Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Record Month Ends with Epic Day

Even before I went out today, I knew this was the best February of carp fishing I had ever experienced.  So, today's outing was the icing on the cake, and a lot of icing it was!
This is carp number 20 on the day, and it was
landed right at dark. This epic day produced
some large fish as well as big numbers.
This was a day of firsts and a day of plenty.  I landed my first 20 lber. of the year, a brute of common. I got my first "big" mirror of the year, a fish of at least 15 lbs.  It was also the first time ever that I was able to catch 20 carp in one day in the month of February. By the end of the day, my total for the month of February shot up to a whopping 65 carp, a record number for me.  In most years, I am more than pleased with 15 carp in the month of February.
I fished from morning until night in several different venues today, and they were all producing in this 60 degree weather today.  Everything was alive and active. I saw fish rolling on the surface, turtles sunning themselves on logs and gnats flying around. It seemed more like May today than February. The fish were also more active than in the previous outings this week.  I had a few blistering takes as the alarm was screaming on the bolt.  The fish were also more active on the fight as they ripped line off the reel with drag peeling runs.  Once again, more like May than February.
So, carp fishing is very hot right now, and the way the weather is looking, this hot action should continue right into March.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Photo of the Day...."FSM"

A gorgeous fsm (fully scaled mirror) comes ashore today. Our record breaking
breaking warmth has set up some of the best February carp fishing I have
ever experienced.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tips for Early Season Success

It is really happening right now.  For the action I am experiencing, this is more like April than late February!
Here are some tips for early season success:
Check out the bait used to catch this carp
recently. It's a white, artificial plastic corn
along with a kernel of sweet corn threaded
onto a hair rig.  This combo bait is super
effective in the first month of the season.
1. Fish Shallow Water- Shallow water heats up faster than deep water.  I especially like to hit small, shallow ponds with dark bottoms in the early going. If you know some that lost their ice a week ago, all the better.
2.  Use Two Outfits and Target Different Spots- My strategy in the early going is to find pods of fish.  Sometimes they are in close, sometimes way out. Put one rig in close and one way out.  If no hits after an hour, move them to different locations.
3. River Waters can be too Fast and Dirty-  I tend to avoid rivers in the early going because of the high, fast water.  Right now the Blackstone River is a raging torrent. The CT River yesterday was super high and filled with ice flows and mud.
4.  Sweet Corn is that Bait of Choice- For the next month I will be using only sweet corn on the hair rig or sweet corn with a pop-up (artificial corn). I might use a method ball, I might not.
5. Artificial Corn is SO Effective- My best bait by far in the early going been a combo bait of a small, white artificial corn along with a kernel of sweet corn on the hair.
6. Go Small- I have only used a #8 hook so far with a small hair, and that has really done the trick.  Use a sinker big enough to get where you want to cast.
7. Warm, Sunny Days are Best- The warmer the weather, the more active the fish will be in the early going. The sun helps warm the water.
8. Prebait if you can.  If not, toss in bait when you arrive at your location to fish If you are catching keep baiting to keep the fish around and active.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Off to a BIG Start

I landed this nice fish today along with several others.  The
larger fish over 10 lbs. have been active in the last week.
I'm doing something a little different this year.  Rather than targeting small carp (which are most active in the cold water), I am turning my attention to bigger fish.  I'm hitting some of my big fish spring spots. And, it is really paying off.
In the last 4 days I have landed 12 carp between 10 and 16 lbs. while fishing short sessions.  These are not monsters, but they are certainly good fish in February. I feel it's only a matter of a time before I land my first 20 lber. of the year.
My rigging has been small which usually works out best in the cold water.  I am only using a #8 hair rigged hook.  On that hair rig are one kernel of sweet corn and one white, pop-up artificial corn. Earlier in the week I was going with this set up on one outfit and straight sweet corn on the other, but the fish would not take the straight sweet corn, so I am now using two outfits with the artificial and sweet corn combo.  In the past this has been really hot in the early going. I'm also using a small method ball packed around the sinker.
One interesting note.....I really scouted around today and hit several different spots.  To my surprise, one place in nearby MA had considerable ice on the pond. Yes, ice still exists in places north of RI, and I suspect northern RI even has a few places with ice.  So, it might be best to have a couple of spots in mind before heading out if you are not sure.
With warm weather coming in the next week, I suspect the fishing will continue to be good.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Photo of the Day....First Decent One of the New Year

More and more ponds are opening up with the departing ice. Carp fishing
continues to get more active with some bigger fish in the mix!

Friday, February 16, 2018


This 8 lb. common was landed today in a pond.
This ice is leaving most of the ponds and lakes
in RI.
Here's a good early season
combo bait of sweet corn
and a white, pop-up, artificial
corn on the hair rig.  It
caught the carp on the left.
I spent the last couple of days scouting around looking for open water as well as doing a little fishing. While I have landed some carp in moving water so far in 2018, I had not gotten one in still water (ponds and lakes) until today.  I landed a carp of about 8 lbs. today in a pond that still had ice in some of the coves but was 90% ice free. Yes, they will hit as soon as the ice leaves.  This one hit a combo bait of sweet corn and a white artificial corn on the hair rig.
I can tell you that most of the ponds and lake south of Providence are 50 % to mostly ice free. North of Providence is a different story with most ponds and lakes being half to three quarters covered in ice.  However, if you look at the warm forecast for the coming week, it looks like just about everywhere should be ice free by next weekend.
Here are a few things you should know about fishing for carp in RI at this time of year. Your old (2017) license is good until the end of February.  On March 1, you will need a new, 2018 license. All waters that are stocked with trout are still open to fish for carp until the end of February.  After that, they will be closed to all fishing until Opening Day (second Saturday in April). Those lakes and ponds that are not stocked with trout are all open for any type of fishing in March.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

All About LOCATION and Carp that Want to Hit at This Time of Year

Success of winter carp fishing depends on two main things....LOCATION and finding fish that want to feed.  Unlike other times of the year when you might find fish all over the place, winter is different. Carp tend to bunch up in certain places in the wintertime.  These might be deep spots on an ice covered pond or deep spots in a slow moving river. If you catch fish, you can bet there are many more with it.  Finding those winter spots can be a challenge, and it often takes a lot of time and effort.  Most experienced carp fishermen who know these spots are tight lipped.
I landed this good size common this morning
in one of my "winter spots." Carp will bunch
up in certain locations in the wintertime.
Sometimes knowing a good winter spot doesn't translate into catching fish either.  A carp's metabolism can be quite sluggish in the winter, and some will just not feed.  A couple of years back I found a bunch of them in a small river.  The water was so clear I could see a pack of about 12 fish hovering over my chum and hookbait.  Not one fish would take; they even passed on the free bees.  In yet another instance I hit one of my winter open water spots after a cold night.  To my surprise, the place was frozen with a thin coating of clear ice about half an inch thick.  I could see dozens of carp under the clear ice just sitting there like statues.  Of course this was unfishable due to the icing.
So, location is one key to catching carp in the dead of winter. Most likely that will happen in moving, ice free water. But, finding those spots where carp bucnh up is only half the equation. Finding fish that want to hit is the other half of the story. You need both to make winter fishing work.