Very quickly we have shifted into the fall season. The water and air temps have dropped from just a week ago and the fish are schooling up.
Without a doubt, all the attention is on the albies. They have arrived in force this past week along the South Shore and everyone is talking about them. Most of the fish seem to be feeding on the abundant supply of small peanuts. Early signs point to a much better season than last year. I’m sure the bass and blue fishing is picking up, but no one seems to care.
With the long weekend, nice weather, and albies around it will not doubt get a little crowded. So get out early and watch out for the yoyos.
Cast a Fly skipper, Capt. Ray Stachelek reports:
It’s on! …. It’s on!
There’s no such thing as a well kept secret with fishermen if in involves funny fish of any type! The term funny fish is crafted by local yokels who describe the annual return of albies and bonito. Fishermen wait all year anticipating this event. False albacore and bonito have flooded the local waters of Rhode Island’s south shore just in time for the beginning of fall fishing. They’re everywhere right now like someone threw a switch overnight. They are in abundance too. The two strongest locations are Galilee and Watch Hill. The false albacore are smaller in size this year averaging 6/8 lbs.
Bait supply will vary per region. The albie pods around Galilee are harassing small 1 1/4 inch peanut bunker. At Watch Hill, the bait schools can be a mixture of peanut bunker/butter fish with a dash of small squid. Westerly has had more bonito in the mix. Morning tides have been good with the flood tide near sun rise. There is plenty of moving water with the full moon on Friday.
False albacore, stripers, and bluefish all caught in one morning. Does it get any better for fly fishermen? Only if a bonito was thrown in? No such luck today for fly fisherman Joe Herbert, but he’ll take the first three any day. Joe caught some pre-dawn stripers before the albie blitzes.
Catching bluefish is easy. They will be in the mix with the albie action.
To be successful at albie fishing, Joe had to follow a few simple rules. Easier said than done when you’re under the gun!
- Good fly pattern with respect to color and size
- Fast/accurate cast
- Throw into the boil
- Strip! Strip! Strip!
- Now get close enough to the boils (Hah! That’s my job!)
- Now hook-up and get ‘um on the reel
“Kind of a drag” by the Buckingham’s was a popular song in the sixties. That’s what fly fisherman like to hear this time of year with hard tail runs. Looks like Joe Herbert was tuned in with good reception. Nice work!
Watch Hill and Eastern LI Sound
Capt. Mike Duclos of Tiderunner Charters reports:
The fall blitz has started early, we can only hope that it continues for many weeks to come. This last week has been a guides dream; Bluefish in good numbers, Stripers that take on the surface in the middle of the day and now the first Albie of the year on the Tiderunner on August 31st, it doesn’t get any better than the fishing is right now. The last two trips out required no long days looking for fish, or spending the day moving from spot to distant spot on the quest for fish. In typical fall fashion catching fish has only required reading the tide, going to a productive spot and settling in to catching fish throughout the tide. Spent an afternoon with our dearest friends the Niermans who are visiting us from Missouri; when you have friends for four decades they gain family status and are no longer guests. Needless to say I was elated when Wendel managed a Grand Slam with a couple of Stripers, half a dozen Bluefish and an Albie to end the day. Kris and Norma also teamed up on bluefish to keep me working to release fish. Have a great week and tight lines to all.
Capt. Roger K. Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters reports:
Bass are back inshore and biting flies conveniently located. Although it would be nice to see a little more activity near the surface, I will regularly accept the “out of site bite” too.
Alex G pierced the puss of this porcine predator with a Clouser, patiently dropped for several seconds before stripping in about 6’ or so, of ebbing water. She tipped the Boga over 7 lbs., and put herself on the reel of his buggy whip with a nice run. There was a couple more bass on the day, but smaller.
There are some 10+ lb bruiser Blues in the neighborhood, but they are a bit fussy about flies. They are inhaling big jigs and shredding rubber fish like Shamoo. But the smaller single digit fish are getting to the flies first.
The turbulent weather has churned up the water a bit, making it difficult to see where the baitfish are, but I can see plenty of bait balls on sonar, so I know there’s still plenty around. Cormorants are diving all over the place as well, so there must be plenty to eat, perhaps too much?
Along with a healthy supply of fish food, the surface temp is cooling and it just feels like its only days before the bite really heats up again.
Good luck and enjoy the long weekend,