As summer ends, Bay catch rises
While summer finds the Striped Bass and Fluke in deep water out of the Bay and most consistent around Block Island, fall usually brings them back into the Bay and estuaries, where they feed on various baitfish, such as Silversides, Sand eels, Peanut Bunker and other minnows.
Offshore fishing – especially Tuna and Mahi Mahi – usually peaks in mid-to-late September. In addition, we often begin to see Bluefin Tuna coming within easy reach of half-day trips.
Small Striped Bass and Bluefi sh are now being caught all over the Bay. Reports from Beavertail, Narragansett, Quonset Point, Greenwich Bay, around Bristol, and all points between Jamestown and Newport are really heating up. Most fish, so far, tend to be on the small side, but that should change quickly.
Most boats are on the troll, using umbrella rigs, metal jigs and diving plugs. Good numbers of baitfish and small Stripers have been seen feeding in the Salt Pond of Galilee, Narrow River and the Green River. Other estuaries are beginning to attract fish, as well.
Big Stripers patrol the rocks and reefs off Block Island, though the hordes of Bluefish are hard to avoid. Rolling umbrella rigs or jigging Diamond Jigs produce, but eels are hard to beat.
Fluke fishing is still spotty in the Bay, but is good south of Newport and along the South Shore. Fish are being caught in water from 20 to 100 feet, and the best method seems to be to move often until you find them.
Block Island’s North Rip is productive and holds some big Doormats, provided you don’t mind some Bluefish or Dogfish coming to your jigs.
Black Seabass and Scup are everywhere right now, hitting Fluke jigs or Squid, clam bellies, Clamworms or Mummichogs.
Offshore shark fishing is still producing a good number of Makos and Blue Sharks. Occasionally, boats are also finding Hammerheads on the line. Most of the Makos are on the small side, though several big sharks have been landed in the last week.
Out at the edge, Yellowfin and Marlin fishing is still spotty, but may soon become more consistent. The severe weather in the coming weeks may disrupt fishing somewhat, but hopefully, there will soon be more good days out there than bad. The trick is to watch for a warm-water eddy spinning off the Gulf Stream and then fish the warm side of the temperature break.
Bluefin Tuna are finally beginning to appear off Block Island, as close as the Mudhole. There have even been a couple reports of Giants – Bluefin measuring 73 inches or better at the fork – though the fishery for Giants is currently closed.
Most fishermen looking for Bluefin fish by chunking, especially in the wake of draggers dumping bycatch overboard.
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