Saturday, September 30, 2017

Big Waves Have Changed the Fishing

I landed 5 schoolies today in multiple spots.
There were no concentrations of fish along
the oceanfront in the places I fished.
 Fishing has cooled after the
big waves of the past week.
Huge waves from Hurricane Maria have been battering the oceanfront for the last week.  Prior to that the fishing was very good.  There were lots of false albacore, good numbers of stripers and increasing numbers of bluefish along with a lot of bait. That great fishing has changed for the worse.
I fished the oceanfront today and my son Ben has been fishing it for the last two days. Ben got three schoolies yesterday afternoon and caught nothing this morning.  I got 5 schoolies this afternoon/evening while fishing in multiple spots.  There were no concentrations of fish anywhere.
I saw no bait, no birds working and no fish breaking.  Realize, too, I was fishing some great water.  It was clean and it was rough, the type of conditions that would appear to be a sure bet for big numbers of fish.
I also saw no albies breaking.  While I don't think they have all left, I think their numbers have really dwindled as big storms tend to move them out. I'm sure you will see some small pods of them here and there in the next couple of weeks but the big blitzes of a couple of weeks ago seem to be a thing of the past.  Let's hope I am wrong.
So, we are in a post storm lull right now.  Rest assured there are a solid two months left to the fishing season and things should perk up in the coming days as bait streams southward.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Photo of the Day....Bay Blue

Surf too big and unfishable along the oceanfront?  Not so in the Bay.  It was flat
as a pancake tonight, and the blues were on the feed!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Too Big to Handle

The waves in the last two weeks have been big thanks to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Jose.  But, what I saw today was the biggest and most dangerous surf I have seen in the last month. I don't say this often, but the oceanfront was unfishable today.  I checked out a number of spots and found waves up to 15 feet overwhelming some shorelines. I saw huge waves going right over the east and west walls.  The DEM closed off the east wall due to dangerous conditions.  I saw monstrous waves going right over the big rocks in front of Hazard and Newton Avenues in Narragansett. I thought I'd be smart and hit the Short Wall at Galilee, a protected spot.  No dice as waves were engulfing the front of that wall. From Galilee, I could see waves washing over the inside of the West Wall as well as going over the outside of the West Wall. The next two days are supposed to be even worse due to the northward track of Hurricane Maria. You get the picture....dangerous and unfishable in most RI oceanfront locations.
I'm off to freshwater or possibly the Bay for the next couple of days.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stripers/Blues on the Rampage

Some decent blues were in the mix
today as this happy angler landed
a beauty.
It was another wild day of fishing for me along the RI oceanfront.  I found an area of the oceanfront that had rough, but clean white water, ideal conditions for stripers.  In front of me the surf line was black with bait...all peanut bunker. There were vast schools of them that just kept moving along.  For hours, the stripers and blues were rampaging through the bait, often blasting it into the air.  In the mix were some albies though I could get none to hit.
Landed this keeper bass along with a lot of
schoolies on the float and jig rig.
The stripers and blues were in the hitting mood as they jumped all over my float and jig rig. At the end of the rig I was using a white, homemade flathead bucktail jig with a three inch plastic curly tail added. Flathead jigs are great imitators of peanut bunker.
For the afternoon, I landed 32 stripers with most of them schoolies in the 20-25 inch range.  I also had one small keeper.  In addition, I landed 3 bluefish which doubled my total from shore for the year (yes, so far there have been very few).
The big issue today was finding clean water.  Much of the water along the oceanfront is dirty with sand and weed.  In some places, a sand line extends up to half a mile off shore. But, if you can find that clean water along with bait, you most likely will find a lot of stripers and blues and maybe some albies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Photo of the Day- "Jose Lights Up the Fishing"

Holy Smokes! Can you beat that? How about one keeper after
another in one of the biggest daytime blitzes of big fish I have EVER seen.
The winds from Jose were howling, the rain was coming down and the current
was tearing. And, the fish were on the rampage. I've seen it many, many times
where a stormy event will just light up the fishing as it did today!  

Monday, September 18, 2017

Really Rough and Really Good

This happy angler landed this albie on his very
first cast this morning on a float and fly.
The hurricane/ tropical storm waves are rolling in along the oceanfront.  I've seen some giant waves in the 10 foot range pounding the shore. Under those conditions, the fishing usually would not be good. But, the albie fishing in the rough water has been lights out for the last few days.
Mornings have been phenomenal, and I have seen some mornings like yesterday where maybe 150 albies were landed where I was fishing. Reports are also coming in up and down the RI oceanfront of fantastic albie fishing where fishing is possible.
This morning I saw another all out blitz as fish were breaking for hours in a mile long stretch as the fish were in a frenzy feeding on bay anchovies and peanut bunker in the turbulent water. Luckily I was on a safe, high rock, I landed ten of them on the float and fly in about two hours of casting. However,  I know of two other fishermen who got knocked over from the force of the waves this morning.  So, if you dare go out fishing in this weather, do it in a safe location. It's not worth a serious injury (or even worse) for a fish.
With even rougher conditions expected for the next two days along with a driving northeast wind, I suspect the fishing will head downhill real fast.  As the day wore on today, the water was getting rougher and dirtier, a sign of things to come in the next few days.
Conditions in the last few days were about as extreme as it gets, but the fish
were around in big numbers.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Big Time Albie/Striper Blitz

It was a blitz to remember today as albies and stripers hit the shore in force in a spot I was fishing.  It was all set in motion by some rough water and big schools of peanut bunker. The albies were blitzing out a ways from shore smashing through the schools of bait while the bass were tight to the rocks in the white water just whirling and picking off the small bunker close to the rocks.  This went on for hours.
Meanwhile, a picket fence of fishermen quickly developed, and at times just about everyone was hanging on to a bent rod and a screaming drag.  I must have seen about 150 albies landed today, phenomenal numbers from shore.  I landed 8 of them and had an equal number on and lost.  Add to that six stripers including one keeper that I landed. My sons, Ben and Jon (in photos), also landed a load of albies and stripers.
I was using my float and fly rig  to catch the albies. For the fly I was using a homemade Deceiver with a chartreuse hackle tail and that seemed to be very effective. I also saw a lot of fishermen hooking up with metal like Deadly Dicks and Kastmaster XLs. A real hot number all week has also been the Hogy Epoxy Jigs, which scored a lot of fish today.
I will also tell you that the ocean was very rough today with building seas.  If it gets a bit rougher, it will be unfishable in the location I was fishing.  With the forecast calling for crazy wave heights in the next few days due to Hurricane Jose, the albie fishing will almost certainly be put on hold.

The stripers were running with the albies today.  This keeper was one of a
dozen stripers my sone
 Ben and I landed.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Albies Along RI Shoreline in Good Numbers

My first RI albies were landed today in some rough water.
The float 'n' fly was hot.
Yes, they have finally hit the RI shoreline this week in good numbers.  The key is finding them in some very rough water that we have been experiencing along the oceanfront.
I landed my first ones today, a day that I caught three of them from shore and had another on.  They were all caught on the float 'n' fly although I saw others caught today and earlier this week on metal and the Hogy Epoxy Jig, a hot lure here and at the Cape. My fly was a blue homemade Deceiver.
An interesting thing about today is that there was nothing showing.  I never saw any fish breaking but they were around. The key is to get yourself in a safe and good spot and cast away.  If nothing after an hour or so move on to another spot.  With big rollers coming into shore, many spots, mostly south facing locations, are not safe to fish. The water has been rough for the last ten days and the forecast for this weekend calls for even rougher water.
So, the wait is over.  The albies are here!

Monday, September 11, 2017

"Hat Trick" in Buzzards Bay

My first albie of the year came from Buzzards Bay today.
Today I landed my first albie of the year in Buzzards Bay.  I also had the rare hat trick in which I landed the albie, a striper and a bluefish.
We went out in Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound today from the boat.  While we found a lot of albies, catching them was a different story.  They were busting all over the place, but they just would not hit for the most part, probably due to the fact that the area was choking with bait.  I saw schools of peanut bunker that stretched for hundreds of yards.  In addition, there were bay anchovies also in the mix. I did manage to get my first albie of the year on a float and fly rig. While I had a few other hits, that would be the only one landed for the day.
Schoolies were also abundant today.
A white shad body on a jighead
worked real well.
Blues in the 5 to 8 lb. range were
also abundant.  They were blitzing
on peanut bunker.
While the albies were tough to fool, the stripers and blues were another story.  They were also all over the place and my brother and I managed to catch about 20 stripers (schoolies, average 20-25 inches) along with a dozen bluefish that ranged from 5 to 8 lbs.  At times, the stripers and blues were blitzing on the bait big time along some shorelines. The best lure was a plastic shad body mounted onto a half ounce jighead, a dead ringer when it comes to imitating peanut bunker.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

RI Albies Few and Far Between; Stripers Abundant

The water has been super rough in the last week.
It's not good for the albies, but the
stripers love it. Look for safe spots
fo fish where you have clean, white
Albies have been for the most part a no show so far in RI waters.  While I have not seen any jumping and have not seen one landed yet from shore, I do know of a few taken as reported by reliable sources.  But, overall, it's been a disappointment so far.
I have to lay some blame on the extremely rough and dirty water for the lack of albies.  We've had this kicked up surf and big winds for over a week now. Those conditions have resulted in sandy and weedy water in lots of spots.  It has kept shore fishing activity to a minimum and has kept most boaters in port. It has also broken up the schools of bait that were around a couple of weeks ago.  I've never seen big numbers of albies in very rough water so I am not expecting much until the water calms down.  Still, I know there are very good numbers just to the north of us towards Buzzards Bay and the Falmouth shore.  Hopefully, they will come our way.
Based on past logs, we should see good numbers of albies in the coming week if they show.  In the past that time period from Sept 10-Sept. 17 has brought big time action.  If they are not here by next weekend, all bets are off for a big year here in RI.
Meanwhile, the striper fishing for me has been excellent.  I have been out just about every day in the last ten days and I have found very good numbers, even blitz like action, on several days.  If you can find safe and fishable white water that is clean, you have a good shot at catching stripers.  Most of these fish have been hefty schoolies in the 20-25 inch range but I have even had small keepers in the mix. The float and jig has accounted for most of the catches.  Make sure to add a plastic curly tail to your jig.  It makes a big difference!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Special Tournament and Fundraiser for a Great Cause

I can picture this little guy standing
next to his father in a few years slinging
a surf rod.
Surf fishermen tend to be a compassionate group.  I found that out first hand several years ago when my son, Chris, was in a devastating fire in Boston.  The kid lost his apartment as well as every possession and article of clothing that he owned.  A fund was set up for him to help him get back on his feet,  and countless fellow fishermen (many I didn’t even know) donated to his cause.  It was a remarkable show of support that our family will never forget.
Another fellow fisherman and his family are in need right now, and the Fisherman magazine has some plans in the works.  The effort is spearheaded by Toby Lapinski and Dave Anderson  who are planning a fundraising event and tournament to help out the Hanecak family. John Hanecak is a well known and respected surf fisherman and he is the RI field editor for the Fisherman magazine.
Back in early July, Owen Hanecak, his son,  was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL.) Owen was about 14 months old at the time of the diagnosis. For the first 6 or so weeks following the diagnosis, Owen was being treated at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, CT. Both John and his wife, Karyn, “lived” at the hospital along with Owen for this time with both missing a good amount of work. And while insurance covers a good portion of the treatment, there will be some major expenses along the way above and beyond standard medical costs. In light of this, a group of fishermen have banded together to produce two fundraisers this fall to help the Hanecak family.

First up, Dave Anderson is going to be running a catch and release striped bass surf fishing tournament with all of the proceeds going towards Owen’s treatment expenses. The tournament is set to run from September 22 through October 21 and will follow the rules that Dave established through his tournaments. There are no boundaries dictating where an angler can or cannot fish, as long as migratory stripers swim in your chosen waters and you hold all necessary permits to make fishing in said location legal, fish caught in that area are eligible. So this means that anywhere that migratory striped bass can be found, from Canada to Florida and everywhere in between and beyond is open for anglers to participate. An angler’s combined total length of their five longest fish will comprise their score at the end of the tournament, with the angler compiling the greatest length being deemed the winner. A complete look at all of the rules can be found at
The cost to participate in the tournament is just $30, and all participants in the tournament will receive free entry into the Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser (see below) being held in Clinton, CT on October 21. The hope is that this can become an annual event so that we can continue to assist throughout all of Owen’s treatment. If you’d like additional information on the tournament, or if you’d like to sign up, please visit

Immediately following the tournament there will be a fundraiser/awards presentation which is being produced by the combined efforts of Greg McNamara, Jared Clairmont, Chris Blouin, Dave Anderson, Toby Lapinski and members of the Connecticut Surfcasters Association.
On Saturday, October 21, at the Clinton (CT) Town Hall, we will have a full afternoon of seminars, raffles, auctions, food and more with all proceeds going to benefit Owen’s treatment. Festivities kick-off at noon and will conclude around 4:30 p.m. A $10 donation will be requested at the door, but be sure to bring some extra cash as we already have a lengthy list of items that will be up for grabs in the raffles and silent auctions.
There will be two big-time speakers—one discussing surf fishing and the other talking about boat fishing—so there will be something for everyone regardless of your fishing preferences. On the boat side, Capt. Jack Sprengel has agreed to speak. Capt. Jack is a well-rounded angler targeting everything from tuna to carp. He is an engaging speaker and is sure to deliver an awesome presentation!
The Town Hall has a large theatre upstairs where the presentations will take place, and then downstairs we will have some awesome catered food as well as all of the items that will be offered up for auction and raffles.
We have launched an event page on Facebook to track the details of this event, announce raffle and auction items and just generally keep attendees up to speed as to what we have planned for the day. The event can be found here.

On August 16, Owen, John and Karyn left the hospital and returned to their home as Owen has been making substantial improvements in his health. His condition was considered “in remission” by the 29th day of treatment and he was cleared shortly thereafter, a huge relief for all of us! There is still a long road ahead for the Hanecak family, but the outlook is positive and Owen is a strong little kid who will undoubtedly overcome this bump in the road.
If you’d like to make a donation either directly to the Hanecak family, or with raffle/auction items for the fundraiser, please contact Toby Lapinski at for more information on how to donate.

Though I am not a tournament type of guy, I will be signing up for this just to lend my support to a very good cause. Please consider doing the same.  While most surf fishermen are passionate about their sport, most I know rank the family first and foremost. In this case we wish the Hanecak family all the best.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Crazy Good

Two guys on at once in some real rough water. The
fishing was outstanding for early September.
This was a wild day of fishing.  The surf was charged up along the oceanfront.  There was lots of wind, real rough water and rain.  This crazy weather  delivered one of the best early September days I have experienced along the RI shoreline.
My son Jon and I fished the white water surf  from late afternoon until dark, and at times it was a hit or a fish on just about every cast. The float and jig were working wonders today in the wild currents and rough white water.  It was all schoolies but these were decent ones in the 20-26 inch range. After a couple of hours of fishing we had well over 80 fish between the two of us. Surprsingly, we saw few other fishermen except for a couple of guys we knew.
The wooden egg float with a bucktail
jig and curly tail was the most effective
artificial today.
Today felt more like October fishing than September fishing. Make no mistake about it.  We are into the fall run, and it's happening early this year.  Yesterday my brother and I had over 20 blues from the boat.  Today it was a bonanza of schoolies along the oceanfront. The fall fishing is in full swing here in RI.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Increasing Numbers of Bluefish

Blues are in the Bay
and along the oceanfront
in good numbers right
now.  It's a matter of
finding them.
It's September and that means big numbers of bluefish streaming into Narragansett Bay. Right on schedule, we hit some good numbers of bluefish today from the boat. In fact, this was the biggest hit for us since the springtime.
It took a lot of looking but we did find vast schools of small peanut bunker that were being attacked by frenzied bluefish that generally went 6 to 7 lbs. I must admit they were fussy at first.  Our best artificials were jigs with the Jumpin Minnow and Kastmaster XL also scoring some fish.
They were wild today on the fight as this one takes a leap
into the air.
The surprising thing about today is we never saw another boat chasing the schools of blues even though they were in a pretty big area of the Bay, and they were very visible. That tells me few fishermen have been catching them and few know about it.
In addition to the bluefish in the Bay, I can also report that there are increasing numbers along the oceanfront also.  My son, Ben, got into some yesterday from shore.