Friday, October 12, 2012

Schoolies, Small Blues Dominate Fishing Scene

I have been out fishing every day this week and have noticed a quite change in what is going on.  Schoolies and small blues are now dominating the RI fishing scene from shore and seem to be in tight pockets where there is bait. The large schools of bay anchovies that were everywhere a few weeks ago seem to be gone.  There are now small pods of them here and there that are still attracting these good numbers of schoolies and blues.  The numbers of false albacore have fallen off big time.  I have seen a few individual fish breaking way out, but there have been no numbers in recent days along the Narragansett shoreline and no fish caught from shore to my knowledge.  Traditionally, albies tend to leave in mid to late October.  The larger stripers are also not around like they were a couple of weeks ago.  In the last three days of fishing I have landed exactly 87 stripers but only one fish was a keeper (see photo at left) and that good size fish was a loner mixed in with a pile of schoolies. My son Ben who has been hammering keepers this fall has landed 40 stripers in the last two outings and not one fish was a keeper.  Note that both of us have been fishing some very high percentage  "big fish" spots and putting in some time after dark. Still, it's almost all schoolies.
My son Matt and I hit the south shore on Monday and we found small schools of marauding bluefish moving up and down the beaches.  We landed about a dozen fish on bucktail jigs. Many of the reports from this week are also reporting schools of blues in the 2-5 lb. range along the south shore beaches.  Without the big bait (herring or menhaden) it is unlikely we  will see an abundance of big bass or large bluefish.  Herring traditionally migrate along the south shore in early to mid November. Large menhaden and peanut bunker are have been in short supply in recent years.