ALBIE SHOOTOUT RECAP
As you might expect, during a week bookended by tropical systems, entries were a little less plentiful over the last 10 days. The albie fishing was really starting to build to a peak in Rhode Island waters before Hurricane Lee hit the drive thru window east of the Cape and sent massive swells in to pummel our shorelines. That was a best-case scenario though and the fishing recovered quite quickly, just not in the same spots they were before the blow. For a few days we saw them seeking refuge inside Narragansett Bay, from the north end of Jamestown, across to Fort Adams, up to the Mt. Hope Bridge and down around Common Fence Point. As the water out front began to clear we saw a few spots heating up, the first big flare up happened at the West Wall where shore casters experienced a few days of red hot fishing and a few anglers reported double-digit catches from the wall. At the same time, the movement of fish that had recently entered Long Island Sound made a long sprint to Middle Ground off of Stratford and set up came there for a few days—disappearing a few days later.
As the second system approached, we saw a second wave of fish hit the West Wall and then Watch Hill, reports from area sharpies told of 20 to 30 fish days! Eastern Rhode Island – including Aquidneck Island – has seen scattered albie reports for the last week. There are fish around the area, but not in big schools or reliable numbers. There have been reports of big numbers of albies inside Buzzards Bay and all this east wind could be a good thing, hopefully pushing them west to restock local waters.
The Cape has had a bit of a weird season so far, finicky fish have been the norm there, which could be because of all the small bait, or the insane boat traffic (or both). But after the close brush with Hurricane Lee, many of the fish ducked into the bays and ponds along the shoreline from Nobska to Waquoit. The anglers that braved the wind and weather were rewarded with pretty good fishing in these protected waters. And – if the Vineyard Derby results are any kind of an indicator – it appears that a new push of fish is coming in now; one of those fish, a 19.21-pounder, fell mere ounces shy of the Massachusetts State Record! So in spite of the tumultuous weather, albie season seems determined to soldier on through the slop.
We have three new contenders on the board this week, one for each category. In the shore division we have Jack Creighton who logged a pair of albies and a bonus bonito. In the kayak division we received three entries from local hardcore angler Carson Turowski. Another local threw his hat into the boat division with three albies landed from a dinghy in Rhode Island waters. Beyond these, we received updates from Patrick Hay and Charles Talbot proving that the Cape bite is still alive and well after the storm.
The 2023 Albie Shootout will continue through October 30, so there’s still tons of time to get your entries on the board. Let’s all say a collective prayer for stable weather and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see another prolonged and reliable fishery come back into focus. Good luck out there!