Saturday, May 12th, Bristol Rhode Island
Nature was in perfect balance today. A light southwest wind was barely putting a ripple on the surface. Top water temperatures remained a constant 67 degrees no less. With a low tide at 5:30 am this morning, the current started to pull about an hour later. The timing of the arrival of the first major schools of migrating silversides and striped bass coincided with an abundance of plankton and algae in the water. On board for today’s trip were Greg Owirka (grego) and Al DeLuca (Al_D) as they are known. All the fish factors were in place and the God’s of Neptune were agreeable.
Located some swirling activity along the rocky shorefront of Colt State Park. Made our first drift. Al was the first to connect on his second try using a small Capt. Ray’s Angel Hair fly on a clear intermediate line. Brought to the boat our first fish of 4 lb., a nice plump ocean racer striper complete with sea lice. Release at least 10 others of similar size using the same technique. Others boaters taking note, quickly congested the area with motor noise and live bait techniques.
Headed south toward Poppasquash Point along the western shore of Bristol RI. Water was cleaner with less pollen. Acres of silversides were filtering algae down to 10 feet. Bait started to condense and move toward the surface in a nervous like fashion, much like a light spring rain. Surface action erupted as the first wave of stripers strafed completely toward the surface school of baitfish. Not a violent confrontation mind you like a bluefish blitz, but a rather selective controlled choosing of food source. This is probably why the action continued all morning long. Each frenzy would last for 15-20 minutes, than a pause. Long enough to observe their direction of their next sortie attact. Action was continuous for the next four hours or so.
Surface and subsurface activity – Intermediate lines with angel hair flies, olive ultra hair Clousers and small flies with flash. Sizes to match the 2 inch surface silversides and spearing.
Deep Depths – Quick sink rate fly lines with olive angle hair and flatwing type flies of larger variety. Fishing the edge of channels with 30 feet drops and 30 second pause. Very slow retrieve rates.
GregO manage to get half a slam. Brought two keeper size bass to the rails along with a Josko (sea robin) fish. All toll more than 75 fish were released of varied sizes. As Greg noted, It’s nice to see that all year classes were represented.
Catch of the Day – Later after noon lunch, Al’s wife, Jenn joined us with Alton, their three-year-old son. Talk about a great Mother’s Day gift. Jenn lifted her first fish of the season as young Alton was admiring her fish catching talents. A Kodak moment for sure.
Antidote to this report. Had a friend put his boat in about an hour after after us. Same launch ramp. We took a left and he took a right. Not a bump for the entire morining. Just goes to show that being in the right place at the right time has merit. How many times do we flip a coin and make the right decision? There is still an element of "Luck" to this sport.
Capt. Ray Stachelek
What a fantastic day! Certainly the most productive day of fly-fishing I have ever had. Let me begin by saying that early season Striper fishing on the RI coast is clearly under rated. The weather was just about perfect, 6:30 AM, FAC & the first swirls 300 yards from the launch. Al was on fire using the Angle-Hair flies & Ray was right behind. I didn’t really have my Mojo working because I was not hooking up nearly as much.
After that spot cooled off & other boats started moving in, we headed out to the point of the neck. We were checking out a Boulder field that Ray likes to fish, when we noticed what looked liked a large school of bait, so we motored over to investigate. Sure enough, a LARGE school of 2-3” spearing. A few birds were diving on the bait. The bait was dimpling the surface, but appeared to be unmolested. There was a second school of bait & then a third. There were several boats off in the distance, but we were the only ones who noticed what was going on. We were moving between the bait schools, checking the Fish Finder & waiting (hoping) that some fish would find this Banquet. Well, we didn’t have to wait long; the first “wave” erupted just yards in front of the boat. We killed the motor & litterly drifted into a ¼ acre feeding frenzy. I have never seen stripers feeding so close to a boat, staying on top & not getting spooked. This first wave lasted about 20 minutes & Still not another boat around us. The fish finally went down, but after a brief regrouping of the bait, it started again a few hundred yards away. Just about that time the other boats caught on & we were no longer alone. However, the fish & bait spread out & smaller versions of these eruptions were popping up all around the area. So as the fish spread out, so did the boat & one or two boats worked different pods. This went on for hours! I was doing the same things as Ray & Al, but for some reason I just was not getting as many hookups. Well, when what your doing isn’t working, try something else. Ray had mentioned that although the fish were busting the surface other fish were showing on the finder near the bottom. So, I switched to the QD-line with a Fluoro leader & a 3” olive Clouser & started dragging the bottom looking for some Big Boys. Well it paid off, two 30” fish in the 8.5-9 lb range. I also caught the two smallest fish on the day, which were 12” rats. However, I see the huge range of sizes as a very good thing; we caught rats, dinks, micros, twinkeys, schoolies & many Upper 20s”. Lots of class-years represented! I have never seen a spring blitz like this before.
Ray, thanks again for a great Spring Break Out!!
OOOP's I did it again!
Nice job GregO, Ray! Beautiful striper, beautiful day.
Looks like Capt. Ray is fixin' to weigh you with that bogagrip! ;-)
Greggo, what a beauty!!
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