After dragging myself out of bed Friday at 2:30am only to see that they had upped the wind forecast and issued a small craft advisory, my day finally began around 4:00pm, or about twelve hours later than expected. I fished Watch Hill and the eastern half of Fisher's out of the Barn Island launch, this time armed with some eels as well as the usual light tackle arsenal, hoping to see numbers like I did last week. Inner Sugar looked promising, as I marked some decent fish holding close to the bottom. I fished it from the spindle all the way around Catumb Rocks without any luck. I watched a few other boats come and go. Despite the sun still hovering above the horizon, I drifted some eels across the areas I had marked. While I managed to snag two lobster pots, losing my rigs, I hooked no stripers. Talk about frustrating.
I ran west to East Point (Fishers), where three casts in I had a striper on. It was a schoolie, but a fish none the less. After a few more of those, the tide started to let go. I decided I drag a few tubes tight through the boulder fields. First pass, two fish on, each headed in different direction, while I was slipping boulders. I just had to let one run in the rod holder, turning into it to avoid rocks while trying to reel on the other. The first one came in quickly and was a schoolie that I popped off ASAP as I wanted to try and recover my other rig. I cranked in line and came tight on the second fish, still on. From the initial hit, I was expecting bigger, but this guy was just over the keeper limit. By this time, the sun was setting and the tide had completely crapped out. I considered waiting for the flood to pick up, but was just too tired. I ended up back at the dock trying to catch some sleep before heading out again in the early am.
I was woken as the remaining few boats came in at some point in the night, and from the conversations I could hear, the fishing wasn't as good as it had been earlier in the week. "At least we got a few," said one guy as the last two boats departed. Maybe the fish were reacting to the pressure changes, and will be back on the by the time I write this.
By 4:30am, I was dropping back in and headed out to the reefs. I had some tide left on Watch Hill, and it wasn't long before I was into some big blues. This was all blind casting, as I wasn't marking nor were there any birds to be seen. As a matter of fact, this season has been characterized by the complete lack of birds working big schools of bait on the outer reefs. Maybe it's just been my timing, but I've never out so many times and seen so few birds working.
As the tide on Watch Hill died out, I ran west to Race Point. On the way I spotted this really beautiful schooner a few miles south of the coast. I ran out to take a few pics. Race point was dead. The Helen III and a few other boats were drawing blanks. I didn't see a fish landed in 45 minutes. I'm not sure why she was there instead of with the weekend fleet at Valiant Rock, or over in Plum Gut which has been full of bluefish. The guys on that boat may as well have been jigging in a desert. Time to head back east.
The flood tide was now running at Watch Hill, and I expected those blues and birds to be up and chasing bait, but again, nothing. I fished long enough to see a few boats come and go. I took a peak east up the coast to Weekapaug and Quonochontaug, before deciding to call it an early day.
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