This fall brings me back to a classic Far Side cartoon I saw in college. In the cartoon is a bear as seen through the scope of a rifle. The bear in the cross hairs has a devious smile as it points toward another bear just to the right of it, hoping the hunter will shoot his friend. The bear pointing to his friend reminds me of a striped bass pointing to albies. Want to reduce the pressure on fellow bass? Get a few albies to show up.
We are in the middle of prime bass fishing but no one cares. The albie fishing is still hot and the primary target of many recreational fisherman. The season is winding down so tighten those drags and get out there.
South Shore RI and Watch Hill
Captain Ray of Cast a Fly Charters reports:
False albacore fishing is still holding its own at Watch Hill and the surrounding reefs. There have been some new wrinkles this week. The low tides have been near the sunrises. This has delayed the early morning bite with the lack of water movement. Once the current starts picking up, the action quickly starts. The good news is that the sightings have been consistent throughout the day. It’s been quieter each morning with less wind and waves. Albies have been more selective and the level of frustration for anglers has increased. Once the wind picks up it creates more ambient noise and turbulence. Hook-up rs gates increase.
The other switch is bay anchovies. They have replace the butterfish of last week as the predominate bait supply. We found both adult anchovies and the smaller size present. Make sure your fly has plenty of brown over green. There has been an increase in boats this week in confined areas. On the whole most boaters have been behaving, but there are still a few that will test your patience. My advice, “Grin and bear it!” It’s not worth the aggravation of a confrontation. It’s supposed to be enjoyment. Ri…ght! You should have plenty of chances to be over fish. You have to remember these guys are sick with albie fever and are not thinking logical.
Paul Pezza knows the feeling of a tight line and singing drag at an undisclosed location (see picture above). Dave Pollack is no stranger to albie fishing now. His numbers this season continue to grow (see picture to the right).
Eastern LI Sound
Capt. Mike Duclos of Tiderunner Charter reports:
Despite the cool mornings the days have been 10’s, with sunshine cool breezes and hungry fish. The Albies are still around from the Gulls to Watch Hill, the challenge has been getting to the fish setting up and hoping that another boat doesn’t cut you off before you drift into the fish. The albies were more selective this week, probably because they have been pounded so hard the past three weeks. We had luck fishing small anchovy and silverside patterns such as epoxy and albie whore patterns in 2″ sizes. Bluefish have not slowed down their onslaught of the bait schools, and stripers are picking up with some days much better than others. The dilemma is do we fish bigger patterns for Bass or stick to the small stuff and target Albies, such problems….. This time of the year I wish that there were 10 days in a week so the season would slow down. Better get out there, time is getting short. Have a great week, tight lines to all.
Capt. Roger K. Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters reports:
I have a picture with a fish I caught in April while wearing shorts and sandals; it was near 80 degrees on that day. However, the last weekend of summer certainly felt more like fall as I donned fleece for the first time in at least four months. The water temp is low to mid 60’s and actually warmer than the air, at least at sunrise, and it can’t be long before it dips into the 50’s; near optimum Striper temps.
But the real fun about this transition time of year is the mixed bag of game fish busting bait here and there. We got into some smaller Blues, under 5 lbs., over the weekend that provided consistent light tackle entertainment at or near the surface. Although not as strong as some of the bruisers also lurking about lately, they were cooperative and fired up on immature bunker near shore off Westport and Fairfield. There is more consistent Albie action on the NY side, but keep an eye on the breeze. The wind has been very shifty, moving from west to north and north nor’ east, which can make for a bumpy ride home.
But you don’t need to go across for Bass, there are stripers on the CT side, near shore and they are taking flies readily. There seem to be more schoolies around each week, and usually where there’s one, there’s another, and another. They seem to be feeding on small stuff, even smaller than the peanuts the Blues were spitting at me. In some spots flies were preferred over tried and true jigs.
John E., visiting from Tennessee, plucked this cookie cut cruiser off the flats in a couple feet of water, and showed it to dad, Fred (also visiting), so dad could see what a striper looks like. Fred got even later when he strip-set a few schoolies on a fly and demonstrated he can still stick ‘em the hard way.
The next report will be the first of the fall, “officially”, stay tuned.