“What the @#$%! was that?” I shout, half to myself and half to the bridge behind me, where Capt. Andy Dangelo’s head whips around, probably praying it’s me — his mate — and not a customer who’s buried a jig hook past the barb in my neck.
Ever since I wrestled my first double-header of 3-pound black sea bass off a jagged piece of rocky ledge well south and east of Newport, R.I., I’ve marveled at the relative lack of interest in the directed sea bass fishery.
I have caught striped bass on flies, plugs, jigs, plastic baits, bucktails and natural baits — dead and alive — from squid to alewives to eels. I have taken them in skinny water and from 60 feet, chased them from boats, the sand, the rocks and on the flats. Casting, drifting, trolling, jigging and drowning bait on the bottom. I haven’t caught them kite fishing yet, but it’s in the back of my mind.
You'll get some hits with a reliable bucktail lureA newcomer entering a tackle shop is often bewildered by all of the lures up on the pegboards. The task of buying something for your boat can be even more difficult when you want just a lure or two for the times when you decide to mix a little fishing with cruising, be it a weekend, a long-distance trip or from your sailboat at anchor.
It should come as no surprise if we have an early spring and an earlier-than-normal start to our striper season. We had a winter of “no winter,” with water temperatures 5 to 8 degrees above normal and unseasonably warm weather from January through March. This means the migration times for bass to begin moving out of rivers and up our coast on their northern migration might be earlier than expected.
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Tim Coleman died May 3, in Weekapaug, R.I., doing what he loved to do best at that time of year: scouting the salt ponds and outer beaches for spring striped bass. He was an exceptional saltwater angler and a prolific writer. Thousands of readers lost an advocate and authentic storyteller for fishing in the Northeast, and anyone fortunate to have known Tim lost a good friend.