Tuesday, October 29, 2019

In a Major Lull BUT Not Close to Over!

Some fishermen are talking like this is the end. The reason for the talk is that not much has gone on along the oceanfront for about a week now. It is surprisingly dead for late October. That's the bad news.
The good news is that the end is still weeks away. Quite simply, we are in a major lull. Storms have taken their toll and have moved out a lot of fish and bait. But, I can assure you that there are more to come.  In recent years, November has been a very productive month, even though it is a short month in terms of fishing which usually comes to an abrupt end around Thanksgiving.  Some of the biggest blitzes of fish I have seen in recent years have occurred along the RI south shore beachfront in November. And, let's not forget the potential for an ocean herring run in mid November. While it is not a sure bet that this big bait will come close to shore, the potential is there.  When it has happened in the past, big blues and big bass were right on them, many times blitzing this bait right in the wash. Gannets usually give away the presence of herring.
I am hoping we get out of this bad, stormy weather pattern soon.  That's when the late fall fishing should perk up.
November 17, 2016...... Ocean herring can be seen in the curl of the wave as large
stripers and big blues are busting along the top of the wave. The herring brought
a memorable blitz to the RI South Shore on this day.  November can be a very
productive month. Let's hope we see the herring this year.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Extremely rough and stormy conditions have wreaked havoc
 on the October fishing.
One big storm after another is killing the October fishing along the oceanfront.  We've had three rounds of severe storms in the last two weeks, and each one has come with huge waves and big winds leaving behind a soupy mix of sand and weed in the water.  Yesterday, I could see the brown water extending outward about a half mile in spots. That brown water will drive out both the stripers and the bait and will kill the fishing. It often takes days to clear up.
Remember when October used to be THE month to fish for stripers here in RI.  Not anymore.  In recent years this month has arguably been the worst of the fall months due to bad weather. Heck, so far this year August and September have been far better than October in terms of numbers of stripers and sizes.
In between these October storms I have gotten out on some marginal days.  I've gotten a few small fish. Keepers have been scarce from shore.  As an example, many of the fishing clubs of southern New England had their Inter Club Tournament this weekend here in RI.  Seventy guys were out and about fishing. Not one keeper bass was entered (keepers had to be 35 inches to enter). It's yet another example of the sad state of affairs we are in with keeper stripers these days.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Too Much

Today's conditions along the oceanfront were as severe as any hurricane that's come our way. The waves were enormous and the winds were still gusting so hard you could barely stand. Along the Harbor of Refuge, I saw waves crashing over the East Wall and the West Wall.  You couldn't even see the Center Wall.  No place along the oceanfront was fishable. And, to add to the misery, the water was sandy and roiled as far out as you could see, conditions that will surely shut the fishing down for days.
But, there was still fishing to be had today as I landed several stripers in some protected back waters.
Take a look at this short video I shot today from the East Wall Parking lot at Point Judith. It is a good representation of what is going on now.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I'll Take Windy and Rough Over Calm and Flat!

Here is one of many hefty schoolies landed in
today's white water surf.  This one hit a bucktail
jig fished off a float.
The last two days were a study in contrasts and told a lot about which conditions are best for fishing for stripers.
Yesterday I fished the oceanfront.  It was calm, windless and tranquil. You could have paddled a kayak to Block Island.  It was a beautiful beach day, but not much of a fishing day.  I hit multiple spots and burned a lot of gas with little to show for it.  I came up with one fish, a small schoolie that I caught by luck in one location. I rarely have hit it big in calm water. Flat water just doesn't do it for stripers, and like the many people I found sitting around in beach chairs, the fish found this to be a lazy type of day also.
Today was a different story. Along the oceanfront the wind was howling out of the southeast ahead of an expected big blow. The water was rough, white and moving. It was charged up conditions, just what stripers love. I caught good numbers of stripers in different locations.  Nothing was showing, no bait, no birds diving, but the fish were prowling the white water and hitting. I got most of my fish on jigs, either bucktails off a float or just a Cocahoe on a jighead. I'm sure treble hooked plugs would have also worked but the single hooked jigs are so much safer (for the fish) and easier for the fisherman to handle.
We've got some rough conditions coming in the next couple of days.  If you can find those spots that offer rough and clean water, you've got a shot at some decent fishing. The stripers are around in good numbers.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Photo of the Day..."Picture Perfect"

After all this lousy weather, last night's sunset at the Bay was a reminder that this time of
year can be beautiful here in southern New England..It would have been even better if
 a few fish were jumping!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fat Cow Jig Strips

If it looks like pork rind and moves like pork rind, does it have to be pork rind? 
Meet Fat Cow. I began using these plastic jig strips, namely Fat Cow jig strips, when my Uncle Josh supply dried up. I love how these plastic strips work, and the fish like them too.  When mounted on a jig, they have that alluring flutter just like pork rind that really adds to the action of a bucktail jig. These things come in a plastic jar and can be reused over and over again as they never dry up like pork rind.

Today I was using a 5 inch split tail Fat Cow mounted onto a homemade, one ounce, spire point bucktail jig.  It did just the trick as the stripers pounced all over my offering that was fished in some rough and moving white water.
If you are looking for a pork rind replacement that works just as well as the pork, give Fat Cow jig strips a try. I can tell you they work!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Migration Lights Up

Here is one of the small
keepers that I landed on a
bucktail jig fished off a float.
Large peanut bunker in the
4 to 5 inch range were
washing up onto the beach.
It took just a couple of cold nights and a stiff north wind that quickly triggered the movement of bait and stripers along the oceanfront in a big way. I hit one of the biggest striper blitzes of the fall today along the RI oceanfront. I walked into blitzing stripers that were slaughtering massive schools of peanut bunker and mullet.  These were big peanuts, the 4 to 5 inch ones, that attract larger stripers.  All the fish I was getting today were in the 25 to 30 inch range. I had a lot of hefty schoolies, but I also had several keepers from 28 to 30 inches in the mix. I even saw some bigger ones taken.  I was getting my fish on a float and bucktail jig, a good choice when stripers are on peanut bunker.
This was the first time in weeks that I hit it big along the oceanfront.  I had been getting big numbers of stripers and bluefish in the Bay, but those numbers began to dwindle (along with the bait) in recent days.  My guess is that the massive numbers of stripers, blues and bait are starting to exit the Bay. I also had reports from friends who were fishing multiple places along the beachfront today where fishermen were catching.  Look for hot fishing to continue along the oceanfront in the coming weeks if rough water does not come along to mess it up.
There are blitz conditions along the spot I was fishing at the oceanfront today.
Birds and stripers are after massive schools of peanut bunker and mullet.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Photo of the Day...."Striper Release"

A good size schoolie is about to be released. Schoolies dominate the fishing scene
right now in RI.  It's just about all catch and release fishing with very few
keepers around.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

A September to Remember

There have been big numbers
of schoolies in the 20 to 25
inch range in the Bay.  Some
small keepers are in the mix.
Fishing for bluefish
has been the best it
has been in decades
 in the Bay.
September was about as good as it gets in Narragansett Bay. The fantastic fishing has been fueled by massive schools of peanut bunker which have been holed up in the Bay since late August. Big schools of stripers and bluefish have been on this bait.  With this beautiful, warm weather, nothing is moving out yet.
 I landed close to 500 fish in September with just about an equal number of stripers and bluefish, something I have not done in a long time.  Add to that a half dozen albies, and it was terrific fishing. Bluefish are the big story of the year here in RI.  We haven't seen these numbers of them in decades. I saw blitz after blitz of these blues in the past month, and I still am catching them. At tiems the water was just boiling with schools of them in a frenzy. They are all small, 3 to 5 lbs. on average, but very spunky. The striper fishing has also been lights out in the Bay.  They too are mostly small, schoolies in the 20 to 25 inch range on average, but note that I also got several small keepers in the mix this month.  The striper fishing is what it is here in RI....very few, if any, big fish around but lots of schoolies.  If you are looking for just big fish from shore, you might as well stay home and watch TV. LOL!
With all these fish in the Bay, expect lights out fishing along the oceanfront once the southward migration begins. It should start to happen in the coming weeks.