Sunday, March 29, 2020

RI Stay at Home Order Puts an END to Most Fishing

Within hours, maybe minutes of writing my last post, the Governor put into effect a stay at home order for people in Rhode Island. I'm guessing that will put an end to carp fishing for most unless you have a pond in your backyard. If you can't drive to a spot, you can't fish. Supposedly, you can only drive to get food, medical supplies and gas.
Stay safe everyone, and I hope things improve soon.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Trying to find some normalcy.....

This is normalcy for me.  I got this nice mirror yesterday
evening in a solitary spot.
These times are anything but normal.  I like things to have a normal pattern about my life. Much of that normalcy involves some type of fishing every day along with at least an hour or two of exercise. My exercise pattern has been sort of out of sync.  Normally at this time of year I am still skiing four to five days a week.  That ended two weeks ago.  So, I turned to bike riding earlier than normal.  Usually, I ride on bike path near my house. Forget it.  That place has been jam packed with bikers, walkers, dogs, kids, etc. In a lot of cases, no regards for social distancing. Riding along the path has been a maze of people and congestion. Not good. So, I am now riding on the roads. It's safer in some ways (no infected people), more dangerous in other ways (cars).
My fishng has also been modified. I am really trying to fish solitary places where no people are around.  I've got a number of spots like that where I can carp fish, but the fishing has not been great in those places. Also, many other good spots (trout stocked waters) are still closed until Opening Day, so it has been limiting. March has been a disappointing fishing month so far for me. The weather has been up and down and that has killed the fishing consistency.
Still, I am able to fish, making for some normalcy. Everyone in my family is still healthy and that is the most important thing here.
I shudder to think what a mandatory stay at home order would be like.  I don't even want to think about it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What Will Happen with Opening Day of Trout Fishing?

What is going to happen with Opening Day of Trout fishing here in RI? As of right now, it is slated to open on April 11. This is a day that traditionally sees tens of thousands of fishermen descend upon the stocked waters of RI in search of trout.  Some places like Carolina Trout Pond, Lincoln Woods, Silver Spring Pond and many other hotspots see hundreds if not thousands of fishermen standing shoulder to shoulder.  In other places dozens of people camp in close quarters waiting for daybreak. Under the present circumstances, I see no way this will be allowed to happen. So, as of now, no one seems to know what will happen.
Nearby CT has taken a novel approach to this, one that I think RI should immediately adopt. Yesterday they opened all their trout waters to fishing.  They previously had the same Opening Day as RI, but they decided to open early to avoid the masses of fishermen that would normally hit the waters on April 11. It was also smart to open during the week.
Here is the press release from CT:
On March 24, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont issued an Executive Order opening many lakes, ponds, rivers and streams to fishing statewide.  Opening the fishing season early helps to limit community spread of COVID-19, by eliminating the large crowds that often accompany the traditional Opening Day of fishing in April. During this time of social distancing, fishing should be enjoyed as solitary experience or with members of your immediate household, not as a group activity. 
DEEP is encouraging all anglers to follow social distancing practices.  Anglers should maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, practice good personal hygiene, and stay home and away from others if you feel sick.  If you arrive at a favorite fishing spot and see that crowds are forming, choose a different location, or return another day or time. “
Smart policy!  Now, will RI follow? 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Changing Strategies to Avoid Crowds

A nice carp sits in the water in the net.  Fishing in the last
couple of days has been really good. I have been trying
to fish spots with little or no people.
The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we live, at least in the short term. It's also affecting fishermen and their choices, and will greatly affect them as the weather warms and more and more people get out.
In my daily life, I have been trying very hard to avoid crowds, even small crowds. I'm keeping my social distances and washing hands often like everyone else. My fishing for carp has also changed in the last week.  I am not fishing public parks where lots of people are out and about.  I have also been avoiding easy access points that might see a lot of fishermen. I might try some of these spots on crappy, rainy days, but you won't find me in any crowded spots on a nice day. I'm trying to fish more in remote places, and I know a lot of these spots where I have never run into another human being. Of course, getting to these spots is often a chore, but we can all use more exercise.
I am grateful that I can still go out and go fishing. And, the fishing has been really good in the last couple of days in my off the beaten path spots. A stay sheltered in place ultimatum would really drive me nuts. I hope it doesn't come down to that.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Good Stuff

Good stuff!
This winter my go-to bait has been sweet corn from the supermarket. I have been using this alone or in combination with artificial corn.  The problem with buying cans of sweet corn from the supermarket is that you just don't know what you are getting. I hate it when I open a can and it is all very tiny kernels, which are basically not usable on the hair rig. To solve that problem, I have been buying Nature's Promise sweet corn.  This comes in four small plastic containers that you can actually see what you are buying. The kernels are not only larger, but much firmer than the canned stuff. While more expensive, this stuff works out far better.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Catch of the Week

Weather-wise, it has been a warm week for early March.  Fishing-wise, it has been a hot week.  Our warming waters have put the carp in an active and feeding mood.  I got out multiple times this week.  My worst day was three carp; my best day saw twelve fish on the bank.
The catch of the week for me was a wild hybrid goldfish.  These fish do exist in the Blackstone River system in MA and RI, though they are not that plentiful. While many might think these fish are small commons, they are a bit different. Look closely at the photo below....hybrid goldfish have no barbels and they have a straight mouth that is in the middle of their head.  They also have much smaller scales than a common carp.  I landed the beauty below this week using one kernel of sweet corn and a white artificial corn on the hair rig.  I was also using a small method ball packed around my sinker.
Catch of the week for me was this wild hybrid goldfish.