Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Holidays from RI Striped Bass


Wishing you and your families safe and happy holidays.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Winter Project- Tying the Pink Deceiver

 The Pink Deceiver was my very best fly to use this fall off a float.  It caught good numbers of albies.  It was also deadly off the wooden egg float when fussy stripers were feeding on bay anchovies. It's an easy tie for most fly tyers.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Photo of the Day...Winter Surprise


While fishing for wintering over stripers today, I landed this good size
white perch.  White perch will inhabit the same winter waters as stripers
here in RI. They also will hit the same lures, in this case, a Zoom Fluke
mounted on a half ounce jighead.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Was This the Greatest Fall Ever for Striper Fishing in RI?

 If you are talking numbers of schoolies, this was the greatest fall of striper fishing I have ever seen here in RI.  If you are talking big fish, it was downright poor.

Let's break down how this all played out. There were daily blitzes, sometimes massive, from September all the way through November along the RI south shore oceanfront. The area from Narragansett to Westerly was red hot.  It was often a matter of just driving around and looking for the birds working and the fish breaking. It didn't seem to matter what the surf conditions were, what the tides were, or what the wind was.  The fish were just around in astounding numbers chasing down massive schools of bait, mostly small bay anchovies.

Most of the fish were schoolies with an occasional slot limit fish.  There were two distinct sizes of schoolies.  The bigger ones were running 22 to 26 inches while the smaller ones were 15 to 20 inches. Most of the slot limit fish were smaller keepers in the 28 to 30 inch range, but they were few and far between.

My own fishing logs reveal massive numbers of fish in October and November.  In those two months, I made exactly 42 trips to the oceanfront.  I landed and released over 1,200 fish in just those two months.  Just about all my fish were caught on single hooked lures- bucktail jigs, Cocahoes on jigheads and flies.  I can't remember a single fish that was badly hooked and bleeding, the beauty of using single hooked lures for catch-and-release striper fishing.

As for larger fish, it was one of the poorest years ever.  Of those 1,200 bass I landed, I had only 8 slot limit keepers that ran 28 to 30 inches.  Think about this....Only one fish in 150 was a small keeper! Not very good odds of catching a good size fish. While I saw tens of thousands of fish landed from shore this fall, I only saw one fish above the slot limit and that fish was about 38 inches. I was fishing both day and night in most outings.

So,  the fall of 2020 was one of the best for numbers of stripers here in RI.  I guess that all bodes well for the future if we do our diligence and protect what we currently have.

There are massive numbers of stripers feeding in front of this angler.
This went on just about every day for a two month period this fall along
the RI oceanfront.  Most fishermen agree it was the biggest year ever for
numbers of schoolies here in RI

Thursday, December 3, 2020

On To Winter Spots


This is one of many stripers 
landed today in a wintering over

It's over for me along the oceanfront, but not over for striper fishing. At this of year, I head to my winter spots, places where stripers will hold over all winter long.  Most fishermen don't realize this, but many of the oceanfront's and the Bay's backwater ponds and rivers hold a population of stripers that don't migrate.  They will stay here and winter over. Yes, they can be caught in the wintertime, but it is often an inconsistent game of looking and casting and hoping you find a few that want to hit. 

Today was my first day of winter striper fishing.  It was a beautiful blue bird day, and I was happy just to get out. I tried a number of spots that had produced for me in the past.  I did find some fish, all schoolies in the 15 to 20 inch range, typical of what you generally find in the winter.  Sometimes you might get lucky and even find a keeper or two. I landed most of my fish today on Zoom flukes fished off a 3/8 oz. jighead, but I also got one fish on a small Cocahoe.

With many fishermen having little to do with Covid all around us, fishing is still a safe bet. I'm guessing more will take to the backwaters this winter in search of wintering over stripers.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Crawling to the Finish Line


Here's a hefty 25 inch schoolie that
I landed yesterday. The numbers of
stripers along the oceanfront has
dwindled in the last few days.

The striper fishing along the oceanfront has gone noticeably downhill in the last couple of days.  Happens this way at the end.  There can be millions around one day, and a few days later you can't find one. While there are still a few fish around, their numbers have dwindled.  And, with a big blow and storminess on the way for the next two days, it is not looking good. Today I could catch nothing in the daylight.  Fortunately, I found a few small schoolies after dark. It feels like the end is in sight.

It's at this time of year that many of us start looking in the backwaters for stripers that will winter over here in RI. I've already tested the waters in some of those spots and found a few fish. I'm still planning on fishing in the next couple of weeks, but it will not be along the high surf of the oceanfront unless I get a favorable report from some of my diehard friends.  

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Still Going Strong


Here is one of many schoolies that
I landed yesterday in some rough 
water. Schoolie fishing remains
hot along the RI oceanfront.

I fished the oceanfront every day this week except today (Thanksgiving). The fishing has been fantastic for this time of year with an abundance of schoolies in the 14 to 20 inch range along with a few larger fish from 24 to 28 inches. The last three days I fished I landed big numbers of fish on white Cocahoes threaded onto half ounce jigheads. I also got a few on bucktail jigs spiced with white curly tails. Jigs are far outfishing plugs these days.  All these fish are throwbacks. Catch-and -release is far easier with jigs than treble hook plugs. I have also been finding fish both at night and in the daytime, although the best period of time seems to be that hour before dark.

Today my son Ben hit the shore in early morning before the family Thanksgiving festivities.  Fishing some rough water, he landed big numbers of schoolies on Cocahoes with teasers fished ahead of the jig. The fishing overall has been better in the rough water than in calm water.

So, how long will all this last? I don't know. In most years, the consistency is gone by now.  However, I'm guessing this warm weather and warmer than normal water temperatures (low 50's for the most part) are keeping the fish active and feeding. So long as the weather remains warm the fishing should remain good.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Big Time Numbers for this Time of Year

This hefty schoolie was landed yesterday on a 
bucktail jig.  Jigs are your most effective lures
in the daytime right now.

The schoolie glut just continues with unprecedented numbers of fish for this time of year along the RI oceanfront.  This past week was one of the best in terms of numbers of fish this year for me. Favorable conditions helped with warm weather and west and southwest winds.  

I am finding fish in multiple places both in the daytime and at night. The common thread here is that most of them are small, running 12 to 20 inches on average.  I had some hefty fish this week that went up around 25 inches, but no keepers, even when fishing after dark. Many of the larger schoolies came after dark.

Jigs continue to rule in the daytime with both bucktail jigs and Cocahoes on jigheads catching most of the fish. The clueless daytime crowd who are casting big plugs like big poppers, large swimmers and needlefish are catching nothing. At night is a different story with Slug-gos and slowly moving swimmers catching the larger fish.

This hot schoolie fishing shows no sign of slowing and with warm water and warm weather, we could see a couple of more weeks of solid action. Who knows? At this time of year it can be millions one day and totally gone the next.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Back in Business

I've got some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that we are back in business with good numbers of stripers back along the RI coast.  The bad news is that they are all small, I mean really small as these are the smallest fish I have seen all season.

I went down today in this really cold weather. I don't mind the cold since I will be spend all winter outside skiing starting in a couple of weeks regardless of the temperature. The advantage to fishing the cold is that you have the oceanfront to yourself, and that says it all about today.  With wind chills in the 20's the beaches were empty except for a few hearty souls that showed up to make a few casts. I saw little activity. I saw a few gannets hitting the water way out, and at one point I saw a few gulls hitting the water in close and a few fish breaking for maybe 20 seconds. I saw no other bait close to shore. There was little activity to note.  However, the fish were there, maybe just moving along the beaches in small schools.

Using a Cocahoe on a half ounce jighead, I landed good numbers of fish.  I was hoping for a big one in the mix, but they were all 12 to 18 inches.  These were some of the smallest fish I have seen this year along the oceanfront. But, in my mind, still better than staying home and listening to depressing news. If you are going to fish for these small ones, consider using single hook jigs.  They are safer for catch-and-release fishing than treble hooked plugs.

Regardless of what happens in the coming days, I think we have less than two weeks left of consistent fishing. After Dec. 1, it becomes a crap shoot here in RI.

This is one of many schoolies landed today in this cold
weather. Stripers are back along the oceanfront but most
are on the small side.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Fishing Turns Poor- Lull or End in Sight?

When I pulled into the parking lot at Charlestown Breachway on Veteran's Day this week I knew something was up.  I was expecting a big crowd like I've seen there all fall.  Instead, there were only a few cars, and I would later find out most of the owners of those cars were beach walkers.  I saw exactly two fishermen fishing the beach and one lone caster off the rocks. That told me they weren't catching along here in the last few days. Heck, I was here anyway so I decided to give it a try.  I fished for about an hour and came up with one small schoolie.  One guy told me it was the only fish he had seen along here in the past six hours.

I moved around that day to several more locations, yet all I could get was three additional small ones.  Along the way, I saw no bait, no birds working and no fishermen. 

I would fish two more days this week in different locations and would come away with exactly one schoolie.  It was not good. Same bait, no fish.

So, the big questions after this week of poor fishing are as folows. Are we in a lull or are we staring at the beginning of the end? I don't know but here are some things I do know.  The month of October and early November saw massive numbers of stripers move through, maybe the most we have ever seen in October. It was daily blitzes along the south shore beachfront. In other recent years, that seemed to happen more in November.  I also know the masses of bait that attracted all those October stripers is gone. Maybe more is on the way, maybe not.

On the positive side, I know the water is warm, mid fifties for the most part. I also feel it is way too early to be talking the end.  My guess is that we are still about 10 days away from the end of consistent fishing based on past years.  And, at this time of year, I always have my hopes that an ocean herring run will develop, and that would light up the fishing.  Gannets have been around so maybe that is telling us something.

This week will tell us a lot.  If the fishing continues to be poor, it will be a sign that the end is near.  If it improves, expect a couple of more good weeks. I hope it is the latter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Subtle Game


This slot limit keeper was landed
tonight on a jointed Bomber. While 
most of the fish around are schoolies,
there are keepers to be had after dark.

In the last few days, I haven't seen the big blitzes that were so prevalent along the RI oceanfront since September.  In fact, I haven't seen birds, no bait, no fish busting. But, I can tell you the fish are still here in BIG numbers. 

It's a subtle game these days. You have to get out and fish, plug a rocky shoreline, cast along the sandy beach and find the fish that are moving along the shoreline.  The guys who fish with binoculars are not scoring. The guys who are not casting are thinking it's coming to an end. The guys riding the beach in their 4x4 vehicles are not finding them unless they get out and fish. Truth is there are still a lot of fish around.

In the last two days I found real good numbers of fish in both the daytime and at night. While the majority of the fish are schoolies that seem to be smaller than a few weeks ago, there are still hefty 24 and 25 inch fish in the mix. And, there is that occasional slot limit keeper that seems to come after dark.  I got one of those tonight.  In the daytime, I continue to catch most of my fish on jigs, either bucktail or Cocahoes on jigheads. After dark, most of my fish are falling for swimmers.  I have landed fish on SP Minnows, jointed Red Fins and jointed Bombers.

The fish are still around but you have to put in the time and effort to catch them. It's just not as easy as it was last week as well as earlier in the fall.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Photo of the Day....Slot Limit Keeper


This slot limit keeper was landed tonight after
dark. Your chances of landing a keeper are
better after dark than in the daylight.  The fish
was released in good shape.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Schoolies, Keepers and Gannets

I have fished every day for the last seven days. Just some observations about the past week:

Here's a good size schoolie landed after dark this
week.  Schoolies have been abundant at night
with an occasional small keeper in the mix.

*Still a glut of fish around the oceanfront.  With this beautiful weather, it seems like there is no end in sight. It's been a very big week of fishing for me.

*So, so many schoolies around.  Astounding numbers of 12 to 27 inch fish.  It could just be the best "schoolie fall" I have ever seen. 

* How many schoolies do you have to go through before you get a keeper to hit.  From my numbers of the past week, I figure 1 fish in 200 is a keeper.  I've landed several keepers in the last week and they often come as a surprise.  One evening I was getting schoolie after schoolie and then suddenly I am onto a better fish of 28 inches. Most of those slot limit keepers are in the 28 to 30 inch range.

*Night fishing is still producing schoolies.  I have fished a lot at night in the last week with the time change hoping I could find better size fish.  I did land one small keeper after dark, but I continue to find a glut of schoolies in the darkness.

*I was treated to a real show this week as I saw a flock of gannets divebombing onto bait.  They are usually after big bait and we see loads of them when the ocean herring start their migration in mid November.  In the past I've seen them bombing onto ocean herring, but I've also seen them hitting large peanut bunker.  I suspect that was the bait on this day.

*With no cold weather in sight, this could be one of those rare years that  striper fishing holds up into December.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Big Storm has Moved on BUT Nothing has Changed!


Jigs continue to be the hot ticket
to catching fall schoolies. This one
was fished off the float.

The wind, the snow, the cold, and the big surf of the last couple of days have all departed.  In past years, a big storm like this would have moved all the fish out and we would have to wait days, maybe a week, for the fishing to improve.  Not this year. Yesterday  I saw masses of birds on bait, stripers breaking out far and fish whirling at my feet. The glut of fish just just seems to continue regardless of the weather.

I started out the day with low expectations, but I came away in awe of the numbers of fish I saw and caught.  I fished three different locations before and after dark along the oceanfront.  Every spot I fished was loaded. I landed big numbers of schoolies, many of them on the small side.  But, I did manage to snare one small slot limit keeper after dark. I also had a few hickory shad in the mix. All the fish I caught were on jigs.

We just finished one of the best Octobers I have ever seen along the oceanfront in RI.  I'm guessing November (at least the first half of the month) will be equally as good.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

In the Slop

Yes, I did fish yesterday and today in the nasty and sloppy weather.  No change in the fishing.  Still loaded in many locations along the oceanfront.

Today was one of the wildest days I have seen this year weather-wise.  I got down to the oceanfront about 2:00 in the afternoon. There was a very light, hardly noticeable east wind.  No problem.  But, by the hour the wind increased, the temperature dropped, and by 5:00 PM the wind had to be blowing northeast at least 30 miles per hour with gusts over that. In addition, it was pelting rain and the wind was driving it so hard it was stinging my eyes.   This all charged up the water and with the charged up water, the fishing came to life. I saw no breaking but fish after fish were hitting my bucktail jig that was fished off the float in the charged up white water. Of course, there was not another fisherman in sight....just myself and my son Jon. I actually love fishing in nasty weather!

In the last two days, the fish seem to have gotten smaller.  Those larger schoolies and small keepers that were around throughout the month were not abundant.  Instead, these newer fish were in the 16 to 20 inch range for the most part with occasional 24 inch fish. I also saw lots of shad and some bluefish.

Sorry, but no photos.  Just too nasty and wet to bring out the phone or camera today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Glut of Schoolies Continues


This is one of many schoolies landed
today. The Cocahoe was a hot lure.

I fished the last two days along the oceanfront tens of miles apart. The winds and surf conditions were vastly different. Yet, I experienced the same results.  It was loaded both days with schoolies as it has been the entire month of October. The October glut just continues.

The fish have switched their preferences from that pink Deceiver fly I was using last week to bucktails and Cocahoes this week.  Yesterday I was using and catching with the float and bucktail jig.  Today it was the 4-inch Cocahoe that was doing the most damage. Both lures are great for damage free catch-and-release.

Nearly all the fish this month have been schoolies in the 20 to 27 inch range.  Occasionally, you might catch or see a small slot limit keeper of 28 to 30 inches, but I have to tell you those fish are not abundant.  I saw hundreds of stripers landed today, and I did not see a single keeper.  That's just the way things have been going this season, and it's not about to change.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Lure of the Week


The hottest striper lure this week for me was not really a lure but a combination artificial.  It was the float and fly.  The hot fly was a homemade pink Deceiver while the float was a homemade wooden egg float. I had a three foot long section of 30 lb. test mono connecting the float to the fly. Stripers this week along the oceanfront were feeding on huge schools of small bay anchovies that were an inch or two long, so the fly was a good choice here. I would cast this rig out and reel slowly while giving the rod an occasional pull. It was outfishing any other lure I had!

Here's the formula for making the fly:

Hook: Mustad 34007 SS size 1/0

Thread: white

Tail: 4 pink saddle hackles

Body: Fine pink wool

Underwing: Sparse white bucktail

Overwing: Sparse white bucktail overlapped with blue bucktail

This slot limit keeper was landed on the float
and fly.  It was deadly all week for schoolies
and small keepers that were feeding on bay

Monday, October 19, 2020

With the Go Pro On the Float and Fly

 I have caught so, so many fish in the last three days on the float and fly.  The blitzing stripers are fussy as they feed on masses of small bay anchovies. The float and fly is the killer artificial to lure these fussy fish into hitting.  My float is a homemade wooden egg float and the fly is a homemade pink tailed Deceiver, similar to what I use for albies. Check it out on this Go Pro video!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020


Ben Pickering holds a 
schoolie landed after dark.
The hot action continued
into darkness.
For me, it has been one blitz after another for the
month of October thus far.  Striper fishing this month has been phenomenal here in RI.  But, the blitz I hit today was probably the biggest I've seen this year. 

My son so Ben and I hit the RI beachfront this afternoon and we walked into a miles long blitz of stripers, some blues and hickory shad tearing through massive schools of bay anchovies that were being driven right onto the sand. At times, the water was boiling in front of us with breaking fish going nuts on small bait. At one point I was standing in knee deep water with feeding stripers all around me.

While most of the bass were 
schoolies, there were some small
keepers in the mix.

We weren't alone.  No exaggeration, I saw hundred of guys that looked like a winding picket fence of casters all along the shoreline. And, it seemed like everyone was catching from kids to fly fishermen to serious well equipped diehards.

I will tell you these fish on small bait were fussy.  I got some on bucktail jigs and some on Cocahoes on jigheads, but my best producer was a float and fly, the same setup I use for albies.  The fly, a homemade pink Deceiver, was the silver bullet.  It got me the most fish and the biggest. After dark, landed good numbers of fish on a white Slug-Go.

Most of the fish we landed were schoolies in the 22 to 26 inch range but I'm willing to bet we had a couple of 28 inch keepers in the mix.  We lost count of the numbers of fish we caught.

Masses of stripers are feeding on huge schools of bay anchovies

Monday, October 12, 2020

As Good as it Gets


The float and bucktail jig has been a 
hot number this week.

This has been a fantastic week of fishing for me.  I have fished daily blitzes of fish that seem to be all  over the place.  I've run into big numbers of stripers from Narragansett to Westerly and every place in between. I've gotten them in windy and rough conditions as well as calm conditions.  Today, I hit a glut of fish in a big northeast blow.  Earlier in the week, I hit it big in a wild blow from the southwest. It's been an old fashioned October as massive amounts of bait and fish move southward along our shores. They are on the move and actively feeding. 

As expected, most of the stripers are hefty schoolies running 20 to 26 inches.  But, there are some slot limit keepers in the mix. I've landed several of those small keepers this week in the 28 to 30 inch size range.  I even met a guy who landed a 46 inch striper a couple of nights ago from shore. He showed me a photo and it was legit. There are also big numbers of hickory shad in places along with occasional bluefish.

The hot lures are jigs.  Use them alone or off a float.  The Cocahoe on a jighead has been a hot producer as have bucktail jigs tipped with curly tails or Fat Cow jig strips.  Jigs also make for safe and easy catch-and-release. 

Birds are hitting the water and stripers are busting on bay anchovies.
This has gone on every day in the last week somewhere along the 
oceanfront or in multiple locations some days!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Blitz of the Day

 We are in one of the hottest times of the year right now for fishing.  The are blitzes of fish coming off in multiple spots along the oceanfront daily.  Find the bait and you find the fish. In the last few days I hit some of the biggest blitzes of stripers that I have ever witnessed along the RI oceanfront.  Today's action was pandemonium as the blitz  I fished stretched out for about a mile at one point with thousands of birds hitting the water, black shorelines that were masses of bait and millions of stripers boiling on the surface. The stripers were all hefty schoolies for the most part but there was a smattering of slot limit keepers in the mix. In addition, the albie bite has been good this week in places and blues have been mixed with the abundant stripers in spots. Things are as hot as they get right now!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Albies, Act 2


The albies are back. You'll have to do
a lot of searching to find them. Stripers
and blues are also around in good

The albies have been back for about a week now. Back in September we had an early start to the season, and fishing was very good in the beginning as it usually is at the start.  But, we had a couple of bouts of very rough water along with some big blows later in the month. That sent the albies packing, and many began to wonder if they would come back.  Well, they have.

We got out in the boat today and landed some.  My sense is that it is not loaded and you really have to look around to find them. We found some spots along the oceanfront with individual fish breaking here and there, which made for difficult fishing. Then, we found a small pile of them and for about fifteen minutes, we really had them. I was getting my fish on a pink albie Snax, an effective lure when the fish are close where you don't need a long cast. My brother Steve got his fish on a large plastic fluke fished on top. Surprisingly, my float and fly was not effective today.

In addition to the albies, we also landed good numbers of bluefish along with several stripers in other locations. We found areas where birds were diving and fish were breaking. There's a decent amount of small bait around right now, and it is attracting good numbers of fish, typical of October fishing.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Bucktails REALLY Working


Here's a near keeper landed on a bucktail
jig fished off the float.  Jigs have been hot
all fall.  They also allow for easy and safe

For me, striper fishing has been really hot in the last few days in the rough water along the RI oceanfront. My hottest artificials have been bucktail jigs. I'm fishing the bucks in two different ways.  In deeper water I have been using larger homemade Spire head jigs of an ounce to an ounce and a half. I have been using 5 inch Fat Cow split tail jig strips on those bigger jigs.  In places where the water is shallow and rocky, I am using the egg float with a half ounce flathead jig.  I've used both curly tails and Fat Cow strips on those smaller jigs.

I'm really high on the Fat Cow jig strips (by the way can be bought on Amazon). They are far more durable than those Bass Pro curly tails which seem to be very flimsy and of poor quality these days. I find the Fat Cow strips to be equally effective enticers on jigs of all sizes and they are durable. I landed over 30 bass on the same strip in the last couple of days. I only use the color white.

The stripers these days are a mix of  hefty schoolies and slot limit keepers. The schoolies are generally in the 20 to 27 inch range. The slot limit limit keepers are running 28 to 32 inches.  Absent are the much larger fish over 35 inches, but no one should be surprised by that.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Big Waves Calm Down, Striper Fishing Perks Up


This near keeper hit a jig off an egg float.
The jig has a Fat Cow jig strip added.
Those strips have been very 
effective this fall

The last few days saw some of the best striper fishing for us in the last month along the oceanfront. My son Jon and I had big numbers of fish both in the daylight and after dark. While most of the fish were hefty schoolies, we also landed at least a dozen slot limit keepers of 28 to 32 inches.  This is the first time I have seen good numbers of keeper stripers around in RI, and I think this is a preview of what's to come this fall.

Bait has also returned as the hurricane waves have calmed down.  Schools of peanut bunker are fueling this improved fishing.  Find the bait and you will most likely find the fish.

The hot lures for us this week along the oceanfront have been the float and jig, big bucktail jigs and light colored swimmers after dark like a Daiwa SP Minnow in a bone color. In the Bay we have scored well with spook type topwater plugs like the Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil.

While the striper fishing has perked up, albies are still few and far between here in RI. I hate to say this but I believe the window is slowly closing on the albie season. It was short and sweet and great while it lasted.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Huge Surf, Access Closures, Lack of Bait

It was impossible to fish in most places
along the oceanfront today due to hurricane waves.

 There are lots of happenings along the oceanfront in recent days.  Here are just a few:

1. Huge Waves- Just too much in many places as we are being battered by huge ocean waves from an offshore hurricane/tropical storm.  Combine that with a big northeast wind and you have some dangerous conditions. Still, I fished today in a protected spot which tends to be very good under these conditions.  I got just one schoolie. 

2. Access Closures- Once again, the Town of Narragansett has closed off PUBLIC ACCESS to a couple of places that I know about.  According to the barriers the police have set up, this is due to high, dangerous surf. Access to the shoreline at the ends of Hazard Ave. and Newton Ave. has been closed down. I can tell you that state areas and beaches were still open as of today.

3. Lack of Bait- The reason I did not find many fish around today was not because of the rough surf.  It was due to a lack of bait along the oceanfront. That's the same reason I believe the albies have disappeared. There has been a bait drought in the month of September along the oceanfront and that has led to marginal fishing at best.  Most of the bait is holed up in the backwater ponds and rivers along the oceanfront and in Narragansett Bay. And, it doesn't seem to be moving anytime soon.

The Town of Narraganset has closed down access to the shoreline
at Hazard and Newton Avenues due to high surf.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Photo of the Week....Flying Striper?

 A striper on the fight takes an unexpected leap in the air and the camera was on it! For me, striper fishing was red hot all week.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Monday, September 14, 2020

No Albies, No Problem


Black sea bass saved the day for us
today.  Here are a couple of porkers.

Suddenly, there are no albies to be had.  That coincides with a lack of bait.  It also comes at a time when we are experiencing some very rough and roiled water along the oceanfront.  While the lack of albies does not mean they are gone, it does raise some concern as there has been few or none around in the last few days. Hopefully, they will be back when this roughness clears out.

Today we went out in the boat.  While it was rough, it was all big rollers. We searched a big piece of the oceanfront for albies, stripers or blues. NOTHING.  We didn't see any albies breaking, we saw no bait out front, no birds working and there were no blues or stripers.  It was one of the deadest September days we have ever seen. So, we decided to put plan B into effect.  We started jigging the bottom for black sea bass, and those we found.  We jigged in about 25 feet of water and landed many of them.  While most were undersized, we did manage to land about a half dozen keepers with some chunky ones in the mix.  All were caught vertical jigging Kastmaster XL's, a lure that has been hot for us in Buzzards Bay. It's also real good here.

I should mention that we did find a few stripers at the end of the day in the calmer backwaters.  There was some bait there and quick hitting schoolies were on it. Jumpin' Minnows and other spook type plugs got all of them.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Catching Albies.....Not Always Easy

I had to really work for a few fish
today.  The albies were around in good
numbers but they were super fussy.

Today was a frustrating day. We have a lot of these days when fishing for albies.

We went out in the boat today in search of these fish.  And, we found a pile of them attacking tiny bait.  Only problem was that they would not hit. At times, there were fish busting in front of us, on the side, and even in back of the boat.  There was no shortage of fish to cast to.  But, getting these sharp eyed speedsters to hit was a different ballgame.

We tried metal of different makes and sizes, the ole reliable float and fly and even small swimmers.  Not even a sniff. Finally, we decided to move to a location where the water was a bit rougher and where there was slight current hoping the fish would be more active under these conditions.  That did it.

I also snapped back on my float and fly combo with one of my pink Deceivers that I did so well on last year, and they started hitting.  It was not a magic bullet and I had to really work for three fish, but I was getting better action. Albies can be tough at times to fool especially when fishing in calm, clear and shallow water and when they are feeding on micro bait.

Right now, the albies are your #1 gamefish along the RI oceanfront whether fishing from shore or boat. Stripers and blues seem to have departed. The albies are just about everywhere there is deep water and bait.  You can even get them when nothing is showing

Monday, September 7, 2020

Photo of the Week.... Sun Reflecting Off this Beautiful Albie!

The sun reflects off the beautiful albie about to be landed from the boat. Best albie photo I've
ever taken!

Saturday, September 5, 2020


They have arrived. This is my first
albie this year!

The albies have arrived in a big way.  From nothing to good numbers of them in a day!

I went out in the boat with my brother Steve today and we found them breaking in a wide expanse of the RI oceanfront. While there were lots of individual fish breaking, there were also groups of them exploding on the surface.  I landed two of them and got several other hits. I got one of them on a Kastmaster XL and the other on a chartreuse Deceiver fished off a float. I know of many others that were taken from boats today as well as good numbers landed in one shore location.

The word quickly spread of their arrival as we saw lots of boaters trying for them as well as lots of people from shore casting for them.  A fish pandemic has arrived. Albie fever has spread to RI waters!  

Friday, September 4, 2020

Outlook for Labor Day Weekend


Whatever you are after, the bait will lead you
to the fish.  Find birds diving and schools
of peanut bunker and you will most likely find
stripers, blues or bonito.

Take your pick....striped bass, blues or bonito.  They are all around in good numbers.  It's a matter of finding them which is not all that easy. Expect crowded conditions since this whole summer has been horrendous with the numbers of people along the shore.

Striped bass- The stripers have been a hit or miss deal at both the oceanfront and the Bay lately.  Two conditions most likely will lead to lots of them.  Either find big schools of peanut bunker or fish rough and clean water. The fish are under the bait right now. No bait, no fish. It's that simple. Best lures to use for the stripers....Jumpin' Minnows, float and jig, just jigs and Kastmasters. Swimmers and Slug-gos at night are also good bets. Most of the stripers are schoolies in the 20 to 26 inch range though some small keepers are in the mix.

Bluefish- Bigger numbers in the Bay than along the oceanfront. They, too, are under the bait and diving birds and breaking fish will give away their presence. Those fishing from the boats have the advantage because they can move around more easily. Topwater plugs such as poppers and Jumpin' Minnows are your bests.  Most of the blues are in the 4 to 6 lb. range, though some bigger ones are around.

Bonito-  I can tell you the first ones have been caught this week.  My brother got 5 from the boat and I know of others from shore. Once again, advantage boaters who fish along the oceanfront. Look for breaking fish moving quickly like torpedoes through the water. Best bets are skinny metal, float and fly and Jumpin' Minnows.  The bonito have been running bigger this year with 5 to 8 lbers. being average.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Busting Out of the Lull

 You've heard the saying, "if you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes." Well, the same thing can be said about saltwater fishing. After a week of lousy fishing, the weather delivered a stiff southeast wind, some very rough, moving water and lots of fish. Suddenly all is well, and we're back in the game.

Yesterday was one of the roughest days I have fished this summer along the oceanfront, comparable to that tropical storm back in July. But, it was just what I was looking for.  I knew that if the water was clean I would find good numbers of fish. And, I did.  Stripers were in and out along the white water surf where I was fishing and staged a big charge at the shore at dark. As has been the case all year, these were schoolies in the 20 to 26 inch range.

While I was catching in my location, I know of others who were hitting it big far to the south of me.  Also, at the same time my son Jon was catching big time from the kayak in the Bay. Yesterday was a big day in a lot of places.

So, we are back in business.  As long as the surf remains rough, the fishing will remain good.  Goodbye and good riddance to the lull.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

In a Lull

 I have fished a lot in the last week, and I have been all over the place. The fishing has not been good.  That fantastic August fishing has really cooled off.  The massive schools of peanut bunker seem to have moved on, and the stripers and bluefish have moved with it.

I fished the oceanfront 3 times in the last week.  I did not see the action that I found all month.  I came away with two schoolies in three days.  I fished multiple spots in the Bay twice in the last week and landed exactly two bluefish. There was some bait and blues there one day, none the next. Finally, in a desperate move, I went to that unmentionable spot to the north of us today that "always has fish".  I came away with one schoolie that I caught on the very first cast. It was loaded with bait, but very few fish.

So, it's not good right now.  Hey, that's fishing and we are reminded every so often that it is not always good. I guess that's what drives us to keep looking and trying.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

No Albies, No Bonito Yet

Don't get excited.  This photo is from a couple of 
years ago. No news of any bonito of albies along
the RI oceanfront yet.

There's a lot of fishermen out there trying, but I have yet to see a bonito or a false albacore (albie) caught here in RI. I have not seen any breaking either, and I have been out just about every day this month.  But, no panic.  Still plenty of time for this to happen.

Albies and bonito are pelagic species. That means they spend most of their lives way off shore in the depths of the ocean.  In the fall they sometimes come close to shore to feed. Their movements are impossible to predict. Some years we see a lot of them; some years there are none.

In the past the bonito tended to show up in numbers (if they do show up) around the last week in August along the oceanfront, although last year they were pretty much around all of August. Albies are a September fish.  Based on my logs of the last 50 years that time period from September 10 to September 15 should bring  good numbers if they show. A few early arrivals might be caught in late August and early September. Note that fishermen are catching them right now in Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay, the first place they arrive in southern New England waters.

Last year was a big year for bonito, but albie fishing around here was a disappointment.  What will happen this year is anyone's guess.  But, I can guarantee, there will be a lot of fishermen looking and trying as albie fever is already here.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Thursday, August 27, 2020

On the White Bucks


Here's a near keeper landed yesterday
on a Spire Point bucktail jig. White
bucktail jigs are great for catch-and-
release striper fishing.

We are in the midst of the best August striper fishing I have ever seen from the RI shore. They are along the oceanfront; they are in the Bay.  Daily blitzes are occurring somewhere every single day thanks to massive schools of peanut bunker that the stripers are feeding on.  Since August first I have landed over 300 bass from shore. A telling fact is that I have not caught a single keeper, and while I have seen thousands of fish landed, I have yet to even see a keeper in August.  Tells you a lot about the state of our striper stocks. These are all hefty schoolies that are generally running 20 to 27 inches. 

Since this is all catch-and-release fishing, I have tried to use lures that will do the least amount of damage.  That is why I have caught just about all my fish on jigs this month.  The hot numbers in the last couple of weeks have been white bucktail jigs.  When I need a long cast, I'll fish these off a wooden egg float.  When the fish are in tight, I will just use the jig without a float. I have done well using homemade flathead jigs (half ounce) and homemade Spire Point jigs.  I will always use a curly tail or a plastic strip on the end of the jig for added action.

Of those 300 fish I landed, I can tell you that there has not been a single bad hook-up.  ALL of the fish were released in good shape thanks to the single hook jig.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Peanuts Fueling Massive Daily Blitzes


Peanuts have collected in a tidal pool.
This striper was just caught on a Rebel
Jumpin' Minnow, the best topwater
plug to use when peanuts are around.
EVER DAY there is a blitz or multiple blitzes going on somewhere along the RI oceanfront.  This is all being fueled by massive numbers of peanut bunker that have been around for all of August. Some of these peanuts are micros under an inch long.  Others are larger, one to two inch specimens.  Whether small or large both stripers and bluefish are in hot pursuit wherever this bait gathers.

Back in the beginning of the month I did an article for The Fisherman magazine titled "Peanut Bunker Explosion." The article discussed how August, in recent years, has become a real hot month of fishing because of the early arrival of peanut bunker to our waters. This all used to happen in September, but like everything else that is changing, it now happens in August. The article goes on to outline approaches used to catch stripers and blues when they are feeding on peanuts.

Here are some ideas that have worked in the last three weeks:

1. Jigs- Jigs are hot when peanuts are around because they mimic the baitfish's movement and size.  I like a flathead half ounce bucktail jig with a plastic curly tail.  Use it alone in close or off a wooden egg float when a long cast is needed.  Three inch Cocahoes will work the same way though not quite as effect as the bucktail.

2. Rebel Jumpin' Minnows- The best topwater plug when fish are on peanuts. Reel slowly with short pulls of the rod tip much the way you would work a pencil popper. Bone or white is your best color.

3. Kastmasters or other metal- Looks like a peanut moving through the water with its flash and will give you a long cast if needed.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Adjustments in the Rough

 The last couple of days have been rough, real rough, along the oceanfront. There was a big northeast

This small jig attached to a wooden
egg float caught lots of fish yesterday
in real rough conditions. The jig has
a Fat Cow jig strip attached.
wind that sent in a lot of turbulent white water and big waves. It's conditions that stripers just love, and there were lots of them to be had for those who fished in these rough conditions.

When I fish this type of water, I will make many adjustments to the way I fish.  Here are just some of my strategies:

Spots matter- I have several different places I like to fish in a strong northeast wind.  These are places that are slightly protected and places where the wind tends to come from the side.  You want a spot that has all of the advantages of white turbulent water, yet at the same time is safe. Clean water is also a key.  If you take on a strong northeast wind in your face, you tend to get a lot of weed coming at you, making conditions unfishable.  Note that the places I fish in a northeast wind are far different than the places I would choose in a southwest wind. 

Bigger plugs- I tend to also beef up the plugs I use in a strong wind.  It helps with the casting and a heavier plug tracks better in the wind.  I had been getting a lot of fish earlier in the week in calm water with a Jumpin Minnow. Forget that plug in a northeast wind.  Instead, I went with a Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil, a plug that is similar to the Jumpin Minnow but almost twice the weight.  It worked terrific in the last two days.

Jigs- Big jigs of an ounce or more are good bets to cut through the wind.  These are best where you have deeper water.  In shallow water with rocky bottoms, go with the float and jig.  The float tracks well in turbulent water and this set up works wonders where fish are feeding on small bait.

Be safe- Rough conditions can be dangerous conditions. Proceed with caution in areas with deep water and slippery rocks. I always try to position myself on a dry rock in a safe spot in these conditions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

MA Accepting Public Comment on Adding Commerical Striper Days

 Things are not going well for commercial striped bass fishermen in MA these days. As of August 7, only 24% of the quota has been met. Is anyone surprised about that due to the lack of big fish (over 35 inches) around?

Right now commercial striped bass fishermen in MA can fish two days a week- Monday and Wednesday.  Because of these low catch numbers, the MA Division of Marine Fisheries is proposing an in season adjustment to the fishing days which would double the days commericals can fish adding Tuesday and Thursday. This could take effect on Sept. 2. In addition, on October 2, the commercial days would be extended to 7 days a week. These same proposals came up last year and after written comments came in from fishermen, no action was taken by the Director.

I know a lot of people are very passionate about this topic on both sides of the aisle. If you would like to give your comments, pro or con, on the proposal, you can send an e-mail to Director Dan Mc Kiernan at 

For more information and detail, check out On the Water's article at .

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Fall Abundance in August


The blues are back in good numbers in places.
They are keying on schools of peanut bunker
along the oceanfront and in the Bay. I got this
one from shore two nights ago.
I've been fishing every evening in the past week.  It has been the best fishing in RI since the heydays of this past spring migrations.  Huge amounts of small peanut bunker have entered both the Bay and the oceanfront in the last week, and that has set off some wild, pre-fall fishing for stripers, bluefish and "funny" mackerel.

In the beginning of the week, I concentrated on the oceanfront in the rough conditions. The wind and surf delivered big numbers of schoolies in the 20 to 27 inch range. At times, loads of fish were breaking on the surface feeding on the small bunker. I could also see big schools of chub and bullet mackerel tearing through schools of bait way out.  Later in the week, I concentrated my efforts in the Bay from shore.  There I found big schools of bait being attacked by schoolies in close and bluefish out far.   For the first time since spring I saw roving schools of bluefish slashing on the surface through schools of bait.

The only thing lacking this week was larger stripers. The bigger fish I landed were just shy of keeper size. Shore guys have been complaining about the lack of bigger fish (fish over 35 inches) so far this year.  I think that trend will continue and you will be lucky catch a striper over 35 inches from shore this year in RI . That's just the way things are.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Yes, we did fish in that STORM!

Yes, my son Jon and I did fish in that storm on Tuesday.  It was one of the most intense storms I have ever fished in along the RI oceanfront. It featured everything “stormy”. There was wind with gusts up to hurricane force.  There was a driving, pelting rain.  And, the surf was kicked up as angry as it gets with moving water. We were in safe spots casting from mostly dry shoreline.  I know full well that stripers love these kinds of conditions, and they didn’t disappoint.

Upon arriving at our spot in mid afternoon, the wind was brisk from the southeast and the ocean was kicked up but not unmanageable.  We found stripers whirling in the white water feeding on small bait. The bucktail jig off the wooden egg float did the trick.  If I casted into the white, moving water left behind by a wave, I had a hit or a fish on just about every cast.  These were 20 to 27 inch hefty schoolies with the bigger fish just under keeper size.

After about an hour or so of fishing and catching, the skies suddenly darkened and within what seemed like minutes, everything took a turn for the worse.  It started pelting rain and the wind picked up dramatically with gusts that nearly knocked us over.  The water also began to rise from the surge of a pushing wind and waves or water. What should have been low tide looked like high tide. I was getting worried a tornado was somewhere out in front of us.

At that point we decided to head back to the truck for a break. Just as fast as the storm arrived, it began to let up and soon the skies were blue, but the wind was still ferocious. We headed back out and found our spot now loaded with weed pushed in by a wind that had turned south and in our faces.

We moved to a new location that had cleaner water, but the abundant fish that were around earlier in the day were now few and far between.  We did manage about a dozen more fish before dark but the easy pickings were gone.

It was a day to remember…rough conditions, a charged up atmosphere and sea and lots of fish, just what I was expecting.

The water was rough but clean and the fish were there. Stripers
love to forage in rough water.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Rough Water Turns It On

I went down to the RI oceanfront last evening, the first time in weeks I had fished this area. I knew it would be good because I have seen this pattern play out over and over again in past years. We are in the doldrums of summer and suddenly a big storm comes along.  It can be a north

A hefty schoolie comes ashore last evening on
the float and jig.  It was hot fishing in the rough water!
easter or a tropical storm. Out of nowhere, loads and loads of stripers come ashore with the wind and roughness. And, what’s been a dead shore for months comes to life.  It played out just that way last evening.

When I arrived at my location, I just knew it would be good. The water was white and moving from the roughness and the wind. In ten minutes, I had ten hefty schoolies with my float and jig (Cocahoe or bucktail and curly tail) combinations.  It continued like that on and off for the rest of the evening.  I also saw dark patches of bait, some fish breaking and birds diving.  If you didn’t know the date, you would think this was the middle of October.

If you get out to fish in the coming days, proceed with caution.  There is a fine line between rough and dangerous and just right.  Last evening it was just right!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Warm Water, Small Bait and Fussy Stripers

The egg float with a deceiver fly was the only
thing that would catch the fussy schoolies
in the last two days.
I've found lots of stripers in the last two days. Problem is that I caught very few. The fish I found were all good size schoolies, and they were on very tiny bait and lots of it.  The bait looked like mini peanut bunker about half an inch long. Schoolies were breaking all over the place for this bait. There were times when individual fish were busting here and there.  There were also times when schools of 50 to 100 fish were breaking after bigger pods of bait. While I found big numbers of fish, the common theme today was that these fish were super fussy.
The first day I fished I caught nothing.  I tried everything in my bag. The usual bucktail jigs, Cochahoes, small swimmers and Jumpin Minnows. Nothing worked. I wished I has some small metal, but that was all at home in my "albie bag".
This is one of several hefty schoolies
landed on the float and fly today.
The second day I fished I went back to the same location with the bag of metal. Loaded again with breaking fish.  This time I went through all the usual stuff and even the metal. No takers. Then I remembered I had a few float and fly rigs in my bag.  That is a killer for fussy albies so why not stripers. After a few casts, I threw the rig into a mass of breaking fish and got one to take. It was a decent schoolie of about 24 inches.  I made a lot more casts into pods of breaking fish and came away with two more schoolies.  Yup, not exactly killing it, but it did work with limited success, more than I can say for the day before.
When I got home, I found my Fisherman magazine in the mail.  In it I had a story called "Peanut Bunker Explosion." It talks about fishing for stripers and blues in the early going when the first masses of peanut bunker arrive in early August and how the fish can be very fussy due to warm water and small bait. Well, I was living that story the last two days. 
Nothing in fishing is a sure bet. I would like to think I "cracked the code" on catching these fussy fish, but I also know that if I hit this spot tomorrow it could all be a totally different ballgame.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Photo of the Day.....On the Left Hook

A keeper bass comes ashore with my Left Hook Pencil Popper in its jaw.
This pencil is quickly becoming my favorite popper for good reason!
The fish was unhooked and released in good shape.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A Preview of What's to Come?

The last three weeks have been horrible fishing-wise for me. I've been getting very few fish along the RI shoreline and that unmentionable spot north of here has been a bust so far for just about everyone. In addition, I have seen very little bait near shore.  I know the boat guys who fish Block Island are doing well, but that's a mighty long cast from shore.
This striper was feeding close to shore on small peanut bunker.
The peanuts will light up the fishing from shore in the coming
Last night I ran into a bit of an uptick in activity for the first time in a long time.  In a RI spot I fished, I was greeted by schools of small peanut bunker for the first time this year.  That bait will eventually light up our inshore fishing regardless of the water temperatures. For the first time in a long time, I saw individual fish as well as small groups of bluefish breaking.  Though they were mostly way out and very fussy, I did manage to get one small one. Near dark some stripers started breaking also.  These were fussy schoolies, but I did get a couple of them to hit a small jig. It was activity that I have not seen in weeks and a preview of what to expect in the coming weeks.
In the last two years, the surf fishing for stripers and blues has exploded in August due to the arrival of vast schools of peanut bunker. We are heading in that direction again this year based on what I saw last night. It's a matter of time.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Curse of the Weed

I fished the RI oceanfront last evening.  It was my first time back there in weeks since I have been fishing both the Bay and the unmentionable spot north of here. I knew I had the right conditions....a kicked up surf, wind and white water. In addition, I knew storms at this time of year seem to light up the fishing.
Upon arriving at my spot, I looked out to see a sea of white turbulent, moving water. It was all set up by a big surf and an onshore wind. Perfect conditions in the surf! I figured I could not miss.  But, after my first cast, my optimism changed to doubt.  As I started to reel in my egg and jig, I knew I had weed  clinging to the jig.  It was that clinging red weed that easily fouls an artificial and it was everywhere. After every cast I was picking off weed.  I change plugs to a surface lure but that wasn't much better.
Finally,  after casting and picking off weed for an hour, I nailed a schoolie on the float and jig.  I got the fish immediately after my lure hit the water.  The lure just didn't have time to pick up any weed and the fish hit it. Unfortunately, it would be the only fish of the evening.
It was great water and should have been great fishing, but the curse of the weed struck again.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Holiday Outlook: Slow Striper Fishing from Shore

Here's a 35 inch striper I landed in the last week.
There are fish around, but you'll have to work
for them especially if you are fishing from shore.
I'm in the slowest period of striper fishing this year. In the last week I spent a lot of time in that unmentionable spot to the north of us.  In four days of fishing, I had one decent day where I had a couple of keepers and some hefty schoolies.  But, that was it. My son Jon had one good daybreak morning in which he landed two fish over 40 inches and several more smaller ones. When Red Top Bait and Tackle is reporting slow fishing, you just know things are really slow and way off compared to recent years.  But, I know things can change in the blink of an eye in this location.
I've also been hitting the Bay on and off.  I'm still catching a few small schoolies here and there, and others are reporting bluefish, but the quality stripers are now scarce from shore due to warming waters and lack of bait.
Along the oceanfront, it's become a late night game for a striper here and there from shore.  Those who have boats have an easier time of it.  It's that time of year in which boaters fare far better than shore fishermen because they can fish deeper and cooler water as well as Block Island.
I know other fishermen who are targeting bottom fish.  Fish like scup, black sea bass and fluke are yet another good option at this time of year. Once again, boaters are at a big advantage.
While the striper fishing has been slow for me, I am on a roll in freshwater.  Many of you know I fish a lot for carp and I am in a period of the best fishing of the year for them. This morning I was out and landed 12 of them.  In the last two week's I've landed big numbers of fish from 8 to 25 lbs.
So, there are fish out there for holiday weekend fishermen. Good luck if you get out fishing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Water Warms Up, Fishing Cools Down

Water temperatures today were running in the mid 70 degree range in Narragansett Bay.  It's a bit cooler at the ocean. This hot weather of the last week has steadily heated up the water.  The result is that the fishing has steadily gone downhill for stripers and blues, especially from shore. In my last three outings I've gotten only two schoolies, way off compared to what I had been getting prior to the warm-up.
Those in boats are faring better these days.  I've heard of some good catches in the Bay in the last week from boats, but recent days have been slow for them also.
Your best bet right now from shore in RI is to fish along deep water dropoffs along the oceanfront where the water is cooler. Best times will be the cooler times of the night or early mornings.
My own strategy to deal with the declining fishing in RI will be to move to greener pastures. It's that time of the year for me to load my bike onto the truck, pack the heavy gear and head north rather than south.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Photo of the Day

The sunset was spectacular; the fishing was not!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Biggest Surprise So Far

Here's a decent blue taken recently from Gansett Bay.
They have been abundant.
It's not schoolies.  Everyone predicted a ton of these and that has happened. We've got everything from the hefty varieties of 24 to 26 inches to the micros of 10 to 14 inches and everything in between.
It's not keepers.  Everyone was predicting they would be in short supply, especially the bigger fish over 35 inches. That's why we have a slot limit. A big RI striper from shore these days is 30 inches. Just not a lot of bigger fish around from shore.
But, ah, the bluefish.  Nobody thought we would see an abundance of these.  That's why the bag limit went down to only 3 fish per day.  But, to everyone's surprise, these fish have been really abundant so far this year in Narragansett Bay. They have generally been running from 4 to 7 lbs., but there are some biggies around too.  I'm talking big ones over 10 lbs. Some recent evenings I've fished it has been hit after hit of aggressive blues. They have especially liked my Rebel Jumpin Minnow or my Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil. But, to be honest, on some nights they are so aggressive they would hit a cigar with a hook attached to it. I've gotten big numbers from shore, boat and kayak.
With the blues so abundant, I've gotten word of some fishermen piling bluefish like cord wood in the trunk of their cars.  Not surprising since this business of keeping undersized fish or more than the bag limit was rampant last year in Gansett Bay. Here we go again this year. The law is 3 blues per day for all those who want to follow the law.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Buzzards Bay....Nothing Like it in NE!

The place is loaded with
large black sea bass.
Buzzards Bay also has a good striper
population.  This biggie hit a Slu-go
in one of the shallow water coves.
Buzzards Bay in June has to be the most unique and productive spot in all of New England for a variety of fish.  We hit this spot yesterday from the boat and as usual, it was very good for a variety of fish. 
Buzzards Bay is the black sea bass capital of the east coast at this time of year, and it didn't disappoint yesterday.  We had all we wanted as we had fish after fish on many drifts. And, most were over the 15 inch keeper mark with some real bruisers mixed in. We also got quite a few scup in the mix.  My brother Steve was getting his fish vertical jigging bucktail jigs spiced with curly tails. I was getting mine jigging a Kastmaster XL.
When we got tired of the black sea bass, we went exploring along many of the coves and outflows for stripers and bluefish.  We found good numbers, catching several keeper stripers and quite a few blues to 6 lbs. While the bass loved my white Slug-gos, the blues chopped them mercilessly.  I then went with a Sebile Magic swimmer which seemed to work with equal effectiveness.
Buzzards Bay should continue to produce until the water warms up. Good fishing generally holds up well there until late June.