Twelve stripers to hand, and not a single picture of any of them? It’s true. We’ve all seen enough cookie-cutter bass photos; the one striper that was photo-worthy escaped into the waves; and several of them were landed in very fish-photo-unfriendly conditions. So, you have to settle for this (slightly) humorous photo essay of my week on the Block. Oh! You may also learn something…
It helps to have a 4WD vehicle on Block. Some of the better fishing can be found along the dirtier of its many dirt roads.
Here’s a little lesson in scouting a new mark. This is a section of beach on the south side. I planned to fish it at high tide, so I first visited it at dead low. This gives me an opportunity to see what and where the structure is that will be covered by water. ( Of course, I also visited it in daylight at the corresponding tide I’d be fishing). Also, note the tremendous drop-off between where I’m standing and the rock pile-of-a-beach lip at the left. Where I’m standing will be filled at flood, creating a trough through which stripers can cruise for bait. It also tells me two more critical pieces of information. First, I won’t have to cast far to reach viable water. And two, under no circumstances do I want to get too close to the edge, or wade into this trough. Sadly, the surf was too big for the fly rod when I actually fished it, but I believe this mark will produce bass for me in the future.
Fine, but I just caught a bass after four hours of banging all over this island, and now I’m going home to have a late night beer.
Elsa’s remnants produced some impressive surf. To give you some perspective, those waves are hundreds of feet away and well overhead high. In my experience, an approaching tropical storm/hurricane on Block can turn the bass on big time the night before (nope, didn’t happen this time) and then completly mess up the fishing the next night (yep, that did happen). To be fair, the fishing stunk all week, so it made little difference.
Electrical storms were an almost constant threat that week. Here I am keeping my eye on a system that was moving over the mainland. I’m also celebrating my only bass of the night, which is always a cigar-worthy occasion.
“Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women.” I remember these retro-cans from the 70s. To Block Island: you’re a truly special place to fish.
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Congrats on getting out and getting some fish!!
That’s the important part!
You know, I was proud of not getting skunked on any night. I feel like part of this was fine fortune, and part was making my own luck. Still, after what went on there the previous two weeks, it’s difficult to fathom how dramatically things changed.
Of course with the white sharks visiting the island that might be putting the striper feed off. I ran into the same scenario the last time I fished Dartmouth the last time- sharks feeding on the seals and anything else in the water. And that night I should have had shrimp, sandeels, silversides and a worm hatch all at the same time but I got one small striper before things shut down. The hatches were there but not the bass.
In this case, it was the July 4th weekend cold front that did the deed. I had multiple highly reliable reports from people who said the two weeks prior was the best fishing they’d had in years, if not ever. I had another highly reliable report of a single angler — spin fishing, OK — who landed over 75 bass one night. So sharks and seals were not the problem, as they were all there too before the 4th. However, I do wish both sharks and seals would banish themselves from Block, as neither adds anything particularly good to the striper fishing.
Thanks for sharing
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As always, Bruce, my pleasure. 🙂
Maybe a live eel would have done the trick. Watched a guy on the Cape get a 39″ fish on a eel.
Hi Bill, Live eels are a fantastic bait for stripers. Still, you can’t catch what isn’t there, and the problem clearly was (lack of) numbers in fly-fishable areas.
Good read as always!
Glad you enjoyed it!