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.