A classic fall surf spot with ‘big fish potential’ written all over it!
Fishing under the light, Point Judith Light that is, is a love-hate relationship for me. When the fishing is good it is a great spot to be as water, baitfish and predator gather at the western edge of the opening to Narragansett Bay. However, when things are bad at the point—either due to a lack of fish or from big surf conditions—it can be downright torturous!
For years I made the rocky shoreline of Narragansett my home, fishing each and every rock from the Narrow River to the Harbor of Refuge along with fellow surfcaster, John Lee. John and I became intimately familiar with this stretch of the Striper Coast both through daytime free diving and nighttime fishing expeditions, and we pulled some pretty good fish from the surf. Inevitably at some point in most tides we’d find ourselves heading towards the lighthouse to ‘test the waters.’ With its gently-sloping rocky shoreline and almost constant wave activity, the point can be an aggravating place to wade. Due to this, I spent most of my time at the corners, either right under the parking lot on the northeast corner or in the bowl on the southwest side. The water in-between can be good, too, yet I always found myself spending more time yelling at the relentless surf like a mad man than actually fishing.
Low water was always the most productive for me, but I did have some good nights when bass had bait pinned in the bowl on the SW corner. One night bass in the 20-pound class were running keeper-size porgies right onto the beach from the depths of the bowl, and a well-placed surface Danny was all that was needed to connect. In addition to surface metal-lips, I always did well on needlefish and darters here. Both cast well and can be fished across the current that rips around the point on either tide. I had some good nights throwing live eels, especially around the bottom of the tide on the east side around the large rock. When throwing eels most of my fish came very close to shore, right in the white water, so be sure to fish the eels to your feet.
Daytime can be good at Point Judith, and several 50s have been taken under a noonday sun here over the years, but I never did all that well by day (admittedly I never put much time in). That said, long casting pencil poppers would be a good choice, especially if bunker are known to be in the area. A southwest wind is supposed to be best for daytime action here, especially in the fall; but where isn’t that a good formula for success?
As I noted in the intro, fishing under Point Judith light can be difficult. Waders and a dry top are a good choice but a wetsuit is even better as the angle of the waves always finds a way to get in your jacket sleeves. Also, Korkers or some sort of spiked and felted soles on your boots are an absolute must! Don’t go it alone if you’ve never fished the point before, and be sure to spend some time scouting it out by day.
While there is no denying that striped bass numbers are not what they used to be, Point Judith Light still has the ability to produce a good pick of bass on most tides.