Searching for Stripers off Block Island
Water temperatures in the Bay have soared, getting close to 80 degrees. On the oceanfront of Jamestown, water temps have been in the low to mid-70s. Striped Bass don’t like these conditions and are moving into deeper water – making them increasingly hard to find, both from shore and by boat.
There is hope for Striper fishing, however – Block Island.
Because Block Island is surrounded by deep water and is flushed regularly by the tide, Stripers don’t need deep water to find respite from the heat. On a morning charter there last Saturday, Stripers were stacked up off the south side in shallow water, eager to take eels.
Joe Pandiscio and friends from Westminster, Mass. had a ball, catching many fish to 30 pounds on light tackle. Unlike just a couple of weeks ago, there were few Bluefish and Dogfish, notorious for cutting up eels and shredding gear. For now, the Stripers along the south side seem to have the place to themselves.
Former Jamestown resident Joel Leonard returned to the island Friday from South Carolina – unfortunately, due to his mother’s passing. To help pick up their spirits, Leonard booked a Kettlebottom charter to Block Island, where he and his kids had consistent action on eels, catching Stripers to 30 pounds.
For Leonard, an avid fisherman, it was a walk down memory lane and he was able to show his children what Rhode Island fishing is all about.
If eels aren’t your first choice, reports are good from boats trolling Umbrella Rigs or Parachute jigs off the southwest corner of Block Island. The Bass seem to prefer white Parachute jigs tipped with red pork rind trailers, trolled at three knots and jigged aggressively. There’s a good chance for a big fish, so if you’re jigging, hold on tight!
Offshore, Bluefin Tuna are still around further east, though the bite isn’t nearly as consistent. Yellowfin, Albacore and Marlin are inching closer, following the warm water.
Mahi Mahi are coming in big time, hanging around the High- Fliers, especially south of Butterfi sh Hole. The Kettlebottom Crew took a break from charter fishing and fished the Fishtails and Block Canyon Saturday night into Sunday, landing five Yellowfin Tuna overnight before hooking into the fish of a lifetime at sunrise. After a six-hour battle, the crew lost an estimated 300-pound Bigeye Tuna just 30 feet from the boat. The fight was epic, fully testing the crew and the gear, before the hook pulled.
For now, 80 to 120-mile trips to the canyons are the only consistent way to get into good numbers of Tuna and Marlin.
Fluke, Scup and Seabass are still biting, especially in deeper water of 50 to 100 feet. Tautog are moving to deeper structure as well, biting Green Crabs or Sandworms. You can also find schools of Bluefish in the Bay, hitting popping plugs, swimmers or metal jigs, such as large Castmasters.
Kettlebottom Outdoor Pursuits airs four to five times weekly, only on Cox Sports. Contribute your fish tales and photos at kettlebottom@ yahoo.com. Visit www.kettlebottomoutfi tters.com for more information.