Monday, July 31, 2017

800th Carp Landed; On a Record Pace

This rugged common is number 800 on the year. Numbers-wise,
its been a record pace for me so far.
I landed my 800th carp of the year today.  It was a short, but rugged common that was caught on on single kernel of maize fished on the hair.
I have never caught this many carp at this point of the year.  By far, this is the most.  In fact, we are only about half way through the carp fishing year (March through Dec. for me), and already this is the third best year numbers-wise that I have ever had.  There has been only one year in which I was able to reach a thousand fish and that was two years ago when I caught over 1300. This could be a better year with some favorable weather and a little luck.
I try to best the previous year every year.  I keep extensive logs of my catches and go back over the years to see what was producing and where I was catching at certain times of the year.  That has helped to increase my knowledge of waters as well as my catches every year.
This year has been unique in that I have had few, if any, dry spells. I have been on a roll since ice out in the spring and good fishing has continued non-stop for me.  I also think this cooler weather with few heat waves has helped the fishing this summer, a time when the fish can go into a funk in real warm weather.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cool Weather Lights Up Fishing

This good looking mirror was one of 21 carp
landed today in three hours of fishing.
The cool weather had the carp charged up
and feeding.
It's a pattern I  have seen many times in the dead of summer.  The weather is warm and suddenly we get a cold spell that usually comes with a northeast wind and rain.  Today's fall chill came without the rain, but temperatures stayed mostly in the cool sixties, and that was enough to just light up the fishing.
For the first time in months I was able to land over 20 carp in today's fabulous short session of a few hours. That drop in temperature got the fish super active.  I saw a lot of carp cruising around, some jumping and bubble trails all over the water's surface.  The fish were super aggressive on the take and were quick to hit right after the bait hit the water, a sure sign of active fish.  The hot baits today were maize on the hair rig and artificials fished alone on the hair. Both caught good numbers of fish and were equally effective.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Photo of the Day....A Morning Mirror

A gorgeous mirror comes ashore this morning. Morning fishing has been
very productive in the last week.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo of the Day....Catching in 90 Degree Heat

This chunky mirror is one of four carp landed in today's oppressive heat.
Yes, they still hit in hot weather!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Orange Pop-up Rules This Day

The orange pop-up artifical corn is circled
in red.  Orange was a hot color yesterday
and caught most of my fish. The pop-up
was used on the hair rig along with 2 kernels
of maize.
I have a fascination with color, and I am always experimenting with colored pop-ups. I'm talking about colored artificial corn that is used in combination with regular maize on the hair rig.  Research tells us that carp are attracted to warm colors like orange, pink, yellow and red. So, many of us add a colored artificial corn or two to our hair rigged offering to further enhance our chances of getting fussy carp to hit.
Most of the time I tend to use a white or a pink artificial corn simply because that has been what has worked consistently for me in the past. But, yesterday I experimented with adding an orange pop-up, and it worked great.  Of the five carp I caught, four of them went for the offering that had the orange artificial corn, and only one fish went for the rig that had the pink.
I realize you can't draw a lot of conclusions from one day's experience. But, here's the things I have concluded from using pop-ups for several years. The most effective colors can change through the seasons, and the most effective colors to use can also change in different waters.
So, finding that best color to use is often an adventure and an experiment. In my mind that best color to use is limited to three.... white, pink or orange. So, my advice is to try changing colors to find which one is the best on any given day.
Yesterday it was orange.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tips for Beating Summer's Slowdown

This fully scaled mirror is number 700 on the
year for me.  I landed 7 fish this morning using
some of the tips in this post.
Carp fishing has slowed for me as the heat has increased although I did land my 700th carp of the year this morning. However, in the last ten days, the numbers and sizes have decreased, but I am still catching them.  This is all quite normal with summer fishing around here.
Here are a few tips that might lead to some better and bigger catches in the coming month:
1. Fish moving water- I try to fish rivers at this time of year because those fish in moving water are far more active than the ones in still water ponds and lakes.  The MA CAG guys had a fish-in in the Merrimack River this weekend and did quite well. Big rivers like the Merrimack and CT River and to a lesser degree the Blackstone are all good bets.
2. Fish the right times- Think cooler hours.  Mornings are good as are evenings.  Nighttime also produces well at this time of year.
3. Nasty days can be a turn on- After a warm spell, there is nothing like a cool, rainy day that turns the carp right on. A couple of years back I landed a 30 lber. in early August on a rainy day after some real hot weather.
4. Get away from turtles and pests- Yes, they are super active in summer.  Some places have a lot of turtles, some have few.  Avoid the spots with a lot of them as they are relentless in stealing bait.
5.  Experiment with baits- In some places that one kernel of maize works well, in other places combo baits with pop-ups might work.  Still, in other places boilies might work.  In bigger waters, bigger baits tend to work better.
6. Try freelining- In small places you might be able to lure carp in front of you by tossing in bread or sweet corn.  If they show close enough to shore, freelining can be super effective. Just put the bait on a hair rig, no sinker.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Going Small for Fussy Fish

Just one kernel of corn
on the hair has been hot
for small, fussy fish.
This is one of ten small fiesty ones that I landed one morning
by going "small".
We are in a summer pattern.  The water warms, the fish get a big fussy and they become hard to catch.  You may recall that last year I did a post about how I was using just one kernel of maize to fish at this time of year and I was having a lot of success with it.  Well, I'm at it again trying to perfect this "small" technique.
I am still sticking with one kernel of maize on my hair rig.  The hair I tie is considerably smaller to accommodate that one kernel.  I am also using "small" hooklink.  I usually go with 50 lb. test Power Pro braid for my hooklinks but in this case I am going with 30 lb. test.  The hook is smaller too.  I am using a #10 Umpua Tiemco 2457 hook. Most of the time I am also fishing a small method ball that I pack around the sinker.  It is about the size of ping pong ball.
This set up has landed good numbers of carp for me in the last week.  Though they have generally been on the small side (less than 8 lbs.) they have been scrappy. At this time of year I am looking for anything that will hit and I am not necessarily fussy about the size.
If you are looking for something different to try and looking for some dead of summer success, try going small. It works!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Carp Turn On in Today's Nasty Weather

This is one of 14 carp landed today as the fish
were super active in this rainy weather. A
variety of methods worked today.
It was my kind of weather today.  And, it was the carp's kind of weather too.  They just love these nasty rainy cool days after days of summer heat.  They were in high gear today.  I tried several spots in the rain today and found active fish everywhere I went.  I saw fish jumping, digging in the mud and moving in small groups in shallow areas. That activity translated into hitting.  I landed 14 carp today, a combination of mirrors and commons.  While I didn't get anything large, I did get a couple of low doubles.
To catch these fish I used a variety of methods.  In one spot where the fish were way out I was fishing hair rigged maize with a small method ball packed around the sinker.  In another spot where I could see a lot of fish moving around  in close, I freelined doughballs and maize after tossing in some freebies to lure the fish to my location.  In still another spot under a mulberry tree, I freelined mulberries.
All the methods were working today because the fish were super active in this bad weather. Over the years I have discovered that the nastier the conditions the better the carp fishing usually is. Of course, most fishermen will not go out in this weather as I never saw another fisherman today.  They don't know what they are missing.
It is now July 7 and I have landed a whopping 80 carp in this seven day period. At a time of year in which I am usually experiencing the summer doldrums of slow fishing, July has been red hot for me.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hot July Fishing Follows Record June

Those who fish for carp know that this sport often delivers its highs and lows. Well, right now, as well as for the last month, I have been on a high as I am having one of the best starts to summer I have ever experienced.
This hefty mirror carp is one of 15 fish landed this morning
in three hours of fishing.  July fishing has been hot so far.
June was a month that delivered both numbers and sizes for me. That's a rare combination in carp fishing.  It also delivered some unusual variety.  As for numbers, I landed 151 carp in the month of June  (a record number for me), and that brought my total for the year to over 600 fish (the most I have ever caught at this point). Prior to this June I had never landed a thirty pounder in June.  This June I had three of them which weighed 30, 32 and 34 lbs.  In addition, I had loads of fish from the high teens to the high twenties. Included in the June haul were some rare species.  I landed my first sturgeon, my first fantail common and good numbers of channel catfish. I got all these fish fishing a tri-state area of CT, MA and RI.
July has just continued where June left off. I've already gotten over 30 carp in July up into the high teens, and it is only July 4. In my desire to get away from the holiday crowds and fish off the beaten path, I tried an unlikely spot yesterday and today for this time of year. And, I hit it big in this location.  In the last two days I landed 24 carp, real good numbers for July. I have been fishing just short sessions of 2-3 hours each day.  All the action has been on hair rigged maize.
The water has been higher than normal and cooler than normal this summer, and I am guessing that has kept the fish more active, although the high water has been difficult to deal with at times.
All in all, this is shaping up to be an epic year for me, maybe the best of all time.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

RI CAG Big 3 Tournament Winners

Tom Perron,
gold medal
Josh Sanville, silver medal.
Our RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament has been running for the last three months. Our guys and gals have been catching and releasing some big carp here in RI.  The idea was to enter your biggest carp by weight for April, May and June.  Add up all the weights and that becomes your point total. The fish had to be caught and released in RI waters. The national CAG group has provided engraved medals for the top three finishers.
Here are the three winners along with their point totals (weights of fish landed):

1st- Tom Perron- 21/8. 30/8, 22/4 = 74 lbs., 4 oz
2nd- Josh Sanville- 23/2, 25/2, 18/5 = 66 lbs., 9 oz.
3rd- Ryan Bunker- 19/11, 22/10, 22/2 = 64 lbs., 7 oz.

Ryan Bunker,
bronze medal
Tom Perron, who came in first last year, has won it again, taking another gold medal. Tom is one of  our best big fish hunters here in RI and posted the only 30 lb. fish landed this year in the tournament. That 30 lb. 8 oz. carp was a PB for Tom.  He also beat his last year's total by about 5 lbs. To average almost 25 lbs. a fish as Tom did is quite a feat here in RI.
Josh Sanville, the silver medal winner, is one of our new guys here in RI, but he sure knows how to fish.  He was the early leader in the tournament as he had the biggest April fish. He averaged over 22 lbs. a fish, real good results here in RI.  He will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Ryan Bunker, who won the bronze medal, came on strong in June with a 22 lb. fish that moved him from 5th to 3rd place.  Ryan is a long time CAG member and one of the most experienced carp fishermen in this state. Ryan averaged over 21 lbs. a fish in the tournament.
Congrats to these three guys and all who entered the tournament this year.