|Conditions at the Block have changed drastically from last weekís banner trips. Most of the sand eel sightings and bird activities have slowed down considerable. There are no presents of any squid, butter fish or half beaks with the warmer temperatures. These anodal observations have many of us baffled who fish the area regularly. What little surface bite there is has been happening near dawn, curtails very quickly during the early morning hours. Low tides near sunrise havenít helped the cause. The bites would last longer for sight casters who sit patiently, quietly waiting for a rise, but once the trolling boats move in, they put the action down very quickly. Bluefish are averaging three to four pounds will tighten lines with a small olive/white Clouser. Wire bite guards are necessary. Many bluefish regurgitate live sand eels which make me wonder where they are finding them. Not marking them on the machine either in any concentration.
Most of the smaller size stripers have separated them from the bluefish schools. Look closer to shore into the shallows for better odds. Still the bluefish to bass ratio is about six to one.
You just canít escape the bluefish demons.
Tom Brant fore fill his dream of catching his first striper ever on Saturday with several of his friends on board. Tom managed to put a fourteen pounder over the rails. Samantha, his girlfriend provided the generous gift as a graduation present. Why canít other fishermen find a woman like that? Tom managed plenty of bluefish and maybe four other stripers had plenty to celebrate afterwards.
John Potter of CT/RI Coastal Fly Fishers finally fished the Block Island water on Tuesday. An avid fly fisherman, John had no problem reaching some finicky fish with longer cast. John is usually boat fishing the Watch Hill Reef Complex, but lately water quality issues have damped the bite decided to try his luck at the island. Fishing was at a slower pace, but Johnís exceptional skill kept his line light throughout the trip. Iím sure the trip is just the beginning of the learning curve. John will certainly be back enjoying the island mystic and beauty.
Thursdayís trip with Crossroad Anglers members Joel Kessler and Sumner Levine had a blue collar day out at the island which meant plenty of blind casting, working hard all day to empty water. The sand eels were nowhere to be found today. The surface bluefish action was spotty in the early morning hours with a smattering of bait scattered over broad base areas. This quickly dissipated with the slack tide and boat activity. The North Rip was completely void of life, very strange to see this time of the season.
The highlight/lowlight of the trip left everyone in a gasp and wondering. Joel had finally hooked up with a quality fish guesstimated (by the fight and pull) to be in the twenty pound category. Joel fought the striper with complete control for ten minutes having the fight of his life. He kept the striper skillfully at bay and away from rocky structure below. Final reclaiming most of the fly line, the unthinkable happens. The hook itself breaks at the bend point; all thatís left is the fly material on a bare shank. The biggest striper of his dreams swims away left everyone in dismay.
Sumner and Joel managed to pick away at random fish throughout day fishing in close to shore. Three stripers were released with the majority of the catch being smaller bluefish. They hung in there making the best of todayís conditions and enjoyed a break away from the mainlandís heat and humidity. Block Island is a glorious place to be during the summer. Tight lines are just another added bonus.