Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Small Stripers All Over; Big Ones Scarce

Ben Pickering holds a Boston Harbor schoolie.
There are loads of schoolies around but few
large fish, especially for shore fishermen.
I've been all over the place in the last three weeks.  I've fished the RI South Shore, Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, the Cape Cod Canal and Boston Harbor.  I've fished from the boat and shore. I can tell you that there are small stripers all over the place.  These are schoolies that range from 12 to 24 inches for the most part. And, there are lots of them.
Keepers are different story.  There are some smaller keepers around in the 28 to 32 inch range, but there are no big numbers of those. The larger stripers, say over 36 inches, are scarce with very few around, especially from shore.
I got down to the Canal last week. It was loaded with fishermen the day I went. Many are hoping for a repeat performance of last year's epic fishing. I pedaled my bike up and down the canal and fished in multiple spots.  Of the hundreds of guys I saw fishing, I saw exactly five fish caught and these were smaller keepers in the 28 to 32 inch range. Many fishermen are saying everything is two weeks behind due to the cold spring weather. These same guys say the bigger fish are coming. I hope they are right.
Last night I joined two of my sons in Boston Harbor for an evening of fishing from shore.  In past years this was a hotspot for larger fish at this time. It was rare for us to fish there and not catch a keeper or two. But, same deal as everywhere else.....lots of schoolies, no keepers. My son Matt has also been fishing a lot from his boat. He's getting loads of schoolies with an occasional small keeper, but no large fish.
So, we are in this schoolie pattern right now with few large stripers around. It seems to be the same all over southern New England. With the weather taking a turn to warmer, maybe that will deliver some larger fish. We'll see.