The fishing has been good to great if you know what you’re doing, which is to be expected this time of year. I’m happy to say I’ve gotten a good amount of time on the water. I have gotten in about 8 trips in the last two weeks after taking a long long weekend Memorial Day weekend. There are a few key themes I have been noticing.
Lot of Rain? Fish the Incoming.
Memorial Day weekend we were coming off of a sh** ton of rain. I opted to sleep in and fish the morning incoming tides, and it paid off. Over two mornings we managed a bunch of nice fish on artificial lures. Saturday we had one nice bass at 28 inches under midday sun, another nice one at 26, and plenty of schoolies to keep the lines tight. We did catch some fish on outgoing too, just under keeper size. Action was significantly slower though. The Tuesday before Memorial Day I had another nice 28 inch bass on early incoming tides. That has been the tide that’s getting it done for me so far. With all the rain forecasted this week, it will be very key going forward.
At night, I have been chunking and targeting big bass. I have also had my best action on incoming tides then too. The best results were Sunday and Monday night with nonstop action on bass from 30-36 inches on chunks in about 35 ft of water. I mean nonstop, 10 fish in that range per night.
Unless you are Fishing Schools, Topwater Not Getting it Done
Despite my love for watching fish explode on topwater plugs, they have just not been getting it done. I don’t know if it’s a colder than average spring (surface water temps fluctuating between high 50s low 60s) but the topwater plugs have not been producing for me as they have in past years. The swimmers such as SP Minnows, Yo Zuri Crystal minnows and Bombers have been getting it done. So are soft plastics such as 9 inch weighted Hogy’s, half ounce to ¾ bucktails with trailers, and shad styles as well.
Big Bait Moving in Thick with Big Fish On Them
This week is the first I’ve seen really big bunker schools tightly packed, looking nervous. Off Greenwich Sunday I fished a school of bunker getting totally hammered by big blues to 16 lbs. I mean really big blues. What fun! I fished big poppers, testing out a new one called the Shimano Orca. When the blues were pushing schools around, the Orca almost always got a strike, every cast. It puts up a huge splash, bigger than most lures I’ve seen. When the fish weren’t as tightly packed, the Doc Spook was getting it done. Nothing better than watching blues crazily chase (and often miss) topwater. I also have reports of big schools off Norwalk Islands. The Bass a Palooza contest winner was won by fishing bunker schools. Many captains are targeting them this time of year. In the weeks going forward, if it’s a calm day you can bet I will be searching behind the islands for schools of bunker. If they look too happy, move onto the next school.
I haven’t been focusing on Bottomfish, I usually wait till bassing slows down. However I have taken about 2 drifts In Middle Passage. Of those 2, I managed a keeper fluke, 18 inch fluke, and keeper seabiscuit AKA sea bass, and no real Sea Robins to speak of. I’ll take it! I know I can’t sustain that kind of luck but damn if I won’t try.
Fish porn below..