Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pre Turkey Day Carping

I've been itching to go carp fishing in the last few days with this warming weather. I'm now in a transition period in that I am skiing one day (yesterday), still saltwater fishing for stripers (Monday) and still carping (today).  Ah, the beauty of New England!
This is one of ten carp landed today on this day before
Thanksgiving.  The warm weather got them hitting.
Today I found good numbers of carp that were really actively hitting.  But, my adventure did not start off well. Most of you know I like to move around, and today that is just what I did.  After poor results (2 fish in three hours) in my first two locations, I hit a third spot where I found the jackpot. Lesson here is that don't get anchored to one spot if nothing much is doing.
In an hour and a half I was able to bank 8 mirrors from 5 to 8 lbs. Nothing really big, but at this time of year any fish is good. I used two rods with two different baits.  On one I was using 2 kernels of sweet corn on a hair rig.  The other had one kernel of sweet corn along with a white, artificial corn on the hair rig also.  On both I was using small #10 hooks. No method.  Both baits seemed to work equally as well.
At this time of year, the opportune time to fish for carp are those warm days, especially when many warm days come in a row like what happened this week. This causes to water temperature to rise which gets the carp feeding in the cold months.
Happy Thanksgiving to my many readers, and good luck if you get out in the coming days.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Winter Tactics: Effectiveness of 1 Artificial

Just one artificial corn on the
hair rig wil do it. This washed
out pink color has been very
effective for me.
This is one of many carp that fell for the one
 artifical approach this week.
I was back to using winter tactics this week.  I started off with my cage feeder/sweet corn set-up that I outlined in the last post. The problem I ran into with this was dace or fall fish.  These little varmints are active in the cold water and they will rip apart the sweet corn in short order. So, my cage feeder set-up was rendered useless by these cold water pests.
So, onto option 2 that I've used in past years in this situation. This option involves the hair rig.  I've tied a bunch of small hairs onto #10 hooks with light, 30 lb. test braid.  This delicate set-up is perfect for winter use.  The key is to put on just one artificial corn.  In this case I was using a white or washed out pink Enterprise artificial, plastic corn. The hook is so light it allows the artificial to actually float upwards on the hair rig in an alluring fashion.  It did just the trick as the carp keyed on this one bait while the dace left it alone for the most part. I also used a method ball packed around my sinker.
I used this one artificial in the last three outings including today.  Yes, I was out in this absolutely miserable weather this afternoon.  It was cold (40 degrees), windy and pouring rain, but the carp were hitting.  I landed seven nice fish up into the teens. It lessened the misery factor.
These are real hot in the wintertime. Sold at Big Carp Tackle! Best
colors for me have been washed out pink and white.

Monday, November 18, 2019

On to Winter Tactics

The cage feeder is packed
with method and the hook is
loaded with sweetcorn. This
is a terrific set up for winter
carp fishing.
Here is one of many that fell for the cage
feeder set up in today's cold weather.
It's only Nov. 18 but the last few days have felt like January. The carp have a false sense, too, that winter has set in and they are acting like they do in January.  They are sluggish on the take and sluggish on the fight, but still hitting in ice free spots. 
I got out today with the intentions of hitting a small pond. No good.  The place I was hoping to fish was frozen solid. So, I quickly changed plans and headed to moving water. I broke out my cage feeders for the first time this year.  These are winter tactics at their best. I'm using an NGT 1 oz. cage feeder (sold at Big Carp tackle for $.95) for my weight and using just a #10 hook with a couple of pieces of sweet corn threaded on. No hair rig. It's all put together with light, ten pound test line. I packed my cage feeder with a method mix of oatmeal and crushed up bread. It all worked like a charm as I landed a number of carp in today's cold.
Cage feeders are ideal to use in moving water.  They release method gradually which attracts carp to your sweet corn.  Note that "takes" are often subtle, most often just bounces of the rod tip.  When the rod tip starts twitching, pull. A carp's metabolism is slowed in the cold water and rarely will you get those blistering, alarm screaming runs in the winter.
Winter fishing is here early this year.  I will continue these winter tactics in moving water in the coming cold months of December, January and February.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Winnings in CAG Discovery Month Contest

One of my favorite contests that CAG (Carp Anglers Group) runs is called Discovery Month. This is a national contest in which members go out and try to find places where no one has caught carp before (at least to our knowledge).  I like it because it takes me out of my comfort zone and allows me to look for new, unfished spots.  Sometimes I find some real gems; some years I find only duds. The contest runs all of September and is open to all CAG members.  In the end, we submit a story about our adventure along with photos that get printed on the CAG Forum.  There is also a photo and video contest.  Members get to vote and pick the winners.
My adventure was called "Remote Blackstone". My objective was twofold here.  I wanted to explore a section of the Blackstone River in MA that I had never fished before.  It was quite remote and hard to get to, and  place that I don't believe anyone has fished for carp. I also wanted to experiment with taking a number of different camera shots from action to creative photos while fishing.  I made about 6 trips to this location and landed about 15 fish so things worked out, and I found a new spot that was off the beaten path that I will fish again in the future.
My story came in second place and my photo won top prize.  My winnings amounted to gift certificates which I can certainly use, and my photo gets published in our North American Carp Magazine.
First place photo, CAG Discovery Month, 2019

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Photo of the Day- "Fall Colors"

Check out the stunning colors on this mirror that I landed today. Most mirrors
exibit vibrant colors in late fall and winter when the water turns cold.