Rhode Island Echo Newspaper Published Article August 2019
I have had several clients recently that make the trek down from New Jersey to fish our Rhode Island waters. They told me that the fishing here is “Lights Out” compared to their home waters in Jersey. One group recently booked the entire weekend which is not typical. They said they want to specifically target catching Fluke. I called them prior too their departure and told them that Fluke fishing in terms of catching keeper size Fluke of 19 inch minimum was tough at best. They decided to take a shot anyway. Knowing this was their primary goal, I did my research and ventured out much further from Block Island and deeper than all the previous trips. They all showed up with there custom rods reels and tackle. I dropped down a Deadly Dick for good measure to test the waters and came up with a Seabass and then a Cod and then another Cod. Within 20 minutes, everyone was utilizing our tackle again catching Cod.
Once the Cod action slowed, the Jersey boys were back on their custom jigs and putting on a Fluke seminar while also reaching their limit of Sea Bass by 10 am. This marked the first charter in my history where I came back with more bait than I departed with.
Slammer Bluefish have taken up residency on the east side of Block Island taking parachute jigs providing pretty solid action. We continue to see a Hammerhead Shark near Block Island almost every trip at Block Island.
Sea Bass fishing continues to be Red Hot and the fish are getting bigger every trip with fish up to 23 inches providing almost guaranteed results every trip. The only issue seems to be if the wind creates a drift too fast to get the bait down to them.
Inshore fishing is still really heating up. On a recent charter fishing trip departing Newport with clients picked up from the area, our plans of fishing for Sea Bass and Fluke near the Sakonnet River changed as we saw seabirds flying around Seal Ledge just outside Newport. With a few modifications to our tackle and strategy, our clients began launching the metal lures Deadly Dicks on light spinning tackle which imitate sand eels to Striped Bass breaking the surface. This was a half day charter and we never left this area as we had activity the entire time. To kick the excitement level up a notch we also put out a couple live eels which produced as well. There was also some Sea Bass caught, but a 2-3 lb. Sea Bass doesn’t seem to get the adrenaline valve turned on when clients are catching 20 to 30 lb. Striped Bass.
The half day charters that typically target Sea Bass Scup and Fluke have been very productive for Sea Bass and Scup. Fluke is also very productive in terms of catching them but a little more challenging to consistently catch legal size keepers of 19 inches. Sea Bass can be caught anywhere there is a rocky bottom, but like most fish species, the key is finding where the bigger fish reside. We have had good luck near shore at The Hooter Buoy area and the North Rip when current conditions are favorable. The SW ledge of Block Island is always good as well but a further distance out. Sea Bass fishing at Block Island is typically a secondary option after targeting Striped Bass in the early morning. The pic below is a recent charter where the party of 2 limited out on Sea Bass in the first hour. The biggest fish came on vertical jigging techniques.
The typical charter favorite for most clients is the combo Striped Bass fishing charter at SW Ledge of Block Island. There is typically a morning bite pattern at Block Island for jigging parachute rigs and Umbrella rigs with sand eel imitations along with some Mojo rigs trolled.as well. After catching Striped Bass in the early morning, we then move on to the other species such as Sea Bass and Fluke.
The late afternoon and night bite is producing some Stripers on eels during the proper current conditions of 40lbs and greater.
There is some Shark fishing action within 30 miles of shore. Plenty of Blue Sharks to release but looking for the Mako and Thresher shark action to pick up. Tuna action is sporadic and typically around 60 miles offshore or beyond. Fish On II will be making some offshore trips soon.
Till then, tight lines and Fish On!