Sunday, June 2, 2013

Big Fish Under Menhaden

It's been a good couple of days for big fish in the Bay.  Good numbers of large stripers from 34-40 inches and big alligator blues in the 10-15 lb. range are chasing schools of large menhaden that are popping up here and there in 'Gansett Bay.  We've been on it for the past two days.  On Friday, my brother Steve hit a big slug of fish and landed 5 stripers up to 40 inches and another 6 bluefish up to 15 lbs. all on menhaden (either livelined or chunked).  We went back out yesterday with my son, Ben, and we landed anther 5 keeper bass and one very large bluefish (see photos).  Big problem we had was that blues kept chopping up our live offerings but would not take the chunk. Occasionally, an aggressive striper beat the blues to the offering.
The key to this hot fishing for big fish is to find the schools of menhaden, or pogies, which seem to be around an area one day and gone the next.  After quite a bit of looking, we found a real glut of them yesterday in an off the beaten path spot that few people fish.  There were so many that you could see masses of them under the boat at times.  Snagging all we wanted was no problem.  In fact, several times we would snag one and the line would get another one in the gills and we'd haul two aboard.  The large fish were often around or even right under these schools and you would see occasional explosions of the large feeding fish in the menhaden schools.