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RI Striped Bass Fishing Techniques

May 19, 2010

Captain Sheriff's Fishing Charters, a Rhode Island based charter fishing operation has fished the Watch Hill area reefs frequently over the last several years. While Block Island area waters are typically the prime spot for striped bass, bluefish and numerous other species, Watch Hill area reefs are also very productive when fished at the right time of the year and utilizing the proper lures,baits and techniques.

Captain Sheriff utilizes a systematic approach, especially when fishing for striped bass. The approach involves fishing from the top of the water column and working down. This means we look for active fish on the surface by first looking for birds diving on bait fish drawn up by feeding fish and or the swift currents prevalent in this area. The technique or lures of choice is topwater and plastics which is also Captain Sheriff's favorite technique. This is due to extensive tournament bass fishing on the fresh water lakes of the Southwest, US. I still believe that there is no comparison to the excitement of big fish hitting surface baits. While many topwater baits are productive, my favorite is a Smack it due to its size and action.

Another productive technique in this area is fly fishing. In addition to bass and blues, false albacore and bonito and targeted in the late fall in this area as well.

The next option I may utilize is live lining bait such as eels or bunker in the swift currents using little or no weight. The fishing action typically increases with the stronger portion of the current. If birds are diving, Fish On! Morning and evening are also typically the most productive times.

Another productive option is to Continue working down the water column and covering more area by trolling with umbrella rigs or jigging parachute rigs on wire line. This can be a little tricky due to the bottom structure, lobster traps and obstructions in this area.

Although very productive, tube and worm is usually the last option unless customers prefer a certain technique. Most charter clients do agree that there is nothing more exciting than big bass and bluefish exploding on top-water lures. However, on a charter, it is all about the customer and their expectation and level of expertise. Watch Hill area reefs are in close proximity to land which provides comfortable sea conditions for charter fishing clients of all levels of experience. Captain Sheriff's custom 29 foot Sea Vee is a perfect fit for all these fishing techniques as well .
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