Saturday, April 24, 2010

Providence River Comes Alive

My brother, Steve, and I went out yesterday in the boat to basically test out the new motor that we got from Bass Pro over the winter. Yes, we did take a couple of light rods with and was I glad we did. The Providence River was LOADED with schoolies. The both of us landed close to 80 fish in just a couple of hours! While most were your typical 15-18 inch schoolies, we also had several "big" schoolies that went 22-24 inches. I was using an albino Zoom fluke mounted on a quarter ounce jighead. He was using a Cochahoe on a jighead. Both lures seemed to be equally effective.

Today, I decided to head back to the river in my kayak. There were not as many fish, but the action was still decent as I landed 15 more schoolies on the Zoom fluke. In the two days I was there I saw only one guy fishing from shore and no boaters.

We are in a hot period right now for migrating schoolies as they seem to be spread out all over the state from the far south shore to the far north in Narragansett Bay. It is the hottest spring schoolie fishing I have seen in years.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Different Tactics at Ocean and Upper Bay

The two early spring schoolie hotspots for me are along the oceanfront and the upper Bay. Both offer good schoolie action, but both are fished very differently.

Along the oceanfront in spots like the breachways, Salt Pond, Matunuck and the West Wall, the combination of Cocahoe minnow and shrimp fly teaser is deadly for schoolies. It often accounts for double headers.

However, that combination does not work in the upper Bay along the rivers of the east side of the Bay, along the sandy beach areas and along the Bike Path. In those spots, a fork tailed Zoom fluke mounted on a quarter once jighead is the ticket (see photo at right). I like a three inch albino fluke, but any light color will work. And the teaser? Forget it. It is not effective in the upper Bay.

First Keeper of Spring

Got the first schoolies last week and took my first keeper today. It was caught in the upper Bay and not the oceanfront. Got it on a Zoom fluke fished off a jighead from shore. Only got two bass today but they were decent for this time of year. One fish went 25 inches and the other was 28 inches. From past experience, I think there are bigger fish to be had in the upper Bay than at the oceanfront in the early going. Maybe they are holdovers,; maybe they are bigger fish in search of herring.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fish Spreading All Over

It is very early in the season, but the migrating schoolies are really spreading out all over the state. Earlier in the week I fished a lot at the south shore oceanfront and saw hundreds of fish caught. Today, I hit the Upper Bay where the action was decent. I believe the stripers are in just about all the spring spots right now. It's a matter of getting out and fishing, and I see very few fishermen trying.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cocahoe/Teaser Combo Sizzles

I have been out striper fishing the last 2 days and the action is hot. Landed over 40 schoolies with sizes up near keeper size. The hot rig for me has been a combination of a shrimp fly teaser and a Cocahoe body on a jighead. Both have been catching with equal effectiveness. If you don't know how to make a shrimp fly teaser, check out the video on tying shrimp fly teasers that was put on this site in January, 2010. The Cocahoe I am using is threaded onto a darter or shad head, half ounce jighead. I've gotten numerous double headers with this rig!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let the Games Begin

Yes, the first schoolies have been caught along the RI shoreline. It's sparse numbers, a trickle right now, but I suspect the action will turn hot and heavy within the next week or two. In past years that time period from April 15 to April 20 has been when the floodgates have opened and big numbers of migrating fish come ashore.
For hotspots, look in the coastal ponds, along the walls and breachways of the south shore, and the river systems and shallow bays within Narragansett Bay. If you are looking for more details about spring schoolie fishing, check out my article in the latest issue of The Fisherman magazine (April 8, 2010). The article is titled "Grubbing for Spring Schoolies".

Tying the Double Teaser Rig

The double teaser rig is one of the very best rigs to use for spring schoolies along the RI shoreline. In this video I am tying the rig using shrimp fly teasers. Onto the end of the rig I plan to snap on a bucktail jig or a Cocahoe on a jighead.