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March Madness

I’ll be completely honest; I don’t want to be writing this post. I wanna tell you that I’ve been capitalizing on this gorgeous, abnormally warm weather we have been having but unfortunately I have not. Wednesday seemed to be opening day of carp fishing here in Rhode Island and hearing the calling I left work early and found myself at what appears to be Carp Mecca in our state. It is a truly rare occurrence that I encounter any other carp anglers on the bank but on Wednesday we were out in droves. The presence of other carp anglers and people in general at Carp Mecca was a little unexpected and my inner introvert decided it wanted to find a quieter spot to be at. I met up with a friend and not long after that we were set up again in a different swim. My friend Mark is a saltwater, fly fishing, trouty sort, and sitting still doesn’t suit him well. I suggested he walk up and down the pond free lining bread at any carp he saw. Meanwhile I set up a couple bottom baits. After spooking a few fish he too set up a sort of improvised running rig and we waited. A few minutes had passed when I noticed his rod buckle over. Somehow a duck had managed to get itself tangled in his rig and was now violently thrashing on the water. Everyone watched us as he reeled the duck in and once it was close enough, I cut it loose. After much over romanticizing this first “real” session of the year, reality had kicked me right in the hiney. I left Carp Mecca carpless.

I was out again Friday morning. This time, I visited one of the more densely populated ponds I know of. The water was high and cold. I recall that on my first visit to this pond I was greeted by commons leaping out of the water. That was not the case on this early spring morning. It was quiet and after about an hour and a half I decided I’d pack up and be early to work.

Saturday night was my last outing. It was colder than I expected it to be. Mark commented to me today that even though the days have been in the mid 60s, the water is very cold. I can confirm this as Saturday night I got a hip wader boot full of water. I decided to pack up immediately after that. As I reeled in my last rod, I heard a very loud crash in the water just a few feet from me. Hm… I thought. Could it be a carp? Could it be a pike having a late snack? I had to give it a shot. I put a rod back out and soon I noticed what must have been bullheads hitting the rig. Zip, zip, zip. Twenty minutes passed and I reeled in the mangled remains of my sweet corn rig. A long hot shower was in order.

So this has been my March.

I’m at a weird place right now. I am a husband and father. My job has changed since last season. My schedule is a little tighter. I used to work near the Blackstone, which meant that I could fish there before work and still be close enough to be on time. I have to find new places to fish that work within my geographic area. There is a quite good one on the way to work but it is not an “easy” water. It’s big, it’s weedy, there is limited access and to top it off it’s full of catfish. I have a feeling that I could “crack” it somehow, but that is gonna require many blanks and quite frankly I’m not at a point where I wanna do that. There are 2 more ponds near me that require discovery which means potentially more blanks.

Well, I don’t know about you but a string of blanks causes me to doubt my entire existence. What I need is a solid plan and a fish or two in the net to build up my confidence. To the Batcave!