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A feeding frenzy showing bay anchovies being ambushed underwater by cigar minnows and a fish-eye view of the perils baitfish face when schooling up against a breakwater. Striped bass, triggerfish, stingray, tautog, black sea bass, rudderfish are also highlighted in order to provide fishermen with a highly detailed anglers-eye view of bait.
This dive on the last day of July was simply extraordinary. I entered the water at the base of the breakwater near East Matunuck state beach and proceeded to dive the entire length of the wall, up and back. Along the way I stopped to film the “trials of life” that the hapless bay anchovies were experiencing.
I hope the video gives you a feel for what it must be like to be under constant attack from all sides. The cigar minnows are not a common sight in our waters and a lot of bathers have no idea that giant stingrays weighing several hundred pounds could be cruising right off the beach.
Each year more and more triggerfish show up and the same can be said for jacks and banded rudderfish. The tautog were along the bottom where the sand reaches the stone wall, while the bass cruised the mid-water zone looking for a quick meal. I saw flounder, lots of sea bass, cunners, snapper blues, baby peanut bunker, silversides, scup, and a host of other marine life. It was a fantastic dive, in so much as there was always something going on; it’s always nice to see a healthy ocean with lots of biodiversity.