Fishing had a major reversal this week, as a fall-like weather pattern with stiff north and northeast winds and cooler temperatures took hold. This followed the mother of all thunderstorms, which preceded the front with much-needed (but still not enough) rain, a few lightning strikes, and deafening thunder along the waterfront.
Water temperatures have been steadily going down with each day of these north winds: as of Sunday, the harbor had gone from 76 to 62 degrees and the ocean backside from 72 to 52 degrees, while the bay hovered around 60 degrees. Consequently, the bluefish and striped bass made beelines out of here.
The charter boats and CeeJay party boat were able to find a few bluefish way down in the bay on the north side of Billingsgate Shoals, where the water temperatures were a little higher, but it was a long ride for very few fish. There are also a few bluefish sporadically showing up down the backside by Head of the Meadow. But the bay is a dead zone at the moment. Striped bass have all but disappeared from our local spots since the front came through.
So, where do we go from here? Typically, when the winds go back to our normal summer patterns from south to southwest, the ocean warms back up, and, in theory, the fish should trickle back in. We’ll have to wait and see. The baitfish that the big fish were feeding on haven’t left, so that’s an encouraging sign.
The changing weather has not altered the fin whales’ behavior. They’re still hanging around Race Point, visible from the beach. The outer beaches around Race Point are finally open to over-sand vehicles, and the entire area was packed with them last Sunday. Nice to see people able to enjoy the beach this way. Better late than never, I suppose.
I was sitting on the CeeJay as that violent line of thunderstorms came through. Watching the storm drain pouring thousands of gallons of rainwater from the streets into the harbor, I kept wondering why we can’t come up with a better idea for stormwater that literally washes the streets of dirt, gasoline, oil, pet excrement, and whatever else happens to be out there when a storm hits.
How can that possibly be good for the harbor? Why can’t we redirect all that tainted fresh water into a place that can treat it and reuse it somehow? The obvious answer is “there’s no money for that,” but our harbor is a delicate ecosystem, and this situation doesn’t sit right with me.
If we can put a man on the moon, we should be able to come up with a viable plan to redirect this filthy runoff. We deserve better.