Nov. 20, 2009    -    Charlestown, Westerly
Tide:  10:30 a.m. -- High Wind:  15 mph -- SSW
Start time:  6:30 a.m. Total time:  5 hrs
rainbow near quonnie breachway Appropriately enough, my late fall fishing season ended with one more morning of futility. Each year, I always know for sure when I'm really done - and I'm really done. In fact November 20 is a little later than I usually go, but this year I was really hoping to get one more nice fish. Having missed two months with Simona's accident, it wasn't fair that my late fall fishing was so lousy, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It wasn't for lack of effort this morning. I hiked out to the end of Napatree and fished pretty hard off a couple different rocks into some pretty frothy water. That's not a bad place to look for a late season Striper as you're practically fishing the same water as the guys in Montauk. But, alas, not this year.

Unfortunately, there were no fish at the end of this rainbow that I shot from the Quonnie area.
Nov. 15, 2009    -    Charlestown, Narragansett
Tide:  7:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  10 mph -- NW
Start time:  7:15 a.m. Total time:  3 hrs
big surf at black point I went fishing on Sunday even though experience told me it was going to be dead. Everyone knows that the first few days in the aftermath of a significant nor'easter are fruitless because the baitfish are in deeper water and the water is churned up and murky. But the warm weather and overcast skies were too much to resist so I took a ride down to RI. It wasn't much more than a tour of some of my regular spots with very little fishing. I ended up at Black Pt. in Narragansett where I fished for maybe half an hour. No fish as expected. I may try to get out this Friday and then I'll be done for sure.

The nor'easter that came through, coupled with a high tide and a new moon, made for rolling surf at Black Point.
Nov. 11, 2009    -    Charlestown
Tide:  10:00 a.m. -- Low Wind:  10-20 mph -- NE
Start time:  6:15 a.m. Total time:  7 hrs
chenson near quonnie I met Chenson at Weekapaug Pt. and we fished all morning - mostly off rocks. Judging from the number of birds we saw, the fish are still in full migration. We found the most activity between Central Beach and the Quonnie Breachway and that's where we did most of our fishing. I caught the first fish of the morning and Chenson caught all the rest - about half a dozen. There were times when I thought someone must have sprayed my plugs with some anti-fish scent. On the rocks south of Central Beach, Chenson was on my right and another fisherman on my left and they kept hooking up and I couldn't get a hit. When the bite died there, Chenson and I moved closer to the breachway and we were casting off rocks into some terrific water with birds not far from our casts. I was prepared for a big hit and Chenson got it. He landed a nice 30" Striper. A few minutes later I got one really good hit but didn't hook up and never got a second fish.

Here's Chenson doing some serious rock fishing (for Rockfish) near Central Beach. It seemed like every time I looked his way he was fighting another fish.
Nov. 2, 2009    -    Westerly
Tide:  7:30 a.m. -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- NNE
Start time:  6:15 a.m. Total time:  6 hrs
jetty at napatree I fished four spots in Westerly pretty hard - each twice. The conditions were great with no sun, choppy water and a NE wind. The most productive spot was the jetty at the beginning of Napatree where I actually got a follow and a 2 lb Bluefish. Imagine how I did at the other spots if that was the best.

I'm just about ready to put my gear away for the winter because:
(a) It's early November
(b) It's in the 30's at night
(c) It's embarrassing to keep posting lame reports
Yep - all of the above

This is the Napatree jetty where I was killing them Monday morning.
Oct. 28, 2009    -    Westerly
Tide:  5:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  10-25 mph -- ENE
Start time:  6:15 a.m. Total time:  5 hrs
watch hill light I fished all the usual spots between Quonnie and Watch Hill. In the early morning it was very quiet, but between 9:30 and 11:30 there were big feeds all along the beaches between the Andrea Hotel and Weekapaug. Unfortunately, the strong NE wind made it impossible to reach the feeds even when they came fairly close to shore. Same at Watch Hill. There was a great little feed there for over an hour that I could have reached easily on most days, but not with a 20 mph NE wind in my face. Not even with a 3 oz Kastmaster. I got skunked.

The photo is the cove to the left of the parking lot at Watch Hill and the red arrow shows the birds.
Oct. 23, 2009    -    Westerly
Tide:  5:30 a.m. -- Low Wind:  15 mph -- NNE
Start time:  6:15 a.m. Total time:  4 hrs
near Quonnie Breachway This could have been a perfect morning, but I really screwed it up so that it became a mini-disaster. I got to a spot I like near Quonnie while it was still pretty dark and put on a black & purple needle. It was low tide and there was a brisk wind at my back. On five of my first six casts I got strong taps or surface splashes from what were clearly big fish. It was odd that the fish weren't taking the needle. I looked at the plug and realized it was this Tsunami "Timber Lure" that I had bought earlier in the season because it looked like a perfect $12 knock-off of one of those beautiful $25 plugs; however, I had used it a few times and found it to be non-productive, but somehow it had worked it's way back into my box. It wasn't quite convincing enough for mature Stripers.

I quickly put a favorite black "Choopy" needlefish on, and on my first cast, wham, I was on a real good fish. It made a couple impressive runs and then a few more shorter ones before I scrambled down to a lower rock from where I could reach my leader. When it was a couple feet in front of me, I kneeled down to grab the leader and I tucked the rod between my knees. As I reached for the leader, the fish, which was about 25 lbs, thrashed its tail and started to swim and I heard the fragile tip of my Lamiglas rod snap. ?#@*&%! I was angry at myself (third time for this rod), but I was just thinking "please let me get this fish on the rocks so all isn't lost". I got a good hold on the leader and started to pull and, just like that, the fish was swimming away with my plug. ?#@*&%! The snap had straightened out. I really wanted to cry.

I ran back to the car to get another rod. Fifteen minutes lost. On my second cast, I had one more of those big fish splashes and that was it. It was light now and I was hoping that long casts with a big white pencil popper would find one more of these big Stripers, but no. I managed a 10 lb Bluefish and a couple small Stripers in two hours of casting. What bad execution. If I'd started with a reliable plug, and landed the first fish safely, I likely would have caught two or three of those big fish. They were sure there and they were hitting. Instead, I had a broken $250 rod and a lousy Bluefish. I felt like a rookie.
Oct. 19, 2009    -    Westerly, Narragansett
Tide:  10:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  15 mph -- NNE
Start time:  7:00 a.m. Total time:  5 hrs
cove at black point I started at Quonnie and hit all the usual spots working my way towards Watch Hill. There were big feeds along the beaches near the Andrea Hotel and Weekapaug Pt. but they never came within casting distance. According to the locals, Saturday had been a pretty good day with long blitzes on the beaches. I went back to Quonnie and made a few casts and then decided to try Black Pt. in Narragansett. I've never done well there, but it's a really pretty, quiet spot and it looks so fishy. I always manage to catch a schoolie there. Well, I caught two schoolies there and another guy fishing a 3" rubber shad caught about half a dozen.

The photo is the cove on the north side of Black Pt. where I finally caught a couple schoolies.
Oct. 14, 2009    -    Westerly
Tide:  5:30 a.m. -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- NW
Start time:  6:30 a.m. Total time:  4 hrs
cove at watch hill light I made my first trip to RI this season. The gate at Watch Hill Light was closed at 6:15, so I made a few casts behind the Andrea Hotel and then drove to Weekapaug Pt. There were several good sized feeds forming not too far from shore so I raced out to a rock on the left that I like. With the wind at my back, I could throw the 2 oz, white Gibbs a long way, but still a good 20 yards short of the birds. They never came closer, but I was surprised I didn't get any action. I stayed there quite a while as the feeds kept reforming and moving, but I never had a hit. I went back to Watch Hill and the gate was still closed at 8:00 so, for the first time, I parked on the street and walked in. Here again there were birds working out of range. By now the sun was up and the water was unusually flat. It was dead. I drove to Quonnie and made some more casts there with the same result. Not too many times I've been skunked at all those spots.

The photo shows the cove to the left of Watch Hill Light. It was a nice fall day for a walk along the shore but not for fishing. A local guy told me the fish had been at Watch Hill the previous day - of course.
Oct. 12, 2009    -    Magnolia, MA
Tide:  6:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  5 mph -- NW
Start time:  6:15 a.m. Total time:  2 hrs
jamie and grigoriy I started at Black Beach in Manchester by the Sea and I ran into a couple of loyal readers of striperjunkie.com, Jamie and Grigoriy. I had exchanged emails with both of them during the past couple seasons, so it was really nice to finally run into them. It was dead at Black Beach so we tried the usual spots - Singing Beach, Lobster Cove and Magnolia Rocks. No luck anywhere. Brian and Porter et al. had fished the morning in Magnolia with no better luck.

Photo is Jamie and Grigoriy near Magnolia Pt.
Oct. 10, 2009    -    Manchester by the Sea, MA
Tide:  10:00 a.m. -- Low Wind:  5-10 mph -- SW
Start time:  6:00 a.m. Total time:  3 1/2 hrs
lobster cove Well, I finally had a tiny bit of luck this morning. I started at the rocks in Magnolia and there were 4-5 fisherman there. Decent conditions and some bait flopping on the surface, but no action at all. I drove to Black Beach and just after I waded quite a ways into the water, a small fast-moving feed started up. I missed fish on two or three casts and then finally hooked a fish with a yellow/red head Gibbs pencil. I was never so happy to catch a 29" Striper. Maria, my 77 year old mother-in-law, who speaks only Italian, would finally get to taste fresh grilled Striped Bass. By the time I put the fish on the beach, the feed had moved south out of the cove towards Singing Beach so that's where I went. But first, I ran into a really nice north shore fisherman, Steve DeSisto, whom I had met earlier in the season on the Cape. Nothing doing at Singing Beach, so I went to Lobster Cove. There were some little splashes there and I managed to get three 24-26" Stripers on a small white popper. The 29" fish I brought home produced 3 lbs of delicious fillets.
Oct. 9, 2009    -    Rockport, MA
Tide:  9:10 a.m. -- Low Wind:  5-10 mph -- SE
Start time:  10:00 a.m. Total time:  2 1/2 hrs
pebble beach rocks As it was a rainy morning, after I got the kids off to school, I headed to Gloucester/Rockport. With a 9:00 am low tide, I started near Salt Island at Good Harbor Beach and then tried the rocks on the left of Pebble Beach. Next I made some casts in front of the Elks Lodge and then, finally, at the little cove at the end of Atlantic Rd. Never had a bump.

So that's four times out, and not even a splash.
Oct. 4, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  5:45 p.m. -- Low Wind:  Light
Start time:  5:30 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
foggy morning at crane beach I met Chenson at Crane at 5:00. It's another good morning low tide place to fish. The conditions were pretty good with foggy, overcast skies. We fished the area on the front side near where Chenson had seen birds the previous morning. Brian and Bill and Jason were also nearby plugging away. As far as I know, no one caught a fish. Three times out and still not a hit. This supports several of my beliefs about fishing success. The more you fish, the better you will do - for two reasons. First, the odds improve that you will be there on the right morning when the fish are there. Second, you will get in a rhythm with when and where the fish are for that particular season and the particular spots you like to fish. After six weeks off, I have no rhythm. I'm just feeling my way around in the dark. This season, I hear that Jason has the rhythm.
Oct. 3, 2009    -    Marblehead, MA
Tide:  5:00 a.m. -- Low Wind:  Light
Start time:  5:45 p.m. Total time:  2 1/2 hrs
castle rock, marlblehead It was a good morning low tide for Castle Rock in Marblehead, and I hadn't been there in a long time, so that's where I fished. Bad idea. Two other guys fishing there. No one caught a fish. I've been out twice now and I haven't gotten a splash.
Sept. 26, 2009    -    Gloucester, MA
Tide:  5:35 a.m. -- High Wind:  15 mph -- SE
Start time:  5:30 a.m. Total time:  3 hrs
gloucester rocks With my mother-in-law in town, I offered my son $5 to walk the dog in the morning and I was able to get out for the first time in six weeks. I went to the rocks along Atlantic Rd. in Gloucester and fished in front of the Elk's Lodge. There was a big tide and big surf and you had to be pretty careful out there. I never had a hit, but I learned later that the guys fishing to my left caught a couple really nice fish. That pissed me off since I was there on the right day and I'm not able to get out much right now. Sunday, I learned later, was one of the best days of the year at the same spot. Damn.
simona and kids A couple weeks ago, on a family vacation in Maine, my wife had a scary fall in Acadia National Park. She's doing fine now but will be off her feet for 2-3 months recovering from a fractured pelvis and broken elbow. With Simona in a wheelchair, two small kids, and a dog, I'm afraid there won't be much fall fishing for me. Let me know if you have any great outings so I can at least experience the fall fishing vicariously through others. You can read in the Bangor Daily News about the unlucky family from Massachusetts:

Uptick in accidents in Acadia puts stress on rescue personnel

Man in crash 2 days after wife falls in park
August 9, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  8:00 p.m. -- Low Wind:  10-15 mph -- S
Start time:  7:45 p.m. Total time:  2 1/2 hrs
crane beach sky Despite the lousy fishing reports, I had to try Crane for myself. There was a nice 8:00 pm low tide which, in some past summers, would have meant big fish at dark about an hour after the tide turns. Not this summer. I walked down the beach about 1/2 mile and fished between the two big sand bars - working my way back and forth with a needlefish. One 24" striper and not another bump.
July 31, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  4:31 p.m. -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SSW
Start time:  6:15 p.m. Total time:  2 hrs
nico with fish on
nico's first keeper
Hallelujah. Praise the fishing Gods. Nico caught a 32" Striper and a 28 incher to boot - completely on his own tonight! We went to Charleston Beach at about 6:00 on a very cloudy and foggy night. After just a few casts, I had an inspiration. I thought about the SW wind and some fish I'd caught in the past at sunset at Grove Point. Not my spot north of Grove Point, but right there casting at that big rock just a little south of the parking lot. Anyway, we headed right over there. It started like all our other outings with me catching a 31" fish and then getting another on - bang, bang. Nico was already looking dejected as he pulled weed off his plug. - a 1 oz Gibbs pencil, yellow with red head. Then, there was a yell of "Dad" and his rod was doubled over. This time everything went right and he managed to put a fat 32" Striper on the beach. He looked like he was fighting a 50 lb fish. He even got a small keeper 20 minutes later. I was beginning to think it wouldn't happen before he loses interest. What a great way to finish my two weeks here.
July 31, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  4:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SW
Start time:  5:00 a.m. Total time:  2 hrs
se light striper with bucktail We went to the rocky shore north of SE Light and started by casting into the surf in the big cove where the old iron oil tank is. The surf was pretty big and Nico had had one hit on his popper, but that was it. I put a white bucktail on and caught a 31 incher on my first cast. I gave Nico the same bucktail, but he wasn't having any luck and I was on to my third fish in the 30-32" range. I gave him my rod and let him fight and land that one. It took the sulk off his face for at least a while. Sometimes I wish that surf casting were easier. As we walked back to the stairs, I got up on a favorite rock with a big Mackerel pattern pencil popper and had a big miss on my first cast. I was getting hits and misses on almost every cast, but having trouble hooking up and then I caught a 32 incher. Nico had enough of watching me have fun and we headed to the fillet station with the first fish.

If you think you need a fancy plug to catch a nice fish, check out the $3 bucktail this 15 lb striper took.
July 30, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  10:45 p.m. -- Low Wind:  15 mph -- SW
Start time:  6:30 p.m. Total time:  2 hrs
nico at charleston beach Nico arrived on the noon ferry and we spent half the day at the beach in perfect weather. After dinner, we headed over to Charleston Beach for sunset fishing. Unfortunately, the brisk SW wind coupled with weedy water made the fishing pretty difficult and Nico even got a couple wind knots to slow us down. All we could manage was one little Bluefish. Nico had a nice follow on his popper that missed three times - fooey.
July 29, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  9:45 p.m. -- Low Wind:  10-15 mph -- SSW
Start time:  6:30 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
cove near se light I finally made it down the 144 steps to SE Light and walked north to some of my favorite rocky spots on the south side of Block. And it was worth it. I set up on a rock where you can cast into a very choppy little cove and the fish were there. I got 6-7 from 30" to 38" - mostly 31ish. I caught most of them with a 2 oz Gibbs Mackerel pattern pencil. The 38" fish was very fat and about 25 lbs and I got it on a big pink and white bottle plug that I won at a raffle. I caught it on my 3rd cast and then I got an enormous hit on my next cast and I figured all the fish were going to be over 20 lbs. Not so, but I had a couple more big ones miss. I think throwing a big popper into that kind of water from a big, flat safe rock with lots of big, aggressive fish out there is the best of surf casting. The misses are exhilarating - sometimes they knock the plug three feet in the air. It was great fun. If there isn't a big lightning storm, I'm going back there at first light.
July 29, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  2:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SW
Start time:  3:45 p.m. Total time:  2 1/2 hrs
north light from sandy point I decided to get up and fish the last hour of darkness at my spot near Grove Pt. and then walk to Sandy Point at first light. I got three Stripers at the first spot - they were 31", 33" 35". I got them on that same Chris Graves needle. I moved to Sandy Point, but it was pretty dead. I got one 5 lb Bluefish.
July 28, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  8:00 p.m. -- Low Wind:  10-15 mph -- SSW
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
fisherman at sw point I fished the incoming at SW Point at sunset beginning at low tide. The fish were there, but they weren't big. First I got a couple decent Blues and then it was all Stripers into darkness. I got six and maybe three of them were 28" - the others smaller. A local guy, Rick, was there and he caught twice as many fish including a 35" Striper. I caught most of the Stripers with a black and purple needle that Chris Graves made.

The photo is of an unknown fisherman on this foggy, overcast night at SW Point at sunset.
July 27, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  1:00 a.m. -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SW
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  6 hrs
sunset at sw point I asked Paul if he wanted to start behind the Churches, at Black Rock or at Charleston. He suggested SW Point and that's where we went. It was just after low tide and there were good conditions as the sun set. The water was full of hungry 7-8 pound Bluefish. Every cast was a hit or a fish. I think Paul hooked up on every single cast he made. We had waded out over slippery rocks to cast, so we were unhooking the Blues out in the water. Unfortunately, after we each had caught three nice Blues, Paul got a treble from his big plug deep into the top of his hand while unhooking one. No way to get it out and off we went to find the Block Island Medical Center. They did a great job (they probably have some practice at this). They removed the hook, cleaned out the wound and gave Paul a tetanus shot and some antibiotic. Paul insisted on getting back to the fishing.

It was now after 10:00 and we headed for Cow Cove to fish the incoming. Too much light and the water was pretty flat and the big fish didn't show up. I got six fish, mostly small, but a couple 28's and a 32. Paul should have been rewarded for trying but only managed a couple schoolies.
July 26, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  Midnight -- High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SSW
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  6 1/2 hrs
paul with 25 lb striper We fished the sunset behind the churches. There was some beautiful water and I don't know why we didn't find the fish there. We were casting for an hour off rocks into a cove and I was expecting big fish to hit with each cast. Alas, nothing. Finally, when we walked back to where we had started, Paul made a cast just before full darkness and caught a 31 incher.

We headed for our spot north of Grove Pt. This was the first night where this spot fished like it has in past years. Paul got a 34 and 35 right off the bat. I picked up a couple 31's and a 33 incher. Then, about an hour before high tide, the bigger fish finally showed up. Paul got a fat 38 incher and I got a 38 and a fat 41 that might have been 30 lbs. We both also caught 2-3 smaller fish.
July 26, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  5:30 a.m. - Low Wind:  5-10 mph -- SW
Start time:  7:00 a.m. Total time:  2 hrs
paul fishing at sandy point We got started late and walked out to Sandy Point. The North Rip was going crazy which is generally a good sign, but we probably missed the good fishing at first light. All we got was a couple schoolies. In other years, there would have been some good Bluefish there, but this year there aren't many Blues around here.

This is what the North Rip looks like when it's really dangerous and the fishing is generally good.
July 25, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  11:15 p.m. High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SW
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  5 1/2 hrs
paul at charleston beach We started at Charleston Beach, where for well over a week it had been on fire at Sunset, and it was dead. We got skunked. It's a shame because Paul loves that type of top-water action.

We went to Cow Cove after dark to fish the end of the incoming. It was pretty slow, but we each managed two 33" Stripers.
July 25, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  4:45 a.m. - Low Wind:  5-10 mph -- SW
Start time:  4:45 a.m. Total time:  2 hrs
paul unhooking fish We didn't get to bed until after 2:00 so we didn't get out until first light. We went to Charleston Beach hoping they would be there like they have been at night. They weren't. There was some action at first light but it only lasted ten minutes. We got four fish and each got a nice 30 incher.
July 24, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  10:25 p.m. High Wind:  10-15 mph -- SW
Start time:  7:15 p.m. Total time:  5 hrs
waves at sw point I went to SW Point to fish the incoming during sunset. Conditions were very difficult with a strong surf and a brisk SW wind. I couldn't reach the best spots and I never got a hit.

Paul had arrived on the 7:00 ferry and I picked him up and we headed to Cow Cove. Conditions seemed perfect and we fished the last hour of the incoming and two hours of the drop. It was really slow. I got three fish including a nice 33 incher. Paul didn't have much luck.

The photo is a good shot of what you have to wade into in order to fish SW Point.
July 23, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  9:30 p.m. - High Wind:  15-25 mph -- NE
Start time:  6:30 p.m. Total time:  4 hrs
cove behind church at sunset Sheesh - what a long night of fishing - I'll bet I caught 35-40 fish. The forecast was for a big storm with big thunder and lightning. With the NE wind, I wanted to fish SW Point, but I was afraid of getting caught out there in a big lightning storm so I went to Charleston Beach so I would only be 10 minutes from the car. I got there early, because the sky was already dark and it was raining lightly. The fish were there and when I got about half way down the beach I could see a big feed with lots of birds on the other side of the jetty that lines the channel into New Harbor. I headed over there and caught about ten Stripers on a white popper - they were 24-26". I walked back to the Charleston Beach side hoping the fish would be a little bigger and there were small groups of birds working there too. The fish were mostly the same size but there were some small keepers mixed in as well.

When it got dark, I put on a black needle and it just continued. By now, the storm was raging but, fortunately, there was no lightning. I had a big wind at my back and I was being pelted with rain and it was very dark. I would throw the needle a long way and I couldn't feel it when I would retrieve. But, if I retrieved very slowly, I would get a hit or a fish on every cast. The biggest one I got was 34 inches. At about 10:30, I had enough, and I left while still catching fish after fish. The majority were between 24 and 26" and I got half a dozen keepers mostly 29-31". My hands were beat up from handling the fish and I was very wet.
July 23, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  9:00 a.m. - High Wind:  5 mph -- SW
Start time:  6:00 a.m. Total time:  2 hrs
shipwreck near SE Light With a 9:00 am high tide, and a forecast of heavy clouds, I got three hours sleep and woke at 5:30 to fish the incoming behind the churches. It was spooky with both clouds and fog. I walked to the right for half a mile and ran into an old shipwreck that I'd seen walking from the opposite side at SE Light. Turns out my GPS says the shipwreck is exactly the halfway spot between the stairs at SE Light and the churches. Anyway, I made casts from several rocks that looked promising and only caught one 31 incher and a schoolie. Went to breakfast at the airport.
July 22, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  8:40 p.m. - High Wind:  5 mph -- SW
Start time:  6:45 p.m. Total time:  5 hrs
cove behind church at sunset I slept in Wednesday morning. At sunset, I went to a spot on the southeast side behind a group of churches - Jim Fraser likes this spot. I walked a ways to the right and found a great spot on a giant rock casting into a rocky cove. It was very slow as the sun set with a couple small splashes and finally I caught a nice 32" fish on a white popper just before full dark. I headed to my spot north of Grove Pt., hoping that the new moon and gentle SW wind would portend a big night. There was a slow pick and I ended up with a 30, 32, 34 & 36 plus two shorts. I was frustrated I didn't get anything over 20 lbs. I took the 15 lb fish to the fillet station.
July 21, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  8:00 p.m. - High Wind:  5-10 mph -- NE
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  6 hrs
striper at cow cove This night of fishing went from the sublime to the miserable and then to I don't know what. I decided to make a few casts at Charleston Beach before heading over to Cow Cove for some serious night (no moon) fishing. It was cool and overcast and the water was perfect. When I walked on the beach, a group was building a big pit fire and asked me if I would catch them a fish and I said "sure". As I fished the beach, I was picking up 25" Stripers on every 5-6 casts. I wanted to get them that fish to barbecue, so I changed to a big popper and on my 3rd cast I landed a pretty 31" fish. I was quite the hotshot fisherman to my new friends. While I was explaining how to fillet, I was still casting and I caught a small keeper. It was so nice there, and there were lots of fish but I kept to my plan and headed to the east side of the island.

By the time I had walked to my spot, the rain had started and the wind, which had been at my back at Charleston, was blowing in my face. It was so dark, I couldn't see the needlefish and small waves were slapping me. The storm was growing and lightning was flashing from a distance. I'm sure it was raining at Charleston, but it must have been way nicer than this. I hooked and dropped a fish on my first cast and didn't have any more action for what seemed like hours. Finally, I started getting some action. For half an hour I got bumps and hits and hooked and dropped a couple pretty decent fish. Never caught one - unbelievable. It died again and I don't know why I didn't leave. Maybe an hour later I caught a 32 and a 34" fish and I went home at about 1:30.

In this lousy photo, you can see the type of rocks you're wading over when you fish this spot.
July 21, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  7:30 a.m. - High Wind:  10-15 mph -- NNE
Start time:  4:45 a.m. Total time:  2 hrs
sw point It was a good plan, except the fish weren't there. SW Point pretty much has to be fished on the incoming. There was a 7:30 am high and rain was forecast. I got out there at first light and the conditions seemed perfect with a steady rain and the last couple hours of the flood tide. Needlefish are the lure of choice for the guys who fish SW Point a lot and I threw a white one for half an hour without a bump. I put on a 2 1/2 oz, bone pencil popper made by Chris Graves, and I caught a handsome 31" Striper on the first cast. Ok, off to the races, right? That was it. Not another hit. Go figure again. At about 6:00 birds started working about three casts away and stayed there for over an hour.

It's almost impossible to fully appreciate SW Point until you've fished it. Small, but constant, waves come in sideways and slap you continuously while you try to maintain footing on smooth, bowling ball size rocks. On the incoming, the waves can be hitting you below the chest for 45 minutes and then, without warning, one will come at your face. And that's what happened this morning except it was about six inches over my head and I just watched it clobber me - there's nothing you can do since you can't move fast on those rocks. Wham - on my butt and under the water. If you try to creep out a little too far at SW Point (gotta get closer to those birds), it almost always happens. Photo tries to show the sideways waves and assortment of driftwood that washes up at this unusual spot.
July 20, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  7:00 p.m. - High Wind:  5-10 mph -- SSW
Start time:  8:15 p.m. Total time:  2 1/2 hrs
sunset at north light My spot north of Grove Pt. fishes best on a very dark nighttime high tide with a SW wind. Last night high tide was 7:00 so you could only get a little of the drop in darkness. I got there at 8:15 and threw a big popper while it got dark. Oddly, this spot never has any action at sunrise or sunset - it has to be dark - and tonight was no different. I was basically practicing casting until it got dark.

Within a few casts after dark, I caught a 32" Striper that I thought was bigger. Two casts later, with the same black & purple Stetzko needle, I caught a 33 incher that I also expected was going to be 36-37 inches from the fight. Now, I knew I was in for a great night of fishing. Be careful of what you think you know when it comes to fishing. After that, I got a few bumps but the fish were done for the night. Go figure.
July 20, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  6:30 a.m. - High Wind:  calm
Start time:  3:15 a.m. Total time:  3 hrs
sandy point at first light I went back to Cow Cove to catch the last couple hours of darkness but this time the fish weren't there. There was no wind and the water was flat. I got a schoolie and a fat 30" Striper. When it was light, I walked to Sandy Point (photo) and fish were flopping all over the place on the west-facing beach. They wouldn't touch anything top-water, so I finally put on a Hopkins and I caught four feisty 25" Stripers.
July 19, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  6:00 p.m. - High Wind:  calm
Start time:  7:30 p.m. Total time:  2 hrs
sunset at grace cove I descended the 144 steps at SE Light looking forward to fishing one of my favorite spots from sunset into darkness. However, the water was still clay-colored from the heavy rains Friday night. I turned around and walked up the steps - good exercise anyway. Charleston Beach beckoned, but I wanted to try something different so I headed to Grace Cove which is just south of Charleston and I assumed would have some of those many fish. Bad assumption. I plugged for a couple hours and all I got was one hit. Skunked.

I shot this sunset at Grace Cove.
July 19, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  5:30 a.m. - High Wind:  5-10 mph -- SW
Start time:  3:00 a.m. Total time:  3 hrs
cow cove striper I anxiously went to my spot near Grove Pt with nearly perfect conditions. I put on a black and purple Stetzko needle and after I moved about 25 feet to my right, I found the fish. I hooked and fought a good fish and it got off. Then after bumps on my next couple casts, I hooked another good one and this fish managed to scrape off the plug on the rocky bottom. Over the next half hour I had all kinds of bumps and hard hits and I just couldn't hook up. Then, I caught a couple small fish and a fat 31 incher. There was a little light now and I switched to a white needlefish and made about ten casts without even a hit. There was now enough light to use a popper but they never work at this spot, so I put on one of the big black needlefish that Jim Fraser made and gave me when I was on Martha's Vineyard. On my first cast, I caught a 32 inch fish and, three casts later, there was a big splash and I hooked and landed the first decent fish of this trip - 37" and 19 lbs - that's a fat 37" fish. I took the fish to the fillet station and went out to breakfast. Tomorrow, I'm going to try that needle sooner.
July 18, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  5:00 p.m. - High Wind:  15 mph -- SSW
Start time:  7:30 p.m. Total time:  2 hrs
charleston beach sunset I had planned to fish my favorite spot near Grove Pt., but there was a monster thunderstorm raging when the alarm went off at 2:00 am so I went back to sleep. In the evening, I headed back to Charleston Beach. There was a gorgeous sunset and birds were working out of casting range. It was the first time in five years of fishing Block that I've seen birds working. It was a beautiful sight with the sunset.

On my first cast with a 1 oz, white Gibbs pencil, a nice fish came flying out of the surf - I hooked up on his second try and landed a fat 32" Striper. However, the conditions were different than the night before and I had only brought my 8' rod and some small poppers. With the brisk wind blowing left to right and rough surf, I couldn't get my plug out far enough and the surf just tossed it around. I couldn't believe I didn't bring even one 2 oz plug. I managed to get 7-8 fish, but the first was the biggest. I'd have done much better with bigger stuff.
July 17, 2009    -    Block Island
Tide:  4:00 p.m. - High Wind:  5-10 mph -- SW
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
charleston beach I arrived on Friday afternoon and, after reading at the town beach for a couple hours, I headed over to Charleston Beach. I love to walk the 3/4 mile of west-facing beach at sunset and throw a popper. There are almost always a mix of bass and blues there. I caught a fat 30" Striper on my first cast and, for three hours, I got a splash, a hit or a fish on nearly every cast. When it got dark, I switched to a needlefish and it just continued. In the dark, you could see and hear the Stripers splashing in the water. I would guess I caught 25 fish - most between 24" and 28" and then 5-6 between 28 and 32 inches. They were fat and very aggressive. A local fisherman told me they had been there for a week.
sandman calendar cover Reports for the next two weeks will be from Block Island.

I fished with a guy on Martha's Vineyard named Jim Fraser who, in addition to being a very good surf caster, has made wonderful calendars of Block Island, Martha's Vineyard and Cuttyhunk. The calendars have beautiful aerial photographs that make them appealing to anyone, but for fisherman they also have a monthly log that makes it easy to record the conditions and results of every fishing outing. In addition, if you're like me, it's just cool to look at the aerial photos of your favorite spots and remember some of the great fishing you've done there. You can order the calendars on line at:  FishingLogCalendars.com.
July 11, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  11:15 p.m. - High Wind:  10-20 mph -- WSW
Start time:  8:00 p.m. Total time:  4 hrs
striper at philbin beach Predictably, I went back to Philbin and Gay Head for the final night of fishing. There was a SW wind and it was overcast, with a storm coming in, so I was very optimistic. However, the strong wind, blowing left to right, made it difficult to fish the spots where I had found fish on previous nights. When I switched to a bucktail, I would get snagged on rocks and, when I used the needle or a swimmer, I had trouble casting well. I got a couple small keepers under the lighthouse where the conditions were easiest. I fished for over an hour after the heavy rain arrived, but still didn't have any luck. There were a few other guys fishing, but I didn't see anyone catch a fish. Not a great last trip out.
July 10, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  10:30 p.m. - High Wind:  very light
Start time:  7:15 p.m. Total time:  5 hrs
striper at philbin beach Towards the end of a trip like this, I tend to go back to the spots where I'm most comfortable and have had the most success. I'm a little disappointed in myself in that I haven't tried as many spots on different parts of the island as I has imagined I would. I plugged the sunset at Suibby Beach - about a half mile from the cliffs to the left and back to the main beach and never had a hit. I haven't found a good place to fish at sunset here. At dark, I headed back to Gay Head near the lighthouse. The conditions were better then the night before and so was the fishing. I caught four fish between 28" and 32" and should have caught more because I had a lot of hits and bumps. I also lost another new Stetzko when a decent fish got wrapped around one on the many boulders in the water and broke off.
July 9, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  10:00 p.m. - High Wind:  no wind
Start time:  8:00 p.m. Total time:  5 hrs
great rock bight My normal routine when I'm on Block Island is to fish twice a day - once from about 3:30 to 7:00 am and again from about 7:30 to 11:30 pm. Then, I nap on the beach in the afternoon. I assumed I would do the same here on the Vineyard but, for reasons I can't explain, I've ended up doing just one long outing each night

There's a beautiful spot on the north shore called Great Rock Bight and I had scouted it in the afternoon. I returned at sunset (photo) with great anticipation and planned to fish the last two hours of the incoming and the first two of the drop. However, it might have been just too nice on this night - with no wind and a bright moon and flat water. I plugged the sunset and into the darkness and had one hard hit on a black bomber.

I decided to head over to Philbin for the outgoing tide. I should have stayed put, because the same conditions shut the fishing down there too. I got a 28" striper near the cliffs and that was it.
July 8, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  9:45 p.m. - High Wind:  10-15 mph -- ENE
Start time:  9:30 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
aquinnah cliffs I met up with Matt and his friend Jim and we fished Philbin Beach to Gay Head. Jim is a great fisherman, who lives here on MV but has also fished Block Island extensively, and it was a treat to get to fish with both of them. After walking in to Philbin, we began walking to the right and we'd stop to make a couple casts at spots that Matt and Jim knew to be productive. I caught the first fish, a 30 incher on a bucktail, but I would end up catching the fewest fish for the night.

As soon as we got to the Cliffs, Jim and Matt started catching fish. Anything less than about 34" is a small fish to these guys, especially Jim. Most of the fish were caught on black needlefish and we caught more than 30 fish, mostly small keepers, but a few around 15 lbs and Jim got one over 20 lbs. All three of us got one of the 15 pounders. Jim caught the most and the biggest fish. At one point, Jim told me to put on a black needlefish and cast between two specific rocks. On my first cast, I had my first big fish of this trip on taking line and then, pop, it broke off with my new black and purple Stetzko. Matt also dropped a big fish that straightened a big strong treble on his needlefish.

For Matt and Jim, I think this was an average night out. For me, it was a pretty good night of fishing.
July 8, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  11:20 a.m. - High Wind:  10-15 mph -- ESE
Start time:  12:30 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
wasque rip I got outfished both times that I went out today. I thought it was going to be overcast, so I decided to take the ferry to Chappy and fish the drop at Wasque Pt. in the middle of the day to get some Blues. Turns out the rip doesn't form until about two hours after the top of the tide, so I was a little early. Once the rip formed, there were five of us fishing - me, a couple who were both throwing Hopkins, and two older guys with a truck full of plugs. The guy throwing the Hopkins got the first Blue and he caught four before I finally caught one and I even had a big Hopkins. In fact, everyone caught fish before I even had a hit. Man, I was frustrated. I only caught that one Blue. And to make matters worse, instead of being cloudy, it was a beautiful, sunny day and I could have been at the beach reading.
July 7, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  9:00 p.m. - High Wind:  10-15 mph -- ESE
Start time:  7:30 p.m. Total time:  4 hrs
philbin beach sign It was a day of thunderstorms and I didn't get out in the morning. At sunset, I wanted to fish a spot where I was close to the car due to the weather. When I walked out to the Aquinnah Cliffs the previous night, I noticed a fishy-looking rocky area right where you enter Philbin Beach so I decided to go back there to fish the 9:00 high tide. I plugged back and forth on either side of the big rocks for the end of the incoming and only had one weak splash. I was starting to think I might have chosen a spot where the locals don't fish (no one else was there).

Now it was dark, windy, raining hard, the surf was up and the tide had turned - it was real serious surf fishing and I started to get hits and bumps on the black needlefish. It took me a while to hook up. I'll give you one guess what I caught -- yep, a 28" Striper. Then another and another. That made seven since I had arrived and I was thinking that's all there were out there when I caught a 20" Striper. So, I stopped muttering about the small keepers and, wham, I had a decent fish on. It was 36", which isn't any trophy, but it was a little more fun and nice to know that there were some bigger fish around. I think I caught four of the little keepers, two shorts and the 36 incher.
July 6, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  8:00 p.m. - High Wind:  calm
Start time:  7:30 p.m. Total time:  5 hrs
moonrise over philbin beach I needed to catch up on sleep so I didn't fish Monday morning. But, well rested, I went out for a marathon on Monday night. I made a few casts at Squibby while the sun set. I got one good splash. Then, I went to Philbin Beach and began plugging my way north almost a mile to the Aquinnah Cliffs and the Lighthouse. The whole stretch reminds me of the south side of Block Island and looks very fishy. However, I couldn't get a fish or even a hit as I plugged my way to the cliffs. Finally, I fished this nice bowl right below the Lighthouse and the clay cliffs. Between 11:30 and 12:30 I caught two more of those 28" Stripers and one short and had several more hits on a black needlefish.
July 5, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  9:40 p.m. - High Wind:  10-15 mph SW
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  3 1/2 hr
infamous dyke bridge I fished East Beach on Chappy. I plugged the beach, walking 2/3 mile to the right and then back. I got two nice Blues on a big popper - about 8 lbs - while the sun was setting. After dark, I fished with five or six other guys and tried needlefish, swimmers, rubber and bucktails, but never got a bump.

I have a nice photo of one of the Bluefish but, for the fellow history and politics junkies out there, I couldn't help but use a photo I took of the infamous Dyke Bridge which you have to cross to get to East Beach.
July 5, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  7:30 a.m. - High Wind:  10-15 mph SW
Start time:  5:30 a.m. Total time:  1 hr
edgartown harbor I went out a little late (5:00 am) on Sunday morning and found my way back to Cedar Tree on the north shore. I only wanted to plug for an hour or so and then go to breakfast. I got skunked. I'm sure it's a great spot - I just haven't been there at the right time. I forgot to take a picture, so here's one of Edgartown Harbor where I had breakfast at the Dock St. Coffee Shop.
July 4, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  12:50 a.m. - Low Wind:  10-15 mph SW
Start time:  8:30 p.m. Total time:  3 1/2 hrs
small squibby keepers Saturday night I went to Squibnocket Pt. I had one good splash on the white Gibbs pencil before it got dark. Then, I had no action for a long time plugging back and forth along the beach. I had been told that the mussel bed is a good spot at the end of the drop, so I tried it at about 11:00 and there was a slow take with small keepers on the black needlefish. Maybe the fish were watching the fireworks and didn't start feeding until they were over. I caught three fish that were exactly 28" and one about 22" and I missed a couple others. There's a lot of incentive there to unhook your fish out in the water, otherwise you have to back it in over 75 yards of very slippery small rocks. It must be fun with a 25 pounder.
July 4, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  8:30 a.m. - High Wind:  10 mph SW
Start time:  4:00 a.m. Total time:  4 1/2 hrs
matt fighting fish On Saturday morning I went out with a local shore guide named Matt Malowski who works at Dick's Bait & Tackle. I had told Matt that I was more interested in learning a lot of places that I could come back to than in catching the fish of a lifetime. We started at a little spot called Cedar Tree on the north shore and then moved on to Squibnocket Pt. and then to the other side of the Island to Chappaquiddick where we fished Wasque Point. In between, Matt pointed out a number of other spots. There were decent Bluefish (6-8 lbs) on either side of the rip at Wasque. Matt and I got about a half dozen of the Blues on bucktails - that's him fighting one in the photo. He's an excellent guide and an enjoyable guy to fish with.
July 3, 2009    -    Martha's Vineyard
Tide:  6:00 p.m. - High Wind:  10 mph SE
Start time:  7:00 p.m. Total time:  2 hrs
lobsterville beach After stopping by Dick's Bait and Tackle and unpacking my stuff, I decided to make a few casts at Lobsterville Beach. There were bait fisherman, fly fisherman and plug casters there. I didn't get a hit and no one else did either.
welcome to martha's vineyard sign I am off to Martha's Vineyard for a week of fishing and reading on the beach (if it ever stops raining). My first time fishing the hallowed waters of the Vineyard.

I'll be sending back daily reports if I'm doing well, and less frequent posts if I'm not. Hope things pick up on the north shore.
June 28, 2009    -    Newburyport
Tide:  11:20 p.m. - Low Wind:  10 mph NNE
Start time:  9:30 p.m. Total time:  3 hrs
surfland front door For the first time this season, I fished the mouth of the Merrimack at the north end of Plum Island. There were only two other fisherman there which would have been odd in past seasons. After the tide turned, I got a small amount of action on the black and purple Bomber. I had two fish on that I lost and I caught a whopping 20" striper. It was dark when I arrived, so I can't say much about how the structure has changed from past years. It was fun getting those hard strikes on a nighttime swimmer, but there should have been more of them.
June 26, 2009    -    Cape Cod
Tide:  9:00 a.m. - Low Wind:  10-15 mph SSW
Start time:  4:45 a.m. Total time:  All day
popponesset bluefish Provincetown:  I pulled into the parking lot at Race Pt. at the same time as a guy named Ralph from Connecticut who I had met exactly the same way last year on June 27th - a day when we did find a big Striper blitz. That should have been a good omen. Despite the crazy drive (2 1/2 hours), and frequent lack of action, Race Pt. Beach has great allure for me. It's one of the most beautiful stretches of pristine, white, sandy beach in New England and it's a legendary surf fishing beach. I like walking and plugging the almost two miles to the Lighthouse because it's a great walk and you know there might be a big blitz around the next point. It's clearly not for everyone, but I'm always drawn back there. There was one big feed about a mile down the beach that looked very promising but died out before it got close enough to shore. All I got was a couple small Bluefish. After the Race, I made a few casts at Ballston Beach.

Mashpee:  After breakfast and a nap, I went to Popponesset Beach and walked out to the end of the spit at about 1:00. A fly fisherman had a fish on when I got there. I finally caught up with some fish. The water was just full of 3-5 lb Blues. I would much rather have caught a few big Stripers at Race Pt., but it was nice to get some constant top-water action. I caught 15-20 Bluefish. I fished with a nice guy named Steve, who also lives on the north shore, and he took this photo of me and the two Blues I brought home.
June 24, 2009    -    Cape Cod
Tide:  7:00 a.m. - Low Wind:  10-15 mph NNE
Start time:  4:35 a.m. Total time:  All day
paul's race pt. striper Lower-Cape: There had been fantastic reports of epic blitzes from Race Pt. and Herring Cove for almost a week, so Paul and I were anxious to get down there. We made the long drive to Race Pt. and walked onto the beach around false dawn. We walked the whole 1.75 miles to the lighthouse and back, casting every few 100 yards. Seems like we were a day late and a dollar short as the only evidence of blitzing fish was an occasional big Striper head on the beach. Paul got a nice 30" fish, which he proceeded to lose when he tried to rinse it off in the surf for a photo. I got a couple splashes and lost one fish. Herring Cove was dead.

Mid-Cape: After breakfast, we tried to fish West Dennis Beach, but didn't want to pay the $20 fee. We went instead to the Popponesset Spit and walked out to the channel. I got two very small Bluefish and one good hit. Paul didn't have any luck. We finished at Oregon Beach in Cotuit, anticipating big late afternoon Blues. Nothing doing - really dead. The end of June is fast approaching and I haven't brought a Striper home yet this season.
June 15, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  11:20 a.m. - Low Wind:  10 mph - NE
Start time:  9:30 a.m. Total time:  3 Hrs.
nico and daniel at castle neck Short report. Fished Castle Neck, behind Crane Beach. One fish - 22".

One definition of insanity is to do the same thing, the same way, over and over and over again, and to expect the results to change.
June 11, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  8:40 a.m. - Low Wind:  10 mph - SSE
Start time:  6:00 a.m. Total time:  3 1/2 Hrs.
nico and daniel at castle neck A thousand casts and one fish - even Ortiz has a higher batting average. I had Castle Neck to myself for over three hours. That's the way it used to be. I guess lousy fishing keeps the fisherman away. Last year, in the 2nd week of June, on an overcast morning with a low tide, I would have cleaned up there. This time of year there should be fish flopping all over the place at this spot and this year I haven't seen any splashes. The first two hours, I was convinced there wasn't a fish in the river. Finally at 8:00 I got a splash and then I got 5-6 hits and splashes on my next 15 casts but didn't hook up. About fifteen minutes later, I caught a 22" fish and that was it. I hope this doesn't portend another frustrating season on the North Shore.
June 9, 2009    -    Cape Cod
Tide:  7:30 a.m. - Low Wind:  None (Race Pt.) 15-20 mph ESE (Cotuit)
Start time:  4:45 a.m. Total time:  All morning
west dennis beach bluefish It was the kind of drizzly, overcast day where you can fish all morning and afternoon and we almost did. Paul and I started at Race Pt. at 4:45 am and finished at Oregon Beach at 1:45 and all we got was a 24" Striper and a 30" Bluefish. As usual, there were birds working out of casting range and lots of seals at Race Point Beach. Unfortunately, there were no blitzes. We stayed there a couple hours and then cruised up to West Dennis Beach where a big SE wind was just starting. After a few casts, I was ready to move on, but on Paul's first cast he got a couple splashes so I got back to it and was rewarded with a goodsize Bluefish. That's all we got there. Paul showed me a couple nice spots around Wianno but we had no luck there despite continued great conditions. Next we went to Cotuit, made a few casts at Prince Cove and then hit Oregon Beach where we hoped to find some Blues and fished hard for about an hour. Paul got a 24" Striper and that was it.
June 6, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  5:00 p.m. - Low Wind:  15 mph - SSE
Start time:  6:00 p.m. Total time:  2 1/2 Hrs.
nico and daniel at castle neck And the beat goes on. Skunked again. That's four of the last five times out. Not good for my confidence or reputation. I took Nico and his friend Daniel to the Castle Neck River. Daniel learned to cast pretty well in about ten minutes which is impressive. He deserved to catch a couple fish because he stayed out there and kept plugging even when Nico was taking breaks. There was a strong SE wind, and that must be one of the winds that Paul says shuts the fishing down behind Crane because it was way dead. There was also a full moon. I also misjudged the tide and completely missed the drop and the start of the incoming. Funny year. Usually when it turns on behind Crane in late May, they stay there for a few weeks. This year, it turned on and turned off. Every year brings new surprises.
June 1, 2009    -    South Shore - Cape Cod
Tide:  8:30 a.m. - High Wind:  15 mph - SSW
Start time:  6:30 a.m. Total time:  4 Hrs.
crane beach sign No more getting up late and starting to fish after the sun is up. Not sure that it made any difference on this morning, but I hate seeing the sun already up when I'm driving to the first spot. I made casts at Popponesset Beach, Oregon and Loop Beach, Prince's Cove and then hung around West Dennis Beach for a couple hours. There were lots of Pogies (about 1 lb) feeding at Prince's Cove but I never saw any Blues or Stripers. Never had a hit. In the early morning the wind was at my back (NW), but then it shifted to a strong SW wind while I was at West Dennis Beach and all the fisherman got in their cars and left.
May 29, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  10:30 a.m. - Low Wind:  almost none
Start time:  8:30 a.m. Total time:  4 Hrs.
castle neck pier Despite the bad reports, I went back to Castle Neck on a rainy, heavily overcast morning. I didn't try to get there early because of the 10:30 tide and the rainy conditions. I fished the last couple hours of the drop and the first two hours of the incoming. Only got two fish, both on the Steve Papows Jumpin Minnow. One was 21" and the other 25". I had 5-6 good hits where I couldn't hook up and at least one was a keeper. So, it was pretty darn slow, but at least there were signs of life back there.
May 27, 2009    -    Cotuit - Cape Cod
Tide:  10:00 a.m. - Low Wind:  10-15 mph - ESE
Start time:  8:30 a.m. Total time:  2-3 Hrs.
popponesset beach I took a ride down to the Cape to scout some spots in Cotuit that are supposed to produce Blues and Bass this time of year and to do a little shopping at Goose Hummock in Orleans. I found Popponesset Beach, Oregon Beach and Loop Beach and took some casts at all of them between 8:30 and 10:00. It was rainy with a light easterly wind and I never had a hit. I went to Orleans to do my shopping and had lunch. On the way back I hit Oregon and Loop Beach again (with a new 8 foot Lami stick that I love) and fished another hour with a pretty strong east wind in my face. Not even a splash. There was a guy there who said that at the same time on Tuesday the fishing was great. Lousy luck I guess. Looked like fishy spots.
May 25, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  6:11 a.m. - Low Wind:  5 mph - SW
Start time:  5:15 a.m. Total time:  2 Hrs.
nico casting Took my son Nico to the back side of Crane. Never any sign of fish. One guy had been there since 2:00 and hadn't caught a thing. Might have been ten guys fishing and no one caught a fish. Weird. The sun was out strong by 5:30. Everyone kept saying what a beautiful morning it was, but I would have been ok with some drizzle, a light wind and some hungry Striped Bass.
May 23, 2009    -    Ipswich, MA
Tide:  4:30 a.m. - Low Wind:  No wind
Start time:  4:15 a.m. Total time:  3 Hrs.
crane beach sign First time out this season. I fished Castle Neck, behind Crane Beach. Conditions were pretty good with nice overcast sky, but the water was flat which is not ideal. While it was still dark, I got a nice hit on a black & purple Bomber but didn't hook up. I moved further down towards the dock and at about 5:30 I got a couple 24" Stripers on a white rubber lance with white jig head. I switched to a bone Jumpin Minnow and got three more between 23 and 25" and one at 30". It was a pleasure to be back out there and nice to get a keeper on the first time out. Saw both Chenson and Brian.