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.