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Big River Strategies for Big Carp…

In Europe, large carp are often referred to as “the queens of the rivers.” In the U.S., imported carp queens from Europe are also at home in river currents. Introduced in the early 1900s, they quickly thrived and reproduced in large river systems. In the Northeast, large carp weighing over 20 pounds are abundant in larger river systems. In fact, a fisherman’s best chance at landing a big carp is to fish in a river. The bigger the river, the better the chance of catching a trophy carp.

This 31-pound, 8-ounce mirror carp was landed by the author in the Blackstone River in Rhode Island. It is the largest known mirror carp ever landed in Rhode Island.

New England’s large river systems rival any in the U.S. for large carp. The Connecticut River, which flows through Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, is the jewel of New England when it comes to river carp fishing. More 20-, 30-, and even 40-pound fish are landed every year from this system than from any other river in New England. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the mighty Merrimack River also serves up loads of big carp. In little Rhode Island, the Blackstone River offers a unique abundance of mirror carp. (These are carp with random scales or large and small scales in patterns as unique to that individual carp as a fingerprint is to a human.) Many think the Blackstone is the best mirror carp river in the entire U.S., since large mirror carp weighing more than 30 pounds have been landed from its banks. There are many other carp rivers in New England, including the Charles, Housatonic, Thames, Assabet, Taunton and Ten Mile, to name a few.


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