Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lack of Bait, Less Stripers, No Blues

It was just one fish today but it was a keeper that was
taken after dark.  Recently, the nighttime fishing
has been better than the daytime fishing.
We are in a major lull, especially when describing the daytime fishing from shore.  It has been really dead along the oceanfront in the last week.  Those big schools of bait (bay anchovies) that were around several weeks ago are gone and with it the abundant schoolies have also left. As far as bluefish....there are NON E.  I've gotten only one blue since Sept. 1.
On a somewhat positive note, there are fish to be had after dark though I am seeing very few fishermen trying after dark.  I have not been catching lots of fish, but I have been getting some keepers after dark along with occasional schoolies.  For instance, I fished all over today and found absolutely nothing in the daytime.  After dark I landed one 30 inch keeper on a Daiwa SP Minnow.  It was my only hit today. Two days ago I landed three hefty schoolies after dark on swimmers. Several days ago my son Jon landed a big fish at dark.  So, in my mind the nighttime fishing is worthwhile, though not great.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Don't leave home without one.....

This large striper, the fish from the previous
post, was landed on a snagged menhaden.
Add a snagger or two
in your surf bag.
Expect to find schools
of menhaden along
the oceanfront in the
next month as they
drop out of
Gansett Bay.
A snagger is a key device that should be in every surf bag.  I can't tell you how many times I've gone down to the ocean in late fall and found an isolated school of menhaden or pogies within a cast of where I am standing.  I also can't tell you how many big bass and big blues I have caught on a snagged menhaden over the years.
It happened again yesterday with that big bass my son Jon caught.  Just out of the blue a school of menhaden came ashore right where we were fishing.  Jon snagged a pogy, let it swim around and with a few minutes the line was ripping off with a cow charging seaward.
Don't think for one minute that he could have caught that fish on a plug.  When large fish, whether blues or stripers, are on menhaden, that is what they want. A plug is usually not even a consideration. Do yourself a favor and pack a snagger or two in your surf bag.




Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fish of the Day

Jon Pickering holds a real good fish that was caught from
shore on a snagged menhaden. While schoolies have dominated the
fall scene, there are some good fish around.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

a MILLION hits

You might have noticed the hit counter on the blog ran over a million today.  Simply phenomenal.   No question, the blog is popular, and shows the tremendous interest in striper fishing here in southern New England. I have met countless fishermen along the shoreline this year who have complimented me on the blog, the info that is posted and the honesty in reporting. One guy I met last week told me he goes to the blog first thing in the morning as he's drinking his coffee, goes back to the blog at lunchtime and visits it again before he goes to bed. Now, that's hooked.
I have stats on my management page that tells me a lot about my audience. You might be very surprised that the interest in the blog is worldwide.  For instance, in the last week here are the top 5 countries where the audience came from along with the number of hits: US-9,000, Ukraine-209, China-61, UK-12, and Russia-11.
In the last month the blog has been especially active with 50,000 hits. I think this reflects some high interest in the excellent fishing we have been seeing this fall.
Enjoy the blog and good luck fishing,
Dave

Adjustments in Unfishable Conditions

Hickory shad
were on the rampage
today in protected
backwaters that
I fished.
Even the stripers were keying on
my shrimp fly teasers.  They were
mixed in with the abundant hickory shad.
I love fishing nasty weather.  However, there is a fine line between rough, productive water and water that is not fishable.  This afternoon I headed to the oceanfront and was greeted by a huge, rough surf that was charged up by a vicious northeast wind that was gusting to 40 and 50 knots.  One gust that hit me almost knocked me over.  It was that bad.  The oceanfront was simply not fishable.
I nearly turned around and headed home, but I told myself "adjust".  So, I headed to some protected backwaters where I actually found a lot of fish.  I landed big numbers of hickory shad on shrimp fly teasers, and I also landed some stripers on a Cocahoe that was teamed up with the the teasers. I saw good numbers of these fish busting all around the area I was fishing.
When the surf gets big, dangerous and unfishable, head to the protected backwaters along the oceanfront. Places like the backs of the breachways or in the coastal ponds are good places to fish in unfishable conditions out front. These are places that have saved the day for  me in the past and worked like a charm again today.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Back in Business

A Cocahoe mounted
on a 3/4 oz jighead
was hot today.
I got back to the oceanfront today.  The big surf and storminess that has plagued the oceanfront for the past few days has calmed down, and I found good numbers of schoolies hitting in the daytime and even at night.
Today was unusual because there was just about no one fishing and nothing showing.  I saw no fish breaking and only saw two small flocks of birds diving where cormorants were driving up bait.  It just seemed like there was nothing around.  But, when I started casting away in various spots, I began picking up fish.  These were hefty schoolies in the 20-24 inch range.  The hot lure proved to be a Cocahoe mounted onto a 3/4 oz. jighead.  I went with a larger jighead because I was fishing deeper water.
So, the lesson here is that even when nothing is showing, stripers can still be around.  You simply have to get out and fish.
There were good numbers of schoolies around today but nothing was
showing.  There were no diving birds, no bait visible and
no fish breaking, but stripers were around in good numbers.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Outlook......Not Good

This has not been a week of good fishing.  We had been spoiled by the previous month of almost non-stop action for albies and stripers.  This was all fueled by massive schools of bay anchovies that seemed to be everywhere. Daily blitzes were expected and happening just about every day.
The breachways and backwaters offer the best bets this
weekend along the oceanfront. The surf is expected to be
big, dangerous and rough.
But, the good times have come to a crashing halt. For most of the week, I have seen no birds, no breaking fish and very few fishermen.  The daytime action along the oceanfront has been poor.  It seems like the big schools of bay anchovies are gone, and the albies and stripers have left with them. The only action I had all week was a slow pick of fish after dark in the breachway currents.There are always some fish just snooping around moving waters after dark, but it is a fish here a fish there with no numbers. However, some of these fish have been keepers.  
To add to the misery, the marine forecast calls for big seas and rough water all weekend due to the hurricane in the Atlantic.  One of my friends who was at the oceanfront today reported waves coming right over the front of the breachway rocks along the south shore. He also reported dirty and sandy water with no one fishing anywhere. There has been been very few fishermen most of the week in the daytime because they are not catching.
Your best bet this weekend is to fish protected waters.  If you are along the oceanfront, that means the breachway backwaters or maybe in the coastal ponds.  You might even want to try the Bay though I have no reports of what is going on in the Bay.