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RayStachelek 05-30-2007 12:35 PM

Upper Narragansett Bay 5/29
Joseph Herbert has plied the waters in both fresh and saltwater and has seen it all. A seasoned angler, Joe decided he wanted to try a different type of fishing challenge. He took the plunge and started saltwater fly fishing a little more than a year ago. Joe is the type of individual who just doesn’t jump feet first at the very beginning, rather head first with gusto.

Tuesday morning he was out with Cast a Fly to satisfy a thirst of jumping a few stripers with his new addiction. The predawn sunrise was breathtaking in orange glow and all its splendors. It was 4:45 am and the office doors were now open. What a view today from our board room window watching the sun rise over the eastern shore.

Rounding Warwick Light our wake rippled across the undisturbed water. We headed on a northerly bearing toward Conimicut Light. In the distance, the site of a half dozen terns caught are attention. The tack idled at 400 r.p.m.’s as we approached the scene. Terns were exited and diving on silversides. Tail slaps that were first thought of as being bunker, were dozens of small stripers, “On the Attract.” An olive and white Clouser did the trick and kept Joe busy for over an hour or so. We had exclusive ownership. Not another boat in sight, not even a bluefish bite to steal our flies.

The winds started picking up as the morning progressed. Joe wanted to continue stroking the wand so we searched for more protected waters. The trade off would be smaller fish. The tide was high and perfect conditions for the shallow coves along the upper bay. Joe managed to release over two dozen bass this morning. We had to adjust our game plan as the morning progressed giving us the much needed flexibility.

Right now there are two fishing scenarios going on in the upper bay. Anglers have their choice fishing over small schools of silversides or pod of adult bunker. Obviously fishing over silversides will produce smaller bass and longer bites. These conditions better serve the fly fishermen. There are some larger bass under the adult bunker schools. They may pick off one or two pogies from below and gorged themselves. Timing is important because the bite starts and ends just as fast. Wait till the bluefish find this food source. It will be chaos.

Smcdermott 05-30-2007 02:54 PM


Are you sure it was silversides they were on? I found some fish on top Monday morning and thought the same thing until a small blue puked up juvie herring all over the deck. They were about 2.5-3" in length. The amount and variety of bait in the bay is really staggering.


RayStachelek 05-30-2007 04:42 PM


Like your situation, a bass burped a few up at boatside. These schools were not very dense like you might see with baby bunker.

I'm surprised if any peanut bunker that size could be around this early in the mating season.

mikez 05-30-2007 05:32 PM

Steve and I were in the same area Sunday and the small bait was definately silversides.
We didn't see any prmoderator around the big pogies, but we didn't spend a real lot of time following them.

mikez 05-30-2007 05:36 PM

Ok this is freakin weird. This happened yesterday too.
Why can't I type the word P_R_E_D_I_T_O_R without having it turn into prModerator?

Warren 05-30-2007 05:46 PM

predator maybe?

Smcdermott 05-30-2007 06:09 PM

Well, I certainly could be wrong as they were regurgitated so the coloring could have been off but they appeared to be juvie herring and not pea bunker or silversides. They were definitely not pea bunker shape but the entire body appeared opaque which is why I thought herring. Did seem early to have the juvies dropping back already though.


RayStachelek 05-30-2007 06:28 PM

My bad.... juvie herring!

Very well could be in your case, Sean. Usually happens after a good rain when fresh water discharge is higher in most ponds and streams.

But I still think pond herring are still too small to exit just yet. From mine experience, herring start dropping their eggs around the third week in April wouldn't be that size at the end of May.

You really have to be quite the expert in identify them properly. Many of all baitfish characteristics are still underdeveloped to make a very positive ID this early.

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