Tuesday, April 23, 2019

So Far, Not So Good

I've been catching spring run stripers for over a week now, and I can sum up the fishing in three words. SHOULD BE BETTER.
In the last few years, that initial push of fish has been phenomenal. Not this year. In the last eight days, either I have been out fishing or my son, Jon, has been out fishing the RI south shore. In total, the both of us combined have landed 55 schoolies. Heck, in the last few years, I could get that alone on a good night. My best outing has been 18 schoolies, but it took me almost all day to get them.
Last night I was fishing in a real good early season spot.  I had beautiful water in front of me....a perfect "10".  The water was rough but clean and the water was moving with a rising tide.  It was ideal for late April.  I plugged that spot for three hours and came away with just three schoolies. Not good.
I've also been disappointed by the size of the fish.  A lot of what I am seeing are small schoolies in the 12 to 16 inch range. Because we had a lot of 20 to 24 inch fish last year, I figured this year's bunch would be real good size schoolies over 24 inches.  Those fish have been scarce.
I realize we are still real early in the season, and for sure, more fish are on the way. The first week of May has always been a real hot time to fish. Realize, too, the ocean has been unusually rough and stormy. Lots of big water, lots of  rain and lots of wind. In short, it's been too much of a good thing. So, maybe when things calm down a bit, the fishing will perk up, especially for the larger fish.
On one bright note, I did hear of several schoolies caught already in the upper and mid Bay.  So, they are spreading out. I'm guessing the Bay should light up with big numbers of fish in about a week.