Saturday, May 16, 2020

An Epic Week

Here's a near keeper landed this week on a
Cocahoe Minnow attached to a 3/4 oz. jighead.
Cocahoes and bucktail jigs have been hot lures.
In all my years of spring surf fishing, I have never seen a week like I have just fished. For seven straight days it was blitz after blitz along one area along the RI oceanfront. It had everything you would see in all out fall blitzes, but this was the spring and it was not supposed to happen this way.....diving birds by the hundreds, tons of bait, fish busting all over the place and aggressive fish stalking in the white water and wanting to pounce on anything that moved.
Unlike the fall, you rarely see surface blitzes in the spring.  Spring striper fishing is often a case of fish grubbing along the bottom.  They are often around, but rarely showing.  So, this was very unusual.
I could have caught these aggressive stripers on anything, but I chose to fish jigs all week because the jigs caused the least amount of harm to these fish I intended to release. At times I fished just the jig with a Cocahoe body.  At other times when a long cast was needed, I fished the jig (Cocahoe or bucktail) off a float. Some days it was a fish or hit on just about every cast, on other days it was streaks of fish on five or six casts in a row with a fish and then a lull, only to begin again. I walked away several days with tons of fish still around.
All the fish this week were good size schoolies for the most part (20-26 inches) with occasional small keepers (28 inches).  Between myself and the few others who fished these epic blitzes, I saw thousands of fish caught, yet not one fish measured 30 inches. It says a lot about the lack of bigger stripers.
So, this sets the tone on what will come this season.  Lots and lots of good size schoolies that just might be small keepers in the fall. It will set up terrific action in the coming months with smaller fish.
And, by the way, of the masses numbers of fish I landed this week, not one fish was badly hooked. No mortalities, no bleeding fish.  This says a lot about using jigs with single hooks for schoolies and small keepers you intend to release.
On more tidbit.....I went down yesterday and as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end." I landed just two schoolies in four hours.  The bait and the fish have moved on.
Birds are hitting the water in a spring blitz of stripers. The last seven days of
fishing have been incredible!