Friday, September 27, 2019

Bucktail Jigs a Good Choice

Bucktail jigs are a good choice when stripers
are feeding on peanut bunker.
I had my best striper day of the year in terms of numbers yesterday. I fished a number of places from shore in 'Gansett Bay, and the fish seemed to be everywhere going crazy on peanut bunker. The sizes ranged from 20 inches to small keepers. There were also good numbers of blues mixed in as the Bay is on fire right now, about the best it can get.
I got a good number of my fish on bucktail jigs. My homemade flathead bucktails are a great imitator of peanut bunker. When a plastic curly tail is added, they swim like a peanut bunker and have a similar profile.  In addition, that single hook makes for much easier catch and release.  There's less harm to the fish and less danger to the fisherman.
My homemade flathead bucktail jig
was hot yesterday.  Make sure you add
plastic curly tails to your jigs.
I like to add a Pro Bass, white, triple ripple tail to my bucktail jigs. I was using a half ounce bucktail yesterday, and the 3 inch tail was just the perfect size.
There's nothing tricky about fishing the bucktail.  Simply cast out, let it sink to the depth you want and retrieve at a moderate or slow pace with pulls of the rod tip to get the jig moving up and down.  A lot of times, the stripers will take it on the drop.

Monday, September 23, 2019

What Happened to the Albies?

The albie fishing has taken a dive.  Could this be the end
of fishing for them in 2019. We'll see in the coming days.
GONE. Since we had those big hurricane waves last week, there have been few, if any albies caught. By now, the ocean should have settled down and the fish should be hitting again, but they are not.  In addition, we are in for another round of rough water in the coming days.
I saw this happen about ten years ago.  The albies arrived in good numbers around September 10th just like this year.  That year in late September we were hit with big hurricane waves from an offshore storm, just like this year. From that point on, the albies disappeared and never returned. Hopefully, it does not happen this year, but things are not looking good at this point.  Consider last Saturday's fishing.  The ocean had calmed down and was fishable again. My son, Matt, fished off Sakonet Point in a boat.  He fished half a day along this point and the Newport shore. Nothing.  Another friend went out in a boat at Wickford.  He fished from Wickford to Narragansett to Newport. Nothing.  Several other guys I knew were fishing the shore in some good spots. Nothing. I saw the writing on the wall and fished the Bay where I found good numbers of stripers and blues.
These albies are so unpredictable.  They are pelagic fish that come in briefly from way out in the ocean.  Sometimes, big numbers come close to shore.  Sometimes few or none come near the shore.  Sometimes some come ashore and rough water sends them packing in short time. It's really a roll of the dice and there are never any guarantees in this game.
I don't know if they are done for the year, but my gut feeling is that we will see a few pop up here and there in the coming weeks. I think the good numbers are gone. If you make this your primary fish in the coming weeks, you will be disappointed.  M y suggestion is to have some albie stuff (skinny metal and float 'n' fly) in your bag just in case you run into them. Target stripers and blues as your main fish because those will be around in good numbers in the coming weeks as they come out of the Bay and coastal ponds.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Photo of the Day....Small Keeper Landed at Sunset

This small keeper was landed on a beautiful night in Narragansett Bay.
Fishing for stripers and blues continues to be hot in the Bay.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2 Hat Tricks in 4 Days!

There are good numbers of albies along the oceanfront.  There are good numbers of stripers, mostly schoolies with some small keepers, along both the oceanfront and the Bay.  There are phenomenal numbers of  three to five pound bluefish in the Bay. What do you go after?  How about all THREE?
In the last 4 days I have hit the rare September hat trick two times by catching an albie, a bluefish and a striper on the same day. I've only done that a couple of times in the past. That tells you just how many fish we have around these days.
The bass, bluefish and albie frenzy are being fed by vast numbers of bay anchovies and peanut bunker bait.  The Bay is choking with bait.  The oceanfront has less but there are pockets of it that are attracting hungry larger fish.  In both the Bay and the oceanfront, it's matter of moving around to find the fish.  Once found, it is lights out in places.
We are in the midst of some of the best September fishing I have ever seen from shore here in RI. What a great time of the year to be a saltwater fisherman!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Albie Outlook Looking Better and Better

Albie fishing is looking better and better.  It's looking like this
will be a good year in RI with good numbers of them.
Albie fishing is on the upswing here in RI.  In fact, in the last three days I have landed more albies than I caught all of last year! Yes, they are are around in good numbers if you can find them.  It's never a sure bet in this game, but this is looking more and more like a good year for them here in RI.
Lots of stuff seems to be working.  I've gotten some fish on my float and fly.  This year I have been going with a homemade pink Deceiver for my fly which seems to be doing the trick when the fish are hitting the float and fly. Skinny metal has also been hot.  I've gotten some on a Kastmaster XL although I see other fishermen doing well on more fish-like colored metal. Metal with pink in it seems to be hot.
The fish are traveling in small pods and they pop up in various spots once in a while.  Good numbers of fish are also being caught by simply blind casting in known albie hangouts. My advice is to keep your lure in the water and keep it moving.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Photo of the Day...."First One!"

First albie landed for me! Could be the start of something big?  We'll see in the coming days.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Albie Outlook- Uncertain

So far, not so good. The albies have not
appeared in good numbers yet. The outlook
is uncertain at this point.
We should be seeing good numbers of albies at this time.  But, we are not. I'm down the oceanfront just about every day and there are very few around. If they are coming in big numbers, expect them to show between Sept. 10th and Sept. 20th. If they don't show in that time period, big numbers are not coming.  The clock is ticking.
In the last 50 years, these pelagic fish have been impossible to predict.  About a third of those years, like last year, saw some, but not many.  About a third of those years saw lots of them like we had in 2016 and 2017. But, about a third of those years saw none.
Already we have some. One here and one there.  I can confirm that a few have been caught. We do have good numbers of small bonito this year, and many fishermen as well as bait shop reporters like to report there are albies and bonito around.  Truth is that many fishermen don't know the difference, and the two  names are often used interchangeably. Also, there have been other pelagics around like Spanish mackerel and chub mackerel.  Once again, many think these are albies.
I'm concerned about the lack of bait right now along the oceanfront.  Those hurricane waves of last week sent a lot of bait packing into the south shore ponds as well as into Narragansett Bay. Albies are on a hunt for bait when they come close to shore and right now, there is not much.
I've seen years in the past with little around one day and millions around the next.  Let's hope we are heading for that kind of year.
The clock  is ticking.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Miles of Bluefish; Loads of Stripers

Most of the stripers we landed were
good size from big schoolies to small
keepers.  At times they were mixed in
with the schools of blues.
There are massive numbers of small
bluefish, 3 to 5 lbs., in the Bay right
now.  The Jumpin Minnow was the hot
plug yesterday.
With the hurricane waves over and the condition of the ocean uncertain, my brother and I decided to hit the bay yesterday from the boat.  It was the right move, and proved to be our best outing of the year from the boat.
THERE WERE FISH JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE.  We found bonito breaking in mid Bay.  We found acres and acres of bluefish and we found big numbers of stripers close to shore.
The bluefish action was phenomenal.  At one point there were fish breaking for miles.  We could turn around 360 degrees in  a circle and see blues breaking everywhere we looked.  These were blues on the smaller side, what the Bay has right now, fish of 3 to 5 lbs. on average. What they lacked in size they made up for in aggressiveness. At times, the stripers were mixed in with the bluefish. At other times, the stripers were close to shore in shallow water.  All the stripers we landed were decent fish of 22 to 30 inches. They were feasting on peanut bunker that was close to shore in astronomical numbers.  The blues were feeding on both peanut bunker and massive schools of bay anchovies.
All our fish were taken on Rebel Jumpin Minnows.  We crushed all the barbs on the trebles to make for easier catch and release.
This year is turning to be epic for bluefish in the Bay.  It is the best I have seen as far as numbers in probably TWO DECADES.  With all that bait and stripers and blues in the Bay, it looks to be a phenomenal fall for oceanfront fishing once all those fish leave the Bay in the coming weeks.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Bluefish Mayhem

These are the good ole days if you are looking for bluefish in Narragansett Bay. Tonight's blitz was a sight to behold as masses of blues and some bass were blitzing massive schools of peanut bunker.