|Capt. Ray Stachelek reports:
A long time in the process, but hereís the first fishing report of the 2014 season.
Lots of unexpected cold weather this spring has delayed the normal timetable of migration of striped bass along with the food sources they chase. Many anglersí feel we may be as far as two weeks behind from previous years. Improvements in June with moderating temperatures should notice daily improvement. The late season should also extend the upper bay bass season into the month of July.
There appears to be plenty of adult bunker mainly north of Conimicut Light all the way up the Providence River into the Seekonk. Thatís basically where youíll find all the snaggers, chunkers, and bait fishing fleet. Many school size stripers have taken up residents in most shallows, harbors, and coastal structure but remain in small packs often smaller than three or four fish. Occasionally there are some smaller surface blitzes of schoolies on silversides in the open water. A few terns will signal the activity. Donít look for any intensity or duration as the event is short lived. There are three to five pound bluefish chasing the same schools of silverside randomly in Greenwich Bay. Naturally live bait fishermen in the Providence River constantly have to deal with bite-offs from larger bluefish.
Maria Ellis and friend Ted Rzepski from the Hartford Ct. Area caught plenty of micro bass to four pounds on several trips to upper Narragansett Bay earlier this month. On the second trip both accomplished fly fishers sat over a school of stripers sipping silversides for three hours. Doubles and tight lines were the norm all morning long. Good to see so many two year old stripers appear hopefully grow and mature to reproductive size.
Maria and Ted share a moment of jubilation, a feat repeated many times. Not much down time with plenty of tight lines.
Joel Kessler from Crossroads Anglers and his New Jersey friend Frank also had a productive day in the upper bay. Joel brandishes the fly rod while Frank enjoys spin casting plugs and rubber lures. Both men ended with the same number of fish despite the difference in angling technique. Surprising many bass rose to the surface to a slow tantalizing retrieve that morning.
Frank with a nice ten pound striper caught on a surface popper get into his drag.
Joelís a sharp dresser as you can see holds a nice schoolie caught on a fly with a sinking line.
Bob Signorello returned for his yearly trip chasing spring time stripers. Two out of three days the weather would not cooperate with high winds and cold temperatures. Bob did have one quality day with his biggest in the seventeen pound rage with most stripers over five pounds.
Bob loves it here in Rhode Island chasing the stripers his favorite pastime.
Bob does best what he enjoys; any day striper fishing is a good day in his book.
Nancy is really getting starting to get into striper fishing. Seeing here smile, she replied, ďBoy is this like work reeling in this beauty.Ē
Lastly a good friend and fisher, Joe Herbert hasnít been feeling well with a bout of pneumonia as of late. It might take a while before Joe can get back on the water. He needs some time to rest up to regain his strength and build his casting stamina. Iím sure Joe will have plenty of time to catch up on his fly tying with plenty of new ideas to test in the trips ahead. Get well my friend. Hope to have you back on the water again shortly. We know you miss being out here.