Friday, July 25, 2014

Teasers for Multiple Species

This schoolie was caught last
night on a black Deceiver fly
that was used as a teaser.
This black sea bass hit a small
plastic squid that was used as a teaser.
It was caught while vertical jigging.
A teaser is as good a lure as any right now for multiple species.  Teasers are small lures like flies, Red Gills, small plastic fish bodies, small plastic squids, etc. that are tied onto a leader ahead of your main offering. It usually dangles 6-8 inches off the top swivel of your leader. They are extremely effective when small bait is around.  You can use a teaser when casting from shore and boat, when vertical jigging from a boat and even when trolling.  A variety of fish will hit them including black sea bass, scup, fluke, stripers and bluefish.
Last night I was out fishing for stripers.  As I expected, there was little around.  However, I did manage one schoolie.  It hit the black Deceiver teaser I was using that was rigged ahead of my skinny Hogy that served as the main lure.  When fishing for stripers from shore I like to use either Deceiver flies or Red Gill teasers.  I've seen many nights when only the teaser is catching the fish.  They are that effective.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turning to Freshwater

I have little confidence that saltwater striper fishing from shore here in RI will improve in the next month. I see September as the earliest we will see any uptick in action.  While I am still going down and trying I have cut way back on my excursions to the oceanfront.  Instead, I have turned to freshwater where I am having good success.
Between my son, Jon, and I we are hitting many of the local lakes and rivers for carp and largemouths.  Both fish are active in the warmest of weather and both are plentiful.  Jon has mostly been targeting largemouths using plastic worms.  He has been getting an average of 7 or 8 fish an evening with many of the fish in the 2-4 lb. range. These are bigger than a lot of schoolies that are around.  On the other hand, I have been targeting carp.  While they are fairly plentiful they are not easy to fool and the learning curve in this type of fishery is a steep one.  In just the month of July so far I have landed nearly 100 carp with several of them in the low twenty pound range.  These fish are the giant tuna of freshwater with some places having fish that average 15-20 lbs., similar to the size of good size keeper stripers.  You might even get a monster like the one I landed back in May that weighed over 40 lbs.! My baits of choice lately have been maize and doughballs fished on a hair rig.  If you are looking for info about how to carp fish, check out my blog at
We are fortunate to have different types of fishing here in southern New England. Freshwater offers an alternative at this slow time of year for saltwater fishermen. Hey, it beats taking up golf!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Working the Bottom

First fish of the day was a bluefish
that hit a flathead jig fished along
the bottom.
This fluke took a spearhead
jig that was spiced with a
plastic curly tail.
I went out a couple of evenings ago on a scouting mission along the RI oceanfront.  My plan was to fish the bottom with jigs for fluke and scup in the daylight and then fish into the night for stripers.
I worked one of the jetties with a bucktail jig along the bottom.  To my surprise, the first fish I landed was a bluefish that went a few pounds.  I thought maybe I was into something but could not get another bluefish to hit.  A while later I landed two decent fluke about 16 inches (not keepers) on the spearhead bucktail jig that was spiced with a plastic curtly tail.  I had several more fluke hits that I missed. 
Fluke will readily hit bucktail jigs from shore.  The key is finding the fish, and you will generally have better luck in deeper water.  You want to cast that jig out and let it sink to the bottom.  Reel it in slowly with occasional jerks of the rod tip.  The key is to keep it close to the bottom at all times.  Using this technique in past summers I have landed black sea bass, fluke, scup, stripers and bluefish in the daylight on the jig.
I wish I could tell you that I caught stripers at night, but I got nothing.  The areas I fished were difficult to fish because they were loaded with weed.  Still, I was able to hit some spots that had little weed, but no fish.  Hey, just the way things are going this summer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cape Cod Canal....Lots of Fish, Lots of Negatives

Jon Pickering hoists a good size keeper that he
landed in the Canal today.  Simply put...
lots of fish, lots of negatives.
First off, I will tell you that there are more keeper bass caught in the Cape Cod Canal from shore than any other place in New England during the summer months.  It's a place that you can go on a July day and see dozens of keepers caught in mid afternoon under a broiling sun.  You'll see fish breaking, birds diving and people catching some very large fish.  I know because I saw it today, and I've seen it many times in the past.
On the other hand, the place can be irritating with a lot of negatives.  I know some very good surf fishermen that will not go near the place.  Still, others have had some bad experiences and will not go back. The place is packed with fishermen on a good day. And, the place draws some of the very worst fishermen I have ever seen.   No skills, no ethics...simple as that.  Some of these guys can't cast straight while others will fish the bottom with a small sinker in a raging current.  Their line will sweep down tangling everyone within a hundred feet down current. If fish start breaking it becomes a free-for-all with fishermen casting from all angles at the same time.  Still others will ignore anyone moving down with a good fish and will cast and cross lines with little regard for anyone fighting a good fish.  I know because this happened to my son, Jon, today causing him to lose the fish, the plug and lots of line.. And, finally, even many of the good fishermen will not release a fish in this place.  I saw dozens of them caught today and saw exactly two fish released.  One guy even walked out with three of them on a rope with no guilt whatsoever. No doubt, many of these sharpies who keep one or two fish every single day will be the first to complain when the fishery crashes.
So, there you have it.  The Canal is a place with a lot of fish, a lot of fishermen, and a lots of negatives.  It is an experience.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Here is an awesome sunset shot that my son Matt took a couple of evenings ago of his fiancĂ©e, Kristy, fishing in front of their apartment on Boston Harbor.  Man, we live in a beautiful part of the country! Enjoy.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Good Bets Not Paying Off

This 16 inch schoolie was the lone fish taken in the last two
evenings/nights of fishing.  Larger fish are just not around.
When I look back at my logs of the last ten years I notice that at this time of year certain spots used to produce a good number of keepers.  Those were places in the lower Bay and at the mouth of the Bay.  Most of these spots were deep water spots in which the water stayed cool even in the dog days of summer.  Places like the rocks of Newport, the ledges along Jamestown and rocky areas in Gansett all held good numbers of keeper bass.  Add the Cape Cod Canal to that list and those were good spots to take a keeper or two on a summer night.
But, not this year.  I fished the Canal on Sunday evening with my sons, Ben and Matt.  We got nothing, saw nothing. There was no bait, no fish breaking, no birds and very few guys fishing.  All those reports you are seeing this week about the big fish in the Canal is old news.  It all happened prior to July 4th. Last night I hit a good spot in Jamestown that was almost a sure bet a few short years ago.  Well, I did manage to get one schoolie right at dark. The fish was about 16 inches and hit a 12 inch Hogy.  I had two other small bangs, small schoolies I assume.
So, I guess it doesn't matter whether you are in a good spot or not these days.  If the larger fish are not around from shore, you are just not going to catch them.  And, that's the bottom line!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Persistence in the Canal Pays Off

This was my fifth time at the Cape Cod Canal this year.  While all the other times yielded schoolies, today was a day that gave up keepers.  Yes, persistence in the Ditch pays off, and if you go enough times sooner or later you will hit it.  The Canal is, by far, the best place for a shore plugger to nail a keeper bass in the daytime in southern New England.
My son, Ben, and I went down today in some of the nastiest weather I have ever fished.  With the remnants of Hurricane Arthur blasting away we slugged it out in wind and heavy rain.  Fortunately, we fished a section of the Canal where the howling wind was at our back, a big plus for a long cast. Ben and I each got a keeper.  My fish, about 15 lbs., fell for a mackerel colored Daiwa SP Minnow.  Ben's fish, a bigger one of 20-25 lbs., smashed a pencil popper on the surface.  Ben also had another very large fish on that he lost.  No, it wasn't hot and heavy but there were just enough fish busting along the surface to keep our attention and keep us plugging away for several hours.
Most recent reports indicate an uptick in the fishing in the Canal since the first of July.  From what the guys are saying that I talked to there have been a fair to good number of fish showing on and off just about every day.  You just have to be at the right spot at the right time when the bait (mackerel) and stripers show up.  There have also been a few very big fish landed. One guy told me a fifty was taken yesterday.