Todd CorayerSpecial to Outdoor Enthusiast Lifestyle Magazine
Block Island’s empty roads and fields full of deer attract a few hunters each year. Everyone says it’s so easy to get your deer over there but the “off season,” so called, which isn’t actually a thing anymore, can be tough because the place is a mad house of distractions. Winter is the island’s social hour; beaches are clear, sand flats are full of clams, islanders can get to the post office more than once a week and there’s a seat waiting for you at McAloons’s Restaurant and Bar. Even just that makes it difficult to settle into the edge of a wet grass field and concentrate on the business of hunting.
One of the most important lures you can carry, besides the ones you love the most, are ones that help you just find fish. In all sorts of conditions, they find signs of life. These searchbaits are critical for finding fish in a new piece of water, when you’re coming up short in a regular hot spot or when you want to cover a lot of water just to see what’s in the neighborhood.
Bob Buscher has done it. With just a few weeks before we start new fishing calendars, he finished his journey. South County Rhode Island’s favorite fisherman and media star has at last caught and released one thousand pounds of largemouth bass this year. What a journey it was.
September was such a sportsman’s month. Fish were in big time, goose and deer season opened and the Fall archery season for turkey opened this month. Waters are warm; around 66 off the beaches and as high as 72 in southern salt ponds. Days are warm, nights are cool. Provided Mother Nature steers any impending tropical systems away from our secret spots, we should be blessed with weeks of tuna, stripers, albies and more.
After fishing on the rocks for two keeper stripers a night, we would lean on one tailgate, take two cold cans of beer from any icy remains in a soft cooler then walk to one long, sagging, stubborn stone wall. Through a sweet harmony of crickets and cicadas, we faced a farmers field of tall grasses and stray sunflowers, thick and healthy. We leaned on stones wet, slick from an evening’s dew, taking in long breaths of damp earth, breathing out pure salt air. With wrinkled palms, innocently we wiped our hands along green moss, unconsciously drawing patterns on slow growing velvet beards on glacial field stones.
For generations, fishermen have caught trout with a classic small metal spoon, the Al’s Goldfish. There’s something really special about a lure that’s seventy years old that still catches lots of fish. It has a classic wobble that drives fish crazy because they just can’t resist the temptation of attacking an injured fish. When Al Stuart first created the Goldfish back in 1952, his idea, much like his lure, was pretty basic. He wanted to catch fish with something that very closely resembled what bigger fish were eating and to build a lure that would last.