by Jon Waldstein

The rumors are true: The schoolies have arrived in Rhode Island!  This is a big deal for us surf casters who have been itching to dust off our gear all winter.  I recently saw the striper migration map from On The Water, and it got my blood pumping.  So last night, I decided to check it out myself.

I drove up to northern south county RI to an area well known for its early spring bite. There were about 20 other anglers there, a few with bent rods already. So I picked a good spot in-between where the fishtivity was happening and threw a 1 oz bucktail with a full otter tail strip. After a few casts, I caught one of the bigger schoolies the other guys there had seen, probably around 18″. From the looks of what the other guys were catching, the schoolies were pretty bite-sized, so, I quickly downsized my bucktail to a 1/2 oz and cut my otter tail in two halves. Then they were hitting just about every other cast. The total count must have been 30 of them within an hour. They were small but fun!

When the sun went down, the schoolie bite had gone with it. All that was left out there was bunker to snag.

This marks the start of the season for me. So happy to be out there again!