Thursday, August 28, 2014

More and More Striper Guys Turning to Freshwater Carp

There is no question that the number of shore fishermen who are targeting stripers is dwindling at a rapid pace.  The last four outings I fished I barely met another fisherman. Shore fishing is poor for stripers right now, particularly keeper bass here in RI.  Many striper guys have adapted by going after the more abundant, but smaller bottom fish like scup and black sea bass.  However, many of the fishermen who looking to catch big fish are turning to freshwater carp fishing.
This large mirror carp, just shy of 30 lbs., was landed
recently.  Many saltwater striper fishermen are turning
to freshwater  carping until the saltwater fishing improves.
Carp are one of the most interesting fish I have ever targeted. They are a great fighting fish, they hit in all types of weather and they are abundant in many places in southern New England.  The gear, rigging and techniques used to catch them are very non-traditional.  Oh, I know you can get occasional fish on a doughball wrapped around a hook, but those sharpies who consistently catch and consistently catch big ones are using Euro techniques, hair rigging and non-traditional baits. There are carp fishermen in NE who consistently catch hundreds of them a year over 20 lbs.  Thirty and even forty pounders are taken every year.
We have some world class carp fishing right here in this area.  Rivers like the CT River in MA and CT, the Merrimack River in MA and even the Blackstone River in RI are nationally known carp locations that give up some monster fish. The area is also loaded with ponds and lakes that support common and mirror carp.
While thinking about this post I got an interesting call today from Pat Abate of Rivers End Tackle in Old Saybrook, CT.  I know Pat from striper fishing, but his call focused on carp gear.  He, like other tackle dealers in NE, is stocking carp gear as the popularity of this fish is greatly increasing and fishermen are looking for tackle, rigs and bait that they can purchase locally.
For more information on carp fishing, visit my blog at You might also want to check out the Forum at The Carp Anglers Group is the largest carp organization in the US and has active chapters in RI, CT and MA.