Sunday, March 29, 2009

Uncomplicated Spring Schoolies

The first migrating schoolies are about to arrive in early to mid April. Catching them is not the complicated game it becomes later in the year. There are just two main lures to stock up on that will catch most of the fish.

Along the oceanfront the hot lure of the last few years has been a white, Cocahoe minnow (see photo at left). This fan tailed, plastic, fish-like body in a three or four inch length must be threaded onto a jighead from one quarter to three quarter oz. Go with a slow retrieve along the bottom with an occasional bounce of the rod tip. It works well in spots like the West Wall, Matunuck and Narrow River. Can't find these lures.....try Quaker Lane Bait and Tackle.

In Narragansett Bay, it is the Zoom Fluke in a light color like albino or smokey shad that will catch most of the schoolies from shore. Mount these fork tailed fish bodies on the smallest jighead that you can cast effectively (see photo at right). It works real well in places like the Providence River, The East side beaches and East Greenwich Bay.

These lures are best suited to light spinning outfits spooled with 10 lb. test mono. Expect April schoolies to run 12-24 inches, all throwbacks, but great to catch on light tackle.