2015 fishing journal

October 23,   2015    -   Quonnie Beach, RI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  5:00 a.m. -- High Wind: WSW - 5 mph
Start time:  6:45 a.m. Total time:  4 hours
watch hill light sunrise I worked the stretch from Watch Hill to Quonnie twice before I finally found birds working at Quonnie Beach. Unfortunately, they never got within casting range. It was a really beautiful fall morning and there were still plenty of guys out fishing. In fact, I think there are more fisherman this October along this stretch than I remember from past seasons. No fish for me this morning. Will probably only come back one more time.

Sunrise from Watch Hill Light.
October 21,   2015    -   Watch Hill Light, RI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  8:37 a.m. -- Low Wind: WSW - 10 mph
Start time:  6:30 a.m. Total time:  4 hours
quonnie beach sunrise I found feeds first on the beach behind the Andrea Hotel and then again at Watch Hill Light. There were lots of 23-27" Stripers under the birds. I used a little Yozuri popper and caught about 20 of the schoolies. Every year in late fall, when the end of the season is near, you find these feeds with small bass on the beaches in south county. I can sense the end of the season is near.

A seagull at sunrise on Quonnie Beach.
October 16,   2015    -   Quonnie Breachway, RI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  10:45 a.m. -- High Wind: WSW - 20 mph
Start time:  6:00 a.m. Total time:  4 hours
watch hill light sunrise It was a strange morning. I had trouble deciding between fishing the Cape Cod Canal and South County, RI. The tide at the Canal was perfect, but I prefer to fish the RI shore this late in the season. I finally decided on RI. I can't ever remember the wind forecast being so far off. I walked onto the beach at Quonnie in the dark at 6:00 and the wind was just howling. It was supposed to be 8-10 mph and it was 20 mph with a pretty big surf and I just couldn't fish my spot. I was wishing I had chosen the Canal. The big wind lasted almost the whole morning. A strong WSW wind is really tough to fish along that stretch. I drove from spot to spot and didn't see any action. I made a few casts at Watch Hill. Finally, at about 9:30 I went back to Quonnie and a guy coming off the breachway told me there had been huge Bluefish there for a couple hours and they were still there. I walked to the Breachway and put on a big Hopkins to cut through the wind. Sure enough, there were huge Bluefish. They would take you right into the Breachway so they were tough to land. I caught three and that was enough for me. I kept one and grilled some fillets for company that we had that night. It was excellent.

Sunrise from Watch Hill Light.
October 13,   2015    -   Weekapaug Pt., RI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  9:00 a.m. -- High Wind: SW - 5 mph
Start time:  6:45 a.m. Total time:  4 hours
quonnie beach striper New moon, incoming tide, 2nd week of October, drizzly overcast morning, so Paul and I headed down to Weekapaug with much optimism. We started at Weekapaug Pt., then the beaches, then Watch Hill, back to the beaches and Weekapaug and we never even saw birds. It was dead. Finally, we went to Quonnie and started fishing at about 9:00. I was going to walk out to the breachway, but 3-4 birds were circling above the first cove so I got up on a rock and threw a mackerel pattern popper as far as I could. On maybe my 6th cast I got a huge hit and had a good fish on. A good, long fight and I landed a nice 35" fall striper. Now there was a nice feed with big splashes about 25 yards out of casting range. It moved back and forth along the beach and rocks for 45 minutes, but never came any closer. Paul and I made many casts as far as we were able. Nothing. That nice bass was the only fish we saw caught that morning. Lucky David

A nice fall Striper at Quonnie Beach.
October 5,   2015    -   Weekapaug Pt., RI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  3:00 a.m. -- High Wind: NNE - 10-15 mph
Start time:  6:00 a.m. Total time:  6 hours
east end of canal I took my first drive to south county, RI this morning and I got really lucky. Every year I say that ďnext year Iím going to start going down there in SeptemberĒ Ė I hope next year I finally start because the fall fishing on the north shore and on BI has been disappointing the past few seasons. As usual, I started at Quonnie at dark. There was a big surf and the water wasnít yet completely clear after the big rains and I had no action and saw no birds in an hour of fishing. I figured the whole morning would be a bust. I went to DD for coffee and a donut and rolled into Weekapaug Pt.. at about 7:15. I could see birds but I thought they were just flying in circles. I started talking to a fisherman from Connecticut and then, after a few minutes, from the corner of my eye, I could see big splashes under the birds a couple hundred yards to the right. I think I started running down there mid-sentence. I waded out to a rock and made a long cast with the 15 mph north wind right at my back. Big hit and Iím on a nice bass. I land a 34Ē striper and the guys at their cars are still just watching me. A couple more casts and Iím on a fat 36Ē bass. Iíve caught a ton of fish at that spot, but this was the first time I ever found big bass under the birds. In 2 Ĺ hours, I had to move a few times along that rocky beach as the fish moved back and forth, I caught six bass from 33-36Ē and a couple 25Ē ones. All on top with the mackerel pattern guppy pencil. Almost all on long casts. Great fun.

Now, I went to the little tackle shop close to Weekapaug Breachway to buy ice. The guy there told me it has been like this for three days. He asked where I had been fishing, and he told me itís been even better on the beaches. So, off I went south to the beaches. First parking lot and I walk to the beach and there are birds with the same big, aggressive splashes. The fish are very close in. I miss on my first few casts and then I hook a big fish. Because I had been catching bass all morning, I assume itís like a 30 lb striper. A nice couple is watching and snapping pictures.I mean this fish is wearing me out. Itís a huge bluefish Ė maybe 15 lbs. I catch two more big bluefish and it finally dies off. Itís still heavily overcast and the tide is now coming in, but itís almost 12:30 and it's time to head home.

A nice Bluefish on Misquamicut Beach.
October 1,   2015    -   Cape Cod Canal
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  6:24 a.m. -- Slack - Flood begins Wind: NNE - 15-20 mph
Start time:  6:30 a.m. Total time:  6 hours
east end of canal Took a ride down to the Canal with the favorable "magic tide" at 6:25. There was a strong north wind, so I went to Scusset on the east end to get the wind at my back. I had a good feeling about this morning. I never caught a fish. They never showed and the only guys who caught fish were jigging. I was totally outfished which drives me nuts. On the far east end, four guys on my left who were jigging soft plastics with heavy jigheads, hooked-up one at a time with nice size fish. I tried jigging a bucktail and a storm shad and couldn't hook up. I fished from 6:30 to 2:00 with a breakfast break and caught only one schoolie.

Late fall one the east end of the canal.
September 29,   2015    -   Block Island
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  9:00 a.m. -- High Wind: S - 5-10 mph
Start time:  6:15 a.m. Total time:  1 1/2 hours
paul fishing sandy point With a wind from the south, we walked out to Sandy Point - hoping to find some bass and bluefish and maybe even some albies. But, alas, it was completely dead. The north rip was roaring and I figured there would be some blues or small bass on the edges, but nothing. Fooey. With the lousy fishing and a forecast of big winds and a big storm, we decided to take the 5:00 ferry home. The trip was cut in half. Not what I'd hoped for.

Paul fishing at Sandy Point.
September 28,   2015    -   Block Island
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  8:30 p.m. -- High Wind: SSE - 5-10 mph
Start time:  6:00 pm Total time:  3 hours
sunset at dories cove Paul and I went out to BI for a few days of fall fishing. We fished sunset at Dories Cove. I caught a 25" striper and it would turn out to be the only fish we'd get on this weather shortened trip. We next went to my spot north of Grove Point. There was a full moon and the wrong wind and I wasn't too optimistic. We fished pretty hard for a couple hours with lots of different needlefish and caught nothing.

Sunset at Dories Cove.
September 23,   2015    -   Gloucester
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  7:00 a.m. -- High Wind: NW - 5-10 mph
Start time:  6:00 am Total time:  1.5 hours
morning on the back shore The only excitement of this morning was me locking the key to my Highlander inside the car in the parking lot of the Gloucester Elks Lodge. I fished two two great spots in pretty good conditions and didn't have a hit. Didn't see any other fisherman. I think it's been a miserable September on Cape Ann. AAA arrived in 15 minutes and opened the car for me so at least I could enjoy a big breakfast with the NYT.

Another pretty morning on Cape Ann.
September 15,   2015    -   Cape Cod Canal
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  5:21 a.m. -- Slack - Flood begins Wind: WNW - 5 mph
Start time:  6:15 am Total time:  1.5 hours
canal striper I was late this morning to the Canal. I wanted to be casting a little before 6:00 and I didn't make my first cast until 6:20. I could see vague swirls on the surface and the water was teeming with bait. But I don't think I missed anything. The first 20 minutes, despite the swirls, I never had any action. Then it turned on. I hooked a big fish that fought like a 40 pounder but turned out to be about 25 lbs. It took a long time to land in the west-to-east current. I caught two more stripers that were about 30" and one nice Bluefish - maybe 12 lbs. It lasted 30 minutes and it was over. No complaints here.

40" Canal Striper on a mackerel-pattern pencil popper.
September 10,   2015    -   Gloucester
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  4:00 a.m. -- Low Wind: NE - 5 mph
Start time:  6:00 am Total time:  2 hours
gloucester sunrise I fished the back shore in Gloucester. Went to one of my favorite spots in front of the Elks Lodge. I could see 2-3 other fisherman at other spots. I never got a splash or a hit in over an hour of casting. I went to breakfast and had a nice talk with Steve Papows. He confirmed that the back shore has been really slow. After breakfast, the water looked great with a nice chop and it was heavily overcast so I scrambled down to a different spot. Another 50 casts and no sign of fish. Time to drive home.

Sunrise at the back shore.
August 30,   2015    -   Block Island
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  8:52 p.m. -- High Wind: SW - 10-12 mph
Start time:  7:00 pm Total time:  3 hours
37 inch striped bass It was my first really good night of fishing this season. I fished sunset at Dories and caught 3 25" stripers with a top-water plug and missed a couple more. At sunset I headed to the NE tip of the island for some night fishing. I walked to my spot and put on my old standard black-scale pattern Stetzko needlefish. Finally, everything was perfect - 10 mph SW wind, cloudy-cover to hide the big moon, high water. It was dead for about 20 minutes, but I still had a good feeling, and sure enough it turned on pretty good. In the next hour and a half I caught six bass between 32 and 37". I brought a 34 incher to the fillet station and went back to Lexington the next morning with 3 lbs of fresh striper for the grill.

Grilled Striper with fresh veggies from the garden.
August 27,   2015    -   Block Island
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  6:20 p.m. -- High Wind: WSW - 10 mph
Start time:  4:15 a.m. & 7:00 pm Total time:  3 hours
nico dories cove In the morning, I went to my spot on the northeast end of the island. The conditions (NE wind) were not good for this spot and I threw a needlefish for half an hour without a bump. I got in the car and drove to the west side to Dories. There was light now, so I put on a white pencil and there was pretty good action with 25" bass for about half an hour. I got 3 stripers and a small bluefish.

At sunset, Nico and I went back to Dories Cove and the same 24-27" stripers were there hitting aggressively on top. I got three and Nico got one. It was fun.

Nico with a fish on at Dories.
August 17,   2015    -   Cape Cod Canal
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  5:51 a.m. -- Slack - Flood begins Wind: Still
Start time:  5:30 a.m. Total time:  1 1/2 hours
cape cod canal I arrived a little later because the current turn wasn't until 6:00. Only three fisherman behind the ice rink. There was a dense mist sitting over the canal and, even as the sun rose, you couldn't see the water. I heard a few fish breaking but only a few. I casted blind for well over an hour and never had a hit. Nobody else had any action either. Finally quit a little after 7:00 and it was still very misty. Breakfast at Leo's.
August 15,   2015    -   Cape Cod Canal
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  4:37 a.m. -- Slack - Flood begins Wind: Still
Start time:  5:00 a.m. Total time:  2 hours
canal striper The magic morning current/tides at the Canal last about four days, so I headed back down there on Saturday morning. This time 100 guys fishing behind ice rink. I found a spot and it turned on again at about 5:30. Was good again this morning. The fish were constantly cruising by, but I was surprised how many casts I had without a hit. I landed four fish - from 29" to 39". The big fish was my last one and it was so fat it was almost round. All the fish were spitting up 3" peanut bunker and you could see the bunker swirling in the shallow water. Breakfast at Leo's.
August 14,   2015    -   Cape Cod Canal
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  3:56 a.m. -- Slack - Flood begins Wind: NW - 5 mph
Start time:  5:00 a.m. Total time:  2 hours
canal striper Jamie emailed that his dad was in town and they were going to try the Canal on Friday morning. Morning current turn and a new moon - perfect time for a ride down to the Canal. I started fishing at 5 and it was dead while it was still dark. There were only a total of five people fishing behind the ice rink. At about 5:30 Jamie hooked up and after that there was pretty good action for about an hour. I only landed two fish but missed several more and dropped a couple after long fights. Jamie got 3 and Al 2. The best fish were 34-35" and fat. It was great to get the action and nice to have so few fisherman. Nice breakfast at Leo's with Jamie and Al.
August 11,   2015    -   Gloucester
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  4:00 a.m. -- Low Wind: S - 12 mph
Start time:  5:15 p.m. Total time:  2 hours
back shore sunrise Took my first drive to the back shore this season. No one was fishing. I fished Moorland with a brisk south wind and pretty good swells. I managed a couple schoolies - one on a white popper and one a mackerel pattern. I talked to Steve P. at coffee shop and he told me things have been pretty dead. Time to try the Canal.
July 7,   2015    -   Block Island
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  6:38 p.m. -- Low Wind: SW - 12 mph
Start time:  11:30 p.m. Total time:  2 hours
striper north of grove pt. It was time to eat some fresh fish and there was a nice SW wind, so I made a midnight trip to my most productive spot. I was fishing a black and purple stetzko needle with a dropper and I got a schoolie on my 3rd cast and then nothing for quite a while. Then, I finally hooked a decent fish and landed a 36" striper. About a hlf hour later I got another, about the same size, and this one took the teaser. That was it for the night. Would have liked more action, but was good to catch a couple decent fish and to bring one back for the family.
June 17,   2015    -   Block Island
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  9:16 p.m. -- High Wind: S - 5 mph
Start time:  8:30 p.m. Total time:  2 hours
north light sunset, BI After finally finishing my whole list of projects for the summer rental season, I prepared for my first serious night of fishing. I packed a box with my favorite nighttime needles and swimmers and headed to my spot on the NE part of the island. I threw a big popper until it got dark and then switched to an all-black Superstrike needle. Surprised that there wasn't any action. Not perfect conditions (wrong wind), but still a new moon, mid-June and decent water. All I got in a couple hours of casting and moving was one 25" striper. My season has started but not with a bang.

Sunset at north light.
June 16,   2015    -   Dories Cove, BI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  8:30 p.m. -- High Wind: E - 5-10 mph
Start time:  7:15 p.m. Total time:  1 1/2 hours
Dories Cove, BI Back on the island for more house maintenance. There's a new moon, but tonight is the 6th game of the NBA finals and I want to see the Warriors finish off the Cav's, so I can only fish sunset. I'll try Dories Cove because it's close and I heard that some fisherman from NY had caught some nice stripers there a couple nights ago. Pretty decent conditions and I was on a favorite rock throwing a white popper as the sun set. I was sure I would catch my first fish of the season. But only a couple schoolie splashes. Glad I didn't miss the game. The NBA playoffs were fantastic this year.

Dories Cove in mid-June
June 3,   2015    -   Charlestown Beach, BI
Moon phase:moon phase Tide:  9:00 p.m. -- High Wind: E - 10 mph
Start time:  7:15 p.m. Total time:  1 1/2 hours
charlestown beach, BI After washing windows all day at my west side property, I headed to Charlestown Beach to make my first casts of the season. It's become something of a ritual - albeit a fishless one. Beautiful evening, although the east wind and the full moon are not ideal for fishing Block Island. I clipped on my favorite bone colored Yo-Zuri hydro pencil and fished the 1/2 mile beach back-and-forth. Long casts with the east wind at my back. Lovely sunset - nice walk - never had a hit. Probably half dozen other fisherman which is unusual. It felt good to make some casts. Water still unseasonably cold.

Early June on Charlestown Beach