Thursday, September 18, 2014

NEWSFLASH....Big Waves Pound Oceanfront....Albies Disappear

Big waves were pounding the oceanfront today.  I assume they were coming from a hurricane that was far out in the ocean. The effects, however, were evident close to shore.  There was a lot of sand in the water and weed. Along sandy shores the water looked like coffee.  In addition, most places along the oceanfront were unfishable and dangerous due to 6-8 foot waves hitting the shoreline.
I scanned a lot of areas way out looking with my binoculars for any signs of fish.  I saw no birds, no breaking fish and very few boats fishing protected areas.  I did find a safe spot I could try but came up with nothing.  So, I'm hoping this is just a bump in the road, and the fishing will return to what it was just a few days ago once the ocean calms down. We'll see.  Meanwhile, I think it will take at least  two or three days for all the roughness to subside and the water to clear up.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Float 'n' Fly......Albie Killer

The wooden egg float delivers the fly
to the albies.  The fly is tied to the float
with 3 feet of mono.  Note how the
fly has a slim silhouette when wet.
This blue Deceiver fly is deadly
when albies are feeding on small
bay anchovies as they are right now
in RI waters.
Several days ago my brother and I had that incredible day of albie fishing in the boat when we landed 60 fish.  Towards evening we had a big bunch of fish around us.  We also had about ten boats around us.  At any one time we either had two fish on at the same time or one of us had a fish on.  It was that wild.  Yet, I never saw another boater around us even hook up with a fish.  That is because we were the only ones using the float 'n' fly.  Without question, this is the very best artificial for spin fishermen to use for albies when the fish are feeding on bay anchovies (as they are doing right now in RI waters).  Metal, the lure of choice for most fishermen, will catch them on occasion but comes in a far distant second place when it comes to choosing the best lure.
The float I am using is a wooden egg which can be purchased in craft stores.  I wire mine and paint them white.  Some tackle shops like the Saltwater Edge in Middletown sell them. The fly I am using is a homemade Deceiver that I tie on a Mustad 34007 size 1/0 hook.  The fly is made with four blue saddle hackles for the tail.  It has a chartreuse fine wool body.  The underwing is sparse white bucktail while the overwing is white bucktail topped with a bit of chartreuse bucktail.  The thread I use to tie is also chartreuse though I sometimes use white.  The fly is tied to the float with about 3 feet of 30 lb. test mono.
You want to cast this into breaking fish or even fish it blind in areas where albies exist.  Work a fast retrieve with occasional pulls of the rod tip.  If a fish hits it and misses, slow it down.  This set up is deadly in a boat, and it is even more effective from a shore where a long cast is often needed to reach breaking fish.
Yesterday I hit the albies from shore and landed three good size ones and had another two fish on. This was all in a couple of hours. I also had a couple of more hits.  You guessed it......all the action was on the float 'n' fly.

The float 'n'fly is deadly from a boat but it is even more effective from shore
where a long cast is often needed to reach breaking fish.  This good
size one was landed yesterday along with two others from shore
using the float 'n' fly.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Albie Madness

The Kastmaster XL landed
a few fish but the float and fly
far outfished metal.
The wooden egg float/fly rig was the
hot ticket for albies and accounted
for over 50 fish in one day.  The fly
is a homemade blue Deceiver.
We had the best day of albie fishing we have ever experienced this weekend in the boat. My brother and I fished a number of places along the RI oceanfront in at least a ten mile stretch and found albies all over the place going nuts on bay anchovies.  They just seemed to be everywhere and in astounding numbers. I don't think I have ever seen this many fish in such a wide area.  Yes, record numbers! The score for our best day ended up with us landing between 50 and 60 fish, phenomenal numbers for false albacore fishing.
Without question the best producer was a wooden float with a Deceiver fly. The fly was a homemade chartreuse bodied Deceiver that had blue hackles for a tail.  Our float/fly rig was outfishing most of the other boaters around us who were mostly using metal.  We did also land a few fish on Kastmaster XL's reeled quickly along the surface. The float/fly combo was also fished with a very fast retrieve.  If we threw it into breaking fish, a hit was almost a guarantee.
The albie fishing has attracted a ton of boaters to the oceanfront as the word is out and albie madness has set in.  There are also lots of fishermen along the shoreline looking as well as catching in certain spots.  Boaters, though, have a big advantage when it comes to finding these fish and staying with the breaking schools.
Some of the best albie fishing ever is going on right now along the RI oceanfront.

Friday, September 12, 2014

NEWSFLASH.....ALBIES Hit the RI Oceanfront BIG TIME!

They are here, big time. False albacore, known as albies, hit the RI oceanfront in masses in the last two days.  They are in a wide stretch of the oceanfront from Narragansett all the way to the far south shore beaches.  For all I know they could even be off Jamestown and Newport.
I got down to the oceanfront today from shore and saw albies breaking all over the place in all the places I fished. In one spot, I must have seen about 60 fish caught by an army of fly casters and spin fishermen casting almost shoulder to shoulder that resembled a picket fence.  In addition, I also saw an armada of boats slamming them right in front of me just out of casting range. In all of this there were constant pods of albies tearing through small schools of bay anchovies in a surface display that was simply awesone.  
So, it's happening and that is great news for RI fishermen.  In the absence of any stormy weather the hot action should continue right through September and into early October.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Needlefish a Hot plug Right Now

My hottest plug of the last two weeks has been a homemade needlefish plug.  I've gotten out about 7 or 8 times in the last couple of weeks and have gotten fish every time out.  I'm not catching a ton of fish but I have gotten one to five stripers on every outing.  My best plug in this period of time has been a white, homemade needlefish plug that measures 5 inches long.
This plug has been a hot
producer in the last two weeks.
It is a homemade needlefish
plug that measure 5 in. long.
The needlefish plug is one that is not used by many fishermen.  I don't know why.  I favor this topwater plug over a popper because it has more enticing moves that cause the stripers to hit it.  Here's how I work this plug.  I tend to keep it on or near the surface with a fast retrieve.  While retrieving, I am pumping the rod tip with short pulls much like you would work a pencil popper.  This causes the needlefish to dip up and down as well as wiggle back and forth.  This movement is especially effective when fished in white, rough water.
Most tackle shops tend to stock needlefish plugs in large sizes.  You'll have to look around to find the smaller versions that I think are more effective when small bait is around.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Albies Around, but No Numbers

I can tell you with certainty that some albies, false albacore,  have been caught by shore fishermen.  Last weekend there was a short spurt of activity and some were taken by shore fishermen I know.  Since then there has been little around although I am almost sure I saw several break way out in front of me on Thursday. I could not reach them from shore.
While there are some of these sought after fish, the numbers are not there, and your chances of catching one in RI waters are quite slim right now.  In order to get a lot of them to stay in our waters, we would need a lot of bait and the bait is lacking right now.  The bait has come and gone in the last month and right now it is gone.  I fished the oceanfront and really scouted around on Thursday and Friday and could not find a stitch of bait anywhere within a five to seven mile stretch of the oceanfront.  I was looking for albies by day and found nothing.  In the evening and night my attention turned to finding stripers.  I did find a few but they were all schoolies.  Don't expect to get many stripers either if you don't have a lot of bait.
It's still early in September for big numbers of albies. Mid to late September has been the peak period in other years.  Hopefully, more fish are on the way.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Less People, More Fish

This small, homemade needlefish
plug has been a hot catcher in the
Thank God Labor day has come and gone.  With it the weekday crowds have departed and fishermen have the oceanfront to themselves. You can now scout around, park, and even fish in your favorite spots without worrying about hooking a swimmer.
And, there has been an uptick in activity.  I got out the last two days, and I fished in  the evening into the night.  I landed a total of seven stripers with nothing (birds, fish, or bait) showing.  The needlefish was a hot ticket in the daylight and the Daiwa SP minnow was the hot number after dark. All of the fish I landed were hefty schoolies in the 20-24 inch range.  In addition, I lost a good size fish that was either a big blue (yes, they have been around) or a keeper bass.
There seems to be a lack of bait along the oceanfront in the places I fished.  Unlike my last post from the Bay, I saw no bait or diving birds in  the last two days along the oceanfront.  But, the fish I landed were fat and aggressive, so they must be eating.  I'm guessing if we get a shot of bait, all hell will break loose.  If not, there are enough fish around that you can pick away at them by spot hopping and catching a fish here and there.