Capt.Castafly

RI Fish Report Blog. Closed Season. Last thoughts?

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The fish blog was created as a communal gathering place to share, report weekly fishing activity.

This will benefit those who greatly use this RI forum and ply our local waters. The premise is to gather all weekly reports into one common portal, thus making it easy to access, view and add your own fish reports.   This is the fourth year for this type of approach. The years past have had great participation and much success.  Post your success or skunks.   Either way, black or white, zero to hero, let us all know if the bite is good or just not worth it getting off the couch.  Fresh, factual information is one of the best sources of Intel with the ever changing fishing conditions we have today. 

Now that we are in the holiday season, and most gear have been put away, with few fishing, it's time to close the Blog for another season. Rest assure it will return and start again in 2022.

I'm trying to think of the high lights and low lights of this years season. Here are a few of hot topic buttons.

Let there be " Light ?"  I'm sure there will be some who want more candle power head lamps for Christmas.

Tape Measures - I hope some get stocking stuffer for the coming year with accurate scales and measurements. Maybe more important that some learn how to read a ruler.

Fuel prices - It started to go up during the fall season. Now it's up to $3.35 or more. Please Santa (Mr. President) Don't kill us next year. I'm thinking over four.

Parking and Crowds - Get use to it. Nothing is safer than being outdoors with COVID around.

New Normal - Get used to reduced catches, poorer fishing, lousier weather.

Add your own thoughts on the pending season. Any high lights / low lights you want to share?

Now is the time.  

 

Edited by Capt.Castafly

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Ray,

Let me be the first to thank you for your blog and reports. Always honest, timely and informative. 

Albie season started with a bang for me on Aug. 30th then went downhill quickly from there but at least I was able to hit them. 

Good luck with 2022!

John

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Worst shore fishing for albies I can remember. I know there were some around, especially early, but I never had a legit shot in about a half dozen tries. I quit trying but nothing I heard makes me think I missed anything. 

 

Mystified by the bluefish. Had a couple good trips in Spring but they were MIA for the Fall.

Snappers on the other hand were very numerous. Plenty of babies around. Just don't know where the parents went.

 

Stripers, well, everybody knows the score by now. There were definitely some schools concentrated in certain spots. If you got those spots dialed in at the right time, you could do well with numbers and some slots. Unfortunately word travels quick and those spots got real busy and stayed that way.

The sad thing was all the dead water and happy baitfish. Even backwater spots that almost always had schoolies were empty. 

 

Shad were plentiful, eager and big. Made for good practice for my kid who is learning saltwater fly fishing. 

In normal years I would have avoided the shad. This year we actually ended up targeting them. Better than getting skunked when you drive 4 hours round trip and skip a night sleep.

 

I hope things turn around for next year. Even though I'm a Ma guy, my heart and roots are in SoCo. My kid pesters me to go to the canal which I hate. When it's dead in SoCo, it gives him an excuse to beg for the canal. Especially where it's closer.

I don't want to face the last couple seasons I got with him before he gets independent sitting on my ass watching him fish that ugly ditch.

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This was a head scratcher of a year on many levels, and clearly some of the aspects of fishing that changed with Covid are not going away.

 

Bluefish - Rolled in early spring with a presence and then dissappeared, never caught many from shore after that.  Even in fall when they should have been mixed with bass they were just completely absent from my spots.  Regarding boat fishing, in the bay it  was all the bluefish you could catch this fall not sure how they never really hit the beaches.

 

Albies - dont really fish for them, yet, but hope to change that.  From shore i dont have the time in my life to sit during daylight hours and just wait for them to show.  Having more access to a boat now, i will certainly try to target them more. Had a few shots at them this year via boat but never rigged just for them and they laughed at my attempts. :laugh:

 

Bass - this was a really mixed bag, the bio mass is clearly in trouble there are just not enough fish to spread out and fill in all the spots.  It was a very hit or miss season.  That being said i had some nights of ridiculous fishing this year due to the peanut explosion.  It was lights out every cast below, at, and over slot.  These bites would happen for a few tides and then it would be back to ghost town.  If you hit it right you would think the bass fishing is great but there were many nights of grinding out a few fish during prime tides. Several spots that have been consistent producers over the years were TERRIBLE this year, which again notes to the biomass.  The lack of fish is certainly causing the fish to congregate in specific spots, once those bites are blown up the crowds were ridiculous.  I have no interest in fishing the crowds or with the masses, its annoying frustrating and not why i fish.  Its not just about catching, despite many of the new comers attitudes.

 

Bait - the volume of peanuts was great and crazy.  Total lack of sand eels that usually push in with the June moons didn't materialize, and the fishing during that time period for my usual haunts really suffered.  Less needlefish, less mullet, and bay anchovies didn't really seem to materialize till later then usual at from what i saw.

 

Weather - the stormy, windy, and rough fall really seemed to screw with the fall fishing.  No good Nor'easter or off shore hurricane fishing for me, usually i can hit one or 2 of those right in a season.

 

Crowds - Clearly more people fishing then ever before.  A new aspect is the shift of the white bucket crew that would show up in masses to fish during the day  have shifted, and i am now seeing these groups show up at night.  Large groups, bright lights, not everyone fishing but still tying up spaces and crowding other folks out.  They do not seem to care who was there first and will basically try to squeeze you out.  Exchanged words with a few groups, but again not why i am out fishing, and i tend to start staying away but you can only abandon so many spots especially when the fish are focused on some of these.  Any spots that you can park near where you fish is a total **** show, and i dont think this will ever change.  Along with this shift, there is a marked increase in poaching.  The crowds and lack of enforcement have made poachers lose all fear.   As an example of how this has changed, years ago fishing the bway a guy caught a mid 30" fish and kept it (this was when could keep 2 over 28"), then a few drifts later caught a 27"ish fish and kept it.  The other folks fishing were all over this guy, and he left and im not sure i saw him there again that year.  We were willing to police ourselves back then, its just not the way anymore.  DEM is useless, i still call to do my part on reporting poaching but we know they are not coming.  And they could really rotate between 4-5 spots and bag all the poachers they want.....  Its tougher and tougher to find spots that produce consistently and are not crowded all the time.

 

Getting more access to a boat i plan to boat fish more, to allow me to be more mobile and get kids into fish.  Kids has a blast catching scup ( make amazing fish tacos) , and blues this year.  However i could never stop surf fishing, there is just something about fishing from the surf at night that cannot be matched.

 

 

 

Edited by Kooky

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Fall outshined the spring by a mile for me. Was very fortunate to find a few of those groups of quality fish that hung around multiple nights in a row in September and October. Overall, I learned A LOT this season despite the relatively dismal fishing. Learned new spots; refined my knowledge of known spots; learned how to tie bucktails; got better/more confident fishing certain plugs, etc. I’ll take it. Big plans for next season. In the meantime, I’ll be reading lots of surfcasting books. 

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For me, the spring and fall, R.I. bay striper fishing from shore in the daylight was terrible! Most spots that I do well at were horrible!

If I didn't have to work, I could have fished spots at night that produced for some people I know, mostly midnight to dawn. Next to nothing for blue's.

The oceanfront fall run never really happened for me, again daylight. Certain spots Produced some great fishing that I could not be part of at night, when I could fish at night, specific spots were so overcrowded, so I tried less crowded spots that were not as good.

I did great at a well known spot in south east Mass.

Winter fishing started good and sucks now.

The weather, The crowds, and lack of fish, made up my second worse year ever. 

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Other responsibilities still keeping me away, I didn't get to fish until later in the season and then not as much as I wanted to.  Fished only with my son (13yo and no fear), which limits my catching but I wouldn't give up for the world.  All kayak/small boat, no shore fishing except incidental around launching/landing or areas that required a boat to access.  No late-night fishing at all (sigh).

 

Spots that were almost sure bets under certain circumstances became questionable. One spot which always produced for me produced nothing this year over three trips.  But when they were in an area you could catch until you tired of it. My son got a couple med-small blues but I never did. I found a lot of bunker schools in historically productive spots with nothing on them.  I also found more different species (chub mackerel, shad, albies) feeding heavily in areas and times usually dominated by stripers and bluefish. 

 

I used to by-catch a lot more groundfish while targeting stripers (daytime, targeting ~1-3' off the bottom) but I don't think that happened once this year.  

 

Closest I came to having to deal with crowds was when a guy on a dock was casting into the same area we were fishing from kayaks.  Which is exactly why we have been fishing mainly from kayaks, and in areas where I don't see other kayakers. 

 

On the good side, the next house is almost done and maybe I can stop the 16-hour days (full-time job plus working on the other house) next year.  I'm old and tired :p

 

(edit) I also caught more fish in the bay than out front, in spite of spending roughly equal time in either environment.  

Edited by rolm

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2 hours ago, bassing said:

 

Winter fishing started good and sucks now.

 

Interesting, i have not moved to potential hold over areas yet. But last year i fished a staging area for hold overs and the fishing was lights out Nov - thru much of Dec.  This year it has been abysmal, which makes me wonder if there is going to be much of a hold over fishery...

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On 12/2/2021 at 10:25 AM, Kooky said:

Bass - this was a really mixed bag, the bio mass is clearly in trouble there are just not enough fish to spread out and fill in all the spots.  It was a very hit or miss season.  That being said i had some nights of ridiculous fishing this year due to the peanut explosion.  It was lights out every cast below, at, and over slot.  These bites would happen for a few tides and then it would be back to ghost town.  If you hit it right you would think the bass fishing is great but there were many nights of grinding out a few fish during prime tides. Several spots that have been consistent producers over the years were TERRIBLE this year, which again notes to the biomass. 

My season was very similar.  For a few stretches that are normally "can't miss" you'd think I was casting in January. 

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10 mins ago, Kooky said:

Interesting, i have not moved to potential hold over areas yet. But last year i fished a staging area for hold overs and the fishing was lights out Nov - thru much of Dec.  This year it has been abysmal, which makes me wonder if there is going to be much of a hold over fishery...

Its not looking good

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Legit.  Is somebody trying to intimidate you?  If been having some crazy **** happen to me.  All kinds of stupidity.  Are you the cat or the mouse.  Do you like toying with your prey.  

 

Beyond that Sally sucks seasnakes by sea brights seashores

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Dogfish everywhere this year. Years past I never caught them from shore only on the boat. This year I couldn't escape them in either place. I caught dog fish while scupping, while fluking with bucktails, while chunking pogeys, while throwing the kastmaster on my freshwater pole for skipjacks. I even had one INHALE a squid jig. Hell I probably caught one while changing the oil on my truck.

 

Bait was surprisingly plentiful every trip all around with nothing on them.

 

The return of the weakfish I think is a little under reported story this year. Everyone I know caught at least 2-3 on the bigger side this year. I personally caught 8 keepers this season. I kept the smallest one released the others just wanted to taste it for the first time. In years past there would be at most 1-2 total catches in my group of friends and on the smaller side.

 

Fishermen eyeballing stripers and declaring within the slot is at an all time high. And these guys round up, add 5 inches and then an extra 2-3 just to be sure. Or just subtract 10 if they are in the bigger side. And that's if they aren't immediately thrown in a cooler.

 

I figured with the slot restrictions people would carry tape measures but nah they didn't care.

 

Maybe I'll buy a few and start handing them out. But I assume they'll end up as just another piece of plastic in the ocean.

 

Edit: I did say something to a gentleman that caught a bass next to me who was examining the fish with his phone. I asked him not to upload instantly the picture I assumed he was taking to FB with a location. And he explained to me he was using his iPhone camera to measure it which I thought was pretty cool. I however pulled out the physical tape measure and the phone was off by a 1/4 inch.

 

Edited by Zubinac

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Thanks, its been a tough go for them on lures the past 10 yrs, even though they supposedly showed up better in ri this past season. 

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