Friday, May 25, 2018

Holiday Weekend Outlook....You'll Have to Work to Catch 'Em

Jon Pickering holds a nice fish that was landed in the last week
in the Bay. There are less fish around but the sizes are better,

We have quickly moved into a summer fishing pattern here in RI.  The huge masses of migrating fish that we saw two or three weeks ago have moved on. The fishing scene from shore has become a fish here and there that you have to really work for. From the  boat, the numbers are less, though sometimes you are running into schools on top where there is bait. The shallows are also producing scattered fish that are sometimes fussy on the take.
I have gotten out just about every evening/ night in the last week.  I have been mostly fishing in the Bay. The numbers of fish I am catching in the last week have really dropped off. While I had no blanks, I am now catching 1-6 fish an outing using plastics.  It seems to me like the sizes have gotten better, but there are less of them.  I had no keepers in the last week, but I know many who have caught them.  The keepers in the Bay are generally running small, 28-30 inches. 
Judging by past years, the Bay should be crawling with larger fish by now.  It's not. My brother and I have been in the boat a couple of times in the last week, and we found scattered small schools of menhaden with nothing under them. Are the bigger fish (over 36 inches) just late in arriving or are they not coming? When you hear of bigger fish to the north in the Canal, it makes one wonder if it will happen here ....
I have also noticed in the last week that the fish are now hitting more and more after dark. Yes, that is another characteristic of summer fishing.
Finally, I have not gotten a bluefish yet.  I had one on  and had a chopped Slug-go last night, but no blues to the shore.  There is a lack of bait in the Bay and I think that is contributing to the lack of blues at this point.
So, as we head into the holiday weekend, the outlook is that there are still fish around, but if you want to catch them, you will have to work hard to find and catch them.