No holiday from the good fishing

Nice bass on a fly
Sun, calm seas, and bass on a fly courtesy of CT Island Outfitters. No this isn’t a photo from 2008.

For many people, the official start of summer began this weekend with the 4th of July holiday.  On Saturday and Sunday the weather finally cooperated with plenty of sun, but alas also with a tough wind.  It will be interesting to see how the second half of July and August fish compared to previous seasons.  Is possible we skip the summer slow down and go right into fall fishing?  Will fall start with a wimper because the fall temperature drop and water cooling is less dramatic than previous years?  What impact will all this have on the peanuts?  Who knows, but stay tuned.

Block Island

CastaFly Charters fly (www.castaflycharters.com) skipper Capt. Ray Stachelek reports:

“Acres of sand lances were dimpling on the surface as we left the West Wall Gap. The fish finder screen was painted like a floral pattern from top to bottom. That in itself was plenty of evidence to stay near the mainland today. We had second thoughts of leaving so much bait behind.

Captain Ray with a nice BI bass

Where's the smile Ray?

Dave Pollack, Paul Pezza, and I continued to cross Block Island Sound. The sunrise was magnificent looking over the transom. We were greeting with numerous shearwater and petrels patrolling the skies entering the rip. Small pods of stripers were boiling in all directions mulling over the countless sand eels. The stripers were gauging themselves on four inch sand eels. Flies seem like the natural order to fish under selective conditions like this. Just keep the smaller patterns a few feet under the surface. We were sitting in one hundred feet of water.

We soon discovered that is wasn’t going to be an easy task. Any noise/motions would spook them. Each pod seemed to stay out of fly casting range. Water qualitywas so clear and calm that they viewed our flies as unnatural representations. Talk about frustrations.  Dozens of stripers would look, nose, and turn away at the last moment. The rip never developed into any kind of boil that would disorient any type of bait fish. We just had to be patient and persistent with our presentations. Near nine o’clock the rip was dead. Four pound bluefish could be found off the New Harbor entrance mulling over the same type of conditions.

South Shore of RI

I was down in Southern RI this weekend to visit with family and had time to take two quick fishing trips with the kids on one of the salt ponds. It was more of a drive the boat fast and collect shells & crabs kinda trip but we always have to bring the rods along.  We fished middle of the day at no particular tide and were able to grab a few small stripers.   With any real effort I’m sure the average fisherman would have done fine.  So it appears there are plenty of small bass in the ponds, though the water was weedy and a dirty due to the wind and recent rain.

I also spent time on the beach on Saturday with the kids.  While I wasn’t fishing, I did notice there is still quite a bit of mung/weeds in the surf.   Mole crabs were in abundance along the surf line.

Watch Hill and Western LI

Capt. Mike Duclos of Tiderunner Charter (www.tiderunnercharter.com) reports:

“It has been an interesting week, with fog, wind and at times some very exciting lightning.  I can count the days each season that we head back to the dock early, but this week with heavy rainand flashes of light on the horizon we ran back to the dock using instruments as the visibility was nearly O.

Is it Raining?

Is it raining?

The other side of the story is that the fishing while not as consistent as in the past few weeks still manages to yield our share of bass and now bluefish on most trips.  The Rhode Island shore and Watch Hill rips have accounted for most of the bass while the Race and Fishers have come alive with bluefish in the 3# to 8# size, nice fish on light tackle or fly gear.  Baby Bunker and squid flies as well as soft baits on spinning gear both work well.  Looking forward to some sunny days. Have a great week and tight lines to all. “

Capt. Roger K. Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters (www.ctislandoutfitters.com) reports:

“The first day of July literally blew in, more like a lion than a lamb, with 20 knot winds kicking up 4 to 6 footers a mile off shore; great for a sail but not for fishing.  But the front flew past quickly, and within two days the sea state was calm again; except for the Bluefish jumping all over the place!

There are some larger fish mixed in too and from time to time will put themselves on the reel and fight like a real fish.

Sand eels are still in abundance and hanging close to shore where the current is less of a battle.  Penfield Reef has provided a perfect back stop for fish to trap bait.  It is particularly good at the bottom of an out going or beginning of an incoming tide, when the reef is exposed with no water sliding over it.

A huge population of 1 to 2 pound Blues has invaded the Sound, although they (the fish) think they are much bigger.  They are inhaling flies in Piranha-like fashion, and smacking top-water flies with ferocity, supplying plenty of fun and practice for fly-rodders.  Virtually any fly will work, but throw on something top water and watch the strikes.

Bass seem to have been a little harder to find in shallow water with the bright light and heat of the last few days, but Gary stabbed this porky prize (see picture at top) in about 3’ of water and she took him to the backing and washed him down. Pink & Green Jamal; tie more of those!”

Thanks and have a good weekend.

Garth Fondo
Posted in Lead Article, Southern New England

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