Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Passing of RI CAG Member Richard Bessette

At 82 years old, Richard Bessette of Providence was one our most enthusiastic members of the RI CAG. Here was a guy who had found a new passion called carp fishing, and he was out doing it just about every day of the year. I fished with him on dozens of occasions and always enjoyed his stories about fishing and life, and I can tell you he had a lot of them.  He was always showing me some newfangled gear that he had bought for carp fishing. He was also one who would lend a hand or advice to any newcomer who wanted to get into carp fishing. I often saw him fish with a friend and he would let the friend use one of his rods while he would fish the other.
I did a post about Richard earlier in the year.  He was so hooked on carp fishing that he bought a vanity plate for his car that read "Carp 7".  He was real excited the day he got it and called me over to proudly show me the plate on his truck. He also had CAG (Carp Angler Group) stickers on a lot of his gear as he was a proud supporter of our group.
He was a guy who had a lot of health problems in his life, but never showed it. He always had a positive outlook and like many of us, saw carp fishing as a means to relax with friends and get away from life's problems.
And, he also knew how to catch carp.  He told me that he landed 150 carp this year, his best year ever. He was looking forward to having an even better year next year. He would never see the next year as he passed away this week.
For all who knew and fished with Richard, he will be sorely missed in the upcoming season.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Photo of the Day

It's January, but the fish are hitting as if it's the middle of March. Here is one of several mirrors
 landed today. Get in on the action soon because it won't last.  Looks like the ice will be returning next week,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yes, They Will Hit!

In my last post I discussed whether carp would hit in non moving water in the middle of January.  I got my answer today as I banked a couple of good looking carp.  In past years I have landed a good number (upwards of 25 fish for the month) of carp in January.  But, it has always been in moving water with current. Carp tend to be more active in moving water in the middle of the winter.  I have had no success in the non moving water of ponds and lakes.  Well, today I got my first ones here in RI in non moving water.
I landed a couple and had a couple of more taps on the hair rigged sweet corn I was using. My advice to any winter carpers out there is this.  Go small.  I was using only two pieces of sweet corn on a small hair that came off a small hook (#8).  The hooklink was also short. Sweet corn is a great winter bait.
Don't expect any screaming runs at this time.  The carp are sluggish and they tend to tap away at the bait.  One fish even dropped it back a bit today.  I will pull if I see any tapping or movement of the line or rod.  Note that the fish are also very sluggish on the fight.  It's much like reeling in a tire at this time of year.  The only time they fought today was near shore in sight of the net.
So, yes, they will hit at this time of year in non moving water. That is certainly good news, and opens up the possibility for RI carpers to get their first fish of the new year.
This good looking common is one of two carp landed today in non moving water.
This warm weather has gotten things going real early in the year.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ice Gone......But, Will the Carp Hit?

The good news is that the ice is gone in just about all the ponds and lakes in RI.  The bad news is that we are still in January.
I got out today in a good early season RI spot, and fished non moving water. It was cold and raw but there was not a shard of ice to be found. I saw nothing and got nothing.  Not even a hit on my hair rigged sweet corn.
We are in uncharted waters with ice completely gone at this time.  Even last year, a real warm winter, saw thin ice in most places in January and February.  Remember, too, we are still in mid winter, a time of little activity for carp.  The days are still short, the sun is at a low angle, and I'm sure the carp sense that spring is still a good month and a half away.
I think that your best bet at this time would be to fish a small, shallow pond on a sunny day.  That would give you the warmest water and a better bet to find active fish.  Today was not that type of day.
So, with no ice around, I will go hunting this week for a January carp in non moving water. Hopefully, I'll find a few interested in hitting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Show Stop.....New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo, Boxborough, MA

I'll be on the road again this winter doing saltwater and freshwater fishing seminars.  My first stop is the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Boxborough Holiday Inn located in Boxborough, MA right off Rt. 495. The show runs Jan. 27, 28 and 29.  Check out their website for directions.
This big outdoor show was the show that used to be in the DCU Center in Worcester. Since moving to Boxborough several years ago it has gotten bigger and better every year and features one of the best and most extensive seminar schedules you'll find at any outdoor show.
My two seminars are new for 2017. Here is my schedule and the seminars I will be doing:
Keeper Stripers and Large Blues from Shore and Boat.....Sat., Jan. 28 at 12:00 and Sun., Jan, 29 11:00 AM
Targeting Large Carp.....Sat., Jan. 28 at 5:00 PM
Hope to see many of you there.

Friday, January 6, 2017

CAG's FFF Tournament

I am releasing one of two fish that I
landed on Jan.1 in the CAG's
FFF nationwide tournament.
It's become a tradition that I carp fish on New Year's Day every year.  That is because the CAG (Carp Angler's Group) runs its annual FFF (First Fishing Folly) tournament on that date.  This is a national tournament with $700 in prizes and cash, and it is a free event for CAG members.  It is also what I would call a "fun" tournament.  There are awards for the smallest carp, the first ones caught as well as the usual bigger fish category and the most poundage. They have photo contests and writing contests. The FFF is divided into the northern zone of the US and a southern zone.  This year 53 CAG members around the country went out carp fishing on Jan. 1.
Here is a double that Todd and I landed on Jan.1. I landed the
common (above) and he landed the mirror (below).  Both
were hooked and landed at the same time!
This tournament also gives me a chance to get out and fish with some of my fellow RI CAG members. This year I started off on my own in a spot here in RI where I caught nothing.  Later I called my friend Todd Richer who was fishing in MA and having more success than me so I joined up with him.  Together we landed 6 carp ( I got 2 and Todd got 4).  They were all small and ranged from 3 to 7 lbs. But, let me tell you we are not looking for any monsters on New Year's Day.  I am happy catching anything on this date.  Just not that easy to do in cold water.
As it turns out my two fish earned me $35 in prize money.  I was part of the Lucky 13 category (first 13 fish landed for 2016, won third place for the smallest carp category and won 2nd place in the largest mirror category.  Todd ended up being the top prize winner in the tournament as he placed in the top three in at least 5 or 6 categories.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ringing in the New Year

What better way to celebrate New Year's Day than to get out and get the first
carp of the year.  Here it is...a small, but good looking fully scaled mirror.
I got this while competing in the CAG FFF Tournament, a nationwide
carp fishing contest that takes place every year on Jan.1. More coming on that in
the next post!