A small, maybe 10ft iceless hole has began to form on the lake I am targeting this season. Considering the lake is almost 90 acres, it’s probably not something to get too worked up about. Unlike the past few years, I am dealing with the winter with little urgency. I’ve learned the hard way that getting all desperate to be fishing again does nothing good for me. The winter has become a nice break from the manic ordeal otherwise known as my “carp angling”.
Here’s a fun fact: The Rhode Island Health Department recommends that you get a rabies vaccination if you have an encounter with bats. The dosage varies depending on your weight. For example, a 3 year old girl gets 3 shots and a pudgy adult man gets 6. Did I mention they are given to you all at once? It’s not so much getting bit that is a concern - it’s more like the saliva.
On Saturday, my friend told me a story about how his grandfather used to take him fishing as a young boy. When I asked him if his grandad was a fisherman, he replied, “No - He would just take me and watch me fish.” My friend who now owns more fishing rods than a tackle shop, has been fishing ever since.
Spring continues to play coy so for now I continue to sit on my hands and wait for sensible weather. Having been lured out to the bank by signs of an early spring last year, I realized I was pretty burnt out by mid-April. I’m doing my best to avoid that feeling this year.
The bluish black backs of the carp I’d been watching slowly drifted away from me and under what appeared to be an island of trash and some sort of scum. It was as if they had eyes on their tails and had spotted me watching them as they moseyed along the shallow water. My hands were cold and uncomfortable not to mention, covered in sweet corn juice. Besides the short warm spell we had recently, it has been bitterly cold. This is how I ended up here, watching these fish. While most of my regular spots have been ice-free for a while, it was here I felt I had the best chance of hooking up.
One of my first encounters with a Rhode Island carp was through a blog called “ricarpfishing”. The blog, written by local angler Dave Pickering, makes a bold claim; “Carp…The NUMBER ONE gamefish worldwide!” Mr. Pickering is a constant source of inspiration and checking his blog for updates has become a part of my morning ritual. Dave’s updates are something we all look forward to and the rate at which he catches fish is something we all aspire to.
I’ve gone on a little break from the hard, weedy water I had been fishing for the last few weeks, the water from which my latest PB came from.
It is now mid September and as far as I understand we are entering one of the best times of the year to catch fish.
Another session in the weedy lake and I’m happy to report that I have broken my PB for the second time this year.
Children throughout Rhode Island are returning to school and the mornings are noticeably cooler. Then end of summer is nigh. Having seen only a limited number of fish visit the landing net, I can’t help but ask myself if I’ve misspent my summer.
Here is the celebratory omelet I had this morning after capturing a very special fish.
Kevin Wasilewski, aka “The Dark Carper” has been quietly and methodically catching carp in Rhode Island for the last 30 years. Kevin’s dedication to catching carp is truly inspiring and over the last year or so I’ve had the privilege of getting to know this passionate, relentless angler.
Do colors matter in carp fishing? What makes a fish pick up our hookbaits when they do? Is it the “smell” of our bait? Is it the size? Is it pure serendipity?
June was a month of highs and lows. Or was it lows, lows, lows, lows, highs? Whatever it was, it was a challenging month in more ways than one.
Here is a picture of me holding a very large striped bass like a fool. This last week has produced several species of fish but no carp.
The Blackstone River holds a special place in my heart. Despite all the things that have been said about the river and it’s (former?) pollution levels, the river still teems with life. There is something for everyone in the river. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, pike, pickerel, panfish, catfish, trout and of course lovely mirror carp.
It’s hard to believe the end of May is upon us. Looking back at the last week or so, I realize that a lot has happened since I last posted. Here is what I’ve been up to.
Please accept this picture of me pretending not to be taking a picture of myself in lieu of a picture of a lovely carp.
Real life is pretty demanding at the moment and my obsession with catching carp is probably the most intense it’s ever been. These two forces are constantly at odds with each other, which can be extremely exhausting and overwhelming at times.
This weekend marked the official “opening” of trout season here in Rhode Island. RIDEM released 80,000 trout into ponds, rivers and streams through the area. Having been fishing for carp the night before, there was no way I was getting up Saturday morning.
After prebaiting for 2 days prior to fishing, I set out on a bit of an experimental session on what I consider to be my “hard” water. It was Thursday, the wind was blowing like pure madness. Not exactly what I’d had in mind all week. Never the less, I had put in the effort to prebait and I was definitely going to fish.
Another quiet week is in the books. March continues its “marchy-ness” and I am ready for this spring to really kick off.
After getting some great advice from a very generous and much more experienced carp angler, I have managed to winkle a carp out of its watery lair.
Welp, spring had been teasing us for a few weeks and it seems like its finally here. I wish I could report that things were getting carpy but so far it’s been slow for me. Here is a quick update.
To say it’s been cold these last weeks would be a complete understatement. Unless you enjoy fishing with frost bitten body parts, there was not much to do in the way of fishing. After prepping and re-prepping my gear, all that is left to do is dream of what this season will bring.
Well, winter is here… sort of. I went out scouting these last few days and found open water in the places I visited. I’ve yet to go fishing for anything this year but I get the feeling I will be out and about in the next few weeks. Besides day dreaming, here are some videos I’ve watched that have helped keep me sane.
There is snow on the ground and as of this morning, the local carp pond is frozen over. Is winter finally here? This evening, I am “unboxing” my latest tackle order. Inside are the last few pieces of kit I will be using this upcoming season including some new items that have come out of many lessons learned in 2015.
We’ve had a mild winter so far, but I am off the bank till the spring. I may only have a slight case of the winter blues at the moment, but I am already in the midst of preparing for the upcoming season. This means evaluating my current tackle situation, re-uping bits and bobs and purchasing any new items that I have deemed necessary.
One of the first and best pieces of advice that Kevin gave me was: keep it really simple and go to a water with a high population of carp. He graciously gave me a list of a few of these places. This was huge for me. Until then I had been speculating on whether or not the waters I was fishing even had carp in them. If there are no carp around then you cannot catch them.
To say that carp fishing is not popular in the US would be an understatement. On most lakes you’ll find DEM (Department of Environmental Management) signs alerting boaters and anglers about the dangers of spreading “invasive” species. This list includes Asian clams, zebra mussels, rusty crayfish and of course, my beloved carp. In one report I’ve read, someone describes a popular local park lake as “infested” with carp. I call it a “runs water”.
- 2015 Retrospective
- A Cold North Wind
- A March carp, at last
- A Mid Winter's Ramble
- A Week to Remember
- An Early Early Spring
- An Interview with the Dark Carper
- An email exchange with Mick Brown
- Another Summer
- Bat S#*t Crazy
- Cabin Fever
- Carp Culture
- Carp and Code
- Cracking the Code
- Dear Santa
- End of April
- End of Season
- Everything but the...
- Father’s Day
- Game On
- Good Morning
- Grinding it Out
- Hello there, shiny friend
- Hello, April
- Hot Mess
- Icy Dreams
- In Search of Something Special
- Interview with Dave Pickering
- Into the Weeds
- Introducing Rig Kits!
- Is there a perfect carp bait?
- Last Cast
- March Madness
- Marching On
- Mega Update (Part 1)
- Mega Update (Part 2)
- Mental Break
- Mid September
- My Journey into Carp Fishing (part 1)
- My Journey into Carp Fishing (part 2)
- October So Far
- Opening Day
- Putting in the Hours
- Putzing Around
- Rigs for Rig's Sake
- River Tuna
- Spring Update
- Strange Week
- Summer Update
- Surviving Summer
- Switching It Up
- Taking it Slow
- Thawing Out
- The First Rule of Carp Club
- The Fizzles
- The Problem of Time
- The Right Gear
- Twenty Five Thirteen