Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Run Starting and ( A Few Pogies)

Went out this weekend and found a few fish and it was definately an early morning bite. They were a bit fussy but a white or white with yellow back 4" wildeye shad seemed to do the trick. The fish were spread out from Jamestown to Barrington beach and finding them was not the easiest thing. The were barely showing on the surface with minimal bird activity. School size was small and they were very boat shy which is pretty common this time of year. Size ranged from 20-32 in with most stripers in the 27-30 in range. The trick was to really move around and search for bird activity and swirls, tough to do if it's rough so early morning was the best time. Had to sneak up on what fish I could find and drift from upwind into them with the motor off.

I'm not sure if the fishing will get better or not. Last year it never really got going as good as previous years so who knows about this year. The next week will probably be a really good indicator of the fishing to come. Bait is really spread out and minimal right now. Tides this week are really big so that should get things going. Only time will tell.


Was heading back to the ramp Sunday and came across a good size group of manhaden, these are the first I've seen this year. Managed to snag 9 of them before they sounded. If they come in in full force the big fish usually follow. We'll have to wait and see but it was a really good sign.

Check out the video below:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Jelly fish Invasion

Went out yesterday, Sunday to scout around and see if anything was happening. I saw hundreds of thousands of jelly fish from Jamestown to Prudence. Talked to my brother( Dave Pickering)about it and he told me he saw them from shore in the providence river. I've never seen this many this early, they were pinkish yellow with long tenticles and ranged from baseball size to basketball size. I was curious if this could affect the spring striper run so I emailed save the bay and asked about this species and there feeding habits. I'll keep you posted to their response. Oh and by the way didn't catch or see any early season schoolies yet.

Update 5/3/11 :

Got an email from save the bays John Torgan. He identified the jelly fish as Lions Mane and indicated that there is an unusually heavy bloom of them this year. He doesnt see an issue between Striped bass and the jelly fish because the jelly's feed on tiny zooplankton which is not on the stripers menu. Good news! I still think the early season run is going to start very soon.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meteoroligical Data Points to a big Boating week for Stripers

Just got off the NOAA site (see links on left). With all this warm weather the water temp has reached and even pass the magical 52 degree mark. Next weeks weather is calling for cloudy days. The tides from Sunday through Friday are relative big and there morning tides. All this spells big numbers of Stripers showing at most of the mid bay hot spots. If you can get out for an early morning run it may be well worth the effort. Over the last 4 years I've absolutely killed early season striper under these conditions at this time of year (see previous posts). 2 years ago I caught over 80 striper in the 24-32 inch range in 1 day. Mind you it was a 12 hour day but I couldn't stop fishing it was that good. I dont know how good this year will be but I can tell you I'm pretty sure it will start this week. The lure of choice is usually a cocahoe (white) with a 3/8 oz jig head. I've tried just about everything over the last few years and thats the one the works the best. Light tackle is also alot of fun on these fish. So get the boat ready spool up your reals dust off the rods and get out there. You'll find the fish from jamestown to barington beach east or west passage, it may take a while to find them but when you do it can be a blast.

Some schoolies in upper bay

Got the boat ready last week. Went out with my brother dave for a shake down run everything worked fine and we even caught a few schoolies. The fish were hold up in specific areas we had to move around and once we got a hit/fish we stayed in that spot (search and destroy). The lure of choice was a zoom fluke in albino with a 3/8 oz jig head. All the fish we caught were in the upper bay rivers in relatively shallow water 5-8 ft depth. This time of the year that water heats up first and that in turn activates the fish. fish were small 16-20 in but on light tackle it was fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Striper Run is On

Went out a few times over the Last week and the stripers are active. I caught fish from mid bay to upper bay. There's a mix of bait they are feeding on but it's mostly small bay anchovies. When they're on the small stuff they can be fussy. The only thing I found effective was a 3" cocahoe in either white or white with a blue back with a 3/8 oz jig head retrieved slowly. You have to practically hit them on the head but be patient they will take it. Search for birds working the bait and the bass will be under them. They are also pretty boat shy so sneek up on them from up wind with the motor off, if your lucky the bait will use the boat for cover. Check out the video compilation below.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Spring Striper Run has Started

April 17-April 22

Earlier in the week (April 17) I went down to the coast to do some casting in hopes of bagging a few fish. Caught 4 one evening and another 10 a few days later. Seems there’s quite a few schoolies showing up along the coast, they’re generally small but a lot of fun. A 10lb test class outfit along with 3/8 oz jig head and a white/glow cocahoe seem to be what they want.

April 23 Striper madness II (“Kind of”)

Tried to take the boat out earlier in the week but I had technical difficulties with the new Mercury from Bass Pro. So I called Robert Pospisil (Service manager Bass Pro Shops foxborough , 508-216-2671) and they got me in right away and rectified the problem. Those guys are awesome!!! After picking up the boat I figured I’d go out for a shake down run just to make sure everything was in working order. I didn’t really expect to catch much since the water hasn’t been consistently over 50 degrees, but I needed to break in the new motor anyway. So I called my brother David and we took some rods for the heck of it. Stayed in the upper bay casted around and puttered around for an hour or so then BAM!!! Stripers every cast we even had a few doubles. After about 2 hours of nonstop catching (not fishing) we had about 35-40 schoolies a piece that’s about 80 fish total. Most of the fish were small (17-20 inches) but for this early in the year it was really unexpected and a lot of fun. By the way we were the only boat out there. Most of the fish were also very fresh looking I doubt they were hold overs. They initially hit cocahoes and zoom flukes but they turned fussy and would only take the zoom fluke. We used a 10 lb class outfit with a 3 inch cocahoe or zoom fluke in white/albino and a 3/8 oz jig head. Click on the video below:

The real striper madness II (Prediction) See early May post Last year

Ok here it goes I just checked the NOAA data and the mid bay water temp is flirting with 50 degrees. There’s also a big tide this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It’s possible the big mid bay blitz could start one of these days. If it doesn’t I pretty sure it will start within the next few weeks. Everything along the coast and in the upper bay has been early by 7-10 days this year, probably due to the warmer than usual weather. If this trend keeps up the mid bay should explode soon. I know I’m going to be looking for it to happen soon and when it does I’ll be there. Those early season mid bay fish are respectable usually 25-35 inches and there only around for about 2 weeks so get ready.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Time to get Ready for the Early Spring Striper Run

Every year sometime in the first week of May the spring run hits hard. It’s not unusual to catch 30 stripers or more in a day(Check out last Mays post Striper Madness). The fish usually range from 25-35 inches. I really have a blast using my 12lb test outfit on these fish. So dust off the rods, clean and lube the reels, respool the line. You’ll also want to get the boat ready. I usually check everything out to make sure I’m ready to roll then I take the boat out for a shake down run in mid to late April. I know to some this may be a bit early but the early spring run only lasts for about 2 weeks so you want to be ready to fish hard.


I usually take two 12lb test class rods and a 40lb test powerpro spooled beef stuck. If one of the 12 lb class rods has a problem I can switch fast to a rod that’s already rigged. There’s nothing more aggravating than sitting in the middle of a huge school of frenzied Striped bass with a loop in your line. Last year the bail broke on one of my rods while I was in the middle of a fishing frenzy. If I didn’t have that second rod my day would have been done. The reason for 12lb test class outfit is its fun and the fish are usually on really small bait so you have to use small lures and a 20lb class rod and up just cant cast that stuff.

As for the beef stick, sometimes you need to bounce a jig off the bottom and powerpro has incredible feel when you have a lot of line out. The jigs are also pretty big 2-4oz to get down deep so a strong rod is in order.


The last couple of year’s cocahoes with a 3/8 oz jig head tied directly to a 15 lb test fluorocarbon shocker have been deadly. But in other years 3-4” wild eye shad in blue have been very effective. Stripers can be very fussy so I usually bring tons of plastics with many different jig head combinations.


Ok here it is- water temp above 50 degrees, big moon tide, cloudy foggy semi stormy weather. If you get all these lined up the first week of May get ready it’s going to be crazy. Even sunny weather will produce if the temp and tide are there. Early morning appears to bet the best with the exception of cloudy rainy weather. Check out the NOAA data on the left column I usually print out the tide oscillation chart for early May then just watch the weather and temp.

So get ready the spring striper run is just around the corner. Come back to the site and check up on updates. I’ll be back with more info the last week in April unless something happens sooner.