as at night. In just about all cases, they are some of the fattest carp I have ever seen.  Yes, some are as fat as pigs!
In late fall, carp are feeding up big time in anticipation of winter when food is scarce. So, it makes sense that you will be catching some real hefty fish at this time. The only other time you will find big bellied fish is in the spring and these will be females.
I am having good success using a combo bait of maize and a white, artificial pop-up corn fished on the hair rig. In addition, I am packing a method ball around my sinker.
Note that I have seen very little activity (fish breaching or bubble trails), yet the fish are still active.  The carp should remain active until the ice arrives.  Last year's open water fishing held up real well until late December.  I have every reason to think that will happen again this year.