Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Closing the Book on 2020 - The Year in Review

Highlight of the year, a RI "40"!

 I've caught my last carp for 2020. Overall, it was a strange and different year for me.  With Covid on the scene and travel restrictions in place, I did almost all my carp fishing here in RI.  That was very different because in past years, I caught good numbers fish in MA and CT waters.  Covid caused me to REALLY focus on RI carp fishing, not a bad thing. I explored a lot of places and found some very good spots I never knew existed. I actually put up some very good numbers, maybe the best ever for just here in RI. I also caught some very big fish. In fact, one special fish was the biggest I have every caught in RI and the first 40 lber. ever landed here. That was probably the highlight of my year.

So, below are some interesting numbers that tell part of the story of my carp fishing in 2020:

Total number of carp landed- 724 (278 commons, 446 mirrors)

Biggest Common Carp from RI- 40 lbs., 40 inches (new unofficial state record), landed June 6

Biggest Mirror Carp from RI-  25 lbs., landed on July 1

Most carp in one day- 50 on Nov. 30

Most Productive Month- November, 105 carp landed 

Least Productive Month- December- 12 carp landed

Best Month for big carp (over 20 lbs.)- October

First carp of the year landed- Jan. 3

Last carp of the year landed- Dec. 4

Numbers Comparison to 2019- 704 carp landed last year; 724 landed this year

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Holidays from RI Carp


Wishing  you and your families safe
and happy holidays.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Shut Down, Iced Over and Snowed Out

No carp fishing, but the skiing is 
great these days!

I have never seen a carp season come to a crashing halt like this one.  One night I'm catching carp on a fifty degree evening and the next day I am shoveling a foot of snow. Welcome to New England.

Every spot I know of that has produced in the past in December is not fishable or not producing right now. All still waters are iced over, all running water is very high.  Access is near impossible even in river waters due to all the snow.

So, no need to stress about it.  I've put the rods and carp gear in the basement temporarily, got out the ski gear, and it's been off to the slopes for me for the last two weeks. The beauty of living in New England is that there is always something to do outside regardless of the time of year!

Friday, December 18, 2020

RI CAGers Hit it Big in CT Tournament

Brian Savage

The biggest "big money" carp tournament in New England is the CT Carp Open sponsored by Fishin' Factory 3 in Middletown, CT.  It is held every year on the CT River and draws in top carp fishermen from all over the US.  This was a 4 day/night event in late October.  Anglers set up tents and fished day and night.
Sean Reed
Two RI CAG anglers, Sean Reed and Brian Savage, formed a team and were big winners in this event. Sean and Brian are no strangers to big carp fishing as they have consistently placed in the top three in many of our state run tournaments. Brian and Sean came in 3rd place in the Big 4 part of the tournament. This won them a whopping $4,000. Their Big 4 total amounted to 111 lbs. Realize there were 70 top anglers entered and 40 teams, so to come in 3rd place is quite the accomplishment.
Huge congrats to Brian and Sean.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Results of RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament


Our RI Fall Combo Tournament is now complete.  In this event, our CAG members are trying to catch both a common and a mirror along with a bonus fish (either catfish or white sucker). All fish must be caught in RI waters.  We measure the catches and add up the measurements of the biggest fish for the final score. Most of our members take part in this popular tournament that runs from Sept. to the end of Nov. We award medals provided by CAG for first, second, and third place. 

Here are the winners:

1. Gold Medal- Brian Savage- 82 points (32 in. common + 32 in. mirror + 18 in. sucker). Photo at left.

2. Silver Medal- Eddie Taylor- 43 1/2 points (29 in. common +14 1/2 catfish)

3. Bronze Medal- Laura Mitchell- 42 1/2 points (26 1/2 mirror + 16 in. sucker)

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Perfect Storm/ Epic Day


This ten pound common was one of
50 fish landed in yesterday's
massive storm.

Yes, I did fish in that massive storm that hit our state yesterday, and it turned out to be one of the most epic days I have ever fished in my carp fishing career.

I just knew when I got up yesterday morning and looked at the weather that this would be the PERFECT storm for carp fishing. I've fished in some big storms in the past like Hurricane Bob, Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Jose to name a few. And, I know what can happen in these events as carp get charged up and go on a feeding rampage.  All of those days mentioned above were memorable, so I knew what was coming. I was well outfitted to deal with the elements in my Grunden parka and rain pants along with my muck boots (same commercial rain gear you see on Deadliest Catch).

I got to my venue in late morning just as it started to rain and the temperatures began to rise out of the high forties into the fifties. Fishing started off slow.  The first hour I landed just 2 fish, nothing special. So, I decided to move on to another location in the same body of water.  At this point, we had all the weather events moving into high gear- high winds, temperatures rising in the upper fifties and a warm, driving rain. As I was walking along and looking at the water, I saw what at first I thought was a wide area of coon tail weed.  Only thing, it wasn't weed. It was a massive school of carp just milling near the warm surface water being heated by a warm rain. There were hundreds of carp in this school in a part of the shoreline that went on for 20 or 30 yards. I never imagined this venue had even fifty carp, let alone hundreds of them in one spot. This is where I set up to fish.

The day's haul of 50 fish included a mix
of commons and mirrors that ranged from 
5 to 12 lbs.

For the next three hours it was non-stop action. I never waited more than ten minutes for a runner.  In the next three hours of daylight, I landed 37 carp that ranged from 5 to 12 lbs. I had several doubles in the mix.

Now, nighttime set in and the driving rain and wind had turned into a gale, but I decided to stay and fish in the stormy darkness (yes, I did remember to take  a headlamp with me). I saw a massive tree blow down about fifty yards to my left as the storm seemed to intensify.  Branches and sticks kept blowing off the trees into the water, but it didn't deter the carp from hitting.  After dark, I landed 11 more carp in an hour and a half of fishing in a monsoon.  I had two doubles in the mix.

Once I reached 50 carp for the day, I called it quits. I have never come close to these numbers in all my years of carp fishing.  I remember once getting 30 fish in one day, and I thought those numbers would never be beaten. All my fish fell for a combo bait of maize and a white artificial corn fished on a hair rig. No method ball. These fish weren't fussy as they would key on the bait as soon as it hit the water at times.

Yesterday's storm was every bit as potent as those hurricanes I fished in. And, once again, the carp were charged up, feeding voraciously and super active in this nasty weather. Just epic!