Friday, March 29, 2019

Coming Attractions

I did a show the other night in Braintree, MA for the Mass Striped Bass Association.  The talk around the club was that everyone couldn't wait until the striper season gets started.
It won't be long now as the calendar soon moves to April, the month that starts our season here in RI.
Here are a few highlights of what to expect:
Expect the initial surge of migrating stripers to hit the RI
Oceanfront from April 15 to April 20th.
When? -I expect to see the first stripers along the RI oceanfront to show from April 15 to April 20.  If we suddenly get a warm spell, it could be earlier. If this cool spring weather persists, it could be a bit later. But, it will happen in April. The Bay will start to produce about a week to 10 days after the first ones are taken along the oceanfront.
How many?- Expect that initial surge to be memorable.  Last year there were tons of schoolies around, and I see a big surge of migrating fish hitting our shores. We'll go from one or two fish being caught to a glut of them in a matter of a few days.
How Big?- Last year saw record numbers of stripers in the 20 to 24 inch range.  They grow about 4 inches a year when schoolies.  It should be loaded with fish in the 24 to 28 inch range.  While early spring typically delivers tons of schoolies, expect to see good numbers of small keepers in the 28 to 32 inch range.  I suspect the larger fish over 36 inches will be scarce again this year.
What to use?- Jigs of all kinds rule in the early going. The very best lure will be a white Cocahoe Minnow threaded onto a jighead. Other jigs such as other fan tailed plastics, bucktails and Storm shads should also catch.  Leave the topwater plugs at home. They won't work until the water warms. Light tackle is generally preferred in the early going.
Where?- I'll let you figure that one out.  But, I will say this.  While tons of guys often congreagate in one spot, there's about 15 miles of fishable shoreline along the south shore of RI.  They are not all in one spot!