Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: An Excellent Year of Carp Fishing

I was on a discovery theme for most of the year.  Here is a
nice 20 + lb. common that I landed in a new spot
on the CT River in CT.
This past year, 2016, turned out to be the second best year I have ever experienced numbers-wise. I ended up with a total of 970 carp, an astounding number only surpassed by last year's total of 1300 carp. My best month numbers-wise turned out to be August (surprise!) in which I landed 178 carp.  I had my best day of carp fishing with 30 fish on November 8.
Numbers don't always tell the complete story.  This was a year in which I landed very good numbers of decent fish from the high teens all the way up to 30 lbs. plus. The biggest mirror that I landed was a whopping 32 lbs. while the biggest common tipped the scales at 28+ pounds. Both were caught on a combo bait of maize and artificial corn fished on the hair rig.
Biggest carp fo the year for me was this hog of a mirror that
tipped the scales at 32 lbs.
One of the themes in my fishing this year was "discovery".  With many of my past spots being loaded with fishermen, I decided to look for lots of new places to fish. My travels took me instate to places I had never fished before as well as to big waters out of state.  For the first time I bought a license in CT and fished the world class CT River numerous times.  I landed quite a few 20's there along with some big channel catfish.  I also found lots of new places in nearby MA that delivered hundreds of carp for me up into the 20's. I took this discovery thing one step further and entered the CAG Discovery Month contest.  I won that along with the CAG Discovery Month Photo Contest.
I did my best this year in in CAG's Big 4 Tournaments.  I came in second place the the Spring Big 4 (106 lbs., 4 oz.) and third place in the Fall Big 4 (106 lbs., 4 oz).  Both were my best finishes in those events.
I usually begin my year hoping to land about 500 carp. Catching close to a thousand fish far exceeded this goal,  It was a great year for me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Photo of the Day....."Snowcarp"

Still a few willing to hit if you want to put in the time and effort to find them!
Got this hefty common today along a snowy river bank.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

End of the Line?

Yes, you can fish in the snow provided there is no ice.
Could be the end of the line for this year.
I got out yesterday in the morning snow and rain. I was very limited due to icing and could only fish fast moving water.  All the ponds I checked were iced over and even slow moving water was ice. For the first time in a long time, it was a complete blank. No hits, no runs, no nothing.
With some of the coldest weather of December coming, it looks more and more like this is it for the year.  Yes, carp will hit in cold weather, but once everything is iced over, that is generally the end of the line. And, that big icing is coming.
We were spoiled big time last year as December weather remained warm right till New Year's Day. Most of last year's December temperatures were in the fifties,  And the fish remained active.  Not so this year.
I'm not putting my stuff away just yet, but things are not looking good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cooler + Wetter = Lesser

I landed this hefty mirror this
morning. Numbers are way off
compared to last year. Blame the
cooler and wetter weather.
This is nowhere near the same December fishing we had last year.  Numbers of fish are way down due to the weather. Two culprits are in play.  It has been far wetter this December than last year. Last week's two inches of rain  had rivers and streams overflowing and unfishable for days. The water levels in most ponds were also up.  It has also been far cooler.  Fifty degrees or more was the norm last December as we fished in record breaking warm temperatures, and that had the fish feeding big time.  I went to a small pond to fish yesterday morning and was shocked to find the pond TOTALLY frozen with ice.  Yikes! If you look at what is coming in the next week or so, it is not looking good as temperatures this weekend will struggle to get above freezing. I'm noticing the fish I am catching have been sluggish on the take and sluggish on the fight, a sure sign of plunging water temperatures.
December is probably the most unpredictable and variable month of the year for carp fishing.  The fishing  is all dependent on the weather.  Warm weather leads to good fishing, cool weather leads to marginal fishing and cold weather and icing shuts it all down.  In recent years there have been some fantastic Decembers in which I have caught hundreds of fish (last year) while there have been other cold Decembers where I have struggled to land 10 fish.  Most Decembers I have been able to get 25 to 30 fish, and that is putting in a good amount of time.  For me, this December seems to be turning out a bit above average, but we'll see what happens the rest of the way.  Not looking like a banner end of the year at this point. However, I plan to fish the rest of the month or until severe icing shuts it down.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament Results

Fish were entered by
Our RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament which has been running for three months is over.  The guys and gals went out and tried to catch a common, a mirror and a koi.  The biggest ones by length (inches) were entered.  We added up the lengths of those biggest ones and that was the point total.  The first three places were awarded medals that were purchased by the national CAG organization.
Our members scored some very impressive fish overall. Jake Ayotte, who seems to be winning everything these days, came in first place with 94 1/2 points.  He caught the only koi so that gave him an additional 24 points (length of koi).  Tom Perron and Brandon Dee ended in a tie with 64 1/2 points but Tom won the tie breaker with a larger third fish.
Here is the final tally with the angler and points awarded. Note the first number is the length of the common, the second is the length of the mirror and the third is the length of the koi.  Every fish landed was released in good shape.

Jake Ayotte won first place with 94 1/2 points.  He was the only one who entered a koi.

1.      Jake Ayotte- gold medal- 37+33 ½+24= 94 ½
2.      Tom Perron-silver medal- 32 ½+32= 64 ½ (decided by tie breaker)
3.      Brandon Dee- bronze medal- 32 ½ +32= 64 ½
4.      Sean Reed- 30 +33 1/2= 63 ½
5.      Brian Savage- 27 ½+36= 63 1/2
6.      Todd Richer- 31+31= 62
7.      Mike Stevenin- 32+30= 62
8.      Manny Dias- 34 1/2

9.      Tony Carvalho- 30
Winners (left to right): Brandon Dee, Tom Perron and Jake Ayotte