Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

I shot this magnificent sunset after a real good day of striper fishing in one of my
favorite spots a couple of weeks ago.  The sunset was just the icing on the cake
after a terrific day. Never take for granted what we have here in Rhode Island.
We have some of the most beautiful and easily accessible beachfronts on the
East Coast, some great surf fishing, and wonderful scenery. And, it is all within
an hour's drive for most of us. If you are a fisherman or just a beach goer,
you have a lot to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to my many readers,
friends and fellow fishermen.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Winding Down

Just a week ago things were hopping, but it now looks like
the fishing is winding down. That's the way it goes at the end
of November. There might still be a few for those trying.
A lot changes can happen in a week at this time of year. I get a sense that the season is winding down. There are still fish around as I got a few two days ago, but I can tell you that I had beautiful conditions in a great spot with few fish. A week ago would have been lights out in this spot with these conditions. I saw no bait and no birds working even way out.  That's a sign that things are slowly winding down. I also saw just about no other fishermen around, another bad sign.  And, today's big blow marks the second storm in just three days to batter the coast.
I plan to hit the shore again this week once the weather calms down. I'm guessing there are still a few fish moving through.  Heck, you might even have a real good day.  But, I'm also guessing the consistent fishing is gone. It usually happens this way at the end of November, and we are there.
This is a fall in which we have been beaten down by the weather.  I never saw so many severe storms as I've witnessed this fall along the oceanfront.  Still, the fishing has been pretty darn good in between these blows. And, this November will go down as one of the best for me as far as numbers of stripers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Still Good

There are still good numbers of schoolies along
the oceanfront.
I had not fished for a couple of days due to that big ocean storm earlier in the week. So, today when I went down to the oceanfront I wasn't too sure what I would find, if anything. When I got to the shore, I saw no indicators.  No birds working, no bait, no fishermen. But, I've seen this show before and I know you just have to cast to find out if anything is around. Well, it took just one cast to find out as I had a striper on my very first cast. After that it was on and off fish for most of the afternoon. So, they are still around in good numbers.
The fish I got today were all schoolies that averaged about 20 inches.  I had a few fish in the 24 to 25 inch range but no keepers.  I got all my fish on jigs.  I was trying out a fantailed plastic body called a Berkley Gulp Ripple Mullet.  I mounted it on a 3/4 oz. jighead.  While it was very effective, it was way too flimsy for my liking. Four or five fish and the soft plastic just ripped away from the jighead.  It will be back to Cocahoes on the next outing for me.
I saw just about NO ONE fishing today. It reminded me of the times when I go down in December and the beaches are deserted. I have to assume that many fishermen have given it up for the season.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

After Dark....Cold Temperatures, Hot Fishing

It was big numbers of stripers tonight from
20 to 28 inches.  They all fell for a bucktail
jig and all were released in good shape.
Nighttime fishing has been hot.
For me, this has been a terrific November so far.  There have been lots and lots of schoolies but also some small keepers in the mix. Even when I don't hit these all out blitzes that I've gotten into recently, I am still able to find good numbers of fish. On many days those good numbers of fish have come after dark.
My son Jon fished last night after dark.  He found big numbers of fish in the spot he was fishing along the oceanfront.  In fact, he didn't get a single fish until it was just about dark.  Then, it was one after another on a Cocahoe on a jighead.  The fish ranged from schoolies to a number of decent keepers up to 33 inches.
I fished today in this brutal weather.  Like Jon, I found little in the daytime as I managed to catch a few small ones in some cold and windy conditions. After dark, I moved to a different location and found the Mother Lode.  It was one fish after another on a bucktail jig spiced with a plastic curly tail.  The fish ranged from good size schoolies up to small keepers of 28 inches. It was simply loaded with fish and only one other guy fishing.
Of course, you are not going to find many fishermen around when the temperatures are below freezing and the wind chills are hovering in the teens like it was tonight.  However, it you are dressed for it and you can fish with gloves (a must), you might find something special, and you most likely will have all to yourself.
The calendar is ticking away, but fishing continues to be very good. How long this hot fishing will last is anyone's guess. This is a fall in which you can throw the predictions out the window.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Massive Blitz in the Rain and Snow

A small bucktail jig fished off the float was
the ticket today. The jig does little harm to the
fish while being very effective when stripers
are feeding on peanut bunker.
Up until today, fishing the prior few days was a disappointment for this time of the year.  It has led many to believe that the season was just about over when you factor in the weather that was forecast for today.  Well, I'm going to put those negatives to rest.  What I fished in today was astounding.
I hit the oceanfront today at about noontime.  It was a balmy 54 degrees and raining lightly. Immediately, I was greeted by large scale bird activity. There were flocks of gannets dive bombing, gulls hitting the water and cormorants diving. I saw large dark patches of water the size of a small parking lot...peanut bunker by the millions moving along a quarter mile stretch of shoreline. Under all that were big schools of stripers. They were rolling in the waves and white water at times, breaking along the shore and actively blitzing behind the big waves rolling ashore.
The first twenty five casts, twenty five fish.  It was that nuts.  I was casting a float and jig with a plastic curly tail onto my jig.  The fish continued to hit most of the afternoon and they were all cookie cutter 20 inch schoolies with an occasional bigger schoolie.This mayhem kept going as the temperature kept dropping.  By 3 PM, the temperatures took a dive into the mid thirties, and it was now snowing. My hands were numb from the cold but the fish were still moving along the shore in front of me. By 3:30, I couldn't stand it anymore and walked back to my truck to call it quits. Before leaving, I took one more peek at the water, and sure enough, the mayhem continued with not a fisherman in sight!
I might add that every fish I landed today on that jig was released in good shape.  That single hooked jig that has a hook that rides upward is your best bet when catching and releasing fall schoolies.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


It was an epic November blitz.  Today's fishing will go down as one of the biggest blitzes I have ever seen along the oceanfront at this time of year.  It had everything to make it memorable.  Big flocks of gannets were divebombing in a spectacular display. Huge schools of peanut bunker that ranged from small peanuts to big six inch specimens were just about everywhere washing up onto the shore at times.  And the stripers, oh the stripers were there by the millions over miles of shoreline attacking the bait from below as cormorants, gulls and gannets feasted from above.  And, this mayhem went on ALL DAY from morning till night. It was memorable.
The stripers were all sizes.  Most of what I caught went 20 to 22 inches though I did have one small keeper and several near keepers.  I also had a few smaller fish. The fish were aggressive.  Just about anything worked though I stuck with my jigs to make things easier and safer for catch-and release.  I did see some big fish (30 inch range), though taken on big poppers by other fishermen.
We are in the midst of a big time fall run  right now along the oceanfront.  How long this will last is anyone's guess.
Take a look at this video I shot of divebombing gannets after big peanut bunker!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Big Numbers of Fish on the Move

Here is one of the hefty schoolies that I landed today on a
Cocahoe minnow on a jighead.  Big numbers of fish were
on the move today.
Things are happening.  There is a major push of fish going on right now along the RI oceanfront.  I hit the surf today and landed big numbers of schoolies. They seemed to be everywhere on the beach I fished though few fish were showing.  From what I heard this was also going on in other spots along the south shore beachfront today.
These fish were all schoolies that were running 16 to 20 inches on average, though I had a few that may have gone 22 inches.  I chose to use a jig (Cochahoe on 3/4 oz jighead), and that seemed to be very effective on catching the fish while limiting the damage to them. I did not have one "bad" hook-up on any fish today and all were released in good shape. With schoolies dominating the scene, it's a good idea to shy away from treble hooked plugs. I know there were hundreds of fish landed today in various spots, and to my knowledge, there was not a single keeper caught in the daytime. I later fished after dark and it was the same story.....lots of schoolies, no keepers.  Just the way it is these days.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Turning to Freshwater in the Storminess

This 23 lb. carp was landed last night in the wind and rain.
Carp love to feed in stormy weather.
In the last ten days I have landed 5 carp from 20 to 27 lbs.
along with many fish in the teens here in RI.
In the last ten days, I have caught five fish over twenty pounds and many more fish in the teens here in RI. Now, before you striper guys get too excited, I must tell you that these are carp and not stripers. In all the storminess that has shut down the oceanfront, I have turned to my "other" passion of carp fishing, and have done quite well fishing for them in the bad weather.
Carp just love this warm and stormy weather.  The big ones are quite tough to catch under bluebird conditions, but get a nasty day of rain and wind, and these big girls throw caution to the wind and will go on feeding sprees. They will also prowl close to the shore under cover of darkness on stormy nights.  Yes, they do hit well at night, much like bigger stripers do.
Carp inhabit most of the freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers here in southern New England. While most fishermen know these monsters of freshwater exist, most fishermen don't have the foggiest of clues on how to fish for them. All those fish I caught that I mentioned above were caught on a combo bait of maize and artificial corn fished on a hair rig with a method ball packed around my sinker. I'm sure I lost many of you in that last sentence.
Carp can fill a void when saltwater fishing for stripers shuts down.  It will also fill a void for me in late November and throughout the winter when I will target these fish on a regular basis.  For more info on carp fishing, try visiting my RI Carp Fishing Blog.