Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Report...Numbers Down, Sizes Up, Weather Plays a Big Factor

Biggest carp of the year was this 33 lb.
common, taken in April
It was a strange year if you were a carp fisherman.  I can't remember another year in which the weather played such a big factor. From July till the end of the year it was one big rainstorm after another.  Now, I like fishing in the rain and did well again this year in this nasty weather, but it was the after-effects of all this rain that caused all kinds of problems. The heavy rains swelled both the lakes and rivers and dirtied up the water in many cases. After these big storms, it took days, sometimes a week, for the river flows to return to fishable levels. In both the rivers and some ponds, the fish were feeding in the woods in flooded waters, making catching them impossible. This scenario played out over and over again the second half of the year.
Strangest fish of the year was this
white and orange koi.
I do believe this wet, high water pattern of 2019 led to the poorest year, numbers-wise that I've had in the last five years. I fished the same amount of time this year as in other years but came up way short. According to my logs, I landed and released 704 carp in 2019. The prior three years, 2018, 2017 and 2016, I had over 1,000 fish each year. The numbers were just not there this year.
On the other hand, it was a good year for big fish for me.  I landed 4 carp over 30 lbs. this year.  I usually get one or two.  I also had good numbers of fish from 20 to 29 lbs. Those big fish got me 8th place finishes in the CAG National Spring and Fall Big 4 Tournaments. It's really tough to break into the top ten in these national events so I'm pleased with those results.
Here are a few other facts from my log of 2019:
* Of those 704 fish I landed, 377 were mirrors, 327 were commons
*My best month was June in which I landed 129 carp
*My worst month was January in which I landed 23 carp
*My worst non-winter month was August in which I landed just 30 carp
*My biggest carp, a 33 lb. common, came from RI waters in April
*My biggest carp outside of RI weighed 32 lbs. and was taken in CT waters in June
*My biggest carp from MA was a 24 lb. mirror landed in May
*The strangest fish I caught was a beautiful white and orange koi that I landed in the Blackstone River in August
*My best day numbers-wise was (surprisingly) Feb. 4.  I landed 18 carp that day.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Photo of the Day- "Perking up in Spring-Like Weather!"

A good size mirror comes to the shore this afternoon. Winter fishing has perked
up in this spring-like weather.  Find some open water and you will
likely find carp willing to hit!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

The action was slow but the scenery was beautiful.  As the song goes, " It's
beginnning to look a lot like Christmas......"
Merry Christmas to all my carping friends, CAG members and blog readers!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

In Search of Sno-carp

Here's a good size sno-carp landed just a few days ago. Carp
can be caught in the dead of winter using winter tactics and
fishing the right locations.
I've written quite a bit about winter tactics. If you are fishing in the winter or looking to fish, tactics make up only half the puzzle of winter carping.  The other half is location. And, when you are dealing with southern New England winters, location can be tough to deal with since you are dealing with cold, ice and snow for the most part.
I try to read a lot about carp fishing, and I've read many times that carp tend to "bunch up" in certain places in the wintertime.  These are often spots in deep water, whether it is in a river or in a lake. Oftentimes, it's hard to find these spots due to icing.  And, many times when you do find these locations, the fish are not hitting.  Once water temperatures get really low, the carp tend to stop feeding.
Many years back when I started carp fishing, I went out one day in search of open water winter carp. To my surprise, the place I wanted to fish was completely iced over with a thin sheet of clear ice, windowpane ice I call it. It was a bright sunny day, and as I looked through the ice, I saw outlines of carp, lots of carp, milling around just under the half inch windowpane ice. There were 50, maybe 60 fish, just doing nothing, and occasionally slowly moving about in a circular motion.  Of course I couldn't fish because of the ice.  But, what I found that day was a wintering over carp spot that has produced from me winter after winter when the spot is ice free.
If you are looking for these types of places, look for deeper water.  Even in small, shallow ponds, the deepest spots should have the winter populations of carp. Deeper spots in moving water might have them, but not all deep spots have them so it is a matter of looking and trying.
To be successful at winter carp fishing takes a lot of experimenting and exploring.  Find those productive winter spots, use the tactics described in a couple of posts back and you have the whole puzzle solved when it comes to winter carp fishing here in southern New England. Sounds easy but I can tell you it is not!

Friday, December 6, 2019

RI CAGers Score in Top Ten in National Big 4 Tournament

Todd Richer, 6th place, 106/11 points.
I came in 8th place. 97/14 points.
The national Fall Big 4 Tournament sponsored by the Carp Anglers Group has concluded, and once again, our RI carpers had a real good showing. Prizes were awarded for the 10 ten finishers and we had two winners. This is a tournament that ran for two months in which carp anglers (CAG members) from all over the country entered their biggest four fish.  Add the poundage for the biggest 4 and that was your point total.
RI CAGer Todd Richer ended up in sixth place.  Todd logged in four fish that had a combined weight of 106 lbs., 11 oz. His biggest was 27 lbs., 2 oz. Todd is one of premier big carp fishermen here in RI and regularly places in many of the national tournaments. Todd won a gift certificate to Big Carp Tackle.
I was the other winner in the top ten, and ended up in eighth place. My total was 97 lbs., 14 oz. My biggest fish was 27 lbs., 2 oz. I also won a gift certificate to Big Carp Tackle.
I can tell you that it is not easy to place in the top ten in this tournament.  You are competing with some of the best carp anglers from all over the country. Many of these guys and gals fish some of the big rivers that regularly give up 30+ lb. fish!

Monday, December 2, 2019

RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament Winners

Laura Mitchell- First Place
Brian Savage- Second Place
We recently concluded our fall combo tournament.  Once again, our RI CAG members did an outstanding job catching some big fall carp here in RI. Here is the way the tournament worked. Our members entered their biggest common carp, their biggest mirror carp and their bonus fish (catfish or sucker).  All fish were measured to the nearest inch. All of these results were added up and that became their total. Two other important notes: all fish had to be landed in RI waters, and all fish had to be released.
The top three finishers will receive medals that were bought by the national Carp Anglers Group.
Here are the top three winners:
1. Laura Mitchell- 29 1/2  inch common, 34 inch mirror, 19 inch sucker= 82 1/2 points
2. Brian Savage- 37 inch common, 28 1/2 inch mirror, 16 inch sucker= 81 1/2 points
3. Tom Perron- 30 1/2 inch common, 27 inch mirror, 17 inch sucker= 74 1/2 points
Congratulations to all our winner and all the other members who entered fish.