-- Block Island
Busmenís Holiday

There may be a small silver lining in the troubled economy after all for some of us charter captains. Bookings have been slower than usual. Itís understandable. Many are looking for work or had their hours cut. Everyone is affected with higher fuel cost, utilities, and food.

There are plenty of holes in my schedule now to wet a line. This has never happen before, especially during the regular fishing season. When you see good conditions to fly fish on the ocean, you take it while itís still summer. The weather has been perfect lately. Besides, you always need the Intel anyway.

The ride out to Block Island was fast and smooth as the sun rose over the North Rip. Passing the B1 buoy the current was racing toward a westerly direction. New moon tide today had plenty of water movement, perfect time to fish the south side.

Mike Testa was my guest today. Heís an extremely eager and energetic individual who cherishes any time he gets on the water. Mike has been with us a number of times fishing with family and friends. He loves the total experience of fishing and being outdoors.

Fishing during the hot humid, months has many more limitations. The windows of success are much smaller. Bright sunshine, warmer waters will move fish to deeper depths. Today was no different. One does not expect the bite to last for any long duration. Strike while the iron is hot! The trick is to find what works in a very limited amount of time that you have. The earlier you find this out, the better your fishing will be obviously.

Here is some information that may help.

The waters around Block Island are unbelievably clear compared to the upper bay. Visibility may be up to 25 feet. Before I leave my house I make sure I have clear stealthy fly lines on board. The prep starts there. Make sure you have some type of poppers and crease flies too. There will be more on that later. Fishing with sink lines is beneficial in the morning with low light conditions. As the sun rises higher in the sky, youíll notice a change in attitude with the stripers. Thatís because these wary flats minded stripers become line shy. The suns angle is now penetrating perpendicular to the ocean floor. Dark fly lines contrast with the environment.

Now is the time to switch to a clear line. Youíll notice that the stripers are still holding close to the bottom. Strip after strip produces no results. Your fly simply will not get down into the strike zone. What gives? Thereís not much you can do in this situation other than to put on a heavier fly. Anything else will give your tackle away. The rub! Clear fly lines are only manufactured in the intermediate/ floating ranges. Thatís when you tie on some type of popper. Most of these stripers are enjoying the benefit of the passing current. There hasnít been much bait supply lately in waters around the 14 feet mark we have been fishing. They will rise to the surface presentation (as unbelievable as that sounds) due to water clarity and noiseless condition. I was amazed too that a fly higher in the water column like a streamer did not produce. The noise is important with poppers to get their attention. Make it look like a struggling baitfish caught in the current. Youíll be surprised too!

Rap it up!

The striper bite is best in early morning naturally. Bluefish will gradually replace the bass. These fish including bluefish are line shy too. I kid you not! Try alternate fishing methods besides fly fishing. Stealth conditions and casting long distances away from the boat becomes important in the brilliant sunshine. Make plenty of surface noise later on in the mornings. Summertime is not fast easy fishing. Itís angling! There is still enough action to satisfy your appetite during the slower months of summer to get you bye.

Mike Testa released this Block Island striper.

Captain Ray