Tuesday, April 17, 2018

DELAYED

Here's a holdover that was landed a few days
ago.  Migrating fish have been
delayed due to the cold weather
Temperatures way below normal, cold water, unfavorable winds. It all contributes to a big delay in the arrival of migrating stripers to our shores. Contrary to some of the fake news fishing reports I've been reading, the fish are not in yet. I have tried several times, and I know some real good fishermen who have tried and all have nothing to report on the oceanfront fishing.  With water temperatures (Newport) at 42 degrees this morning, most will tell you that is too cold for stripers along the oceanfront. The good news is that a warm-up is coming.  Starting this weekend and into next week, we should see temperatures in the 60's and that should get the season going.
I have been fishing some backwaters for holdover fish, but that has not been too productive either.  I seem to be able to nail a couple of fish an evening, but this weather has even the holdovers in a holding pattern.
We have been lucky in recent years to get the start of striper fishing off to an early start. However, if you look back on the history of striper fishing here in RI, it was not unusual to catch the first arrivals during the last week in April. It looks like it will be one of those late years.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

First Ones Likely Holdovers

I landed my first stripers of the year today.  In all likelihood, they were holdovers because of where they were caught. I've heard nothing about any fish along the oceanfront where the migrating stripers should first appear.
I landed seven fish this evening.  These were all schoolies in the 12 to 18 inch range, typical of holdovers found in this location. The hot lure was an albino Zoom fluke mounted on a 3/8 oz. jighead. Best time was right before dark.
Within a week, I would guess that the fishing will break wide open.
First striper of the year for me!


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Close, but No Cigar

No stripers landed today but did manage to get this
white perch in a backwater location.
I made my first run of the year down to the RI south shore today.  I had planned to hit a number of backwater locations where I was catching holdover stripers last year and the year before.  It was a different story today as I came close, but no stripers landed.
I did, however, manage to land one white perch on a Zoom fluke fished on a jighead (see photo at right) that was caught right at dark. In many of the saltwater backwaters where freshwater enters through a brook or river, white perch can be found so this one came as no surprise.  I also had a striper on but lost it at my feet. Word is that there are some holdovers around, but you will really have to look to find them.
The cold weather has really taken a toll on the fishing so far. With little warmth in sight, expect everything to be late this spring.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Coming Attractions

It's coming as the migrating stripers should
arrive about the middle of the month.
As I write this, it is 32 degrees outside and snowing. It has been that kind of late winter and early spring. However, rest assured the stripers are coming.  April is THE month it will happen.
Right now the water is a cool 40 degrees off Newport.  Everyone I know who lives along the water tells me the water temperatures are below normal for this time of year. Of course, that can all change quickly in the coming weeks as surface water temperature in shallow areas can rise and fall real fast with the weather. This cooler weather and cooler water point to a later than expected start.
So, here are a few tidbits to keep in mind in the next couple of weeks as you get ready for the first of the migrating stripers:
*Expect the first ones to arrive along the RI South Shore Beachfront around April 15, give or take a week. I tend to believe in might happen a bit later this year but who knows if the weather suddenly warms up.
*The fish should appear in the Bay about a week after they hit the south shore. I usually get my first ones in the Bay around the last week in April.
*Expect a huge glut of schoolies in the early going. The population right now is overloaded with schoolies from 12-24 inches and we should see a load of them in April.
*No need to get complicated with the lures.  Light tackle will rule the early going. Cocahoe minnows on jigheads will be the killer along the oceanfront.  Zoom flukes on jigheads will rule the Bay. Small bucktail jigs spiced with curly tails are good second choices in the Bay and oceanfront.
*Warm days will be best. Nothing like warming weather and a southwest wind to deliver a blitz of spring schoolies. Afternoons and evenings will produce far better than cold mornings. Nothing doing at night until the water warms up.
*The first keepers will be taken around May1 or about two weeks after the schoolies arrive. Once the keepers arrive, expect the nighttime fishing to pick up.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Still Fishing but Not for Stripers

Yes, I am still skiing. And yes, I am still fishing. But not for stripers.
This warm weather of the last three weeks has wreaked havoc on the slopes, but it has set off some of the best freshwater carp fishing I have ever experienced at this time of year.  As most of you know, I fish for these freshwater monsters a lot, though not as much as stripers. With holdover striper fishing in a big time decline in recent years in the upper Bay here in RI, I have turned to carp in the wintertime.  I caught a few in January, a lot in February and terrific numbers for the start of March (see photos of recent fish).  During this winter storm Riley of the last few days, the carp fishing has been lights out. Carp, like stripers, love to go on a feeding rampage in lousy weather. Don't most wild fish?
So, carp fishing has really filled a fishing void for me while I await the arrival of the first stripers. It won't be long.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Some Take-Aways from the Seminars

For many fishermen such as this happy angler,
the hightlight of the year was false albacore,
or albies. Most can't wait until they arrive
in September!
I've been running all around southern New England doing striper fishing seminars this winter.  I've spoken with a lot of fishermen who fish southern New England waters, and they have a lot to say.  Here is what they all generally think is going on:
1.  Where were the bluefish? Wow, there is widespead agreement and disappointment that this was a very poor fall for bluefish.  Up and down the southern New England coastline they were not in any abundance anywhere. And, do we even hear a peep from our fisheries managers?
2. Loads of schoolies but where were the keepers? Everyone agrees that we had a banner year for schoolies, and everyone thinks that the future of striper fishing looks good.  However, lots of shore fishermen are moaning and groaning about the lack of keepers around. The guys in the know are still catching some keepers but the general feeling is that the numbers are down. The only ones who are happy about this past season's keeper numbers seem to be those fishing the Cape Cod Canal.  And, most of those guys were complaining about the crowds there! Social media has a way of sending loads of fishermen to places that are hot these days.
3. Albies are hot. Everyone seems to have albie fever and most can't wait until these gamesters hit the shore in September. I think the recent string of great albie years is due to warming waters and global warming in general, and I see no reason to think 2018 won't be another banner year.
4.  When will the striper season begin? That's the number one question at all my seminars.  How about April 15 along the south shore oceanfront of RI!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Next Stop....Springfield Sportsmens Show

My next stop on the seminar schedule will be the Springfield Sportsmens Show at the Big E in Springfield, MA, on Saturday, Feb. 24. I will be doing two seminars that day.  At 11:00 AM, I will be running my carp fishing seminar which is called Strategies for Carp Fishing in Lakes and Rivers.  At 2:00 PM, I will be running my Striper Trends seminar.  Both will take place in Seminar Room B.
The Springfield Sportsmens Show is a massive event housed in two buildings.  The show focuses on anything outdoor related with hunting and fishing front and center.  There are loads of hunting and fishing booths, some great sales and a lot of factory reps and guides to answer any of your questions.  The show also features a full seminar schedule.
For more information check out their website here: http://www.osegsportsmens.com/index.html
Hope to see some of you at the show.