Thursday, December 1, 2022

All Done?

 It's come to an end for me along the oceanfront.  I fished several times in the last week and found a fish here and there.  I also found good amounts of bait in places but no stripers after them. The numbers of fishermen trying has dwindled down to just about no-one. That all tells me that the stripers, for the most part, are gone.  In addition, the weather has been so stormy. These big blows of the last week seem to have moved the last remaining schools of fish away. In my mind, the consistent fishing is over though I still may go down if I hear something positive from a few friends who are still trying.  That's not to say you can't catch a fish along the oceanfront.  I'm guessing there are still some small scattered schools of fish that will be quickly moving along the RI south shore oceanfront in the next couple of weeks.  You will just have to be there at the right place and the right time to cash in on the action.  And, there is the wintering over fish that seem to inhabit many of our coastal ponds and rivers.  You will just have to find them and find fish that are willing to hit in the cold (not easy on these bitter cold days).

Despite a sub par November, this has been a banner year of striper fishing here in RI.  Really, one of the best of all time for good size stripers.  I'll be doing a year long wrap-up in the coming weeks in which I discuss the 2022 season in more detail.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Photo of the Day.....A Near Slot

 

I landed this near slot this evening just after dark. Fishing was
slow for the most part today with only 2 stripers and a few
hickory shad while doing a lot of looking and casting. 
My gut feeling is that fishing is winding down.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thankful

 

As I write this blog post, my son Ben is down the oceanfront and into a big blitz of stripers on this Thanksgiving morning. Man, this has been a great striper year in RI.  Really one of the best of all time.  What is going on now is the grand finale to a year filled with fishing fireworks. We are lucky for what we have here in RI…..great fishing, loads of stripers, good access and loads of places to fish.

I will be spending Thanksgiving at my son Matt’s house with my sons and their wives along with the grandkids. As many of you know, I have four sons that I am very proud of.  You often see photos of them fishing on this blog. While they were a handful when they were young, they all grew up to be very good students, great athletes, dedicated workers, family oriented and wonderful people who are all well-liked by everyone who knows them. Since they all live within an hour of us, we see each other often, and we still fish a lot together, and I am really thankful for that.

Three of my sons, Matt, Chris and Ben are married to wonderful girls who are similar to them. I also now have four grandchildren.  Just in the last year we added two new grandchildren to the family. These kids, like their parents, are the BEST. The grandkids remind me so much of what my kids were like when they were young. All of them have a sense of adventure like their fathers and they have all a zest for life even at their young ages. They all have big personalities and smiles that are infectious.  All I have to do is smile at them and they are quick to return the joy. I hope I am still around when they get a bit older.  Can’t wait for the day that they join me in the surf fishing for stripers.

In the whole scheme of things, family is the most important part of life for me.  Fishing is simply a way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, a welcome diversion for me, and something I really enjoy. Retirement and good health allows me the opportunity to fish just about every single day.

As I get older I really cherish the times I can get out and fish because I know it won’t last forever.  But, I also love spending time with my own kids and the grandkids. I am lucky the way things turned out.  And, I am forever thankful for my wonderful and growing family.

My four bundles of joy, all future fishing buddies!


 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Good Times Keep Rolling

My son Jon landed this
near 40 inch striper from
the kayak today. Good
size fish are still in the mix.
 
My son Ben holds a hefty
schoolie that he cought 
recently at dark.

It's been a real cold and windy week, but the fishing continues to be hot along the oceanfront. There have been lots of peanut bunker schools migrating along the south shore, and that has attracted a lot of bird activity and a lot of scattered schools of feeding stripers. While the majority of the fish this week have been schoolies, there have been some good size fish in the mix.  On Sunday I fished with my son Ben.
  We found big numbers of fish along one of the south shore beaches. While we had dozens of hefty schoolies, we also had four slot fish and one over slot fish.  It was all on jigs....bucktails as well as Cocahoes.  Yesterday I scouted around and fished a number of spots.  I found schoolies in one location in the daytime, and after dark I had a solid slot (30 to 32 inches) along with another near slot.  Cocahoes caught all my fish.  Today, my son Jon got out in the kayak.  He had only one fish but it was a whopping 38 to 40 inches.

So, fishing is still very productive as we approach Thanksgiving. With a lot of people off from work on this holiday week, I'm sure many will be wetting a line. You should have no trouble finding fish along the oceanfront.

Friday, November 18, 2022

As Wild as it Gets

Gulls are hitting the water right in front of me.
They were after large peanut bunker.

 I walked out onto a deserted beach today.  Not a fisherman in sight and not a walker in sight.  But what I did see was a phenomenal sight of hundreds of gannets divebombing into schools of bait right in front of me. All the activity was about 200 yards off the beach so there was life there, and it would soon to turn into pure chaos.

Nothing at first and then suddenly I looked down the beach where I saw flocks of seagulls hitting the water and loons diving for bait.  It was all happening right in the wash, and I just knew there would be stripers there.  Sure enough, first cast with my NLBN lure, I was onto a decent schoolie.  I could now see stripers breaking in the wash after large (4 to 5 inch) peanut bunker that were flying out of the water.  The chaos moved down the beach, and I moved with it picking up stripers on just about every cast. Some were good size as I had several slot fish in the 28 to 30 inch range along with hefty schoolies in the 20 to 26 inch range.  For one glorious hour, it was a hit or a fish on just about every cast.

This slot fish took my NLBN lure.
This five inch paddle tail was red
hot today.

Make no mistake about it, the late fall migration of bait and stripers in here. It took awhile to get going, but it is here big time right now.  I have fished the last 5 days and have been getting about 25 fish a day.  While most have been schoolies, slot fish are in the mix daily.  

If you can stand the cold, you've got some of the hottest fishing of the fall right now along the oceanfront. 

Divebombing Gannets Along the South Shore

 


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

No Live Bait Needed (NLBN) Lures Hot this Week

I was fishing this lure off an 
egg float.
This is one of many 
schoolies that fell for an
NLBN lure.

 I was into a ton of fish last evening and I was fishing with my friend
Steve.  We were both catching stripers, but he was catching three to my one.  I was using a Cocahoe off a float, and he was using a lure called a No Live Bait Needed. This little lure was so effective that the fish could not resist it. So, being the good friend Steve was, he asked if I wanted to try one of these.  By the way I never heard of this lure.  So, I rigged one up on my float, and on the first cast, I caught a schoolie.  They came one after another on this lure. Note that I had minimal success on the Cocahoe and no success on the half ounce bucktail jig, but this NLBN lure worked wonders.

The NLBN lure is a small paddle tail that is a bit chunky, and it fits onto its own custom head that you need to purchase separately. It's profile is a dead ringer for a small peanut bunker.  I was using a three inch body with a half ounce head. I was so inpressed with this lure that I after I got home last night, I ordered quite a few of these.  The website is here . I believe the Saltwater Edge also has them.

I went back to the oceanfront today and same deal.  The bass were jumping all over this lure when used off a float. In two days, I had close to 40 fish on this lure.

I'm happy to report the striper fishing just exploded along the oceanfront in the last few days.  I've seen wide stretches of beachfront where birds are diving and fish are breaking for small bait.  There are even some gannets divebombing.  Most of these fish are schoolies, but there are some slots in the mix. The late fall migration is finally here.

One of loads of schoolies landed in the last 
few days.  The late fall migration is here.