Friday, December 29, 2017

2017....A Very Good Year for Carp Fishing

While I had big numbers of fish, I also had good numbers
of large carp in the 25 to 34 lb. range.
For me personally, 2017 was a very good year for carp fishing.  I had the numbers and I had the sizes, a rare combo.  In all, I landed 1,125 carp according to my logs. This makes 2017 my second best year numbers-wise that I ever experienced.
As for numbers, I had 564 mirror carp and 561 commons. Usually, I catch 3 mirrors to every common but not this year.  It was the first time ever that my common total and mirror total were nearly identical. I attribute this to the fact that the Blackstone River here in RI did not fish well for me this year for mirrors, so I went out in search of other places where common carp were more abundant. While on numbers, my biggest day of the year was on April 10th, a day that I landed 32 carp. My best month in terms of numbers was April, a month in which I landed 219 carp.
My most unusual fish this year was
a sturgeon.
It was also a year of big fish for me.  I had three carp over 30 lbs. I also had a good number of them in the 25 to 29 lb. range. Admittedly, I spent more time targeting big fish in the Connecticut River and the numbers of big fish landed reflects that.  My biggest CT River fish went 34 lbs. My best month for big fish was June.
I landed good numbers of fish this
year making it my second biggest year.
It was also a big year for unusual fish.  I landed my first ever sturgeon, my first ever fantail common,  my second every pike on a hair rigged bait, and more channel and white catfish than I have ever caught. Catching these unusual fish adds to the excitement of carp fishing.
So, with everything frozen up at this point, it is unlikely that I will see another carp in 2017, but nonetheless, this year will go down as a real good carp fishing year for me.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

In the Winter Mode

I landed this gorgeous common today using hair rigged
sweetcorn.  Not bad for Dec. 20!
Most people know that I fish year round for carp here in southern New England. With a lot of the small ponds iced or semi-iced over, I am now in my winter fishing mode. I am fishing either moving water or larger ponds and lakes that are free of ice. I'm also using my winter techniques.
Many people think that carp go dormant in the winter. Not so.  I've always found that they are still actively moving around, albeit slowly, in the winter in the moving waters of streams and rivers.  They are less active under the ice of a pond. Problem in the winter is that they often are not in a feeding mood.  I've watched in frustration while fishing in small streams as carp would move right over my bait without even looking at it.  Yet, at other times, they will scoop up anything on the bottom.  You have to catch it just right to have a good day in the dead of winter.
Winter techniques also come into play. The key is to go light...light sinkers, light line, small hooks, small baits, small method and short hooklink. Carp are not voracious feeders in winter and usually a kernel or two of sweet corn on a short hair rig off a #8 or #10 hook is as good a bait as any. Watch your rod tip also as the hits will be subtle bounces rather than screaming runs.
I was out today testing the waters in various locations.  Yes, the right spot makes a big difference and the hotspots can change in winter just like they do during the year.  I managed to get a few good fish today using my winter techniques. One common, about a 15 lber., was the highlight of my day. Not bad for a December outing in which the temperatures remain in the thirties!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Still Water Fishing Done?

Carp fishing can still be done in the winter in river currents.
It gets a whole lot tougher with the icing and cold temperatures.
I headed out carp fishing yesterday in one of my "small" winter locations.  I was shocked to find the place completely frozen. So much for that.
With low temperatures coming in the next few days, I think it is a safe bet to say that carp fishing in still waters like ponds and small lakes in RI  is done for 2017. It was a quick and disappointing end to the still water fishing.
I still plan to hit some river spots with current that don't freeze easily.  However, that river winter fishing is always a crap shoot and difficult to do when the air temperatures are down below freezing.  That kind of weather will freeze your bait, freeze your method and freeze you.  So, winter fishing is a matter of picking and choosing the best days to fish.
For me, it's never over, but it gets a whole lot tougher in winter.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Warm Rain Heats up Fishing

This good size mirror is one of 13 carp landed in the last
two days.  The warm rain and above normal temperatures
got the carp active and feeding again.
Nothing like a warm rain in December to perk up the carp fishing here in RI.  Yup, it's happened again. Prior to yesterday, it was a pick with a fish here and a fish there with no sure bets. Temperatures were on a downhill slide and so was the fishing.  It all changed for me yesterday evening as a warm rain enveloped the area. That rain event, combined with way above normal temperatures last night, got the carp feeding.  Yesterday evening I landed 4 carp in a bit over an hour.  Today I added 9 more fish as they were really hitting in the warming waters.  All the action in the last two days have come on hair rigged sweetcorn, a bait I feel is your best bet at this time of year.
Realize the fish are still sluggish.  Most of the hits were just taps rather than screaming runs.  The fight, too, was sluggish as these fish, which ranged from 6 to 10 lbs.. could barely pull any drag. These are not the same active fish of a couple of months ago, but this is December and I am still catching carp.  I'll take it!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament Winners

Brian Savage, gold medal winner, with a
35 inch common.
For the past three months our RI CAG members have taken part on our annual RI Fall Combo Tournament.  The idea was to try to catch and enter your biggest common carp, your biggest mirror carp and your biggest catfish or horned pout.  The fish would be measured in inches and your point total was the combined inch total. The tournament has ended and here are the medal winners:
Gold medal- Brian Savage- 70 pts (35 inch common, 35 inch mirror)
Silver medal- Tom Perron- 48 pts. ( 34 inch common, 14 inch cat)
Bronze medal- Tony Carvalho- 47 pts. (32 inch common, 15 inch cat)
The winners will receive engraved medals provided by the national CAG.