Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seminar at RISAA Meeting

My next seminar will be at the monthly RISAA meeting on Monday, August 30 at 7:00. The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) meets monthly at the West Valley Inn in West Warwick. Information about the club, directions and upcoming events can be found at their website at

My seminar is called Breachway Strategies. It will be a Power Point show that will take an in depth look at how to fish the five breachways or outflows along the south shore. These include Narrow River, the Galilee Channel, and Charlestown, Quonny and Weekapaug Breachways. These are some of the hottest spots to catch big stripers and bluefish from shore in the fall. See the pic at right of a fish I caught two years ago in one of the breachways.

Club members attend the seminar for free, but the public can also attend for a fee. Hope to see you there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sebile Magic Swimmers

I saw the pricey Sebile lures at the shows last winter, but I have never seen a shore fisherman using one in RI. I did, however, see plenty of them being used at the Cape Cod Canal this summer. These were the hottest plugs to use at the Big Ditch and at least half of the crowd that fished this place daily were using them and catching keepers at an astounding rate.

The hottest plug in this series is the Magic Swimmer 165, a lipless swimmer that is put together in three sections (see photo at left ). This slow sinking plug wiggles like a snake just below the surface on the retrieve. It measures 6 1/2 in. long and weighs 1 1/2 oz. The hot color in the canal was all white though the blue and green back models were also catching.

The plug is pricey, generally around 25 bucks, but I found them online at for twenty dollars with free shipping on orders over $50. I bought a few. I suspect they will be hot in the fall in RI when mullet or large menhaden show up.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lack of Big Bait=Lack of Big Bass

We are having a poor year along the RI mainland shore for large stripers. By contrast, it has been a banner year in the Cape Cod Canal. The difference between the two areas is that they have the big bait (herring and mackerel) and we have NOTHING at this point.

If large numbers of mackerel or big menhaden suddenly appeared along the shoreline, things would light up just as they do in the fall when mullet are around. This is not likely to happen. The macs have been gone from our area for years and the large menhaden are wiped out of the Bay by the netters by July. In fact, menhaden all along the East Coast are in trouble with low numbers of fish and the large breeding fish over 1 year old at an all time low. That probably explains why we no longer have peanut bunker. There is an excellent article outlining the menhaden problem in this month's RISAA newsletter that is online at

With mackerel gone from our waters, menhaden just about wiped out, and no blueback herring near shore in recent years, mullet have become the most plentiful big bait of the fall. When the mullet come around (mid Sept. to mid Oct.), big fish are around in big numbers.

One more note. Notice the small keeper stripers (28-32 in.) we have had around this year are very skinny (see pic at right). I blame that on a lack of big bait also. By contrast, I saw some real hogs pulled from the Canal this summer.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope?

As most of the serious striper shore fishermen know, we are in the middle of one of the poorest summers on record in mainland RI. Narragansett Bay is especially bad. Since June, the Bay has had little bait, few stripers of any size and even very few bluefish. The water temps. from the mid seventies to even an unheard of eighty degrees have taken their toll. But, there just may be a glimmer of hope.

I took my son, Jon, out fishing for snapper blues the last two days in the upper Bay. This is something he enjoys doing with light tackle. In the last two years there were very few of these baby blues around. This year it is loaded. I was amazed at the numbers. In some spots, they were like heavy rain hitting the surface. They were going crazy for small bait about half an inch long that was also around in huge numbers. Stripers and even blues love to feed on these snappers. This all bodes well for the fall. If we can get some cooler weather and rain to lower that water temperature, I suspect the fishing will come alive just as it did last September. There is a glimmer of hope but I think we still have a good month to wait until things really start happening.