Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Should IMPROVE the Fishing

Over the years I have seen hurricanes, tropical storms and northeasters lash the southern New England coast.  Extreme weather events like these can often end good fishing; on the other hand it can improve poor fishing.  In recent weeks we have been stuck in some of the poorest striper fishing from shore in history here in RI.  I suspect that after Hurricane Irene passes and the water has a chance to clear up, the fishing for stripers and bluefish will improve.
Back in 1991 we were renting a house at the outer Cape when Hurricane Bob struck.  Prior to the hurricane I did get out and fish, and the fishing was marginal for stripers and bluefish.  Just two days after the hurricane passed my son, Matt, and I went fishing at Herring Cove Beach in P-Town where we had a wind at our back and calm seas.  As we walked out on the shore I noticed the water had a dark tone to it.  Uh, weeds, I surmised.  I was wrong. There were acres and acres of bluefish right near the surface and they were so hungry they would pounce on anything that moved.  We were the only souls for miles on this deserted beach as everyone went home prior to the storm.  We never had so many bluefish.  For the next four days of our vacation we caught countless bluefish and stripers.  In this case, like in others I have seen throughout the years, big storms can move big numbers of fish from offshore to inshore.
Unfortunately, in the short term the water will be very messed up along RI's oceanfront from Irene's surge and rough water.  There will be weeds, sand and debris in the water for days after this storm departs.  I am guessing the sand will linger for upwards of 4-6 days along the south shore oceanfront, and it will shut down shore fishing for that time period.  However, once things clear, look for fishing to improve.  I suspect we will see an abundance of bluefish at first and a general improvement in the striper fishing.  Fishing will get better; it has to!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Latest OTW Article...."The Versatile Bucktail"

My latest feature article just came out in the Sept. issue of On The Water magazine.  It is called "The Versatile Bucktail".  It is the total package on how to fish bucktail jigs from shore along with some info on boat fishing.  The article is particularly geared to fall fishing. Bucktail jigs are one of the most potent lures to use in the fall, and I would rate them as one of my top three choices of lures to fish for stripers and blues of all sizes.  I also catch a good percentage of keeper bass on bucktail jigs. There is an art to fishing these and I cover everything you ever wanted to know about bucktail jig fishing....sizes, styles, enticers, technique, places to fish and rigging.  The magazine staff did a great job with a sidebar explanation and drawing of the float and jig rig, a real killer for schoolies in rough water.
Check it out at newsstands or tackle shops or visit their website at

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When Will Fishing Perk Up?

Wow, we are in a tough period for shore fishermen.  The water is warm, there is little bait around, and there are few fish to be had.  I've been out a few times in August and I am lucky to come away with a lone schoolie per outing.  I am still fishing unlike so many striper diehards I know that have simply given up until the fall. In fact, it has been rare for me to run into another fisherman who is trying for stripers.  I am amazed at the lack of bait around.  I have seen very little of anything in the Gansett area.  My brother, Steve, took his boat to Block I. the other day and saw no bait, no fish, and not one boat fisherman between the mainland and Block I's North Rip.  He later zipped along the south shore and same fish and no fishermen.  It's almost scary how bad things are right now.
I am confident that things will improve in Sept.  Sept. is a month with lots of options.  It is usually good for bluefish by day, stripers get active in the cooler nights and hopefully, we will see a run of false albacore.  However, you may have to wait until mid September for all of that to get started.  Until then I plan to plug along and keep hoping that things will get better.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Problems For Fishermen Along Pt. Judith/East Wall

I fished along Narragansett last night and was shocked to find out that you can no longer get into Rose Nulman Park just north of the Pt. Judith lighthouse.  You also can't walk into the Coast Guard property, making access along this popular point very difficult.  Nulman Park was blocked off by tape and fencing with several signs that said the park was closed.  You could not drive into  the parking lot there which is used by surfers, sightseers and fishermen.  It appears that the building there is collapsing since I saw a partially caved in roof and the sides were buckling.  The Coast Guard property also had signs that said to keep out due to construction.  This has been their line for over a year now, though I see no construction going on.  Seems like a convenient way to keep people out.  The only access to the waters around the Point right now is to park on the right side of the road leading in and to either walk through the closed off park (is that legal???) or to walk along a grown in path near the reeds which border the west side of the Point Judith Lighthouse property.  Either way, it's a hassle.
The East Wall is another story.  There are tons of people who have been using this "free" beach this summer.  This property was originally set up for fishermen but it has now become an unsupervised free for all.  The place is loaded with trash.  Two weeks ago it was piled several feet high in front of the porto jons.  I also saw many tents along the beach at that time where people were camping out along here (is this legal???).  Swimmers, many unsupervised kids, have been in the water till well after dark.  There is also a lot of drinking on the beach, another illegal activity here.  It's not good and the DEM presence has been minimal at best.
If you are a fisherman, it is clear that this area is heading downhill.  Access to the Point will be difficult in the fall if things remain the way they are now.  This is just one more example of a disturbing trend of access problems along Narragansett and the oceanfront. The East Wall has become a summertime free for all.  Let's hope it calms down in the fall.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

World Record Striper Taken in CT

If you haven't heard the latest exciting news, here it is.......a new potential striped bass world record has been taken by a boat fisherman using eels in CT waters. The fish was weighed in at 81.88 lbs.  The incredible details and photos are in the link listed below: