Thursday, May 28, 2009

Menhaden, Big Bass, 'Gansett Bay

This was the week that the big bass arrived in the Bay for us. Proir to today, we had been catching lots of stripers in the 30-36 inch range from the boat, but today was the first day we were able to catch several fish over 40 inches. The menhaden are arriving in increasing numbers and the bigger fish are after them. Today's trick was patience, finding the big stripers and drifting live menhaden. The bass wanted them on top today.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Prime Time for the Kayak

Kayak fishing in Narragansett Bay is in its prime right now. For the next month, I'll fish more from the kayak than the whole rest of the year.

Things are just right for the many nooks and crannies, backwater coves and rivers of 'Gansett Bay. There are good numbers of 25-30 inch stripers in the Bay right now. There are also various types of prey items around like bay anchovies, silversides, shrimp and even worms hatching. In addition, the water is still cool, mostly in the sixties, and that all means that the stripers are in an active, feeding mood just looking for your offering.

I've been out in the kayak in the last two evenings and I've gotten several keepers as well as some fish just under keeper size. The hot lures have been Hogys in a 6 inch length. Believe it or not, pink was a hot color last night. Zoom flukes twitched on top have also been hot (see photo). I like to use the Super Zoom Flukes in a light color.

Use caution at this time of year when venturing out in a kayak since the southwest wind can kick up in late afternoon/evening and thunderstorms are always a threat on a warm day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hogys are Hot

The hottest lure right now in Narragansett Bay is a Hogy plastic lure twitched on the surface. Both stripers as well as bluefish can not pass one up without giving it a crushing blow. I have been out fishing in the last three nights from both shore and boat and caught good numbers of fish on these. I caught numerous large schoolies, several keepers (see photo at right) and even decent sized bluefish (yes, they are in the Bay!)

Hogys are elongated plastic stick baits. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. I especially like the white ones in daylight and a black at night, although the white was producing last night in both daylight and nighttime. This week the 7 inch and the 9 inch skinny Hogy were the best sizes to use.

These can be rigged with Texas style hooks up front. Hogy also sells weighted jigheads, swimming tins and a weighted swim bait hook that has a spring type device to screw into the head of the bait. They also sell large models that are already rigged with tandem hooks.

All these rigged baits are fished the same. You want to reel slowly while twitching the end of the rod tip to give the bait an alluring swimming and darting action. Watch its action in the daylight and you will soon learn how to dance a Hogy. Expect a large striper to interrupt that dance!

For futher information on this lure go to

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Matching the Prey

Here's what some inexperienced fishermen don't get when fishing a plug or lure. You are attempting to match a prey item that stripers are feeding on.

I was out this weekend in my brother's boat in Narragansett Bay fishing for stripers, and it was obvious that many fishermen did not get the above concept. There were tons of stripers rolling and whirling. They were after small bait, bay anchovies to be exact (see photo at right). These were small, silvery/white, slim baitfish, roughly 2-3 inches long. We were killing the bass on small white Cocahoes mounted on 1/4 and 3/8 oz. jigheads. These artificials were a good imitators of bay anchovies in terms of size, color, movement and silhouette. And, they really produced. We picked up multiple fish on just about every drift along feeding schools of fish.

Yet, I saw many boaters going fishless. Some of these clueless fishermen were using large storm lures. Still, others were using large 5 1/2 inch poppers. Others were trolling large swimmers. This situation points out the need to stock small jiglike lures that are killers in the early going when the initial run of bait is small. Lures like small bucktail jigs, Cocahoes, small Storm lures, small poppers (3 in.) and fly teasers all would work when the bait is small. Save that big stuff for later in the season when large menhaden are around.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gansett Bay Fishing Explodes

I knew it was just a matter of time before striper fishing exploded in the Bay. Well, it happened in the last two days as big numbers of stripers have entered the bay after large schools of silversides that move like dark patches just under the surface. My two brothers, Steve and Mike, and myself fished mid Bay locations today and the fishing was wild. Diving gulls, cormorants, and terns were hitting the water while stripers were breaking in large schools. It was like an October blitz.
The bait was small and the fish proved to be quite fussy, explaining why most boaters were not catching. We managed to get roughly a hundred fish between us using Cocahoe minnows mounted onto small jigheads. It was a perfect example of how you had to go with small artificials to match the prey the bass were feeding on. I also got several nice fish on a Zara spook fished on top. Most of the fish averaged 24-30 inches. Roughly one in ten fish was a keeper!