Summer is full on, waters are warm, September is here, fishing is hot and there are plenty of spots with lots of fish to keep you cool under the collar. NOAA has determined that July was the hottest month ever recorded.
According to their scientists, “The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record.” You can say what you want about the cause but, man, it’s getting hotter around here. All that warm air and water has made for some excellent top water bass and blues action from Galilee’s center wall west to Watch Hill, depending on tides. SlugGo’s in white and pink have been a go-to plastic along with old school classics like jointed Rapala’s. It’s always handy to have hard options that don’t get bit off just behind the hook every other cast. All that action makes for some really fun days and fading sunsets with hundreds of schoolie sized fish finning then exploding on piles of squid, silversides or sand eels.
Fishing is always fickle but lately, there’s been lots of fish to catch all along that south shore. Southwest Ledge seems to have cooled a bit, possibly on account of the joint agency patrols of the three mile limit which establishes the Exclusive Economic Zone, where striper fishing is not allowed. Some whispered reports were about big, big bass followed by reports about how awful the fishing has been. You know, the “Worst fishing in ten plus years” kind of thing. You never know if the bite has soured or if the angler hasn’t really fished much over those years. Nonetheless, we’re on the heels of September and her bass migrations so there’s always hope for a big Fall bite.
On the freshwater side, RI Kayak Bassin’s, RJ “Unleashed” Alves, helped host another successful tournament stop, this time on Charlestown’s Watchaug Pond. At 573 acres, it proved to be a big body of hot water and fishing was tough. Joshua Cabral won his first RIKB tournament with a total of 51.25” of largemouth, all of which was released, of course. Joe Brancato took second place with 49.5” and interestingly, tied with Josh with a first fish at 18.25”. Third place went to Chris Gomes with 21.25”.
Bob Buscher is a fishing machine
No fresh water report would be complete without checking in on South Kingstown’s Bob Buscher, the man with a plan to catch one thousand pounds of largemouth bass this year. August waters makes largemouth be really cool to passing plastics, especially ones with hooks in them. Nonetheless, so far Bob has caught and released 720 pounds of bass which is nothing short of incredible. Keep in mind, Bob’s not just some retired guy looking to keep busy in his bass boat. Bob works full time and has a family; he’s really just an ace at making time to get on the water.
If you need a break from all the fishing, the Local 37 Ironworkers 6th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot happens on Saturday, September 7 at the Peace Dale Shooting Preserve, in well, Peace Dale.
Entry is $100 which gets you 100 clays, a shirt and a killer steak fry with that good, full belly feeling that your hard earned money went to the union’s scholarship fund. Registration starts at 8:30 am and you can start yelling “Pull!” at 9:00 am.
It’s safe to say that every event the Sven and the Peace Dale crew supports is a great day in South County. The course looks great, the new Elite indoor shooting range is beautiful and really, getting to talk with Sven for a few minutes is worth the drive.
That same morning, the RI Natural History Survey’s Director David Gregg will host Bagel and Bugs at Garrison Acres on the Narrow River. How can you pass up free bugs and bagels? It’s part of RI Land Trust Days and is sponsored by the Narrow River Land Trust. Dr. Gregg provides the bagels and bugs, you just need to bring a pair of shoes or boots, a hand lens and of course, some bug protection. Just be careful where you spray it. You’ll get to walk through a beautiful meadow to discover what insects make the meadow thrive. Plus, if that’s not enough, Kira and her crew will have deployed moth traps so there should be plenty of crawling legs to help us all understand how much diversity there is and any possible changes in patterns. The fun starts at 9:00 am and you can register or ask fun questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally this week, venerable character, firefighter and kayak fisherman, Brian Hall, has managed to break two rods trying to land giant stripers. Brian isn’t afraid to fish through the night alone, uses good gear and is an ace at situational awareness but two rods in one week? He’s on a pricey bad streak but based on his reports, it’s been well worth it. Warm water or not, there’s some big, big stripers down there.
Keep Brian in your thoughts this week.
Life keeps throwing us curve balls with some we never see coming.
His family caught a breaking ball and the grieving will take many months to complete. Fishermen are tough, we know that, but losing someone you love is tough as hell, especially when we don’t see it coming.
I'm a fisherman, occasional hunter, occasionally sarcastic outdoors writer and father. My weekly outdoors column, Fish Wrap, can be found at www.fishwrapwriter.com, read more at On The Water magazine as well!
View all posts by Todd Corayer