RE:South Tip Rip Trip
Good point Terry...
There are four basic categories of structure there (according to observations from a boat).
(a) <b>The rips</b> here are different than other places. This island violates the concept of offshore rips by being in the 'mixer' zone between two very large bodies of water, the sound and the sea. It would not be a good idea to stand in the water anywhere around the very apex of the southern tip during hard running tides. Standing waves are present just a short distance from shore. The mouth of the Merrimac is nothing to balk at either, but at least you are likely to float to the shore anywhere 100 yards short of the jetty. The volumes of water make PI look like a picnic. The canal is no picnic either, in fact it's closer to the conditions at the tip's rips. Now that I have sufficiently made a point, I agree - if you don't stand in it you won't be swept away.
(b)<b>Flats</b> appear to be located in a line from Powder Point north to join the expansive flats reaching southwest from the crib opposite to North Monomoy. The lower area near Powder Pt. seem to be fishable, accessible, and close enough to the convergence zone to host good fish. Just a guess.
The line of flats reaching northward are risky at best, there is a deep trench between shore and the flat making it a definite risk to wade out before a flood tide.
The flats at the northwest end are the classic flats, but they are miles away from the launch point to the north, perhaps 3-4 miles each way - not likely that I would hike that far in warm weather.
Therefore my flats fishing off the tip would be focused on the area around the cove and shoals near Powder Pt. Your results may vary.
(c)<b> The surf</b> on the east side reaches from the tip north, and I am sure there are many bowls, shoals and other characteristic ocean beach structures with lots of fish in them. This would be the classic surf fishing situation, and it could be loaded with fish at the right times / tides.
I would have to try it just to say I did. Once again, I feel the proximity to the 'mixer' (play on words based on a famous pool on the Skagit River, WA) would make this area more productive than a typical ocean beach.
So <b>Safety</b> depends on where you elect to fish; each has it's risks. The flats around Powder Pt. are not well known and the trench between the flat and shore presents a trap on incoming tides.
Long walks north can dehydrate hikers and there are no unscheduled shuttles down there.
<b>In the rip</b>, suspended sand banks in the current looking like they offer footing (but being liquid) can be a waders demise. Cavalier wading in the raging current is a definite no-no. The best way to fish this area is to work the fly in the eddies and recesses in the fringes of the current; or lay the fly on the sand beneath the current and work it on the sand. If the fish are pushing bait, poppers and other profile flies could trick the blitzers.
<b>The surfside</b> presents the same risks that Race Point or Nauset presents. Nothing unique in this, I would imagine.
<font size="1">These are simply theoretical predictions based on past observation from a boat. I have no experience with my feet on this sand and am not implying that I have any such knowledge. I am only trying to provide educated guesses to mitigate risk factors for individuals who may elect to ride with us out there.</font><!--1-->