Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Can You Freakin Believe This

It is the rarest of the rare fish here in New England.  In fact, it is so rare that the species is endangered.  I have seen sturgeon caught on tv shows in the northwest and Alaska, but I have never seen one or even know of anyone who has landed one in New England.  Well, the one in a million shot hit me today as I landed one of these prehistoric looking beauties at the CT River while fishing for carp.
I was fishing bottom using a hair rigged combo bait of maize and artificial corn. All of a sudden one rod started banging, and then the fish started running.  I grabbed the rod and as soon as the fish was hooked it came up from the bottom and shot out of the water like a missile in a spectacular leaping jump.  At that point, I knew I had a sturgeon.
I was off a high wall and got the fish close, and used a bridge net to lift the fish onto the shore.  I quickly popped out the #6 hook that was just barely in the fish's lip, had someone snap a few photos and within seconds, the fish was ready for release.  I didn't get a weight or measurement since I wanted to get the fish back into the water as soon as possible. I leaned way over and down the wall to drop the fish as close to the water as possible. I am happy to report this endangered fish was released in good shape and swam away to the delight of a growing crowd that was watching me.
Note that there is no open season for sturgeon in New England and it is against the law to possess one of these.  If one is caught by accident such as I did today, it should be released as soon as possible.
Luck plays a big role in fishing and this was one of the luckiest and rarest catches I have ever made.
I landed this rare sturgeon while fishing for carp today at the CT River.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Photo of the Day...."Biggest Carp of the Year, 34 lbs."

I landed my biggest carp of the year today.  The fish weighed 34 lbs. It hit a
combo bait of maize and a pink artificial corn.  This is my 20th carp over thirty
pounds that I've landed through the years.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

RI CAGers Finish 1st, 3rd and 6th in National Big 4 Tournament

Brandon Dee....3rd place 
The results for the CAG National Big 4 Tournament are now official, and once again, RI CAG members scored impressive results. Jake Ayotte, winner of the fall Big 4, came in first place, Brandon Dee came in third place and I placed sixth.  The whole idea with the Big 4 is to log in your 4 biggest carp in a six week period.  The total score becomes your points.  This year there were over 50 carp fishermen around the country who signed up for this event and the competition was very tough.
Dave Pickering......6th place
Jake's first place total was 162 lbs., 9 oz. He also had the biggest mirror at 48 lbs., 4 oz. For his first place finish Jake won $225 in gift certificates and prizes.
Brandon's total was 129 lbs., 3 oz.  For his third place finish he wins $100 in gift certificates.
Jake Ayotte....1st place
My total was 108 lbs., 4 oz.  I won $40 in gift certificates.
Before this tournament began my goal was to get to 100 points and finish in the top 10.  Both those goals were reached. I will say this was a tough event this year.  The competition was stiff, and you needed well over 90 points just to make it in the top 10.  The weather was also not cooperative as a lot of the waters were high and unfishable due to rain.  Still, there were some impressive catches made as evidenced by Jake and Brandon's success.
To see all the results and photos, go to the Forum on  www.carpanglersgroup.com.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

On the Mulberries

I landed this good size mirror this morning
on a freelined mulberry.
The mulberry hatch is on.  In the last couple of days I have landed several carp while freelining mulberries under trees that were dropping this fruit.
The mulberry is impaled with
a #8 hook and simply free-
lined under the tree that
is dropping them.
In the carp world, mulberries are delicacies, and the carp will eat as many as they can. The key here is to find a tree right along the water that is dropping them, and fish right under that tree. This does not work if you have a tree in your backyard and you grab a cup of them and head to the water to fish.  The fish have to get conditioned to eating them in a spot in which the berries are dropping into the water.
Fishing them is simple. These are freelined....no sinker, no hair rig.  I use just a number 8 hook at the end of my monofilament line and impale the berry.  If you want the berry to sink, you might have to squeeze it gently to make it more compact. Just flip it into the water under the tree and watch the line.  If a fish picks it up, the line will shoot out.  Set the hook and you should be on.
There is a small window of opportunity in the game of berry fishing. The mulberries might last two to three weeks and that's about it. So this mulberry fishing season is usually a short, but memorable one.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Phenomenal Day in the Rain; Two Thirties Landed!

32 lbs.
Two THIRTIES, three TWENTIES, five HIGH TEENS and two smaller ones. This all unfolded for me today in a phenomenal outing at the Connecticut River. This was the BEST day of the year for me in terms of numbers and sizes of fish. My biggest one went 32 lbs. (biggest one of the year for me), and I also had another fish of just 30 lbs.  In all my years fishing, this is only the second time that I was able to catch two thirties in one day.
Credit the rain and a dropping barometer for getting the fish in high gear. I got all my fish on a combo bait of maize (2 kernels) and a pink artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  I was also using a method ball packed around my three ounce sinker.
Over the years I have had some of my best big fish fishing on rainy and crappy days.  This was just another example of fantastic fishing on a lousy day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

500th Carp Landed; Pests on the Prowl

This good looking mirror is number 500 on
the year.  It was landed right at dark.
I landed my 500th carp of the year today in a good day of fishing.  I fished for a few hours this morning and landed 7 carp. Later, I fished a couple of hours in the evening and landed 3 more.  The 500th carp of the year turned out to be a good size mirror carp that was caught on two kernels of maize fished on the hair rig.  It was landed right at dark. This is the earliest in the year I have ever reached the 500 mark.
Today fished like a typical mid summer day as I was continually bothered by pests.  Those three ninety degree days shot up the water temperatures and put the pests into high gear. Besides those ten carp, I also landed three horned pout, one snapping turtle and one sun turtle.  The turtles were particularly pesty as they kept stealing the bait.  In the evening it was impossible to fish a method ball as that would only draw the turtles into my offering. Oh well, summer fishing has arrived.  Just have to put up with the pests and check the bait often.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Rare Beast

This was a first for me....a fan tailed common carp.  These are rare and are generally only found in certain sections of the CT River. It is a beautiful fish with long draping fins and tail.  I got one today and it was a beast of a carp that weighed exactly 29 lbs!
The fish was caught on a combo bait of 2 kernels of maize and a pink artificial corn on the hair rig.  I also used a method ball that was packed around the sinker.
This is my biggest carp of the year so far.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Cart

Either I am getting old, or I am carrying too much stuff.  I like to think it is the latter. Anyway, I broke down a couple of weeks back and I bought a cart to carry my carp fishing stuff to my fishing spots.  I thought about a "barrow" as many carpers use in the UK, but I wanted something that would fold up in a compact fashion that could fit in the back of my truck easily.
The cart I bought is a Quest (see photos left and right).  I bought it at Dick's Sporting Goods for a sale price of $59.  I love this thing.  It's quite roomy when opened up and I can fit my bag, net, chair, bait bucket and extra clothing with room to spare. I drag the cart by the front handle with one hand and carry my rods in the other.  The cart also folds up easily at the end of the day. Just pull up the inside loop and it is all folded up.
I will say this makes life easier and I have to wonder why I hadn't bought something like this years ago.

Friday, June 2, 2017

RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament Update

Tom Perron holds a 30 lb., 8 oz.
carp. It is a PB for him and the
largest landed in our tournament.
We have completed the second leg of our RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament and our guys have, once again, caught some magnificent fish from RI waters.  This tournament runs three months and participants enter their biggest for each month. The total weight becomes their points.  Medals provided by the national CAG are awarded for first, second and third places.
The big news for May is that Tom Perron, last year's gold medal winner, has entered a whopping 30 lb., 8 oz common.  This is the biggest carp entered in our tournament this year and has propelled Tom into first place.  However, with another month left to go, nearly everyone has a chance to get on the medal stand with a big June fish.
The results are below:

April and May Results for RI CAG Big 3

1.      Tom Perron   21 lbs., 8 oz. + 30 lbs., 8 oz. = 52 lbs
2.      Brandon Dee   20 lbs. + 29 lbs., 10 oz. = 49 lbs., 10 oz
3.      Josh Sanville  23 lbs.,  2 oz. + 25 lbs., 2 oz= 48 lbs., 4 oz.
4.      Jake Ayotte   20 lbs., 9 oz. + 23 lbs., 9 oz. = 44 lbs., 2 oz.
5.      Ryan Bunker   19 lbs., 11 oz. + 22 lbs., 10 oz = 42 lbs., 5 oz.
6.      Todd Richer   18 lbs., 14 oz. + 20 lbs., 4 oz. = 39 lbs., 2 oz.
7.      Brian Savage   17 lbs., 11 oz. + 16 lbs., 6 oz. = 34 lbs., 1 oz
8.      Mike Stevenin    18 lbs., 8 oz.
9.      Sean Reed   16 lbs.

10.   Tony Carvalho  11 lbs.