I suspect that at 9:45pm last night many of you were either watching MNF or getting ready for bed. Me? I was pulling out of my garage to go striper fishing in Rhode Island.
Used to be that fall meant many long nights spent banging around the beaches, breachways, and salt ponds of the Ocean State. Sadly, the state of the striper stocks have reduced that autumn fishery to a shell of its former self. Nonetheless, needs must go, if only to remember the glorious nights of yore when the surface of my thumb was reduced to shredded flesh.
“Steve, can you get me on the hook? For old times’ sake.” Can do, Sally.
I fished two marks. The first was a skinny water flat where I used a three fly team (Orange Ruthless, small PB bucktail, Morning Glory) and wet fly tactics. The flat was loaded with silversides, and although I heard a few pops, I was only able to manage a couple of touches. The lack of sharpness on the hits led me to believe that dink stripers were the culprit.
Off to Spot B, an area with an elevated perch and nearby incandescent lights. Peanut bunker and mullet in the bait mix. Now well after 1am, I was just about to call it when I heard some mischief and saw a pod of six school bass harassing bait down current. I made a cast, didn’t like it, and as I was pulling my rig out of the water one of the bass struck. The upshot was a miss, but those fish were there to eat, and on the next cast I connected with a double on the PB and the Morning Glory.
And so a happy and tired me crawled into bed just after 3am.
Not from last night, but a good likeness of my customers.
The striped bass fishery really is in bad shape. I have seen the rapid decline over the past 5 or 6 years. I have been at this for over 50 years and it is sad that fishery management let this happen again despite all the signs. Sometimes you just have to believe your own eyes and trust your own ability and don’t believe it when people say everything is rosey. I hope I am wrong but I think this time it will take a long time for the fish to come back this time.
It is indeed. The tales of glory I remember from long ago…last night I considered my two school bass a major victory, whereas 10 years ago I would have been complaining about a slow night. I hope you’ve taken the time to send in comments to the ASMFC on Draft Addendum VI!
Thanks for sharing . I just returned from a spur of the moment jaunt to the Boynton Beach Fla. area . First time of been there in many yrs. , also since I began using (abusing) the long rod . While more of an exploratory trip than anything ,amazingly , I was able to connect with a nice mix of fish. Visited the Old Florida Flyshop in Boca Raton , the fellas, couldn’t have been nicer . Ran into a few fellow fly rod guys , the same deal . That being said , I’d trade it all for a return to the action I enjoyed not too long ago . I grew up & still live ten mins. from the Statue of Liberty , I actually caught my first two keepers with the Green Lady as a back drop , along with more bass than I’ve caught in the last ten outings in one tide , seems like a life time ago . You are correct , the fishery is in dire straights . Im trying to do my share . It’s gone full cycle for me, famine , feast , famine . I’m 60 yrs. old , I remember the bad old days . Thankfully I was around for the rebound . I’m hoping my Karma is such that I’ll see it rebound again , sadly , I’m not hopeful . Thanks For all you do,Bill Jarmolinski ( One Eye Willy ) SOL handle
Hi Bill, I appreciate your comment, and thanks for reading! Glad you had a fun time in Florida. It was pretty chilly last nigh with temps in the upper 50s and a good SSE breeze at 10 mph. I hope you’ve taken the time to send in your comments to the ASMFC Draft Addendum VI!