2007-07-03 / News

Fishing the bay - what's biting and where

By Sam Bari

Max Liebhauser, at left, with a nine-pound bluefish and Dan O'Neil, with his record-breaking, speared, 65-pound striper at their weigh-ins at Zeek's Creek bait shop. Max Liebhauser, at left, with a nine-pound bluefish and Dan O'Neil, with his record-breaking, speared, 65-pound striper at their weigh-ins at Zeek's Creek bait shop. According to the experts like Captain Rob Roach of Kettlebottom Outfitters, and Greg Zeek, owner of Zeek's Creek Bait and Tackle, fishing on the bay is good, and in some places, very good.

Roach said that anglers are getting good action on striped bass. "The day bite is improving, but with the waxing moon, the night bite could start to decline a bit," he said. Tubes, parachutes, and umbrella rigs are all working well. Block Island is a good bet for catching some big ones, he added.

Roach said that a lot more baitfish are gathering in the lower bay and fishing should improve as bait increases. Fluke are good on the western side of Dutch Harbor, as well as Beavertail, South Westport, Little Compton and Second Beach, Roach mentioned.

"I haven't heard many offshore reports, but we had a blue fin hook-up off Cape Cod last week. We saw tons of whales, birds, and three great whites in the 15- to 20- foot range," Roach said.

Zeek concurred with Captain Roach and added that big stripers are also being caught in the upper bay areas and along Brenton Reef. He said that fluke, bluefish, and scup are plentiful throughout the bay.

"The big stripers are feeding on the menhaden," Zeek said. "And as long as there are bait fish, they'll be around," he added. He also mentioned that the big stripers are biting on tubeworms, and that live eels always work.

On the Internet last week, Mary at Maridee Bait and Tackle in Narragansett, reported that the biggest striped bass reports have come from around the docks in Galilee, with clam bellies the most productive and enticing of baits. Fluke are mainly in deeper waters, and shore fishermen have been mainly taking shorts so far. Mary has reports that the East Wall is producing some very nice catches of scup, and school bass and smaller bluefish are in that same area. Charter trips from the shop are doing very well for striped bass out at Block Island, with a few 50-pounders and numerous 30- to 40-pounders being taken.

Also, Ronnie at Breachway Bait and Tackle in Charlestown reported that striped bass up to 50 pounds are being taken off the beaches in the area, though mainly at night and with eels. He also said that bluefish, mostly small but with a few bigger ones mixed in, are also becoming common along the beaches. Fluke fishing is excellent, according to Ronnie, "Just find some structure in the 30- to 40- foot depth and you will most likely bring home dinner," he said.

Out on Block Island, John at Twin Maples Bait and Tackle gave an online report that fishing is defi- nitely in full swing. Sand eels are abundant, and one lucky fly-angler landed a 48-inch striped bass on a 3-inch sand eel pattern in the Coast Guard Channel. Fishing from shore just about anywhere on the island is good, even during the day, with flies and plugs producing the best catches. Big plugs attract big fish, so keep that in mind. For better or worse, small bluefish invaded the island last week, he said. Fluke fishing has been good, mainly in water about 60-feet deep, according to reports coming off the west side of the island. Although, John said he is getting reports of lots of shorts.

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