Thursday, February 27, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lack of Fish, Brutal Weather and Seals

It was one lone schoolie tonight, the only fish in
the last three outings.  Winter fishing has been poor so far.
This is about the worst winter I have ever seen for wintering over stripers in the upper Bay. I have been trying to get out at least several times a week, but bad weather (cold and snow) and icing have really cut into my fishing since the start of the new year.  Still, I have gotten out a decent amout of times but have not found many fish. The numbers of fish are way down compared to recent years.  As recently as a five or six years ago I could average about ten fish an outing.  This year I am lucky to get one fish an outing.  I went out tonight and landed a lone 16 inch schoolie.  It was my only fish of the last three times.  Not good.  To add salt to the wound, I was out fishing last Friday in the rain and wind in the daytime and all of a sudden right in front of me a seal that weighed about 200 lbs. breached on the surface.  It's never good fishing when seals are around.
So, very poor fishing overall thus far this winter for stripers. It's not completely dead, but pretty close. If I were grading it, I'd give it a "D".  I hope it is not a sign of things to come.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Striper Fishing Springfield Sportsmens Show

I will be wrapping up my seminar scedule tomorrow, Feb. 22, at the Springfield Sportsmens Show at the Big E in Springfield, MA.  The seminar, "Plugging for Stripers from Shore and Boat" will take place in Seminar Room B at 2:00 PM.  This seminar focuses solely on fishing with artificials for striped bass.  It has been the most poplular show I have ever done.  For more information about the Springfield Show, visit their website at

Monday, February 10, 2014

Questions and Answers from Fishing Seminars

I've done five fishing seminars in the last week at two major fishing shows here in the northeast and met a lot of striper fishermen.  The seminars have been packed which shows a great interest in fishing for stripers.  I complied a sampling of questions that were asked.  Here is a sampling along with my answers:

What type of braided line do you use along with what pound test?
Answer:  I use Power Pro braided line in most applications from  shore as well as boat.  I favor 30 lb. test.  I use a green color.
Where do you buy your wooden eggs that you use for a float?
Answer:  I buy mine in bulk (bags of 25) from the website, .I buy the 2 1/2 inch white (already painted) wooden hen egg.  They sell for about $1.00 apiece.  I then drill then and wire them.  You can also use stainless steel screw eyes.
Where do you buy stuff like VMC hooks, split rings, plug components and plug wire?
Do you use fluorocarbon when setting up your teaser leader or regular leaders?
Answer:  No, I use regular monofilament, either 30 or 40 lb. test Berkley Big Game line.  I've tried fluoro in the past and find no difference in the catch rate when plugging.
I've noticed on your blog that you use snaps all the time when attaching lures and jigs.  What's your thoughts on direct tying?
Answer:  Most experts will tell you that direct tying is the best way to go.  However, I change plugs and lures often in a night of fishing so I find the snap to be more convenient.  I use high quality cross-lok snaps and have never had a snap fail me.  The key here is to avoid excessive hardware.  I don't use a snap/swivel combination, rather I use a swivel, tie on a leader and then a snap.
What are your choices for fluke bodies to imitate bay anchovies?
Answer: My best producers are Zoom flukes in an albino color.  They come in a 4 inch length (fluke) or a 5 inch length  (super fluke). Stores like Bass Pro sell them.
How do you beef up your Daiwa SP minnow lures?
Answer: Get rid of the cheap hooks and split rings that come with them.  I switch them out, replacing the hooks with VMC 4X, size 1/0 hooks and replace the split rings with a size 5H that you can buy from NJ Tackle.
When will the first migrating stripers appear along the RI oceanfront?
Answer:  Some of the frontrunners could appear as early as late March or the beginning of April.  I expect the big numbers of schoolies to appear around the second week of April.  If I had to bet, I would say around April 10.  A lot will depend on the weather and water temperatures.
What are you thoughts on the current state of the stripers?
Answer:  Last year saw good numbers of schoolies, but there was a lack of keepers around from shore.  Boaters fared better, but still keeper numbers were down.  I expect the trend to continue this year.