Wednesday, October 22, 2014

a MILLION hits

You might have noticed the hit counter on the blog ran over a million today.  Simply phenomenal.   No question, the blog is popular, and shows the tremendous interest in striper fishing here in southern New England. I have met countless fishermen along the shoreline this year who have complemented me on the blog, the info that is posted and the honesty in reporting. One guy I met last week told me he goes to the blog first thing in the morning as he's drinking his coffee, goes back to the blog at lunchtime and visits it again before he goes to bed. Now, that's hooked.
I have stats on my management page that tells me a lot about my audience. You might be very surprised that the interest in the blog is worldwide.  For instance, in the last week here are the top 5 countries where the audience came from along with the number of hits: US-9,000, Ukraine-209, China-61, UK-12, and Russia-11.
In the last month the blog has been especially active with 50,000 hits. I think this reflects some high interest in the excellent fishing we have been seeing this fall.
Enjoy the blog and good luck fishing,
Dave

Adjustments in Unfishable Conditions

Hickory shad
were on the rampage
today in protected
backwaters that
I fished.
Even the stripers were keying on
my shrimp fly teasers.  They were
mixed in with the abundant hickory shad.
I love fishing nasty weather.  However, there is a fine line between rough, productive water and water that is not fishable.  This afternoon I headed to the oceanfront and was greeted by a huge, rough surf that was charged up by a vicious northeast wind that was gusting to 40 and 50 knots.  One gust that hit me almost knocked me over.  It was that bad.  The oceanfront was simply not fishable.
I nearly turned around and headed home, but I told myself "adjust".  So, I headed to some protected backwaters where I actually found a lot of fish.  I landed big numbers of hickory shad on shrimp fly teasers, and I also landed some stripers on a Cocahoe that was teamed up with the the teasers. I saw good numbers of these fish busting all around the area I was fishing.
When the surf gets big, dangerous and unfishable, head to the protected backwaters along the oceanfront. Places like the backs of the breachways or in the coastal ponds are good places to fish in unfishable conditions out front. These are places that have saved the day for  me in the past and worked like a charm again today.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Back in Business

A Cocahoe mounted
on a 3/4 oz jighead
was hot today.
I got back to the oceanfront today.  The big surf and storminess that has plagued the oceanfront for the past few days has calmed down, and I found good numbers of schoolies hitting in the daytime and even at night.
Today was unusual because there was just about no one fishing and nothing showing.  I saw no fish breaking and only saw two small flocks of birds diving where cormorants were driving up bait.  It just seemed like there was nothing around.  But, when I started casting away in various spots, I began picking up fish.  These were hefty schoolies in the 20-24 inch range.  The hot lure proved to be a Cocahoe mounted onto a 3/4 oz. jighead.  I went with a larger jighead because I was fishing deeper water.
So, the lesson here is that even when nothing is showing, stripers can still be around.  You simply have to get out and fish.
There were good numbers of schoolies around today but nothing was
showing.  There were no diving birds, no bait visible and
no fish breaking, but stripers were around in good numbers.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Outlook......Not Good

This has not been a week of good fishing.  We had been spoiled by the previous month of almost non-stop action for albies and stripers.  This was all fueled by massive schools of bay anchovies that seemed to be everywhere. Daily blitzes were expected and happening just about every day.
The breachways and backwaters offer the best bets this
weekend along the oceanfront. The surf is expected to be
big, dangerous and rough.
But, the good times have come to a crashing halt. For most of the week, I have seen no birds, no breaking fish and very few fishermen.  The daytime action along the oceanfront has been poor.  It seems like the big schools of bay anchovies are gone, and the albies and stripers have left with them. The only action I had all week was a slow pick of fish after dark in the breachway currents.There are always some fish just snooping around moving waters after dark, but it is a fish here a fish there with no numbers. However, some of these fish have been keepers.  
To add to the misery, the marine forecast calls for big seas and rough water all weekend due to the hurricane in the Atlantic.  One of my friends who was at the oceanfront today reported waves coming right over the front of the breachway rocks along the south shore. He also reported dirty and sandy water with no one fishing anywhere. There has been been very few fishermen most of the week in the daytime because they are not catching.
Your best bet this weekend is to fish protected waters.  If you are along the oceanfront, that means the breachway backwaters or maybe in the coastal ponds.  You might even want to try the Bay though I have no reports of what is going on in the Bay.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fish of the Day

Yes, nighttime is the right time if you are looking for a big fish.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Bad Day

Today was a reminder that fishing is not always good. The hot fishing that we had experienced along the oceanfront in the last three weeks came to a screeching halt today.  I fished from the shore and for the first time in a long time I saw no birds working, no bait and no fish caught in the daylight.  I worked some good looking white water in multiple spots with no success. I did manage to avoid the dreaded blank with a lone fish after dark that hit a teaser.  That fish was a skinny 24 inch schoolie. A guy who was fishing with me also got a schoolie and those were the only two fish I saw caught all day.
There are some trends to watch for along the oceanfront in the next week or so based on what has happened in other years at this time.  No question, the albies are thinning out especially for shore fishermen.  In most past years, there were few around past mid October.  We are almost there. Those abundant bay anchovies have been a September up to mid October thing in past years.  I expect those to also thin out. We have seen no peanut bunker along the oceanfront yet, but I know there are a lot of them in the Bay along with good numbers of adult menhaden.  Watch for that bait to migrate along the oceanfront in the coming weeks.
We are a long way from the end with a lot of good fishing expected in the next month or so. However, we will have those bad days along the way.  Today was one of them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Record Albie?

My brother and I got out in the boat today.  Once again, there were fish all over the place wherever you found bait and birds working.  However, the highlight of the day was a huge albie that my brother Steve landed.
He hooked this fish with a float and fly after casting into a pod of breaking fish.  This fish ripped off line and drag as they often do. Then it headed straight for the bottom in 60 feet of water where it was near impossible to lift it upwards.  It was a tug of war to slowly pull it off the bottom and that was with 30 lb. test Power Pro braid.  As the fish came into view, we immediately thought we had some kind of tuna.  It was that big.  But, closer to the boat we realized we had a huge false albacore.  We had no scale on the boat, but I  have caught enough big fish to come up with a real good estimate.  I am guessing this albie went 16-20 lbs. It was, by far, the biggest one I have ever seen and I have seen and caught hundreds of them over the years..
I checked the record books and found there is no listing of false albacore in the RI saltwater records (why not???).  The only thing I found as far as big albies are concerned was the RISAA Hall of Fame Record which is a whopping 16 lbs. from the boat. Other state records for albies seem to be in the mid teens.  So, I'm sure this fish was in record territory as far as albies go.
But, we'll never know. The fish was barely hooked in the lip, showed no sign of blood, was still fiesty in the boat and was released in great shape to Fight again. We did, however, get a good picture of the fish, and that was a great memory for us.