Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lots of Fish on Small Bait

A small bucktail jig landed good numbers
of schoolies that were feeding on bay
A good way to fish a small
jig is off a float.
I've seen a lot of fish in the last few days along the oceanfront.  If you can find the bait, you will most likely find a lot of fish. A couple of days ago my son Jon and I were into massive numbers of schoolies that were feeding on big schools of bay anchovies. When this happens, some fishermen get frustrated because the stripers can get very finicky when feeding on small bait. Seeing the fish and getting them to hit your offering is sometimes not an easy thing. While we landed about 60 fish, I saw many fishermen go fishless.
So, what were we doing that they weren't?  We were using small stuff that closely resembled the 1-3 inch baitfish that the stripers were feeding on.  I was using a small, homemade, flathead, 3/8 oz. bucktail jig with a three inch curly tail attached to it. This is too light to cast with a surf rod so I fished it off an egg float.  At first Jon was using a small Cocahoe off a float.  He did get a few fish on that but the ole reliable Cocahoe was not getting it done this day.  So, he snapped on a small, 4 inch Rapala X-Rap swimmer in a white color.  This is one of his favorites when the fish are on small bait, and it worked wonders on this day.
Most of the frustrated fishermen who were not catching were using big, 5-6 inch poppers, large swimmers, big metal or large jigs.  Those bigger lures are great when the big bait (menhaden, herring and mullet) are around, but are generally ineffective when the stripers are feeding on small bait.
The water is just boiling with schoolies feeding on small bait. There have been
big numbers of fish around this week where there is bait.