This week and last week the black sea bass (BSB) bite has been outstanding. BSB fishing at Block Island and all along the southern coastal shore from the Sakonnet River, Middletown to Watch Hill, Westerly remains very strong. Anglers fishing in these areas are having no trouble meeting their three fish limit with nice sized keepers, many over 20” (minimum size is 15 inches). Fishing for sea bass in Narragansett and Mt. Hope Bays is a little more difficult and the fish are not as large.
Fluke fishing is also good if you strategically target the fish. Wind and tide should be in line and you need to fish edges… the base of jetties, up and down channel banks, slops of underwater valleys, and the edges on ledges, etc. And, the striped bass fishing at Block Island is great with a good shark bite offshore (see below).
So best bets this week are black sea bass, fluke, stripers and sharks offshore with the bluefin tuna bite percolating.
Rocky Point still creating memories
Today I have a new set of Rocky Point Amusement Park memories as it has been the site of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association Youth Fishing Camp held in conjunction with the RI Department of Environmental Management. The camp teaches children how to fish and aims to instill a sense of environmental stewardship.
As one of the founding camp volunteers, there is nothing greater for me than to teach a child how to fish and then actually see them catch their first fish. It brings me great joy.
So last Wednesday, as the Rocky Point Fishing Pier was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a new era of fishing memories for children and families started at Rocky Point. Hats off to the RI Department of Environmental Management and director Janet Coit, the city of Warwick and Mayor Joseph Solomon, John Howell of the Rocky Point Foundation, and my fish advocate mentor Steve Medeiros, president of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, for working to promote fish, fishing and fishermen for the past 21 years.
The new fishing pier features a 280-foot-long, T-shaped pier with a shade structure, benches, railings, and solar lighting. Railing heights vary to allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy access to Narragansett Bay.
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass and blue fish bite at Block Island is strong. Anglers are catching nice bass trolling umbrella rigs and the bait of choice at night is eels. Connor Sears (age 14) of Seekonk caught one of his first nice keepers fishing at Block Island with his father trolling umbrella rigs last week. Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly, said, “The bluefish bite at Block Island and off the breachways is good. We fished commercially from the reefs off Watch Hill and Westerly for striped bass and boated five nice fish all in the forty pound range, with Gravity Eels.” Gravity Eels are soft plastic stick baits that mimic eels and change color depending on the amount of light they are reflection. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “There are still some good striped bass in the Bay. Anglers are catching both keepers and school bass.” East End Eddie Doherty of Mattapoisett said, “The Cape Cod Canal has been giving up some nice catches, but is sometimes hit or miss. Wayne Reis, a well-known New Bedford angler and very popular Canal Rat, caught a 40 inch striped bass last week with a green Scabbelly glider at the beginning of an east tide soon after the turn at 11:00 a.m.”
Summer flounder and black sea bass. Fluke fishing is spotty off Block Island. Fish are there some days and other days nothing but dog fish. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Fluke fishing is still ok in the Bay and out in front of Newport and Middletown. Customer Billy Lee continues to catch fish in Narragansett Bay but he is fishing spots in the Warwick Neck and Rocky Point areas. And Caption BJ Silvia of Flip-In-Out Charters continues to find fluke for his customers off Newport and Middletown.” I fished with one angler on board off the mouth of the Sakonnet and caught balck sea bass in the mid twenty inch range and then fished the Sachuest Point/Elbow Ledge area and caught three nice fluke to 25 inches this weekend. “Fluke fishing along the southern South County shore has been good, still a lot of shorts but if you find them anglers are landing some nice fluke.” said Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters.
Offshore fishing is good. “Last week and this weekend offshore shark fishing was great. We fished south of the Mud Hole with the shark diving cage and every day we had four or five big blue sharks, one day a 200 pound mako and Friday we tagged and released eight blue sharks, saw a school of porpoise and a sun fish on top. It was like an offshore aquarium out there.” said Charlie Donilon of Snappa Fishing and Diving Charters. The bonito bite has come alive. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Angler Brendan Brakus caught an 8-pound bonito in the Block Island Wind Farm area this weekend.” Lee Pepin reports on the RI Saltwater Anglers blog, “Sunday went on my brother’s boat out to the Fingers trolled for a while nothing. Saw bait on the bottom and broke out the big rods. Got a giant about 450 pounds, 86” on the bottom then ten cranks up.”
Freshwater fishing for trout and salmon is slowing down. However anglers are still experiencing a good fresh water bite for largemouth bass. Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters said, “The bass bite is good, anglers are catching fish in many South County ponds but the trout bite is just about over for now as things have warmed up quite a bit.” Henault of Ocean State said, “The bass bite in ponds is good, we have a lot of anglers fishing with shiners but due to the shortage they have started to use soft plastics with success.”
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com and his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com.