Monday, October 14, 2019

Photo of the Day..."Picture Perfect"

After all this lousy weather, last night's sunset at the Bay was a reminder that this time of
year can be beautiful here in southern New England..It would have been even better if
 a few fish were jumping!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fat Cow Jig Strips

If it looks like pork rind and moves like pork rind, does it have to be pork rind? 
Meet Fat Cow. I began using these plastic jig strips, namely Fat Cow jig strips, when my Uncle Josh supply dried up. I love how these plastic strips work, and the fish like them too.  When mounted on a jig, they have that alluring flutter just like pork rind that really adds to the action of a bucktail jig. These things come in a plastic jar and can be reused over and over again as they never dry up like pork rind.

Today I was using a 5 inch split tail Fat Cow mounted onto a homemade, one ounce, spire point bucktail jig.  It did just the trick as the stripers pounced all over my offering that was fished in some rough and moving white water.
If you are looking for a pork rind replacement that works just as well as the pork, give Fat Cow jig strips a try. I can tell you they work!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Migration Lights Up

Here is one of the small
keepers that I landed on a
bucktail jig fished off a float.
Large peanut bunker in the
4 to 5 inch range were
washing up onto the beach.
It took just a couple of cold nights and a stiff north wind that quickly triggered the movement of bait and stripers along the oceanfront in a big way. I hit one of the biggest striper blitzes of the fall today along the RI oceanfront. I walked into blitzing stripers that were slaughtering massive schools of peanut bunker and mullet.  These were big peanuts, the 4 to 5 inch ones, that attract larger stripers.  All the fish I was getting today were in the 25 to 30 inch range. I had a lot of hefty schoolies, but I also had several keepers from 28 to 30 inches in the mix. I even saw some bigger ones taken.  I was getting my fish on a float and bucktail jig, a good choice when stripers are on peanut bunker.
This was the first time in weeks that I hit it big along the oceanfront.  I had been getting big numbers of stripers and bluefish in the Bay, but those numbers began to dwindle (along with the bait) in recent days.  My guess is that the massive numbers of stripers, blues and bait are starting to exit the Bay. I also had reports from friends who were fishing multiple places along the beachfront today where fishermen were catching.  Look for hot fishing to continue along the oceanfront in the coming weeks if rough water does not come along to mess it up.
There are blitz conditions along the spot I was fishing at the oceanfront today.
Birds and stripers are after massive schools of peanut bunker and mullet.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Photo of the Day...."Striper Release"

A good size schoolie is about to be released. Schoolies dominate the fishing scene
right now in RI.  It's just about all catch and release fishing with very few
keepers around.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

A September to Remember

There have been big numbers
of schoolies in the 20 to 25
inch range in the Bay.  Some
small keepers are in the mix.
Fishing for bluefish
has been the best it
has been in decades
 in the Bay.
September was about as good as it gets in Narragansett Bay. The fantastic fishing has been fueled by massive schools of peanut bunker which have been holed up in the Bay since late August. Big schools of stripers and bluefish have been on this bait.  With this beautiful, warm weather, nothing is moving out yet.
 I landed close to 500 fish in September with just about an equal number of stripers and bluefish, something I have not done in a long time.  Add to that a half dozen albies, and it was terrific fishing. Bluefish are the big story of the year here in RI.  We haven't seen these numbers of them in decades. I saw blitz after blitz of these blues in the past month, and I still am catching them. At tiems the water was just boiling with schools of them in a frenzy. They are all small, 3 to 5 lbs. on average, but very spunky. The striper fishing has also been lights out in the Bay.  They too are mostly small, schoolies in the 20 to 25 inch range on average, but note that I also got several small keepers in the mix this month.  The striper fishing is what it is here in RI....very few, if any, big fish around but lots of schoolies.  If you are looking for just big fish from shore, you might as well stay home and watch TV. LOL!
With all these fish in the Bay, expect lights out fishing along the oceanfront once the southward migration begins. It should start to happen in the coming weeks.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Bucktail Jigs a Good Choice

Bucktail jigs are a good choice when stripers
are feeding on peanut bunker.
I had my best striper day of the year in terms of numbers yesterday. I fished a number of places from shore in 'Gansett Bay, and the fish seemed to be everywhere going crazy on peanut bunker. The sizes ranged from 20 inches to small keepers. There were also good numbers of blues mixed in as the Bay is on fire right now, about the best it can get.
I got a good number of my fish on bucktail jigs. My homemade flathead bucktails are a great imitator of peanut bunker. When a plastic curly tail is added, they swim like a peanut bunker and have a similar profile.  In addition, that single hook makes for much easier catch and release.  There's less harm to the fish and less danger to the fisherman.
My homemade flathead bucktail jig
was hot yesterday.  Make sure you add
plastic curly tails to your jigs.
I like to add a Pro Bass, white, triple ripple tail to my bucktail jigs. I was using a half ounce bucktail yesterday, and the 3 inch tail was just the perfect size.
There's nothing tricky about fishing the bucktail.  Simply cast out, let it sink to the depth you want and retrieve at a moderate or slow pace with pulls of the rod tip to get the jig moving up and down.  A lot of times, the stripers will take it on the drop.

Monday, September 23, 2019

What Happened to the Albies?

The albie fishing has taken a dive.  Could this be the end
of fishing for them in 2019. We'll see in the coming days.
GONE. Since we had those big hurricane waves last week, there have been few, if any albies caught. By now, the ocean should have settled down and the fish should be hitting again, but they are not.  In addition, we are in for another round of rough water in the coming days.
I saw this happen about ten years ago.  The albies arrived in good numbers around September 10th just like this year.  That year in late September we were hit with big hurricane waves from an offshore storm, just like this year. From that point on, the albies disappeared and never returned. Hopefully, it does not happen this year, but things are not looking good at this point.  Consider last Saturday's fishing.  The ocean had calmed down and was fishable again. My son, Matt, fished off Sakonet Point in a boat.  He fished half a day along this point and the Newport shore. Nothing.  Another friend went out in a boat at Wickford.  He fished from Wickford to Narragansett to Newport. Nothing.  Several other guys I knew were fishing the shore in some good spots. Nothing. I saw the writing on the wall and fished the Bay where I found good numbers of stripers and blues.
These albies are so unpredictable.  They are pelagic fish that come in briefly from way out in the ocean.  Sometimes, big numbers come close to shore.  Sometimes few or none come near the shore.  Sometimes some come ashore and rough water sends them packing in short time. It's really a roll of the dice and there are never any guarantees in this game.
I don't know if they are done for the year, but my gut feeling is that we will see a few pop up here and there in the coming weeks. I think the good numbers are gone. If you make this your primary fish in the coming weeks, you will be disappointed.  M y suggestion is to have some albie stuff (skinny metal and float 'n' fly) in your bag just in case you run into them. Target stripers and blues as your main fish because those will be around in good numbers in the coming weeks as they come out of the Bay and coastal ponds.