Friday, September 7, 2012

High Surf This Weekend.....Good or Bad?

Given the choice of fishing rough water or calm conditions, I will always opt for the rough water.  Rough conditions tend to charge up stripers. Some of my best outings have occurred in water that most fishermen will not fish.  Stripers can easily swim in roughness, but small baitfish trapped in the turbulence of rough water are easy marks for stripers to feed on.  In addition, rough water tends to mask any artificial plug or lure you might be using.  Stripers just can't get a good look at an offering in rough water as they tend to hit anything that moves.  Forget fussy fish when it comes to fishing rough water.
However, rough conditions do come with risks. Boat fishing is out.  Sandy beachfronts tend to roil with sand and weed very quickly in rough water.  Surf fishermen should forget the sandy south shore this weekend; stick to rocky shorelines that can take a beating yet still remain clean.  Safety also becomes a major issue for surf fishermen.  Make sure you are fishing a high, safe perch if you want to fish rocky shores in rough water.  As an alternative, why not try the backwaters.  In the past, I have made some big scores in the backwaters of the breachways on the outgoing tides in stormy conditions out front.  These places remain fishable and productive, especially on the outgoing water, which tends to run clean.   Places like the Galilee Channel, the insides and backwaters of the breachways at Charlestown, Quonny and Weekapaug along with the back of Narrow River are all good bets in rough conditions.
It looks like hurricane swells and rough surf are on tap for this weekend with waves in the 6-9 foot range.  Yes, you can still fish in this, but it certainly means an adjustment in the places you fish and a priority on safety.