Sunday, October 9, 2011


Some of the biggest blitzes in the history of RI striper fishing have been taking place at Narragansett this week. There seems to be no end to this terrific run.  What is fueling these blitzes are vast schools of bay anchovies that are being driven ashore by hungry stripers, blues and false albacore.
Yet, while there appears to be a million bass in front of you at times, they are tough to catch.  That's because the conditions are calm, the water is clear and the bait is small and plentiful. 
I got a call from my son, Ben, today.  He excitedly told me he landed over 30 stripers (6 keepers) and 10 bluefish in a couple of hours of fishing.  However, none of the twenty or so fishermen around him seemed to be able to catch even one fish.  How did he do it?  He was using a very small freshwater plastic swimmer, casting close to shore and was reeling it in very slowly to keep it near the surface as the fish were on a rampage in only a couple of feet of water.  That small swimmer measured only a few inches and closely resembled the bay anchovies (see photo at right) that the fish were feeding on.  Those other guys who were blanking were probably using large pencil poppers, big wooden swimmers or large metal.  Come on guys, you know the deal is to try to match the hatch.

Bay anchovies are small, anywhere from a half inch to a couple of inches.  When they are around, some good imitators are small swimmers, three inch poppers, three inch Cocahoes (see photo at left), small bucktail jigs and even small Zoom flukes running off a float.  While the guys tossing the big wood and big plastic may get an occasional big fish, their hook up rate is often dismal or non existent when bay anchovies are present.  So, my word of advice right now is Go Small if you are looking to catch some fish.