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.