Sunday, March 31, 2019

Jigs Rule the Early Season

Plastics on jigheads rule
the early season striper
If you are looking for the full story
on early season striper fishing, check out
my latest article in The Fisherman magazine
titles "Spring Stripers from the Bottom Up".
Unlike the rest of the year, fishing for stripers in the early season is quite simple. Jigs rule. It's a fan tailed lure like the Cocahoe that shines along the oceanfront while fork tailed lures like a Zoom fluke does the job in Gansett Bay. Light colors or all white is the color choice.  Pack a bunch of jigheads in the half to 3/4 ounce range. That's it for the first two weeks of fishing.
I especially like the Cocahoe minnow mounted on a half or 5/8 oz. jighead (might go larger in rough water) along the oceanfront where the migrating fish will appear first. I use both the three and four inch models in a glow or white color. Nothing complicated about using it.  Simply cast, let it sink and reel in. The back and forth swimming of the fan tail will get the stripers to hit.
If you are looking for the scoop and more details about early season fishing with jigs, check out my latest story in The Fisherman magazine in the April issue.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Coming Attractions

I did a show the other night in Braintree, MA for the Mass Striped Bass Association.  The talk around the club was that everyone couldn't wait until the striper season gets started.
It won't be long now as the calendar soon moves to April, the month that starts our season here in RI.
Here are a few highlights of what to expect:
Expect the initial surge of migrating stripers to hit the RI
Oceanfront from April 15 to April 20th.
When? -I expect to see the first stripers along the RI oceanfront to show from April 15 to April 20.  If we suddenly get a warm spell, it could be earlier. If this cool spring weather persists, it could be a bit later. But, it will happen in April. The Bay will start to produce about a week to 10 days after the first ones are taken along the oceanfront.
How many?- Expect that initial surge to be memorable.  Last year there were tons of schoolies around, and I see a big surge of migrating fish hitting our shores. We'll go from one or two fish being caught to a glut of them in a matter of a few days.
How Big?- Last year saw record numbers of stripers in the 20 to 24 inch range.  They grow about 4 inches a year when schoolies.  It should be loaded with fish in the 24 to 28 inch range.  While early spring typically delivers tons of schoolies, expect to see good numbers of small keepers in the 28 to 32 inch range.  I suspect the larger fish over 36 inches will be scarce again this year.
What to use?- Jigs of all kinds rule in the early going. The very best lure will be a white Cocahoe Minnow threaded onto a jighead. Other jigs such as other fan tailed plastics, bucktails and Storm shads should also catch.  Leave the topwater plugs at home. They won't work until the water warms. Light tackle is generally preferred in the early going.
Where?- I'll let you figure that one out.  But, I will say this.  While tons of guys often congreagate in one spot, there's about 15 miles of fishable shoreline along the south shore of RI.  They are not all in one spot!

Monday, March 4, 2019

River's End Striper Surf Day....Sat., March 9

My next stop on my seminar tour for 2019 will be the River's End Striper Surf Day on Saturday, March 9.  This event is put on by River's End Tackle, 440 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, CT. This is a very popular event with CT and southern RI striper fishermen and is a very well attended event.  The day's events run from 10:00 AM till 4:00 PM and feature seminars, raffles, demonstrations, factory reps, and tackle galore. The event is all free from the parking to the food to the seminars.  You can find more information here:
Hope to see many of you there!