Perfect fall weather has given fishermen plenty of opportunities to go out for the big one. This time of year, when most boats are already out of the water, the shoreline becomes the destination for anglers. Large schools of peanut bunker have kept many of the bigger bass close to the mainland shore and, for now, the majority of stripers around Block Island are schoolies.
By boat, people are still catching great numbers of scup and black sea bass. The south and west grounds have been the most active, as they usually are. Squid strips on a fluke rig will catch you either fluke or squid, but artificial lures work as well (such as the Gulp Alive baits). A few mid-range bass in the 20-pound class have been picked up drifting with eels, but bottom fishing right now is more effective.
Squid has shown up in the last couple weeks in a big way. Both harbors are full of large squid at night, which will eventually bring in the large stripers from the mainland. I have seen, in the last few years that our fishing out here has really turned on only in early November. The water temps have stayed above 60 degrees longer, which is what I think is the cause for the late fall run. Most of the striper action has been on the east side lately, such as Mansion Beach and Ballard’s Beach. Eels are working better than plugs right now, but you can never go wrong with a needlefish or metal-lipped swimmer. As the water cools off more, you will start seeing the bass on the south and southwest sides of the island more. Historically, southwest point has been great this time of year.
During the day you can also still go and try your luck for false albacore. The albies have been showing up a few times throughout the day at the Coast Guard Channel. Smaller Deadly Dick lures work best for those and you’ll definitely know when you have one on the line.
As we wait patiently for the monsters to arrive, there are plenty of smaller schoolie bass all around waiting to be caught. Get out there!