Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Fishing....So Far, So Poor

Many of my followers know that I spend a lot of time fishing for stripers in the wintertime.  In the last twenty years I have caught tons of wintering over stripers, mostly from the Providence River.  This place has long been well known as THE winter place to wet a line if you wanted to catch a striper in the cold winter months of December, January or February here in RI. Not that long ago I was catching over a THOUSAND stripers a winter in this location. And, there were good numbers of keepers to boot. It was that good.
So far this December I have not been able to catch a single striper.  I have tried all tides, fished mornings, afternoons, and nighttime.  I've fished cold days, warm days, stormy days and real nice weather.  And, I have not caught a single fish.  I've gotten out at least three to four times a week and still have come up empty.  The number of fishermen who are trying has greatly diminished due to the absence of any fish, and I have not seen anyone else catch a fish in December.  Sadly, it is that poor.
This should not come as a big surprise.  We know the population of stripers is way down. The upper Bay fishing was off in the summer and fall.  Less fish then would mean less fish in the winter.  The sudden severe cold and partial icing of the river around Thanksgiving seemed to send any fish (stripers, pogies and peanut bunker) packing and there has been nothing since then.  Even the seals that were around back in November seem to be gone.
So, will this be the year of no winter fish in the Providence River?  I just don't know. I've seen big lulls and inconsistent fishing in the past, even in very good years.  In the past the fish moved in and out of the river. Maybe they are out in the Bay and will move back into the river.
In past years December has proved to be the best month of winter fishing. It's not a good sign that nothing has happened this month. I hope it turns around because I am in for a long winter if it doesn't.