Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Newest Seminar, Catching Albie Fever, to Debut Tomorrow Night at CT Surfcasters!

My latest seminar, Catching Albie Fever,
will debut tomorrow, Aug. 1, at the CT
Surfcasters Meeting in Madison, CT.
My newest seminar, Catching Albie Fever,  will debut tomorrow evening at the CT Surfcasters meeting at the Madison Surf Club in Madison, CT.
This seminar will reveal all you need to know about catching false albacore, or albies.  In recent years, albies have taken over the early fall fishing by storm.  They have been numerous, and they have been caught in big numbers by surf fishermen and boaters.  This fish has become one of the most sought after gamefish in New England waters because of its superior fighting ability which is second to none in the inshore waters.  The seminar will outline timetables, equipment, ways to catch them and a general overview of places to fish. There will be info on fishing from shore and boat.
The albies are coming soon.  Will you be ready?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Float 'n' Jig a Killer in Rough, White Water

The float 'n' bucktail jig
did the trick this week in
the rough water.
It's been all schoolies, and their numbers have
been staggering in the rough and turbulent
water of the oceanfront this week.
That persistent flow of strong southerly winds in the last week really roughed up the ocean.  It also lit up the fishing where the water was clean and rough.  I found staggering numbers of stripers.  These were all schoolies.
The hot lure combo for me in the last week has been the wooden egg float with a bucktail jig.  My floats are all homemade from a wooden egg that can be purchased in a craft store.  My bucktail jig is also homemade. It is a flathead, 3/8 ounce jig that is all white and tied with red thread.  Add a plastic curly tail to the jig and you are ready to go.
There were evenings when I saw schoolies breaking all over in the white water.  A wave would come in and dump thousands of gallons of foamy white water and the fish would go nuts, jumping and rolling in the turbulent water. In one evening this went on for two solid hours. The float and jig was a killer.  I would just cast it out to breaking fish and reel in slowly.  The current and turbulence would bring the jig to life.
In the past week, I have probably seen the most schoolies I have ever seen in July. While that is great news, the lack of larger fish and bluefish is disappointing.  They are just not around in the surf in any numbers here in RI.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Preview of Things to Come?

This schoolie was one of a dozen stripers
landed in a couple of hours fishing. 
Schoolies continue to be around in good
numbers along the oceanfront and in the Bay.
I fished the RI oceanfront last evening.  It had a fall feel to it with rough and white water, lots of wind and lots of current. The conditions were more like you would find in October rather than July.  It was perfect water to find stripers, and I found them in good numbers.
All the fish I found were all schoolies.  They were very aggressive, slamming my float and bucktail jig that I worked in the white water.  These fish were 15 to 23 inches long for the most part, just what we  have been seeing since the spring here in RI. Keepers have really been in short supply for RI surfcasters so I did not head down with the intentions of catching anything big.
If I were betting, I would guess that what I saw last night will play out over and over again this fall. Call my experience last evening a fall preview of things to come. I'm guessing we are going to see lots and lots of schoolies and very few larger stripers come the fall. And, bluefish...forget it.  With the exception of a few small ones in the Bay, they are really non-existent, and I think it will be that way in the fall also.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Tips for Catch-and-Release

Here's a 40 inch striper in the water about
to be turned around and released. Yes, the fish
did swim away and lives to fight another day.
Man, this has been a big week of fishing for my kids and me. We are fishing the same place as everyone else is fishing in southern New England (just check any report), and we caught big numbers of keepers there in the 20 to 40 lb. range in the past seven days.
We let everything go that we catch. So, we have gotten this catch-and-release down to a science. Here are some tips that have worked for us:
1. Get close to the water and use a Boga-type grip to land the fish.  I keep my attached to my belt so it is ready to go. That Boga allows you to keep the fish in the water for unhooking.  In addition, many of these grips have built in scales and measuring tapes, and you can either weigh it or measure the fish right on the spot, something a lot of guys like to do.
2. Unhook the  fish right in the water.  No need to take it out.  I have Van Staal pliers in a sheath with a lanyard around my belt to use for quick unhooking.
3.  If you are going to take a photo, have everything ready.  If I am using a camera, it is around my neck and ready to go.  The cell phone camera is in my pocket and set.  Take that quick photo or two right at the water's edge.
4. Get the fish released as quickly as possible.  In warmer water, you don't have much time for this to work.
5.  Don't just toss the fish back in as that causes many tired fish to belly up. Unfortunately, I saw too many dead fish float by me this week. I try to hold the fish by the tail and rock it back and forth to get oxygen in its gills.  The fish will pull from your hands and swim away.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Photo of the Day....Hitting it Big Time

Jon Pickering hits it big today from shore.  This is one of 14 keeper up to 47 inches that he landed.
These fish were all released. Keepers are around if you are fishing the right locations with the right stuff!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Grading the First Half of the RI Season

Schoolies have been the highlight of the year
so far; fishing for keeper stripers and bluefish
has been poor
We are about at the halfway point to the fishing season here in RI. Here is my take and the grades as to how things have gone so far here in RI:
Schoolies- Although the season got off to a late start due to a colder than normal spring, once things got started it was generally super fishing for schoolies in the 12 to 24 inch range. I must say they were everywhere.  The oceanfront was very good, the mid Bay was very good and the upper Bay was very good.I'm guessing some of those diehards at the oceanfront were scoring two to three hundred fish a week on jigs in late spring. While this hot weather has slowed the fishing, the schoolies are still in the Bay and along the oceanfront. Grade-A
Keepers- A different story. I saw and caught a few along the oceanfront and a few in the Bay from shore, but their numbers were way down compared to other years.  And, the sizes were way down.  The keepers around here have been running 28 to 32 inches for the most part.  Even when we fished from the boat in the Bay and caught keepers, they were on the small side. While many will try to tell you their numbers are way down, I have seen astronomical numbers of big fish recently from shore just to the north of us.  They are not in RI, but I can tell you they are elsewhere. Grade- D
Bluefish-  Where, oh where, are the blues? They have been going downhill for years and this year we seem to be bottoming out.  I have caught very few so far. I got exactly one from the boat and a few from shore so far.  In the last couple of weeks, there have been some smaller ones (foot long) in the Bay chasing peanut bunker, but there are no schools of them. Remember the days in which the water in the Bay would be boiling with schools of blues in late summer? I don't know if you will ever see that again. Grade - D 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Photo of the Day....First 30 lber. of the Year

Persistence pay off in this game.  I've got the Boga Grip in the jaw of a thirty
 pound (yes, it was weighed) keeper that I landed this morning from shore. It's the
first 30 of the year for me. Bigger fish are showing here and there, but you
will have to work for them.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Photo of the Day....OMG, it's a BLUEFISH

Yes, bluefish still exist, although very few fishermen seem
to be catching them these days.  I got several of them tonight in
the Bay as they were feasting on big schools of peanut bunker.
These were small ones all about a foot long.
My best lure tonight was a bucktail jig with a curly tail.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Laying Low this Holiday Week

I wish I had a lot of exciting fishing news, but I don't. It's hot, steamy and super crowded along the water.  That has caused me to lay low in the last couple of days.  Oh, I am still fishing, poking around the Bay in the evening and carp fishing in the morning.
I hear a lot of striper guys complaining about the lack of bigger fish here in RI from shore.  I have to agree...it hasn't been good for the bigger ones.  I am still catching some schoolies in the Bay, but their numbers have gone downhill with this heat wave. It's been a couple here and there on Jumpin Minnows right before dark for me. I'm in touch with a lot of other good fishermen here in RI and they, too, are reporting schoolies along the oceanfront.
I checked a NOAA site today and water temperatures in the Bay have shot up to the upper 70's in the last couple of days.  Even the water off Newport was 70 degrees today. With the heat wave continuing and much of July forecast to be way above normal, it can only mean marginal fishing from shore in the coming weeks. Your best times to fish under these warm conditions will be nighttime and early morning.
The dog days of summer have arrived.