You can’t catch fish where there are no fish. My formula for a successful trip includes research, planning and implementation. Research.
No matter what species you are targeting successful fishing trips start with research. I gather as much intelligence as I can on fishing blogs, through reading fishing columns, checking social media and I talk to bait & tackle shops and fishing friends to identify what is biting and where. Once you know what’s biting and where select what you will target and prepare a plan to catch them. Plan.
When planning a fishing trip I select the species I will be targeting and then prepare a variety of gear and tackle to catch those species. For example if targeting summer flounder (fluke) and black sea bass I will make sure we have a variety of tackle types for the task. For summer flounder that includes a number of different types and colors of bait rigs and jigs that we will tip with squid, silver sides, minnows, fluke bellies (the white skin on the bottom of summer flounder). And for black sea bass a number of rigs … white if squid are in the water, red if the sea bass are eating baby lobsters or green if crabs seem to be on their diet. The idea is to be ready with a number of different bait and lure types depending on what the fish are eating on any given day. The same would be true with other species too. Tautog bait rigs and jigs, striped bass swimming lures, surface lures and bait rigs as well as umbrella rigs or tube and worm to troll.
The next part of planning is select the places you plan to fish based on your research as to where the fish are, the tide/current and wind. Select the three, four or five places you will fish until you hit the fish. Implementation.
Once you have a plan then it is a matter of getting out on the water to implement the plan. Often we get side tracked, deviate from the plan based on an unwillingness to move the boat, travel to the next spot, or start fishing a species you did not plan for. It is up to you to improvise based on conditions but do it in an intentional way. For example, “We are going to cast to this school of mackerel and then get back to targeting tautog as planned.” Persistence pays off. This is something it takes anglers a while to learn, I have to remind myself almost every trip. It is easy to become complacent on the water. “We are fishing here, even though the bite is slow, we are having a good time.” Believe me move the boat to the next spot on your plan and you will have even a better time once the rods start to bend. Often times it’s the last place on my list that pays off with decent fish, or the first place on the list that yielded no fish when going there earlier in the day but after a couple of hours, the spot lights up. The water started to move, the wind shifted or the composition of the bait fish in the water may have changed to turn on the bite. So for your next fishing trip, prepare with research, develop a plan and then once on the water be persistent and execute your plan. Where’s the bite?
Striped bass and bluefish.
“We had large schools of striped bass hit the coastal shore after the storm this weekend. Anglers are catching school bass from the beaches, the East and West Walls of the Harbor of Refuge, the Charlestown Breachway and Quonnie. Most are school bass in the 20-23-inch range but keepers are mixed in.” said Jon Albert of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “Customers are catching some nice bass off Brenton Reef casting to them, trolling and using eels.” Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick said, “The bite at Block Island is still very good but we have anglers catching some nice bass off Newport with eels.” Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle Warren said, “The skipjack bite exploded this weekend. They seem to be everywhere. Anglers are reminded that they are bluefish and the limit is three/person/day.” At the end of last week schools of bluefish in the 24 inch range were in the East and West Passage of Narragansett Bay. Customers hooked up with as many as they wanted before moving on. They were a great eating size. Summer flounder (fluke), scup and black sea bass.
Fluke fishing remains spotty and angles are having to work for them occasionally hitting a school and catching quality fish. Jon Albert of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “Fluke fishing along the coastal shore and at Block Island is sporty. However large fish are being caught. We weighed in a 13 pound fish that was caught south of the wind farm earlier this week but there is not a quantity of fish in the 22-inch range being caught.” Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “Most of the angler action is focusing on black sea bass. Anglers are catching them around Hope Island and in the lower Bay, off Newport and south of the bridges.” The Scup bite remains strong just about anywhere there is water movement and structure. “Bonito and false albacore
are being caught along the coastal shore and off Newport. A customer caught a 24-inch bonito off the wall at Galilee last week.” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “Customers are catching both bonito and false albacore. The fish have not been huge but they are here and anglers have started to target them.” Bluefin tuna.
“The bluefin tuna bite has been outstanding.” said Jon Albert of Breachway Bait & tackle. “Anglers are hooking up with jigs fishing 40 to 50 miles offshore.” Freshwater
fishing is good with largemouth bass and catfish being taken often by anglers. Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box said, “The catfish bite is good at Lake Tioque, Coventry and locally in Warwick at Sand Pond and Groton’s Pond have been yielding catfish.” Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait said, “One thing I know for sure based on angler comments, things at the Brickyard Pond are dead. No bite there. But angle are dong well in the upper Warren Reservoir catching largemouth bass.” 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 .
First keeper fluke – Photo A
Logan McDermott, 13, of Warwick with his first keeper summer flounder (fluke), a 22-inch fish caught off Newport in 80 feet of water. (Submitted photo)