Thursday, September 29, 2016

Could the Albie Season be OVER?

Could it be over?
The reports are playing up the great albie fishing along the oceanfront.  But, that was three days, five days or a week ago. That was in the past. NOTHING is going on right now with albies.  That's because the oceanfront is being battered by strong northeast winds, big surf and roiled water.  Trying to find any clean water to fish in is a challenge.
The albies like the calmer water while rough, prolonged stormy conditions tend to move them as well as the bait out. And, I believe that is what is happening right now.  In addition, this cool northeast wind is dropping the water temperature, another negative when it comes to albies.
Judging by past years, their numbers start to decrease as October rolls along even in the best of conditions.  With stormy weather and rough seas predicted right into next week and even the possibility of a tropical storm skirting the coast late next week, things are not looking good.
If I was a betting man, I would guess the big numbers are over.  You might see small pods of them here and there once this weather clears but don't bet on it.
Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Schoolies in the Rough

The float and jig lured big numbers
of schoolies today in some white
and rough water.
Today was a rough day along the oceanfront, far rougher and windier than the predictions.  I would guess that at times the wind was gusting over 40 knots out of the northeast.  And, that really kicked up the ocean and generated a lot of white water along east facing shorelines.
I like fishing rough water and have had some memorable days in those conditions in the past.  Once again, the roughness delivered as I found big numbers of schoolies right at the water's edge in the white water.  With the wind in my face, I was barely able to heave the float and jig 25 feet, but the fish were a flip cast away.  That often happens in places where the water drops off. That same float that was delivering my fly to albies in the past week was delivering the small bucktail jig to the schoolies today. The fish were around in good numbers yet I saw no bait or fish breaking.
The weather was so bad today that I never met another fishermen all day while traveling from spot to spot. I know many fishermen find these conditions difficult and somewhat dangerous and maybe that was why I found no other fishermen.  It could also be that nothing was showing and many fishermen don't try when they don't see anything, a big mistake in surf fishing.
One key to fishing this rough water brought on by a northeast wind is to find rough but clean water. I looked in many places today but only found clean and rough water in two locations, and both those spots had fish.

Friday, September 23, 2016

They're Back!

After disappearing for nearly a week, the albies are
back in big numbers.  This huge one was the biggest
of many that I have landed in the last two days. The
float and fly is the ticket to catching.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lure of the Week....Wooden Egg Float

The wooden egg float is one of the greatest gadgets ever invented. It isn't a lure.  It is simply a casting weight that delivers small offerings great distances. And, it is an essential artificial that everyone should have in their surf bag or in the boat.
I make all my own egg floats. Check out this article to find out all the specifics on how it's done. Basically you buy a wooden egg from a craft store or online, drill it and wire it and you are done. Next, run about three feet of 30 lb. test mono off the end of the float and tie on your "small offering".  Flies (suggest Deceivers) are great for albies and can be knotted onto the mono trailing off the float.  Small bucktail jigs, Cocahoes on jigheads and shad bodies on jigheads are great to use for stripers.
In the last week I have landed over 30 albies on the float and fly and over 30 stripers on the float and bucktail jig.  In just about every case the fish were far out, they were feeding on small bait, and the float with a small offering was about the only thing that would get them.
That egg float is a must to have in your arsenal in the next couple of months.

Friday, September 16, 2016

East Wind Changes Everything

I'm sure many of you are reading the numerous reports that talk about the outstanding albie fishing along the oceanfront.  Well, that was Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  It all ended yesterday as a cold front moved through and a strong easterly flow developed. And, the fish disappeared.
I went down yesterday afternoon and clearly the atmosphere changed. I hit a lot of places and the water was dirty, weedy and rough.  There were no signs of bait anywhere and no fish.  I ran into just a few fishermen and all were complaining about the near impossible conditions to fish in.  One guy even asked me if I thought it was all done!
Heck no, it is not done, but this easterly flow which will continue through tomorrow is surely a bump in the road. Without any big storms, the albies should return when the winds turn out of the west quadrant.  I am guessing the albies will be scattered and in smaller schools.  But, still available for those who want to work for them.
In most years, the fishing for albies along the RI shoreline continues into early to mid October, even later at times.  Some years it ends by Oct. 1.  Once again, weather will play a big factor in determining when it comes to an end..

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Fantastic Day from the Boat

We landed big numbers
of albies today from the boat.
We are off to the best start
The albies are on the rampage like I have never seen before.  For three days now, they have been along the oceanfront in droves.  While I have been getting big numbers from the shore in the last two days, my brother Steve and I decided to hunt them down by boat today, and we found BIG numbers of them.  We also landed several real large ones in the ten pound range.
This brute was the largest of the day.
We landed between 25 and 30 albies this afternoon in a number of locations.  In fact we found them for miles along a shoreline in multiple spots. While we saw many other boats in different spots, we saw few being caught.  That's because most of the fishermen were using metal.  Yes, metal will get you a fish here and there, but if you want to get the big numbers, you will have to use the fly and float.  This is the number one artificial to get fussy albies to hit.  All our fish were taken on a blue homemade Deceiver fly that trailed off a wooden egg float that served as the casting weight.  It was deadly once again today as it has been all week from shore.
Most of the albies were feeding on bay anchovies but we found pods of them in one spot blasting through peanut bunker.  The larger ones seemed to be around the schools of small bunker.
This blue Deceiver that was fished off a wooden egg float was the killer
today for albies.  This has also been the hot ticket from shore.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Our fabulous RI fall fishing just got more incredible as tons of albies have arrived along the RI oceanfront. In two glorious hours of fishing yesterday, my son Jon and I landed SIXTEEN albies from the shore.  We probably had another 25 hits and multiple fish on and lost. It was probably the best "first day hit" I have ever experienced from shore or boat. This is a fish that is tough to get from shore and catching just one would have been an accomplishment!
This influx of albies comes at a time when the Bay is chuck full of bluefish of all sizes and the striper fishing is lighting up along the oceanfront. This is our year in RI. As I have predicted many times in this blog in the past month, we are headed for an epic year of fall fishing along the oceanfront. This is just the start!
They are in, BIG TIME!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Color the Bay BLUE

Bluefish are in the Bay, big time.  I have been getting them in the boat and today I decided to really look around the mid Bay from the shore.  I hit a number of locations.  In every spot, I spotted schools of bluefish with my binoculars working way out. In some instances the schools were the size of a football field, and there were few boaters after them.
From shore I found one particular spot that had good numbers of smaller ones in close feasting on huge schools of bay anchovies. These were what I would call skipjacks, or blues in the 8-12 inch range (see photo at left).  I caught a number of them on small bucktail jigs.  In the same location, there were bigger blues breaking out far for peanut bunker.  As sunset approached, these bigger ones came closer to shore where I was able to catch them with a long cast with a Kastmaster XL (see photo at right). I saw only one boat working the bigger fish out far.
You would have to go back 10 or 15 years to find a comparable year to this year's bluefish activity. It has been exceptionally good.  Boat fishing is a sure bet right now while shore fishermen will have to do a little exploring to find the fish.

Birds and small blues are feasting on schools of bay anchovies.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Today was pure pandemonium.  I have been fishing the Bay for the last 50 years and I have seen some wild bluefish blitzes, but today ranks right up there with some of the best of past years.  For hours it was wild blitzes around the boat with schools of blues tearing through vast schools of peanut bunker, hundreds, maybe thousands of birds diving and boaters in a frenzy chasing down school after school that were popping up along a mile of Bay water.  At one point I moved around in a complete circle and could seen birds working and fish breaking as far as I could see. I saw schools of breaking fish that were hundreds of yards long.
And, the blues were real good size, running 6-10 lbs. on average with a few bigger brutes in the mix.  Anything you threw at them got a hit.  We went with topwater lures. My brother Mike was using a homemade popper while I was using a Zara Spook. I saw boater tossing every plug imaginable and catching fish after fish. I can't tell you how many we caught...maybe 40, 50 or more.
These bluefish have been around the Bay all summer drawn to the vast schools of bait such as bay anchovies, peanut bunker and adult menhaden, that have flooded the Bay. Now, the predators are far more active as they begin their fall feed, and their numbers seem to be ballooning every day. It is about as good as it has ever been right now in the Bay for boaters. Just like the ole days!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Photo of the Day!

Matt Pickering scores in Boston Harbor!