Saturday, May 14, 2022

Topwater Really Producing; Bay is the Place

This hefty schoolie, landed this evening has a
Rebel Jumpin' Minnow (bone color) stuck in
its jaw.  The Jumpin' Minnow has been a hot plug.

 I've been out just about every evening in the last week.  I'm fishing only in the Bay from shore, and I have had good success. The hot lures right now are just about anything topwater.  Earlier in the week the Slug-go was hot for larger schoolies and slots.  Tonight it was the Rebel Jumpin' Minnow that lured good numbers of schoolies. That was the ONLY artificial they would hit.  I've also gotten stripers of all sizes on pencil poppers and regular poppers this week. Jigs, so hot in the early going, have taken a backseat to topwater offerings.

I'm not sure what is going on along the oceanfront since most of the fishermen I know have turned to the Bay from both shore and boat. The fish are widespread in the Bay since I have fished many different spots this week (tide dependent places) that have been tens of miles apart.  It seems like there are stripers just about everywhere I have gone.

Earlier in the week, the Slug-go was hot.  Here a slot fish
comes ashore that was landed on a white Slug-go.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Banner Night on the Slug

 I hit a banner evening of fishing tonight in the Bay.  I've thrown in the towel on the oceanfront fishing, and have been fishing the Bay for the past week.  While I was getting a few fish here and there in the Bay, tonight was a different story with some very good numbers while fishing a Slug-go.  

I've written many times about fishing the Slug-go.  I think it is easily one of my top 5 lures.  If there's a striper around, it will more than likely hit the Slug-go or at least give it a follow.  They just can't resist the darting and dipping action.

I was using a 7 1/2 inch white Slug-go tonight.  That size is my favorite in Narragansett Bay.  I rig it with a size 5/0 wide gap worm hook. I don't weight it. I twitch the rod tip to give it action while reeling slowly and stop it every once in a while.  I get many hits on the stop.

All of tonight's fish were decent with a combination of equal numbers of hefty schoolies and slots. 

The 7 1/2 inch white Slug-go delivered good numbers of
stripers this evening in the Bay including this slot fish.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Photo of the Day....Striper at Sunset


The last rays of today's setting sun reflect off the sides of this striper.
It was landed in the Bay along with a few others this evening. 
Right now, the Bay is the best bet for stripers.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

What's REALLY Going On?

 Striper fishing here in RI is poor, no other way to say it.  We are off to one of the worst starts in decades. There just have not been a lot of migrating fish around this spring.  There are some, but the numbers are WAY OFF compared to recent years. Just for a comparison, I went back and checked my logs. Note that these are the results for migrating fish only from April 15 to May 7.  I am not counting the holdovers.  Back in 2020, I landed 123 bass at this point. In 2021,  a banner spring, I had 365 fish. This year, 2022, I've gotten a mere 40 stripers.  Note that I have gone just about the same number of times in those years in many of the same locations that have produced in the past.

The strange thing about this year is that I am catching fish on just about every outing with very few blanks.  Yet, the numbers are not there.  It's been a couple of fish here, a few there. They have been all sizes with no consistency.  The other day in the kayak I had a 14 inch fish, a 22 inch fish and a 35 inch fish!

It's easy to point to the usual problems this year- poor weather, unfavorable winds, cold water, lots of weed- yet the fact remains that the fish have been migrating along the south shore since April 15. I'm not hopeful that we are going to see big numbers in the next couple of weeks. But, I am hoping that schools of menhaden enter the Bay and larger fish are on them, just like what happened last year. If it happens it will occur in late May or early June.

Fishing pressure has not been what it has been in other years. I think the poor fishing combined with high gas prices and poor weather has less fishermen out there trying. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Action Shifting to the Bay

 I got out today in my Old Town Sportsman 10-6 PDL kayak.  The action has been marginal at best along the oceanfront this week with a lot of weed and unfavorable winds. So, I decided to try the Bay.  My son, Jon, had a big day yesterday with 14 bass (6 of them slots), so I kind of got tipped off as to where they were.

It took me no more than 15 minutes and I had a slot fish (over? maybe). I landed a few more smaller ones and had a lot of hits.  They were fussy in the calm water I was fishing tonight, but there were good numbers of fish around. I even managed to spook quite a few fished as I pedaled along.

The hot lure was an unweighted super Zoom fluke threaded  onto a swimbait hook.  I like the white ones with a chartreuse tail.  This lure can be trolled or casted and twitched ashore.

Here is a schoolie that I landed tonight from the kayak.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

WEED: A Real Big Problem

 Parts of the south shore beachfront have been inundated with red weed this spring. There is the most weed I have ever seen in my 65 years of fishing this area.  I was out yesterday and found places where the weed was piled 3, 4 and even 5 FEET high on the shoreline. In places there was reddish, brown weed saturated water as far as you could cast. In places, this goes on for miles. It has made fishing parts of the RI south shore impossible.

I have no explanation as to why the weed situation is this bad. Some say persistent big storms with southwest winds in the beginning of April brought it all in. Even those big northwest blows we had in the last three days did nothing to lessen the problem. 

The weed situation has really affected the fishing and the fishing activity. There have been fewer fishermen out this year than in previous years.  Pick your culprit: poor fishing, high gas prices, weed, bad weather, less fish.  Whatever the problem, April striped bass fishing has been way off.  I would venture to say the worst numbers I have seen in decades. Yes, there are fish around, but you have to do a lot of looking and casting. You also will have to first find clean water before you can even fish.

This is what parts of the RI south shore beachfront look like.
Mountains of weed are piled 3,4 and even 5 feet high on the 
shore, making fishing impossible in a lot of locations.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Photo of the Day....First 30+ Inch Striper


I landed my first 30+ inch striper this evening.
It was a migrating fish that was landed along
the RI oceanfront.  The fish took a bucktail jig.
Slots are becoming more plentiful in RI waters.