#4 Rhode Island Stripers Evade Us
While we were in Connecticut, I talked on the phone with Bill Sisson, who writes for Anglers Journal. We did our first of many interviews to come with Bill, and made plans to fish with him in Rhode Island the following morning. Since the Connecticut state fish is the American Shad that only runs in the spring, we saw the town of Mystic, went down to the beach stopping to see a cool boat that towed the first nuclear submarine, before continuing on to Rhode Island.
We woke up and drove to Napatree Point in Rhode Island to meet up with Bill. We were after some Striped Bass, the state fish of Rhode Island. This isn't a fish I had caught before. We fished with him all day, and unfortunately caught nothing. He told us about a big school of stripers that had been around the coast the past couple days but had unfortunately moved off. On Bill’s recommendation we were using Albie Snax as bait, a soft plastic lure that we then Texas rigged on our rods. The next day we fished the same area that we had with Bill, hoping that maybe a few of the school remained. Unfortunately we fished all day and came up empty, as did all of the other fishermen we encountered.
We decided that we needed to move, so the next morning we tried at Point Judith, which also proved to be fruitless. We were scanning Fishbrain for spots and found some striper catches from earlier in the day, a little more inland. We drove up to a bridge on the Palmer River, and arrived late afternoon. We fished in the light for about an hour, but small schools of skipjacks kept biting the back half of our soft lures off so we decided to grab some dinner and wait until dark, which is prime time for striped bass. When we arrived at the bridge again, there were probably 20 other people fishing from the bridge. No one was catching anything, or not that we could see, so we climbed down on the rocks below the bridge. Using a jerkbait instead of the soft plastics, we threw casts under the bridge as we waited for the tide to change. Almost right as the tide flipped. Daniel got a bite and on the next cast caught a striper. I threw a cast in the same spot and pulled out another. With our fourth state finally done, we drove up to Boston that night.
The countries smallest state had been our toughest challenge so far!