Saturday, December 9, 2017

Check Out These New Swimmers from Yo-Zuri

These are the new Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC swiummers.
That green mackerel colored one looks like a winner for
the Cape Cod Canal.
Yo-Zuri has come out with a brand new swimmer called the Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC. I was fortunate to receive a number of samples from the company. This plug looks and feels a lot like the Daiwa SP Minnow, but with a number of differences. First off, it comes in two different sizes, a 6 inch model that weighs 1 1/4 oz. and a 6 3/4 inch model that weighs 1 3/4 oz.  It has the weighting system inside the plug that moves to the rear on the cast. I have the larger model and it looks like it would cast a mile (Canal guys will love this). Both models have are heavy duty with heavy duty hooks (3X), heavy duty split rings and strong anchors that hold the rings.  I suspect no modification will have to be done on this plug. Finally, it comes in a number of colors.  Of the ones I have, the green mackerel color looks like a winner for the Canal. I also have a white model that has a chartreuse back that looks like it will be a killer in RI waters. The company claims this plug has a tight wiggle on the retrieve. The smaller one sells for about 10 bucks while the larger one is about 12 dollars.
I can't wait to try these out.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Hundreds of Dying Stripers

Last weekend I went up to the Providence River to explore its winter fishery.  I was up on some high walls in the city above the river when I looked down into the shallow and clear water.  What I saw was shocking.
I saw so many sick and dying fish. Below me in some spots were various schools of small stripers.  In some places they numbered up to fifty or sixty fish.  In other places, there were a few here and there.  In about a half mile stretch I must have spotted hundreds of fish.  Sad to report, they were ALL sick.  They looked like white ghost fish in the water as they had a glowing white fungus all over their bodies. Some were completely covered in the white fungus; others were partially covered.  Some were swimming around in circles as if blinded by the disease. When I looked more closely, I spotted several dead ones on the bottom, white lifeless corpses just laying there in the sand.
I've seen this in Narragansett Bay before, but never this bad. I also caught several that had the white fungus along the RI south shore oceanfront this fall. I'm guessing this is a disease called mycobacteriosis, a skin disease that infects striped bass along various parts of the coastline.  From what I have read, it can be brought about by stress, poor nutrition and also very warm and polluted water (seems to fit in Providence). It spreads among schools of fish in certain areas. They say this disease can also affect humans who come into contact with diseased fish.  I wear gloves when fishing up here and try not to touch any fish that's even slightly diseased.
This is certainly bad news for the Providence River holdover fishery.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Moving On

This is one of 16 schoolies that I landed in the
last week in one of my winter holdover spots.
This is a transition period for me.  For the first time in eight months, I spent more time on the ski slopes than I did at the shore fishing last week. This is the time of the year when I throw in the towel on the south shore striper fishing and move on to other things. I'm done with the oceanfront unless I hear of some fantastic fishing (which is not likely at this point).
I know that there are still fish being caught along the oceanfront, but there are a whole lot less and the game has become more inconsistent compared to a couple of weeks ago.  While I spent a lot of time skiing this past week, I also did some after ski fishing in my winter holdover spots.  I came away with 16 schoolies in three evenings of fishing.  That's not great, but I'm guessing I would not have done much better at the south shore oceanfront, and the winter spots are so much closer to my house. I am also still carp fishing occasionally on the warm days.  They have been sluggish in the cold water.
So, it's that time of the year when fishing opportunities are coming to an end, but for me, other adventures await.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


There are still schoolies to be had along
the oceanfront but their numbers are
trending downward.
Less bait, less birds diving, less fishermen and less fish.  Things are trending downward in saltwater  fishing as the season ticks away.  Realize, though, that less certainly does not mean that the fishing is over.
I got down in the last couple of days and my catches were less than they were last week, though still what many would consider good.  Today I landed a dozen schoolies in an afternoon and evening of fishing.  My son Ben was on a beach miles to the north of me, and he landed a few.  So, the fish are still spread out and moving along the RI south shore oceanfront. It is all schoolies, and I am giving up on a run of large stripers and the bluefish. But, who knows? This whacky fall could still deliver some big fish if you are in the right spot at the right time.
I think this is also one of those years where the end will have a long tail. I'm guessing lesser will be the trend in the next couple of weeks.  If you want to get down and enjoy the quietness of the empty beaches while making some casts in the coming weeks, I suspect you have a good chance at catching a schoolie or two (or maybe even more).

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanks Mike

I want to take this opportunity on Thanksgiving Day to honor a real good fisherman and a real good person.
I met Mike Stevenin through our Carp Anglers Group here in RI. I carp fished with him a couple of times and we got to talking about striper fishing. At the time I didn't realize that Mike is a super dedicated and accomplished salt water fisherman who loves to fish for striped bass. I mean this guy eats, breathes and lives for striper fishing.  I actually fished with him and his wife Reina several times this spring and summer, and we caught fish just about every time.
Mike hasn't fished in a while. Over a month ago Mike was deployed overseas to the Middle East. He is serving in the army, and has left his fishing, left his wife and left his family to serve for the next year in what I am sure is a dangerous place. I marvel at these guys in the military and can't thank them enough for all their sacrifice and dedication to make us safer back at home and protect our freedoms. These guys are real special, and they see service to their country as one of their goals in life.
So, I say to Mike on  this Thanksgiving Day.....THANK YOU very much.
Stay safe and hope see you at the shore at next year's fall run.

Monday, November 20, 2017

What's Happening, What's Not

Schoolies continue to be around in huge
I haven't posted in a few days.  That's not because I haven't been fishing.  In fact, I have fished the last 3 out of 4 days and there has been little change in the fishing. It just keeps rolling along though I believe we are nearing the end of the real productive fishing (maybe another week or so).
So, here's what and what's not happening along the south shore oceanfront:
Ocean Herring Runs- NOT HAPPENING- I saw a few gannets dive bombing way out today (maybe after herring/ maybe not) but I have seen no sign of herring in close to shore. This bait usually brings out the bigger stripers and big blues. It's late, but hey, this is a year where anything can happen.
Good runs of keeper bass- NOT HAPPENING- I've seen no uptick in numbers of keeper bass.  There's a few keepers being caught here and there but your chances of getting one are slim considering the meager numbers.  I landed two stripers today that either were small keepers or just under.  Out of the 300 + fish I have landed in the last ten days these are the only two that come even close to keeper size.  Kind of a reflection of our year here in RI.
Runs of big blues- NOT HAPPENING- I'm writing off the season for big blues.  There have been very few to none all fall.  They are just not around in any consistent numbers like in other years.
Schoolies- HAPPENING- Still loaded with those 14-20 inch fish.  Mixed in with them are some hickory shad. I like to use a single hooked jig to catch these since it minimizes the damage to the fish. There were lots of them today and lots all weekend. Looks like the glut is just continuing. Again, kind of a reflection of our year here in RI.

Friday, November 17, 2017

the beat goes on....

Here's the fishing report for the week in a nutshell:
Loads of schoolies, very few keepers, even fewer blues, no albies.
This is one of many, many schoolies landed yesterday.
There are loads of them around.
I fished in the nasty weather yesterday and found loads and loads of schoolies that were aggressively hitting my Cocahoe on a jighead.  My son Jon and his girlfriend joined me later in the day and they were catching loads of them too. These fish ran 12 to 22 inches, generally what has been the case most of the fall.
The big news of the week is the disappearance of the albies. I have seen any in the last week and have not heard of any caught since the big cold spell hit last week. With water temperatures dropping and cold weather here to stay, I think it is a safe bet to say the season is over for them.
There has also been no sign of an ocean herring run yet.  It will take a run of this big bait to move keeper bass and big blues close to shore. If it doesn't happen within the next week, I would guess it is not going to happen.
So, at this point, it is loads of schoolies, much like the rest of the year. Use a light outfit and some single hooked jigs and you are in business for action this coming weekend.