Thursday, August 31, 2017

Plastics Continue to Score

This mirror took two small
plastic corns. Small stuff
tends to work well for
fussy fish.
This common took a
combo bait of one kernel
of white plastic corn
and two kernels of real maize.
With this shot of cooler weather, there has been an uptick in the carp fishing for me in the last week or so. I've landed a decent number of fish, and they have all been caught on some combination of plastic, artificial, pop-up corn. This bait has worked fairly well at keeping the turtles from hitting (though some will take it) while at the same time catching carp.
The hottest colors in plastic corn in the last few weeks have been white and yellow. Funny thing about plastics is that the best colors can change from spot to spot as well as season to season. Experience often dictates what to use. At times I just use the plastic corn with either one large kernel or two smaller kernels on the hair rig. The small kernels have worked well for fussy fish.  At other times (places with less turtles) I might combine real maize and plastic maize setting up a combo bait on the hair. Sometimes I also use a method ball (place with few turtles) and sometimes I don't.
In addition, I've landed a few horned pout and catfish in the last couple of weeks.  They will take the plastic stuff with no problem.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Photo of the Day- "Pike on Plastics!"

I was out carp fishing this morning and got quite a surprise as a pike
took my two plastic corns.  The fish was about 2 1/2 feet long. This is a year
of unusual fish for me....first a fan tailed common, then a sturgeon and now
a pike. What will be next?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In a Summer Slowdown; 900th Carp of the Year Landed

This good looking common is my 900th carp of the year.
It looks like a thousand fish season will be a sure bet in 2017.
This past week has probably been the slowest week of the summer for me.  The only highlight was that I landed my 900th carp of the year today, setting up what is a sure bet to reach 1,000 fish this year.
I have been out every day in the last week, fishing mostly in the mornings.  I had one blank and got 2 to 6 fish all the other days. Today I was looking at a blank and was about to pack up and leave when I suddenly landed 3 carp in 15 minutes, but that was it.  This is all way off compared to what I had been doing. Yes, I'm in a summer slowdown.
There's a lot of reasons why we hit this slowdown every year about this time.  The water is at its warmest point of the year, the water is low and river flows are slow, pests are at a peak, and the weed is awful this year.  I have really been bothered by pests this week.  I've landed many brown and yellow bullhead (horned pout) and snapping turtles continue to grab my plastics.  I've abandoned all the real bait in favor of plastics to try and cut down on pests. Many of my favorite spots to fish are also unfishable due to low water and weed growth, a bad combination.  All that rain and spring run-off has caused big time weed to form in some places.
So, I'm looking forward to cooler weather, cooler nights in the fifties and some rain.  Whenever all that happens will determine when the carp fishing picks up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Self Photos with Your Smartphone

Here is everything you need
to take great cell phone photos.
Gardner Camera Angle
Most carp fishermen have to learn the art of taking a self photo.  You’re alone the bank alone and you catch a good size fish, and you want to get a photo of you holding the fish.  How do you do it? The “old” way I used to do it was with a camera.  I had a Canon compact camera and I set the timer for the shutter and the number of shots. Then I pressed the shutter button and ran into the camera’s view with the fish while the self timer clicked away.
Vastar Tripod Adapter
Cell Phone Mount
Phone set up and ready
for me to say "cheese".
I now generally have a better and more convenient way to get the photo with my smartphone.  I should mention that I do not have an expensive smartphone.  It is a recently purchased LG Aristo phone that I bought for $100 on sale.  But, it has some phenomenal features when it comes to taking pictures. It also takes 13 megapixel photos. The most important feature is something called voice shutter.  It’s in the settings and I keep it turned on.  This eliminates any self timer.  You get into the picture and simply say “smile” or “cheese” and it snaps the picture when you say so.  I will hold the fish at different angles and direct the phone when to take the photos.  In addition, my phone has photo editing capabilities.  I can rotate the photo, crop it, enhance it, etc. right in the phone.  It’s a photo editing program built into the phone. Amazing!
Here’s what else you need for those self photos with the phone.  You will need some type of holder.  You could use a tripod, but I prefer to use a bankstick with a mount called a Gardner camera angle (screws into the bankstick). The cell phone will not screw into my camera mount as a camera does so I purchased an adapter called a Vastar Universal Tripod Adapter Cell Phone Holder. This ingenious little tool is a cell phone holder that screws into the Gardner camera angle, and it is adjustable for your size cell phone.  I got it at Amazon for about 8 bucks.  A real buy!

So that’s it.  Take a look at the photo I have for an example.  All done very easily and conveniently with my smartphone!

This beautiful shot of a mirror landed yesterday was taken
and later edited with my smartphone.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Catching on the Green Seed Once Again

The green seed is in the pod
of this tuber that comes
off Arrowhead plants.
Multiple seeds can be
found in these pods.
I ran a post last year on this green seed  that was catching carp for me.  The green seed is now out again this year, and today I caught again on it.  I put two rods out.  One rod had plastic corn.  The other had hair rigged green seed.  The score for the morning was 6 fish on the plastic and 4 on the seed. Pretty even.
This green seed comes from a water plant that I believe is called Arrowhead.  The seeds are in pods in  the tubers that come off the plant. I hair rigged either one or two seeds, and that that seemed to do the trick. These seeds seem to be an August/early September thing so now is the time to fish with them.
These seeds can be hair
rigged.  Use one of two
This mirror was one of
four fish taken on the
green seeds this morning.
Carp tend to eat all kinds of seeds and berries and I would guess that this is one more example of natural food that they eat when available.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Photo of the Day.....Yes, they will eat plastics!

Did I say in my last post that turtles would not hit plastics?
Well, I was wrong. This big snapper grabbed my plastic
artificial corn today. I happen to think these guys will
eat ANYTHING.  They are super active right now.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Avoiding Turtles by Using Plastics

This large mirror took two small. artificial.
pop-up, plastic corns fished on the hair
with no method ball.  It was a great way
to avoid the pesty turtles and catch the carp.
In this case I am using
just one piece of artificial
corn on a short hair. That
also worked well today.
The good news of the day is that I landed 12 carp this morning.  The bad news is that I also landed 3 large snapping turtles. Turtles are a fact of life if you fish for carp in the warm summer months around here,  but there is a way to avoid them while still catching carp. Plastics.  The turtles (for the most part) will not grab your plastics, although I have gotten a few in the past with plastics, but not at the rate that you will lure them with regular bait.
Today I did an experiment.  I fished one today with regular maize and a method ball.  I fished the other outfit with just a plastic piece of corn or two and no method ball. I landed 6 carp on the real stuff and landed 6 carp on the plastic corn.  But, all the turtles went for the real stuff. So, my little sample from today shows that the plastic artificial corn is just as effective on the carp as the real stuff while not luring the turtles. It's a great way to beat the turtles at their own game.
This is no new revelation.  RI's Dark Carper, Kev Wasliewski, has been touting plastics for years on his blog as a bait that turtles will avoid but carp will hit.  You can read some of his stuff on his blog here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Photo of the Day....A Big Summer Common

I landed this terrific 28 + lb. common today.  It hit a combo bait of maize and
an orange artificial pop-up corn. Big August fish have been rare for me
in the past so this big boy was a big surprise!