Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Heading Downhill

Just a couple of weeks ago, the water was
clean and cool and the stripers were abundant
in the upper Bay.  Things have gone downhill
in the last week.
Ah, it's that time of year. We get to about the third week of June and the fishing changes dramatically in the Bay. In the last two outings I have only managed to scratch a few schoolies in places where I was killing them two weeks ago.
I have been staying in the Bay from shore for the last month because the fishing had been so good for schoolies and bluefish with occasional small keepers in the mix.  That has really changed in the last week due to a number of factors that have sent the fishing in a downward spiral.  Water temperatures have shot up, there is little small bait and the water quality has been poor.
Just a couple of weeks ago the water temperatures in the Bay were in the fifties and low sixties. I checked today and the water temperature at Conimicut was a very warm 72 degrees.  Credit that hot spell last week of three ninety degree days in a row for really upping the water temps.
I have seen very little small bait around.  We still have a lot of adult pogies but they are all holed up in one very popular spot. There are so many they are dying and there are loads of dead ones all around the upper Bay.  I have seen no peanut bunker which was moving into the Bay last year at this time.  If a lot of bait comes around the water can get as warm as it wants, and the stripers will remain active.
The water quality in the Bay is not good.  On the last three outings it looked like I was fishing in a giant cup of coffee with visibility about a foot in the crappy water.  I suspect that large amounts of rain, run off and warm weather have contributed to foul the water.  I have never had good fishing in water like this.
So, this is the time of year in which many fishermen head to the lower part of the Bay and the oceanfront to find better striper action.  Places along Newport, Jamestown, Block Island and Narragansett offer cleaner and cooler water and that generally leads to better fishing at this time. Another summer has arrived.