Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve Carp Turns Out to be a Special Fish

I landed this good looking mirror  (below) today as the snow was spitting flakes on this Christmas Eve. When I got home and entered the fish in my logs, it turned out that this fish was a special fish... exactly number 1200 for the year. This year is already my second best year ever in terms of numbers of carp landed, so it has been a pretty darn good year of carp fishing.
My year was rolling along with big numbers of fish up until October. That big chill and super rainy weather in October and November really cooled off my fishing.  But, alas, December came along. This December is turning out way better than I expected.  These average and above average temperatures lately has the ice off most places and the carp feeding as if it's spring. I never thought I could reach the 1200 mark, but December has delivered.
So, to all my friends and loyal followers, Merry Christmas. Enjoy the Holidays and get out and wet a line if you can. It's Christmas and the carp are still hitting!
This Christmas Eve carp, landed today, turns out to be number 1200 on the year.
Merry Christmas to all my friends and loyal followers!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Photo of the Day....."In the Snow, Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Snow on the ground today, bitter wind, freezing cold, but still
found a good size mirror willing to hit!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

December, the Wild Card Month

Here's a nice common that I landed today in some ice free
water.  This fish hit sweet corn fished on the hair rig.
I've had Decembers where I have caught only a few carp.  I've also had Decembers where I've caught hundreds of carp. I just never know what is going to happen in this wild card end of the year month.
No question, weather will play a big part in how the carp hit at this time. Severe icing and cold will shut things down.  Extended warm weather  will be just like fishing in early fall with lots of action.
Carp tend to bunch up in winter holes. It is difficult to find these spots in ponds and lakes.  Even if you do, there is no guarantee the fish will hit since they are somewhat dormant in cold ponds. Carp tend to be more active in the wintertime in rivers.  They simply have to keep moving in running water and that expends some energy.  Still, they will not always hit.  A few years ago I fished a small river spot on New Year's Day. I put out a pile of bait that I could clearly see in the shallow water in front of me.  Suddenly, I saw a group of about 5 carp  heading toward my bait pile and my hooked bait which was right in the middle of the freebies.  The carp just hovered above the bait and not one fish took any of the offerings. They were just not feeding in the frigid, but moving water.
So far, this December has been ok for me, actually better than November.  It's been a lot of changeable weather- warm for a few days, cold again , some icing, ice leaves, etc. I've tried to fish on the warmer or rainy days in which I am not skiing. I've been catching a few fish.  This month has always been the wild card for me and I figure any fish I catch are really a bonus.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

7th Place Finish in CAG Fall Big 4

30 lbs., 2 oz
26 lbs., 2 oz.
Our CAG Fall Big 4 National Tournament has concluded and I ended up with a 7th place finish, good for a thirty dollar gift certificate at Big Carp Tackle . The tournament ran from October first to the end of November.  The idea was to enter your 4 biggest fish by weight.  My total poundage for 4 fish was 100 lbs., 6 oz.  I entered fish of 21 lbs., 23 lbs., 2 oz, 26 lbs., 2 oz. and 30 lbs., 2 oz.  All these fish were caught in RI waters. Two of my fish were caught at night and two were landed in the daytime.
This year's event was especially tough for anglers in the northeast.  We had to deal with very high water, very cold temperatures in November and even snow. The weather was not great for carp fishing with November being especially tough. I was lucky to score the fish I did.
Close to 50 of the very best carp fishermen from all over the country took part in this event. It's always tough to place in the top ten (award places) in these events because of the stiff competition. It seems like there are more and more good carp fishermen out there. Besides myself, I must also mention two other RI CAG carp fishermen who posted impressive catches in this tournament.  Todd Richer ended up with a total poundage of 89 lbs., 9 ounces, and Tony Carvalho had a total of 77 lbs., 5 ounces. Both just missed scoring in the top ten.
Our next big event is a nationwide tournament called the FFF (First Fishing Folly) that occurs on Jan.1.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Photo of the Day.....A Winter Common

I landed this hefty common on a cold afternoon today.
Look for  the best action at this time of year to be in ice
free, small, shallow ponds or moving water.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Light" Tactics for Winter Success

I've packed a method ball
around my small sinker.
Other sharpies will use a
cage feeder.
Two kernels of sweet corn are hooked
onto my small, #10 hook.  No need
for a hair rig.
The calendar moved to December, and I moved to my winter tactics for carp fishing. One key to winter success is to go "light".  Carp don't tend to feed a whole lot in winter, and taking a light and delicate approach to get them to hit often pays off at this time of year.
This week I broke out my light winter rod, a whippy, steehead nine foot noodle rod (similar to maybe a 125 or 150 test curve carp rod).  I have a Shimano 3500 baitrunner reel on it that's spooled with just 10 lb. test monofilament line. My set-up is generally a light, steel egg sinker (1/2 oz.)followed by a foot long leader of 8 lb. test mono to which I've tied a small #10 Umpqua Tiemco hook (no. 2457) at the end.  I'm packing method mix around my sinker and I'm putting two pieces of delicate sweet corn directly onto the hook for bait. I'm not using a hair need to with the soft sweet corn. Note that many winter sharpies will use a cage feeder to pack method or pellets rather than packing around the sinker.
This delicate approach has delivered good numbers of carp for me in the last week as well as in past years in the wintertime.  Note that any hits might be just delicate taps as the carp are not active enough to really run off with the bait as they do in the warm months.
Here's a good size mirror that was landed today using the light and delicate
winter approach described above.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Results of RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament

Sean Reed, our gold medal winner, also had the biggest fish
of the tournament.  He holds a monster 36 1/2 inch common.
The results are in for our 2018 RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament.  Our members entered their largest common carp, their largest mirror carp and their largest bonus fish (catfish or sucker). These fish were measured by length and all the inches were added up. Once again, some real big fish were landed this year.  The results are listed below:

Gold Medal...Sean Reed.....88 1/2 points (36 1/2 inch common, 34 inch mirror, 18 inch sucker)
Silver medal....Tom Perron....83 points (36 inch common, 32 inch mirror, 15 inch horned pout)
Bronze medal....Brian Savage.....67 1/2 points (36 inch common, 31 1/2 inch mirror)
4th place...Tony Carvalho....49 points
5th place....Laura Mitchell....46 1/2 points
Engraved medals provided by the national CAG organization will be given to the top three finishers!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Very Poor in November

So far, it has been a very poor November for carp fishing
here in RI.
This will not be a November to remember for me. I'm working on the poorest November carp fishing I have ever experienced.  In most normal Novembers I am able to land about 50 or 60 carp here in RI.  Thus far, I have only 5 carp on the month, and it shows no signs of improving. All my November spots that produced in other years seem to have no fish or none that want to feed.
The weather has really been working against me.  With the massive amounts of rain, the high, high water is at record levels.  I've written before that I am no fan of high water as it moves a lot of the fish into places they would not normally be.  In most places, ponds as well as rivers in RI, the water is in the woods.  Parts of the Blackstone look like a massive pond right now. Add to that big time dropping water temperatures brought on by this cold weather. As I write this I am staring at 6 inches of snow in my backyard.  It's all put the carp in a funk.
I am hoping this weather settles down into a more normal pattern soon. If not, I'll keep looking and trying
.  As most of you know, I do fish all winter on a limited basis, so I will keep going. Hopefully, things improve. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Big Fish Being Caught at NIGHT

This 23 lb. hog was landed two nights ago. Nighttime can
produce some trophy fish in late fall.
I'm competing in the CAG Big 4 Tournament right now, and I'm looking for some big carp to enter.  With the action for bigger fish slow in the daytime for me, I have turned to these warm nights in search of a big fish in the past few days.  And, it has paid off.
Three nights ago, I landed my biggest RI carp this year, a beast that went 30 lbs., 2 oz. That fish was also my biggest that I have ever landed after dark.  The next night I landed a good size one that went 23 lbs., 2 oz. I can also report that other RI CAG members have entered some big fish for our RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament that were caught at night too.
Experienced carpers will tell you that many of the biggest carp are taken at night. Big carp are wary creatures, and they will often come close to shore to feed under the cover of darkness. Combine that with late fall, a time in which bigger fish are feeding up for winter, and this month is a great opportunity to land a trophy. With darkness coming very early next week, it might be a time to get out and try carp fishing in the dark.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Photo of the Day.....An October Hog.... 30 lbs., 2 oz.

Tonight brought the biggest carp of the fall for me and another 30 lber.
for the books. This huge bellied carp was taken on a combo
bait of maize and a white artificial pop-up corn fished on the hair rig.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Not a Fan of High Water

In this photo that I took today, these are flooded woods
along the Blackstone River.  The main river is over a hundred
yards away from where I am standing! River waters are near
impossible to fish right now in RI. 
First it was the severe cold and the dropping water temperatures that put a crimp in the October carp fishing.  Now, it's VERY high water due to all the rain in the last two days. It's turning out to be an October to forget here in RI.
I went out scouting around the Blackstone River today.  Forget it.  In most places the water was in the woods.  In one spot that I checked out,  the water at my feet was about 100 yards from the main river! Many of the ponds are also way higher than normal.  Scott's Pond near my house is the highest I have ever seen it in the fall with no shoreline access to fish.
During these times of high water, many carp will actually move into flooded wooded areas to feed where the food is abundant. They are impossible to catch when in these spots. I've seen this many times in both ponds and rivers.
So, here's what I am hoping for in the coming weeks.  A warm-up would be great along with dry weather.  I know it will take a few days for the rivers to recede to a fishable level here in RI. In the meantime, small ponds remain your best bet to catch carp here in RI.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Photo of the Day....Back in Business

It's back in business as I found good numbers of cooperative
carp today on this cold morning of fishing.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Cold Weather Shuts it Down

I'm on one of the worst streaks I have ever experienced in carp fishing in October.  I have blanked on my last FIVE outings in a row. It's not for lack of trying. I've fished good spots in three states,  RI, MA and CT, in the last five days and I have nothing to show for it.
The fishing had been good up until that cold weather hit last week. I am guessing the sudden cold dropped the water temperature about 10 to 15 degrees and that was just enough to shut down the feed. Today I took a temperature reading at one of my spots and the water temp there was a cool 55 degrees. Carp should be feeding in that range, but the sudden drop has brought on lockjaw.
Note that in the last five days, I have not seen a carp jump, I have not seen any bubble trails and I haven't seen anyone catch a fish.  And, I was in some pretty good spots.
I say we are in a temporary lull right now. The fishing should perk up continue until the ice arrives.  Fall is a fickle time for carp fishing as it is often an on or off deal.  Right now, it's off for me.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Big Carp on the Feed Here in RI

This carp that is coming ashore was one of 8 fish landed in the
last 2 days in the nasty weather. The big fish are on the fall feed.
The next four weeks or so will be your opportune time to land a huge carp here in RI. A few years back I landed the biggest fish ever taken in RI waters when I landed a 36 lb. carp in mid November. Already the big fish show signs of the fall feed. I know of several 20 lbers. that have been taken recently by our RI CAGers here in RI. In the last week or so I have landed three twenties up to 26 lbs., a sure sign that the big ones are waking up to feed up for winter.  With dropping air and water temperatures on the way, it will only increase the need to feed. These bigger fish will continue to feed right up until the ice comes in.
I have been out in the heavy rain and wind of the last two days.  The fishing has been good as I landed a total of 8 carp with all of them going 10 to 15 lbs. It was nothing fantastic for size, but all good fish. I've written many times about how these carp just love to feed in the nasty weather and this was just another example. If you have the gear to last in the rain, give it a try.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Photo of the Day.....Big Fish on the Move in this Lousy Weather

I landed this mid 20 in today's lousy weather.  The rainy and nasty weather of the
last two days had the big fish on the move.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

September Nights

This mirror was landed recently
at night.  Note the maize/artificial
corn combo bait.
This big common was landed
tonight after dark in the
rain and storminess.
This is the time of year I start fishing for carp at night.  With darkness setting in earlier and earlier, it is a good time to fish at night after supper.  And, with the weather still nice, the fishing can be quite comfortable in the dark.
I've gone out two of the last three nights and have come away with a decent number of fish, both commons and mirrors, up to 20 lbs. No different tactics than fishing in the daytime. Just make sure you have a good headlight with you.  All my fish landed at night this week were taken on combo baits of maize and white artificial corn fished on the hair rig with a method ball packed around my sinker.  I did prebait with maize the spots in the afternoon prior to getting out.  I think the prebaiting really improves your chances of catching.
I'll also warn you that the horned pout have also been very active.  I landed several this week. They are well known as nighttime feeders. They will continue to be active until the cold sets in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


This 21 lber. that I landed today was number 1,000 on the year.
The fish were active today in the rainy and foggy weather.
I landed my 1,000 th carp of the year today, and it was a beauty that tipped the scale at 21 lbs.  This is the earliest I have ever hit the thousand mark. The most I have ever caught in one year is 1300.  Could this be the year this gets topped? If the weather stays warm until late December, it just might happen.
Today was one of those days in which the fish were turned on by the nasty weather. The fish were also active and jumping. It had been raining earlier before I got to my spot, and the weather was foggy, real good conditions for carp fishing. I landed 5 decent commons from 10 to 21 lbs.
All my fish today fell for a combo bait of one kernel of maize and a white artificial corn fished on the hair rig. I also packed a method ball around my sinker.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Photo of the Day...A Double at Dark

I was about to leave my spot at dark last night when both alarms went off at the same time!
It turned our to be a double of a chunky mirror and a smaller common.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Tournaments and Events Highlight Fall Fishing for CAG Members

For our RI CAG (Carp Anglers Group) members, a busy event filled fall is on the way. Here is a summary of what is going on on the national and state level in the next few months:
1. RI Fall Combo Tournament- This state event runs from Sept. through the end of Nov. and is open to any CAG member.  The idea here is to enter your biggest mirror, your biggest common, and a bonus fish (either catfish or sucker).  Measure each by length and add all the lengths together. All fish must be taken from RI waters.  Medals for first second and third.  We have a lot of real good carp fishermen in our group and a number of guys could take home the gold medal.
2. CAG CCC Tournament-  This prestigious event will be held in two weeks on the banks of the Hudson River. Some of the best carp fishermen from all over  the US will compete for the "Silver Belt Buckle" awarded to the winning angler.
3. CAG Discovery Month Event- This contest is about discovering a new carp fishing spot and doing a write up with photos or video.  Some nice prizes in a number of categories.
4. CAG Fall Big 4- This national tournament runs from October to November.  The idea is to enter your 4 biggest carp by weight.  Add those totals for the point total. We have had many RI CAG members place in the top ten in this national event in recent years. Some great prizes for the top ten finishers.
For anyone looking to join CAG, or for more info on these events, go to the CAG Forum

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fishing Cools in this Heat

In the last week, the fishing has cooled off for me in this intense heat.  I'm still seeing fish around, but they don't seem to be actively feeding.  I suspect this heat has put a damper on their feeding.
This was today's hot bait
I've been getting 1 to 4 fish a day in this recent hot
weather. Not hot and heavy but steadily fair.
I have been trying to get out at the cooler times of the day so I have been fishing mostly mornings up until about noontime. I'm getting about 1 to 4 fish an outing, way off from the average of 5 or 6 I had been getting earlier in the month. Still, I am catching so I continue to fish for carp just about every morning.
The hot baits seem to change almost daily.  Earlier in the week, a single white, artificial corn fishing on the hair rig did the trick.  Today, they wouldn't touch it.  The hot bait today that got me 4 fish was a combo bait of a small, pink, artificial corn with a single, small kernel of maize on the hair rig.  I haven't been going with a method ball due to the presence of turtles.
I've tried to bait up specific, small areas when I get to the location I fish. If I see a snapping turtle near me, I tend to move. Ah, I will be glad when they leave!
So, they fish are still hitting but we are in a slowdown.  Things should improve when we get a shot of cooler and rainy weather.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Photo of the Day....A Good Size Summer Mirror

This good size mirror that I landed this morning sits in the water about to
be released.  Fishing in the last week has been fair at best for me with one to three
fish an outing.  On the bright side, the fish have been bigger.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Photo of the Day....Catching in the Morning Rain

The morning rain was just enough to light up the fishing today.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

An Unusual Mirror

This unusual colored mirror sits in the water about to be
released. Mirror carp are all different, but this one was
highly unusual with its orange fins  and lips and pinkish body
Check out this mirror carp that I caught tonight.  Its body was a pinkish/orange color.  It's dorsal fin was orange.  The tips of the other fins were orange.  It also had orange lips and orange nostrils. I've landed thousands of mirrors and they are all different, but this one was REALLY different.
On another note, I landed my 900th carp of the year this week. The big numbers I was catching earlier in the month have diminished in this heat, but it is still running good.  I got out this morning and landed 5 small ones.  I went out again in the evening and banked a couple of mid sized mirrors. We need a shot of cooler weather to perk things up with the bigger fish, but it doesn't look like that is happening anytime soon.

Friday, August 10, 2018

You Won't Believe this Trick

Looking to get a supply of
plastics? Try cutting up
some plastic worms.
Here's white and orange
plastic pieces on a hair rig.
This has been a hot bait in
the last few days
I have discovered something real hot.
As most of you know, I have been fishing a lot with plastics these days.  I've been using small plastic pop-up corn to avoid turtles and other pests. I was running low on my plastics so I decided to "make" my own.
I found a bunch of plastic worms in the basement so I simply cut them up with a razor blade into small pieces. I did this with some white worms and some orange worms.  This gave me a big supply of plastics.  Guess what?  They worked every bit as well as the plastic corn.  I caught a lot of fish in the last two days with white and orange cut up worm pieces fished on the hair rig.
These cut up worm pieces are so soft that you could fish them on a bare hook if you don't use a hair rig.
Fishing for me has turned real good again as I hit some fast fishing in the last three mornings.  In those three mornings, I have banked 24 carp with many of them coming on the plastic worm pieces.

Here's the proof as this good size mirror hit these white
and orange plastic pieces mounted on a hair rig.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Just Too Hot

Try to fish the coolest part of the day in this
heat.  For me, mornings have been the best
time to fish.
I am not a fan of hot weather, so my fishing has been curtailed in this hot streak we are now experiencing. I have tried to get out in the morning and I fish until about noontime.
The fishing has been ok for me in the last few days.  I tend to get a couple of fish, but even they are not feeding heavily in this hot weather.
This morning I got out and fished from  10:00 until 12:30.  I had a good outing and landed three commons and two mirrors.  I got them all on one kernel of white, artificial corn fished on the hair rig.  Forget using a method ball.  The turtles are all over the place, super active and will pounce on any kind of real bait that hits the water.  I tried a method ball yesterday to get some distance to my cast and had two large snapping turtles take the whole ball of bait. Even the sun turtles have been brutal in this heat.
Watch for the fishing to really improve once this weather breaks.  I hit a big day on Saturday in the drenching rain, and I look forward to the next soaker.  That little drop in water temperature usually gets the bigger fish active.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Photo of the Day....Another Big Fish on a Nasty Day

I landed this good size common in today's nasty weather. The fish hit a combo
bait of a white, pop-up artificial corn and a kernel of maize fished on the hair
rig.  I was also using a small method ball.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Photo of the Day...Number 800 on the Year Landed

This good looking common is my 800th carp of the year.  The mid summer
fishing continues to be productive.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Crazy Action in this Crappy Weather

This mirror carp is one of thirty carp landed in the last two days.
The action has been great in this crappy weather.
Clouds, sun, rain, wind, thunder, clearing.  Pick your weather. It seems to change by the hour.That's the way it has been in the last few days.  Yet, with all this unpredictable weather, the carp are on the feed.  I've had the BEST back to back days numbers-wise of the whole summer banking a whopping  30 carp in the last two days. They haven't been big, but they sure have been plentiful.
The top bait continues to be plastics with white being the best color.  I am fishing one small, white aritificial corn on the hair rig with no method. I am baiting up along the margins and am fishing  just a flip cast from shore.  Turtles have been all around me every day, but for the most part, they have left the plastics alone. At one point, I counted nine sun turtle heads within a ten foot radius of my bait pile.
For the most part, it has been an uneventful July for me except for the hot action of the last few days. I'm guessing that so long as this weather pattern remains the same, the fishing will remain good.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Taking the Fight to the Camera

I have been experimenting with a Go Pro type underwater camera that I bought.  I can get some neat underwater video with this camera.  The fishing has been good from my end, and here is just the latest adventure!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Beating the Approach to Dead of Summer Fishing

This is one of 20 carp landed in the
last two days.  They are hitting in this heat.
So simple.  I am using one
kernel of artificial corn on
the hair rig to catch all my fish.
We are in the summer doldrums for sure.  The water is oh, so warm, maybe in the mid 80's in shallow places.  The water is also very low and weedy.  And, pests are everywhere.
Yet, summer carp fishing can be good.  In the last two days I have banked 20 carp in just 6 hours of fishing. So they are hitting.  It's just a matter of your approach.
Here are some tips for beating the doldrums:
1.  Fish the Coolest Part of the Day- I have been fishing the mornings, generally before noontime.  In the afternoon, the action really trails off.  The cooler times of the day are mornings, evening and nighttime.  Those are the most productive times to fish in the summer heat.
2. Fish the Shade- If you can, try tossing your offering into the shady spots.  It's cooler there and you'll find the fish more active.  I like to fish "shade lines", those shady lines formed by tree's shade along the shore.
3.  Use Plastics- All the fish I caught in the last two days were taken on white, plastic corn.  I am only using one kernel on a short hair rig.  I'm using no method to avoid luring pests. Turtles and horned pout tend to turn their noses up on plastics, and generally only carp will hit it.
4. Prebait a Small, Tight Area- When I get to my spot I will toss in a few handfuls of maize into a small, tight area. If a snapping turtle comes along I will leave and go to another location. I will keep the bait going into the spot if I am catching fish. I'll cast my offering right into the bait pile.
5. Take What you Can Get- I have never landed a thirty pounder in July so big fish are tough to come by here in RI at this time. This is a time to take what's available and not worry about the size of the fish.  Most of those 20 fish I landed in the last two days have been under 10 lbs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Stealthy Approach: Freelining Maize

This good size mirror was landed on freelined
maize, and effective way to catch fussy carp.
I've written many times on this blog about freelining both bread and mulberries.  This past week I have been freelining maize a lot and have had good success doing it. Maize is large and tough corn that you buy in feed stores as "whole corn".  You boil it for about half and hour to soften it up before use.
Freelining maize involves
just using the hook and one
piece of bait. Toss this into
a chum pile in close to shore.
Freelining is a simple yet very effective technique.  It involves just using a small hook (suggest #8) with no weight, no hooklink, no hardware. The hook is tied to the end of your line.  The bait is then put directly on the hook. There's little weight here so casting is tough.  The fish must be feeding right near you for this to work.
This works especially well when you have spooky, sensitive fish feeding in close to shore in shallow water. I found a spot just like this description this week.  When I arrive at this spot I toss in a handful of maize into the water.  That scares off the wary carp that are there.  I then toss my freelined maize right into the pile of bait, find a quiet location to sit, and wait with the rod in my hand. After about 10 minutes the curious carp return to check out the maize and begin to feed.  I can there quietly and watch a feeding carp pick up my hooked piece of maize.  As it takes off, I pull. The fight of that hooked carp and the landing of it often scares off the others, but they return after 10 minutes of so.
Freelining is just another method in the bag of tricks many experienced carp fishermen use. For fussy and sensitive fish, it is a very effective way to catch them.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Music to Our Ears

Experienced carp fishermen can't live without them. Newcomers want them.  And, non-carpers don't know what the heck it is. Yup, I'm talking about a bite alarm.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hot and Steamy

This good slize mirror that's coming ashore
was one of ten carp landed on this hot and
steamy day.
It's been more than the weather that has been hot in the last few days.  The carp fishing has been equally hot for me.
Today was a steam bath, but the carp were still hitting.  I went out in the morning for a two hour session and came away with 7 fish. Carp, just like us, like the cool shade on these hot and steamy days.  I was sitting under a shady tree and fishing right along the shade line in a pond, a great location to try on these hot, sunny days.  That's where the fish were holed up.  I tossed in some corn when I got there, and the fish came around in no time.  I was using plastic artificial corn on the hair rig since my chum also attracted a bunch of sun turtles.  The carp will hit the plastic corn, but the clever turtles are not fooled!
Later on in the evening I went out right before dark for an hour or so.  I landed three good size carp on freelined mulberries.  Once again, I was in the shade of a mulberry tree that was dropping berries. The carp were right there.
Carp are some of the most adaptable fish in freshwater. They will feed on these hot and steamy July days when the water temperatures in shallow ponds get  up into the low eighties.  These same fish will also feed in December when ice hugs the shoreline and water temperatures are barely 35 degrees.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Results of 2018 RI CAG Spring Big 3 Tournament

Angel Medrano, gold medal winner-
76 lbs., 10 oz.
Sean Reed, silver medal winner-
62 lbs., 7 oz.
Our big spring tournament is over and once again, our guys and gals landed some impressive carp.  In this tournament all the fish must be landed from RI waters. Our members entered their biggest carp for April, their biggest for May and their biggest for June.  We added up the weights and that was the final score.
Angel Medrano took the gold medal (provided by the national CAG organization).  Angel was the only one able to put three 20+ lb. fish on the board.  He led the tournament from start to finish and had a very impressive combined weight of 76 lbs., 10 oz.
Sean Reed came in second place and won a silver medal with a combined weight of 62 lbs., 7 oz.  What was impressive about Sean's catches was that they were all mirror carp.
Tom Perron, one of the most consistent big carp fishermen in the state, came in third and won the bronze medal with a total of 61 lbs., 6 oz.
Here are the final results below:

Final Standings for RI CAG Spring Big 3

1.Angel Medrano- 25 lbs., 15 oz.+ 26 lbs., 5oz. + 24 lbs., 6 oz. =76 lbs., 10 oz.
2. Sean Reed- 21 lbs.+ 22 lbs., 4 oz + 19 lbs., 3 oz. = 62 lbs., 7 oz.
 3.Tom Perron – 26 lbs., 10 oz.+21 lbs., 6 oz.+ 13 lbs., 6 oz.=61 lbs., 6 oz
4.Tony Carvalho- 14 lbs., 6 oz.+ 19 lbs., 4 oz.+ 27 lbs., 3 oz =60 lbs., 13 oz.
5.Brian Savage- 18 lbs., 8 oz.+ 21 lbs., 6 oz + 19 lbs.= 58 lbs., 14 oz
6.Laura Mitchell- 16 lbs., 4 oz.+ 17 lbs.+ 15 lbs. =48 lbs./4 oz.
7.Manny Dias- 18 lbs., 3 oz.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hogs in the Deluge

The hogs were on the feed in today's deluge.  Once again,
the action lit up in nasty weather.
Today was my kind of weather.  I've fished in this type of weather many, many times in the past and have done real well. Carp go nuts in extreme weather.  In the past I've done real well in tropical storms, hurricanes, northeasters and big downpours. So, I was not surprised when I found the carp on a big time feed in today's nasty weather.
I've been out in a lot of rainstorms, but for about a half hour today it rained about as hard as I have ever seen it come down.  I had a bait bucket by my side and after that deluge, the bucket had at least 6 inches of water in it!
During that deluge I landed a double header that consisted of a 20 + lb. and 15 lb. common and then another 20+ followed. All in all I had 8 fish today with most of them going over 10 lbs. The hot bait today was plastics.  I was fishing a white and yellow plastic corn on the hair rig ahead of a small method ball.  I used the plastics to avoid turtles, but they were nowhere to be found in this nasty weather.
This fishing lit up in a place that has been so-so and fair at best for me in the last month. I've seen this pattern before in summer where a big rainstorm can light things up in this location,  and it came through once again today.
PS Many people ask what I wear to stay dry in this type of weather.  I wear Grunden Hercules rain pants and a Grunden/Brooks rain jacket along with knee high Muck boots.  This set up kept me dry as a bone today.  It is the same gear the guys wear on the TV show, Deadliest Catch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Impressive Showing for RI CAGers in CAG Big 4 National Tournament

Tony Carvalho was competing in his first
CAG Big 4 Tournament and came in 10th place
with a total of 102 lbs. Nice job!
Once again, RI carp fishermen put some impressive numbers on the Leaderboard in the annual CAG Spring Big 4 Tournament. This was a six week event in which nearly 50 members from all over the country entered their biggest 4 carp by weight.  The combined weight total would be the point total.  Coming in the top ten is a real big deal since we are competing against some of the best carp fishermen in the USA.
This year we had 3 RI members in the top ten.  Here are the results:
Tony Carvalho entered his first Big 4 Tournament and came in 10th place overall.  Tony logged a total of 102 lbs. even. That is an average of over 25 lbs. a fish! Note that all Tony's fish were landed in RI waters, a tough feat.
Todd Richer, a frequent top ten finisher in the past and big carp hunter came in 6th place overall. Todd's total was 113 lbs., 1 oz. Todd averaged just over 28 lbs. a fish,  and he had one huge common that weighed 33 lbs.
Finally, I came in 4th place overall this year.  My total was 118 lbs., 10 oz.. That is an average of over 29 lbs. a fish and was one of my better totals in recent years. My biggest was a mirror that weighed 31 lbs., 8 oz. I had two fish from MA, one from RI and one from CT waters.
I've always said that we have some of the best carp fishermen in the country right here in RI, and this year's results prove that once again.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Photo of the Day.....Good Size Mirror Taken on a Mulberry

This good size mirror carp was taken on a freelined mulberry fished
right under a mulberry tree where the fish was feeding.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mulberry Drop Peaking

This hefty mirror was landed on a freelined
mulberry this afternoon.
The mulberries are ripe and falling in southern New England.  If you know of a tree that's dropping them in the water and that water holds carp, you are golden.  Carp go crazy for mulberries and they will binge on these delicacies..
Technique is simple.  Just
tie a hook to the end of your
line and impale the berry
with the hook. Cast to
feeding fish that should be
under the mulberry tree.
I know of a couple of spots in RI where the berries are hitting the water and I have been hitting those spots in the last couple of days.  I've landed a number of carp up to 15 lbs.
The technique is very simple.  You want to freeline these.  Simply grab a berry and impale it into a #8 hook. That's sinker, no hair rig, no hooklink. Cast it into feeding carp and you should be onto a fish almost immediately. Note that you will have limited range in your cast since these berries weigh very little.  Realize that carp get wise to this berry thing after awhile.  In some places where I fish these a lot, the carp soon learn to detect which berry has a hook in it and which do not, and they will completely ignore the hooked berry.  And, who said carp are not smart!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Biggie of the Day

The big ones continue to fall for me. This is one of several in the mid to high
twenties that I landed today!

Sunday, June 10, 2018


I landed a significant fish today.  It was my 500th carp for 2018.
This has been a strange year so far.  The beginning of the season featured real cold weather, and it took a while for the action to pick up. At one point, I was 150 fish behind last year's numbers. Now, I am just about all caught up! From the beginning of May until now has been lights out for me. In that six week period I have landed big numbers of carp as well as good numbers of large fish. So, it has been a memorable stretch for me.  I have been moving around and fishing RI, CT and MA waters a lot since the beginning of May.
There was a time in which I set a goal of 500 carp for the year. But, as I have gotten better and better at this game, and really learned how to fish a number of productive spots, that goal has been upped. Now, I am hoping to hit 1,000 carp for the year. I've reached that goal in the last three out of four years. I'm headed there again this year if the action continues like it has been.
It's not a monster, but this fish is significant.  This good looking mirror
is my 500th carp of the year.  The action in recent weeks has been super.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Photo of the Day....Crazy Looking Mirror

Check out this crazy looking mirror that sits in the water. It was like someone dropped
a handful of gold coins all over its bronze body! The scale patterns on mirrors are like
fingerprints on a human. Each one is a one of a kind and unique to the fish!
The fish was part of a 15 fish haul today. Yup, they were REALLY hitting!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Going Small with Artificials

This nice common, landed this morning, was
part of a 7 fish haul. This fish fell for
one aritificial, white corn on the hair rig.
This has also been working.
It is a combo bait of one small
kernel of maize with a
small, orange artificial
corn on the hair rig.
I've been experiencing very good carp fishing in the last week as the fish have been very active in this warming weather. Plastics, specifically artificial corn, has been the hot producers. Much of my tactics have been focusing on turtle avoidance since they, too, have become very active. 
I have been going small with my rigs using either a #8 or #10 hook along with short hairs that will hold either one artificial corn or an artificial corn along with one very small kernel of maize that I hand-pick. In many instances I am not using a method ball since the method really attracts the turtles.
I have also kept my baiting to a minimum and I try to keep the bait in a tight, small area close to shore.  I generally will bait up three or four spots near where I am fishing.  If a snapping turtle is spotted, I move to another location.
We are now in a summer carp fishing mode. The best fishing seems to be occurring in the morning, evening or nighttime with mid day being less productive. The exception to all this is a rainy day.  In that case the fish remain active all day.