Written by Capt. Gregg Weatherby
Boat ramps are slippery. The two straps that secure Bad Monster Dog firmly to the trailer, left intact, make shoving her off a hernia inducing effort. One more time down the slippery slope to strap removal and the rest of the day would be simple. Walking back up the ramp I realized how cool being awake at “O Dark thirty” really is.
The anticipation of the great adventure ahead, hearing a couple of Stripers feeding off in the cove, and the challenge of the full moon. The full moon has little to no effect on ferociously feeding fish once the fall migration kicks into high gear. In contrast during summer’s full moons the afternoon bite is usually best. The full Moon tends to keep the fish up all night eating- or trying not to be next.
This morning’s moonlight came in handy. It made it easier to see that the car doors were all locked. The moon also highlighted the shocked look on my client’s face when I strolled up the ramp and snapped the antenna off the truck. Having grown up watching the A-Team and McGyver, a quick bend, shove, and the lock popped. I hopped in rather proud of the moment, drove up the ramp, and left the well trained boat adrift by the dock.
A locked, running vehicle on the ramp with a boat trailer halfway submerged in the water is comical when it’s someone else. The car antenna was the manly solution to not holding up the other guys waiting to launch their boats. Taking it in stride, without a word, is what real guides do and I know the memory will be a distant one after a good day of fishing.
With a tough start to the day those who see a glass half empty would have packed it in right then and there. But for the optimist we get to see what other amazing challenges, tricks, or treats the universe has in mind. The day was just beginning as we rounded Brenton Reef heading east to the Sakonnet River.
The islands separating Buzzards Bay and the Sakonnet River are very special. Full of structure, eel grass covered flats, and deep tide pools that spin bait to their demise. Upon entering the shallows I slowed Bad Monster Dog to a crawl and then shut her down. There was something large swimming into shore from an outer island. It was too early for the Seals to have shown up and too low in the water to be a deer. (Widely accepted as the true origin of saltwater bucktails).
The sun sat touching the horizon. Balance in the universe was struck as the huge harvest Moon did the same to the west of us. Illuminated by the rising sun our mysterious swimmer turned out to be a very healthy Coyote. He looked back at us as if determining whether we looked edible. The Coyote clearly had been eating his fill of birds and eggs on the island- predawn. This incredibly strong feral animal then slipped over the peak of the rock pile and disappeared.
Sharing this kind of experience with others is incredible. As Kieth Deinert and I looked at one another, totally blown away by the Discovery Channel adventure we were experiencing, a tremendous feeding frenzy of Striped Bass erupted in all directions. Fish after fish was fought on the fly and caught using a variety of top water poppers. Next on the to do list was to look for the rest of the grand slam – (Striped Bass, Bonito, and False Albacore).
Vibrant, rich, coastal fishing adventures can be experienced right here in Rhode Island from April to November. Come visit the plant in Rhode Island, take a look at NorthCoast Boats and if we can sneak out for some fishing, I promise to bring a spare set of car keys.