Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crowds, Warm Water and Marginal Fishing

I usually don't fish the oceanfront on  Fourth of July week because it's a zoo. However, yesterday I had an errand to do at south county and was down there anyways so I took a rod with me to give it a try.  I got to the oceanfront about 5 PM.  The crowds at that point were unbelievable.  Parking lots were  filled, restaurants jammed and traffic was moving at a crawl.  But, I did manage to find a parking spot near the West Wall, and I decided to go looking there hoping to find the abundant bluefish that have been reported. I found no bluefish, but I did manage to catch five fluke with a bucktail jig. All were undersized. There was lots of bait along the Wall, but no bluefish.  There were also no fishermen which tells you a lot about what has or hasn't been happening.  From there I headed to the East Wall about 7 PM.  Same story, people and traffic jams all over the place.  I was barely able to park there as the free beach was loaded.  Got one fluke off the Wall and saw no bait and no blues.  Finally,  my last stop was at Narragansett Beach where I arrived just before dark.  Ocean Rd. was jammed with cars and people walking around, and there were hundreds of people on the beach and in the water at dark.  I walked a ways down the beach and finally found an open spot where I would not hook a swimmer and I started plugging. Boy, the water was warm.  Also, there was no bait around.  I did manage to pick up a schoolie (see pic) about 20 inches long on a Slug Go well after dark after most of the swimmers had departed.  That was it.
So, striper fishing from shore is in a summer slow down here in RI with lots of people, disruptions and few fish around.  Daytime and evening fishing is pretty much a waste of time in the daylight. Even bluefish are nowhere to be found. Word is that those venturing out very late from midnight to 5 AM are getting an occasional keeper bass on eels.  Most fishermen I know are cutting back on their trips to the oceanfront or giving up until the fall.  Summer fishing is not looking good at this point.