The chill is in the air


Fat fall striper brought aboard Tiderunner Charters

We are starting to reach what I call “Wow, the season is almost over” stage.

In March and April everything is great and we are happy to catch 20” stripers.  May brings worm hatches and warm weather.  We move into June and look for the big fish and consistent action.  Come July and August we are happy to be fishing in shorts and think the summer will last forever.  At the end of August we get excited watching the tourists go home, leaving the water to us “serious” anglers.  As an added bonus, the fall run is starting to tee up with bass, blues, albies, and bonitos all a real possibility.

Yup, fall has lots to look forward to and nothing to fear.  Opps, hurricanes and several periods of heavy wind shut down the fishing for a few days.  Can’t make it out now, I’ve got work obligations.  Oh yeah, school & sports start again in the fall.  Suddenly Saturday’s are spent on fields with balls, coaches, and referees.  By the time you adjust it’s nearly October!  The remaining weekends can be counted on one hand.

Sure, some of us fish through Thanksgiving and some even fish for holdovers during the winter, but most people stop when you flip the page to November.  There can be good fishing in November, but it becomes harder and harder to justify the time and energy for those of us who live far away from the water.

(Editor’s note: Sorry the report is late – emergencies in the office yesterday made it impossible to get in and get the reports edited for the week. – Mark Cahill)

RI South Shore

From Castafly Charter’s patron Dave Pollack:

Ira Asher and I went out with Capt. Ray Stachelek today and had a fine day, notwithstanding difficult – windy – conditions.  We landed two stripers – both fat schoolies in the 24 – 26 inch range, seven or eight big blues, two bonitas and about a dozen albies.

We fished off Watch Hill Reef and environs, using sink tip or intermediate lines and drifting or trolling – casting was very difficult today.  The albies were not particular; I had them on everything from a four inch long Big Eelie (with heavy chrome eyes) to a 1 1/2 inch long September Night.  There was a lot of surface action, well marked by birds, with the albies (and blues) on butterfish and peanuts.

Watch Hill and Eastern LI Sound

Capt. Mike Duclos of Tiderunner Charters reports:

This has been a transition week with a slow down of the unbelievable Albie action of the past two weeks. This week catching them required more searching, more stealth and more selective feeding by the fish.  The Bluefish are everywhere and most of them are in the 2# class with larger fish in the mix.  Managed one bonito on a soft bait while catching one bluefish after another in the Race.  Striper fishing is hit or miss unless you spend the time to looking for them: one of our anglers Adam Dorey had a good morning on Monday with a 29# Striper caught on light tackle at Watch Hill, he did a GREAT job and was rewarded with a picture to remember.  Time is short and the days left to fish are dwindling away; the fishing time ahead is the best of the season so enjoy.  Have a great week and tight lines to all.

Capt. Roger K. Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters reports:

It seems that each week I report on the fishing, there is also some kind of storm that we anglers are dodging or dealing with.  This week was no exception.

We can hardly complain after a long holiday week end with very nice weather, but by the end of this past week, east nor’ east winds raised the seas to 4 footers crashing on the shoreline, and scattered bait, and fish to who knows where.  But the winds laid down enough halfway through the week end to allow anxious anglers to resume their quest, and fishing improved in concert with the weather.


Irish striper


Dan with a 9# blue

Although a little hung over, there are some good fish willing to bite when properly enticed. Near shore fishing was definitely sluggish and the water still a little murky.  But out on the reefs the action was better with a mixed bag of stripers, blues, and yes, Albies!  Although the albies are tricky to corner, an unpredictably scattered, they are consistently near reefs and catchable if you chase long enough.  We did not.

There are some big, strong blues providing a real tug of war, such as this 9+ pounder hauled in by Tom D.  His partner Dave, visiting from Ireland was impressed by a chopper he battled pushing double digits, and also found a lovely striper as well.

The fact that the fishing rebounded as well as it did after that nasty, lingering front, seems a good sign that the fall grand finale is near.

I’ll be out there this weekend.  I hope you can sneak out too.

Garth Fondo

Posted in Lead Article, Southern New England

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