Saturday, June 8, 2024

June Moon Disappoints; No Bait, No Fish!


This striper took a small Slug-go fished from the
kayak this week.

Since that last post I wrote, fishing has really taken a dive along both the oceanfront and the Bay. We had the new moon this week and that always gets surf fishermen excited because of the big tides and water movement. All that is fine but when there is no bait around, big tides mean nothing.

I fished 7 evenings/nights in a row in both the Bay in my kayak and along the oceanfront from shore.  I had one banner night from the yak where I DID find bait and there were fish busting everywhere.  They were fussy, though, since they were on micro bait. I did manage to put ten bass and one blue in the yak using an unweighted Finesse Fish and small Slug-Gos. Half the bass were slots. I went back to the same location the next evening and caught just one schoolie. There was no bait and the mass of fish moved on.

The rest of the week I fished multiple locations along the oceanfront. Each night except one I landed only one fish an outing, all slots. I could find no bait, and very few fish.  Those fish that were abundant a week and a half ago seemed to have moved on.  

This was the lone bluefish I landed
this week.  They have not been 
around in big numbers.

I have a number of friends and contacts who fished hard this week along the oceanfront hoping for a bonanza on the new moon.  They ALL report poor fishing.  Even my son Jon ventured down to the Cape Cod Canal, a real good bet on the new moon tides.  He got nothing and only reported seeing a few fish taken with crowded conditions. And, the upper Narragansett Bay, so good in past years at this time seems to have no pogies and no stripers.

So, we are entering the summer on a real poor note.   If this year follows past patterns, we won't see an uptick in consistent fishing until big schools of peanut bunker arrive.  That could happen in late July, but August seems a better bet.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Firing on All Cylinders


Here is one of many fish landed last evening
on a Zoom Fluke fished off a small jighead,
a great choice when the stripers are on small bait.

We are back to hot fishing.  Maybe it's the new moon tides coming or maybe it's an influx of small bait that has gotten things going.  Whatever the reason the striper fishing right now is very good from both shore and boat and very good in the Bay and along the oceanfront.

The oceanfront has had some big bass for those will to put in serious hours after dark.  But, there are even fish up to 40 inches being taken in broad daylight. Hot lures along the oceanfront are Slug-gos, needlefish plugs and the Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil. I was down the ocean a couple of days ago and dropped a massive fish that hit my Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil.  After a long battle, I lost the fish.  When I reeled in my plug, one of the hooks on one treble was broken off and the other hook was straightened out.  These were VMC 4X hooks!

The Bay has also perked up.  I was out from shore yesterday and landed 19 fish on three inch Zoom flukes fished off a half ounce jighead.  While most were schoolies, I did also have a slot. Find a school of fish, and they are likely a mix with schoolies, slots and over slots all in the same school.  My son Jon was out in the kayak this morning and he landed decent numbers of slots and over slots fishing 7 1/2 inch Slug gos.

Note that the fish are also showing in many spots, chasing small bait.  Many fishermen are complaining they are fussy and hard to catch, but if you keep working at it, you are likely to find a something they will hit. Keep it small and take a finesse approach.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Gansett Bay Fishing Takes A Dive


Here is a slot I landed last evening on a Jumpin
Minnow. The action has cooled in the last week
for boaters and shore fishermen in
Narragansett Bay.

Fishing has cooled off, I mean really cooled off, in Narragansett Bay.  That persistent northeast wind that we had for almost a week straight dropped the water temperatures and sent a lot of fish packing. 

In the last week, I have gotten out just about every day and evening.  I've fished from shore and kayak. It's been a couple of fish here and there and even some blanks. Those bluefish that seemed to be building in numbers in the Bay seem to have disappeared. Fishing for blues right now is poor in the Bay. Even the abundant stripers that were around just two weeks ago have dwindled in numbers.  Last evening I fished from shore in two very productive locations.  I landed one slot striper.  The evening before I was out in the kayak and got skunked, the first time in a long time that I found nothing in a big area of the Bay.  I've also seen no pogies around which just might account for this sub par fishing.

I remember what things were like just a few short years ago.  It was Memorial Day weekend and my son,  Jon, was out in his kayak in the upper Bay around Providence. He called me saying, "Dad, you've got to come down and see this!" I got into my truck and headed to the Bay just for a look.  I counted a staggering number of boats (counted 200) and kayaks fishing around vast schools of menhaden that seemed to be as far as the eye could see.  The place was also crawling with big stripers and big bluefish.  In the last two weeks, I have not seen a single boat working that area. No pogies; no bass and blues. That simple!

From what I hear, the oceanfront is fishing a bit better than the Bay right now.  But, realize that the stripers have turned nocturnal in their feeding habits and daytime fishing from shore right now is not very productive.  Boaters have a much better shot at finding stripers and blues right now from the south shore on calm days.

Hope things light up this weekend for many of you who plan to get out and fish!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Blue Dogs Running

They were around tonight in good numbers and most of them
were BIG.

The hot plug was the DOC. They were smashing away at this!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Slots, Over Slots in Abundance; Some Blues


I landed this slot from the kayak this evening.
Slots and over slots are in abundance right now,
especially in Gansett Bay.

The good times are rolling especially if you are fishing the Bay where there are very big numbers of big stripers around. In fact, this is the most big fish I have ever seen at this time of year. Slots are more plentiful than schoolies (no surprise).  But, I have seen and caught many over slots in the last week.  I am getting them from both shore and kayak.  My biggest striper of the week was a 43 inch over slot that hit a Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil fished from shore.  That evening I also landed three other over slot stripers along with one big blue.  There are some bluefish in the mix and they are big.  I had one in the last week that I estimated was around 10 to 12 lbs.  Last year at this time there were good numbers of them.  I'm guessing this cooler than normal weather is slowing the arrival of big numbers of them.

I've fished for stripers the last six out of seven days/evenings.  No blanks and lots of action.  Today I was out in the kayak and landed a couple of slots on Slug-gos, and I had a good number of hits. The fishing is about as hot as it gets right now for this time of year.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

A Game Changer

 I landed very good numbers of stripers of all sizes from both the kayak and from shore this week.  The common theme here was what I was using.  

I've written many times (and even did seminars this winter) about finesse fishing for stripers. In shallow water where stripers are feeding on small bait, using unweighted plastic fluke bodies is the MOST effective way to get them to hit.

Recently, I have been going with a white Fin-S fish in a 5.75 inch length as my main lure.  I have this mounted on a BKK Titanrider Worm Hook.  That BKK hook in a 5/0 size is about the best hook I have ever used in these applications.  They are strong, sharp and have excellent hooking power.  They also sport that screw type device up front that screws into the head of the plastic.  These are so durable you should be able to land 15 to 20 stripers on the same plastic body.

To fish this lure, cast and slowly retrieve with twitches of the rod tip.  I like to work mine just a hair below the surface. Stop it every so often.  A lot of times, hits come on the stop.  Also, if you have a whirl at it, stop it, and frequently the striper will come back and grab it.

The big disadvantage to this set up is that it is lightweight and does not cast well.  So, while it works great from a boat or kayak, it is not so great from shore.  However, I have used this set up from shore using a wooden egg float rig.  Last night I landed a good size striper from shore using the Fin-S Fish with a wooden egg float.

It's a game changer in shallow water where stripers are feeding
on small bait.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

A Monster from the Yak

 I'm back to fishing from the kayak when I have the right conditions and tides in the places I want to fish.  Tonight I went out and found good numbers of big fish- slots and over slots.  My biggest was a monster that was in the 40 to 45 inch range.  That big fish fell for an unweighted 5.75 inch Finesse Fish twitched along the top. So, I was using a "finesse approach" tonight. I was using light tackle: a 7 foot St. Croix Triumph rod, a Daiwa BG 3000 reel and 20 lb. test braid.  Needless to say, the fish took me for a ride!

Biggest of the year thus far for me. It was an evening
of big fish from the yak.