Sunday, July 15, 2018

Grading the First Half of the RI Season

Schoolies have been the highlight of the year
so far; fishing for keeper stripers and bluefish
has been poor
We are about at the halfway point to the fishing season here in RI. Here is my take and the grades as to how things have gone so far here in RI:
Schoolies- Although the season got off to a late start due to a colder than normal spring, once things got started it was generally super fishing for schoolies in the 12 to 24 inch range. I must say they were everywhere.  The oceanfront was very good, the mid Bay was very good and the upper Bay was very good.I'm guessing some of those diehards at the oceanfront were scoring two to three hundred fish a week on jigs in late spring. While this hot weather has slowed the fishing, the schoolies are still in the Bay and along the oceanfront. Grade-A
Keepers- A different story. I saw and caught a few along the oceanfront and a few in the Bay from shore, but their numbers were way down compared to other years.  And, the sizes were way down.  The keepers around here have been running 28 to 32 inches for the most part.  Even when we fished from the boat in the Bay and caught keepers, they were on the small side. While many will try to tell you their numbers are way down, I have seen astronomical numbers of big fish recently from shore just to the north of us.  They are not in RI, but I can tell you they are elsewhere. Grade- D
Bluefish-  Where, oh where, are the blues? They have been going downhill for years and this year we seem to be bottoming out.  I have caught very few so far. I got exactly one from the boat and a few from shore so far.  In the last couple of weeks, there have been some smaller ones (foot long) in the Bay chasing peanut bunker, but there are no schools of them. Remember the days in which the water in the Bay would be boiling with schools of blues in late summer? I don't know if you will ever see that again. Grade - D 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Photo of the Day....First 30 lber. of the Year

Persistence pay off in this game.  I've got the Boga Grip in the jaw of a thirty
 pound (yes, it was weighed) keeper that I landed this morning from shore. It's the
first 30 of the year for me. Bigger fish are showing here and there, but you
will have to work for them.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Photo of the Day....OMG, it's a BLUEFISH

Yes, bluefish still exist, although very few fishermen seem
to be catching them these days.  I got several of them tonight in
the Bay as they were feasting on big schools of peanut bunker.
These were small ones all about a foot long.
My best lure tonight was a bucktail jig with a curly tail.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Laying Low this Holiday Week

I wish I had a lot of exciting fishing news, but I don't. It's hot, steamy and super crowded along the water.  That has caused me to lay low in the last couple of days.  Oh, I am still fishing, poking around the Bay in the evening and carp fishing in the morning.
I hear a lot of striper guys complaining about the lack of bigger fish here in RI from shore.  I have to agree...it hasn't been good for the bigger ones.  I am still catching some schoolies in the Bay, but their numbers have gone downhill with this heat wave. It's been a couple here and there on Jumpin Minnows right before dark for me. I'm in touch with a lot of other good fishermen here in RI and they, too, are reporting schoolies along the oceanfront.
I checked a NOAA site today and water temperatures in the Bay have shot up to the upper 70's in the last couple of days.  Even the water off Newport was 70 degrees today. With the heat wave continuing and much of July forecast to be way above normal, it can only mean marginal fishing from shore in the coming weeks. Your best times to fish under these warm conditions will be nighttime and early morning.
The dog days of summer have arrived.