Sunday, November 26, 2017


There are still schoolies to be had along
the oceanfront but their numbers are
trending downward.
Less bait, less birds diving, less fishermen and less fish.  Things are trending downward in saltwater  fishing as the season ticks away.  Realize, though, that less certainly does not mean that the fishing is over.
I got down in the last couple of days and my catches were less than they were last week, though still what many would consider good.  Today I landed a dozen schoolies in an afternoon and evening of fishing.  My son Ben was on a beach miles to the north of me, and he landed a few.  So, the fish are still spread out and moving along the RI south shore oceanfront. It is all schoolies, and I am giving up on a run of large stripers and the bluefish. But, who knows? This whacky fall could still deliver some big fish if you are in the right spot at the right time.
I think this is also one of those years where the end will have a long tail. I'm guessing lesser will be the trend in the next couple of weeks.  If you want to get down and enjoy the quietness of the empty beaches while making some casts in the coming weeks, I suspect you have a good chance at catching a schoolie or two (or maybe even more).

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanks Mike

I want to take this opportunity on Thanksgiving Day to honor a real good fisherman and a real good person.
I met Mike Stevenin through our Carp Anglers Group here in RI. I carp fished with him a couple of times and we got to talking about striper fishing. At the time I didn't realize that Mike is a super dedicated and accomplished salt water fisherman who loves to fish for striped bass. I mean this guy eats, breathes and lives for striper fishing.  I actually fished with him and his wife Reina several times this spring and summer, and we caught fish just about every time.
Mike hasn't fished in a while. Over a month ago Mike was deployed overseas to the Middle East. He is serving in the army, and has left his fishing, left his wife and left his family to serve for the next year in what I am sure is a dangerous place. I marvel at these guys in the military and can't thank them enough for all their sacrifice and dedication to make us safer back at home and protect our freedoms. These guys are real special, and they see service to their country as one of their goals in life.
So, I say to Mike on  this Thanksgiving Day.....THANK YOU very much.
Stay safe and hope see you at the shore at next year's fall run.

Monday, November 20, 2017

What's Happening, What's Not

Schoolies continue to be around in huge
I haven't posted in a few days.  That's not because I haven't been fishing.  In fact, I have fished the last 3 out of 4 days and there has been little change in the fishing. It just keeps rolling along though I believe we are nearing the end of the real productive fishing (maybe another week or so).
So, here's what and what's not happening along the south shore oceanfront:
Ocean Herring Runs- NOT HAPPENING- I saw a few gannets dive bombing way out today (maybe after herring/ maybe not) but I have seen no sign of herring in close to shore. This bait usually brings out the bigger stripers and big blues. It's late, but hey, this is a year where anything can happen.
Good runs of keeper bass- NOT HAPPENING- I've seen no uptick in numbers of keeper bass.  There's a few keepers being caught here and there but your chances of getting one are slim considering the meager numbers.  I landed two stripers today that either were small keepers or just under.  Out of the 300 + fish I have landed in the last ten days these are the only two that come even close to keeper size.  Kind of a reflection of our year here in RI.
Runs of big blues- NOT HAPPENING- I'm writing off the season for big blues.  There have been very few to none all fall.  They are just not around in any consistent numbers like in other years.
Schoolies- HAPPENING- Still loaded with those 14-20 inch fish.  Mixed in with them are some hickory shad. I like to use a single hooked jig to catch these since it minimizes the damage to the fish. There were lots of them today and lots all weekend. Looks like the glut is just continuing. Again, kind of a reflection of our year here in RI.

Friday, November 17, 2017

the beat goes on....

Here's the fishing report for the week in a nutshell:
Loads of schoolies, very few keepers, even fewer blues, no albies.
This is one of many, many schoolies landed yesterday.
There are loads of them around.
I fished in the nasty weather yesterday and found loads and loads of schoolies that were aggressively hitting my Cocahoe on a jighead.  My son Jon and his girlfriend joined me later in the day and they were catching loads of them too. These fish ran 12 to 22 inches, generally what has been the case most of the fall.
The big news of the week is the disappearance of the albies. I have seen any in the last week and have not heard of any caught since the big cold spell hit last week. With water temperatures dropping and cold weather here to stay, I think it is a safe bet to say the season is over for them.
There has also been no sign of an ocean herring run yet.  It will take a run of this big bait to move keeper bass and big blues close to shore. If it doesn't happen within the next week, I would guess it is not going to happen.
So, at this point, it is loads of schoolies, much like the rest of the year. Use a light outfit and some single hooked jigs and you are in business for action this coming weekend.

Friday, November 10, 2017


If you are content to catch schoolies, there are millions of them around (and I'm not exaggerating)! I went down to the RI south shore beachfront today and saw some of the biggest schoolie blitzes imaginable.  On some of the south shore beaches the flocks of diving birds, bait and fish extended for miles.  In one particular spot that I fished I had a fish or a hit on every single cast using a Cocahoe for two hours straight. I caught loads of fish off three different beaches that were miles apart.  It seemed like the fish were everywhere.
In all this mayhem, I did not see one keeper caught. I must have seen 500 fish landed, and the biggest one was maybe 22-23 inches. The average fish went 16 to 18 inches.  In addition, I didn't see a single blue and did not see any albies breaking.
I spoke to one guy who said his buddy landed a 36 inch fish at daybreak this morning. I'm guessing this was a one in a million catch.
I will also tell you that it was mighty cold.  As the afternoon wore on, the wind increased as the temperature plummeted.  When I got back to my car around 4:00, the water on my waders was frozen solid! Still, there was a good number of hardy fishermen out there today who didn't seem to be bothered by the cold or the wind. Catching fish will do that to you.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Where are the Bigger Fish?

Nowhere to be found.  It's been a fall with loads of small stripers, but the bigger ones, the keepers, are few and far between.  It's even worse with bluefish.  Plain and simple, there are just about none.
Another schoolie comes onto the beach.
They seemed to be all over the south shore
today.  A Cocahoe minnow on a jighead
proved to be my hot lure.
Hopes were high this fall as we all heard about the record numbers of big stripers just to our north in the Cape Cod Canal.  Many were hoping those fish would hug the shoreline on their migration southward, and that would set up some big time fishing here in RI. It doesn't look like that is happening.
The bait situation has also been strange.  I know there were tons of big menhaden in Narragansett Bay this spring and summer.  They usually attract large keeper stripers and big blues.  Yet, in all my times down the RI oceanfront this fall, I have not seen a single large pogy. Heck, I haven't even seen that much peanut bunker yet. I'm also hoping an ocean herring migration will materialize.  I saw positive signs today as I saw gannets dive bombing about a quarter mile off the beaches, sometimes a sign of herring around. The herring usually have some big fish on their tails.  They tend to come around in mid November if they do appear.
I fished the sands of the south shore beachfront today.  There seemed to be those 12 to 20 inch schoolies all over the place.  Some places had more than others.  If you tossed a Cocahoe on a jighead or a bucktail jig, you most likely would catch a schoolie along one of the beaches.
But, everyone  I talked to today had the same question, "Where are the bigger fish?"

Monday, November 6, 2017

Photo of the Day....Another Schoolie Comes Ashore

There is a glut of schoolies right now along
the RI oceanfront.  This one, landed today, fell for a homemade
bucktail jig.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Schoolies All Over RI Oceanfront

There were big numbers of schoolies along
the RI oceanfront today.  This one hit a
Cocahoe Minnow at dark.
I tried a number of places along the RI oceanfront today, and it seemed that schoolies were everywhere I went. In many of the spots I fished nothing was showing but the fish were still there in good numbers.  Two lures got all my fish today.  In some shallow, rocky areas I used a float with a 3/8 oz. bucktail jig that had a curly tail attached to it.  In other sandy areas I used just a jighead with a three inch Cocahoe attached.  Both set-ups caught fish with equal efficiency.  My son Jon and my friend Nick were also out and about in other locations than where I was fishing, and they reported catching good numbers of schoolies also.
These fish are on the small side with most running 12 to 20 inches.  Keeper stripers continue to be in short supply here in RI.  Bluefish are also way down in numbers so far this fall although I did get a small one today.
If you are happy with catching schoolies, looks like a good weekend is on the way along the RI oceanfront.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Back in Business

This homemade bucktail jig did the trick for me today
as it landed good numbers of  hefty schoolies.
We're back in business.  I was fishing the Canal today, one friend of mine was fishing Newport, and another friend was fishing along one of the RI south shore beaches. And, we were ALL catching fish at the same time. The fishing is back after that big blow on Sunday.
I went to the Canal because I was not sure the water had cleared up in RI yet. I have never fished the Canal in November so this was a first for me.  It was a far different place than I fished this summer and early fall. It had a quiet charm to it today with just about no one around. There were times I pedaled my bike for miles without seeing another fisherman. Although I found no large fish, I did find a good number of schoolies. I was getting them on the bottom in a number of spots while jigging a homemade bucktail jig.
One of my friends who was fishing today did report catching an albie. I've heard of others who also caught in the last two days along the RI shore. I guess this is one of the benefits of global warming since they have rarely been caught in the past in RI waters in November.
My attention will shift to the south shore beachfront in the coming days and weeks.  Stripers and possibly bluefish will be the main attraction.