Ready or not…here fall (fishing) comes
Inshore and offshore fishing changes very quickly at this time of year.
The waters of the Bay are cooling, and water temperatures offshore fluctuate according to warm eddies that split off the Gulf Stream, making tracking temperature breaks essential for finding the Yellowfin, Albacore, Marlin and Mahi Mahi.
Inshore Striped Bass fishing is definitely improving in the Bay as waters cool off. Capt. Jay Howell and Capt. Robb Roach recently found good numbers of fish on the reefs surrounding Halfway Rock, located east of Jamestown.
Fishing off Narragansett is also improving all the time, with boats finding fish off the cliffs of Bonnet Shores, around the mouth of Narrow River and along the rocks at Point Judith. The shore-based fishermen of Narragansett are also beginning to find fish within reach, catching Stripers on eels and plugs in Narrow River and along the rocks from Monahan’s Dock to Black Point.
Block Island Striper fishing has slowed down a bit, but the average size of the fish is increasing. It is not unusual to have a few 40-poundplus fish in the mix. People have been catching them both on eels and on the troll.
Scup, Seabass and Tautog are also moving closer to shore, now found in their usual Fall grounds. Fishing a rocky bottom is always a good bet for each of these fish. Green crabs are the go-to bait for Tautog and Seabass, and squid has been very effective for Scup.
Fluke fishing is improving as fish move up from deep water. It is now possible to catch keeper fish in 30 to 60 feet of water, especially off Point Judith. Block Island has remained steady, producing good catches in 40 to 100 feet of water off the North Rip and Southwest Ledge.
Offshore, shark fishing is really hot right now and lots of Makos are being taken. Boats have been concentrating on the Dump and Mudhole, and have been reporting fewer Blue Sharks and good numbers of Makos in the spread. There is also the occasional Bluefin Tuna taken in the Mudhole, though the chances are slim and most offshore guys have been concentrating on sharking.
Out at the Edge, the Yellowfin bite is spotty, with the fleet concentrating on the Fishtails or Atlantis Canyon. Fishermen making the 80 to 100 mile run have reported good catches one day and nothing happening the next. There are more and more White and Blue Marlin showing up in the spreads, however – especially in the area of the Veach and Atlantis Canyons.
Mahi Mahi fishing is good for those willing to search them out. While many of the High-fliers are devoid of fish, once you find one holding Mahi, you can usually pull several fish off it.
In the coming weeks, expect fishing to improve inshore and, hopefully, get more consistent offshore. There should be more consistent action at the Edge as waters stabilize and eddies from the Gulf Stream come in more frequently.
“Kettlebottom Outdoor Pursuits” airs four to five times weekly only on Cox Sports. Contribute your fish tales and photos to kettlebottom@ yahoo.com. Visit www. kettlebottom-outfitters.com.