-- Block Island
BLOCK – Buster on the 4th of July

Since the start of the striper season back in early May, all of our angling has been in upper Narragansett Bay. And why not! There was some good striper fishing here in our own back yard. There was no reason to leave. There were plenty of double digit stripers following the silversides and bunker when they cooperated. But every day was different. The striper fishery lacked the consistency of last year. Still there was no reason to complain. Sure, gas prices were higher this year, but nothing compared to the record fuel prices we would see in July. Fishing was hit or miss but you didn’t have to run far.

June’s weather pushed us further south toward Jamestown and cooler waters. Providence still had its flotilla of bait dunkers and the place continued to fish well. We never got the boat north of Gaspee Point. It was just too stress to enjoy the experience in a war zone of boats.

Fast forward, the summertime has changed the fishing season once again. We splashed the boat for the first time on the ocean front on Fourth of July weekend. The weather/winds were favorable as we made the break through the West Wall gap. We pointed our bow toward Block Island. The seas were calm as we headed into the fog of Block Island Sound. Today we had two extra pairs of young eyes on watch. Jeff Paul and his friend Steve were college friends at Boston University, somehow landed work together in New York City. It took Jeff awhile to get acquainted with our GPS system. He kept saying TOM… TOM, not Garmin. We don’t use that stuff out here! That’s only for street wise people.

After a 14 mile run we started working the high cliffs on the western side of the island. Steve had no experience whatsoever with a fly rod but did have some knowledge with spinning tackle. He talked about his many adventures on Martha’s Vineyard casting plugs into the surf. Our drifts were slow. We started to cover more ground by trolling small tubes on mono. It is a good method of locating a few stripers rather quickly in calm waters. It wasn’t long before Steve’s rod was bent over fighting a feisty striper. After a few stripers on the tube we felt we had found them. Steve switched to casting plugs while Jeff started to fly fish. Jeff landed some nice fish in the next two hours. The action curtailed.

The captain gave the orders for all lines in. As you would have guessed, the last cast before moving produced an experience Jeff would never forget. Jeff has been tying a few flies for several years now. He’s finally getting deeper into all aspects of the game. He decided to tie on a very large deceiver type of green and yellow he dreamed up during the winter months. Jeff has worked to be an excellent caster. Soon that large bulky fly flew through the air 90 feet. After a short pause to let it sink and a few strips, the line went tight like never before. This is Jeff’s best catch to date on a fly especially noted that he created and tied the pattern. Oh’ what a feeling!

Jeff Paul is tired but all smiles after a lengthy fight with a 19 lbs Block Island striper.
He released the brute unharmed on Independence Day giving her its freedom.

Steve enjoyed the day casting plugs into the clear waters. He is now contemplating taking up fly fishing after watching his friend enjoy the experience.

The 4th was a Blockbuster for sure.
Captain Ray