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!