Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It's not really a lure but a combination of artificials. I rank the float and jig rig as one of the top three artificials to use along the RI surf for fall schoolies. It is deadly to use in rough and shallow rocky water and will outfish anything else at times. In the past three days I have landed well over 25 stripers on this rig and watched as other fishermen chugging poppers caught nothing.
The rig was originally called a broomhandle and jig rig because the float was made of cut broomhandle sections. Today, most fishermen make their own aerodynamic floats from wooden eggs purchased in craft stores. You can put screw eyes in each end or better yet, drill them and them wire them. Once completed, I paint them white. Later, I will bang a nail on an angle in the middle of the float, and then clip off the nail's head off. This will serve as a jig holder on the cast preventing a helicopter blade effect when casting. At the end of the float you will attach about three feet of heavy mono. Finally a bucktail jig is knotted onto the end of the jig. I like to use a 3/8 or 1/2 oz. flathead jig onto which a plastic grub tail is threaded onto the jig. You can also use a plastic bodied jig in this rig.
This whole rig is cast out into white water and works especially well where shallow, rough water and rocks exist. It is very hot in places like Pt. Judith, Matunuck and Watch Hill. However, it works well along sandy dropoffs also. It also casts like a bullet into the wind. Just reel it in slowly on the retrieve and the wave action will bring the jig to life.
Do you have one of these in your surf bag? If not, get one because it is one of the hottest fall lures for stripers along the RI coast.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Few fishermen use the bucktail jig these days, yet it is by far better than any plastic jig artificial that is on the market today. The keys are to use the right jig in the right spot and to fish them correctly.
I have been hammering the stripers in rough water the last few days/nights in Narragansett. Yet, I've used a number of different jigs since I was fishing different waters and conditions. The left side of Pt. Judith has been hot for the jig and float rig. This set up is ideal to use in places where it is shallow, rocky and has loads of white water and current. In this case it was a half ounce flathead jig with a plastic grub tail added that did most of the damage. The jig was hanging off about three feet of mono that was attached to a homemade wooden egg float. Just cast out and reel in letting the wave action impart the action. After dark I have been hitting the Galilee Channel. This spot has big fish lurking in deep, moving water. Here I am fishing a 1 1/2 ounce hotlips jig right along the bottom. The jig has a large strip of pork rind added to it. This set up has accounted for keeper bass in the 28-33 inch range. Finally, I have been stopping late at night at the one of the backwater bridges where the water is shallow, the bait is small and schoolies abound. In the location, I use a tiny 1/8 ounce bucktail jig with a curly tail attached, flipping out with a tiny freshwater outfit and 6 lb. test line. It is the only thing the fussy stripers will hit in this skinny water spot.
Bucktail jigs remain one of the very best striper lures to use in fall, yet few fishermen use them. You want to increase your catches, learn to fish bucktail jigs!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Aug. 27 edition of The Fisherman magazine has my article in it about catching false albacore using the float and fly. This is a deadly technique I have developed to fish for false albacore and bonito. It which will far outfish any other lures.
Most fishermen, especially boaters, often find these fish breaking along the inshore waters in September, yet these boating fishermen have no clue as to how to catch them. I use a wooden float with a deceiver fly trailing off the back. The article outlines how to make the float, the fly and how to fish it.
Just to prove its effectiveness, my son, Matt, went out in a boat today with a couple of his friends off the Harbor of Reguge. They put on a clinic for the boaters around them by catching over a dozen albies and bonito using the float and fly. The whole fleet of boats around them could not equal that number of fish landed. This technique is equally deadly from shore.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Good bye and good riddance to August. It was one of the worst months of fishing for stripers and blues I have ever experienced.
Yesterday, Sept. 1, I headed to the 'Gansett shore and within an hour I caught more stripers than I did the entire month of August. I suspect the cold nights of the last few days, the light northeast wind and last week's hurricane waves have gotten a fall run in motion. In the daytime, I saw fish breaking all along the shoreline from Narragansett Beach to Point Judith, but they were generally way out. There was also tons of rain bait along the whole shore with flocks of birds diving after the bait. The oceanfront has come to life.
I had my best luck around Point Judith. The hot lures in the daytime were small blucktail jigs (flathead) spiced with plastic curly tails, good bets when rain bait is present. After dark, I hit some fish with swimmers (Bombers) and Hogys. All the stripers I landed were schoolies from 20 inches to just shy of keeper size (see photo at right).
Rumor has it that big numbers of bonito and false albacore also moved in and boaters were scoring on these fish in the morning.
Let the fall games begin!!!!