Bonito and little tunny have arrived

Mon, 08/19/2013 - 2:00pm

The summer season has continued to yield a ton of fish out here on Block Island. With the water still warm at about 70° F and next week’s forecast looking beautiful, now is a great time to pack up your poles and tackle boxes and head to the boats and beaches.

After several weeks of waiting, bonito and false albacore (little tunny) have made their way back to the island! First reports of the fish were made last Monday. Men reported bonito and false albacore being caught off the beach at Grace’s Cove. These fish travel together and are often mistaken for one another. A few ways that these fish can be distinguished from one another are that bonito are typically around 5 to 7 pounds and have horizontal stripes on their sides, while false albacore are typically around 9 to 11 pounds and have wavier stripes on their sides, similar to those of a mackerel.

Another important distinction is that false albacore have four to five spots below their pectoral fins, while bonito have none. Distinguishing these fish is important, as bonito are a good fish to eat while typically false albacore are not. These fish, members of the tuna family, put up a good fight and are a blast to catch. The most popular lure to use for these fish is the Deadly Dick.

In addition to bonito and false albacore, many of the island’s fish are being caught off the beaches this week. As usual, fluke is being caught off of Coast Guard Beach during the day. There has also been a large number of scup (porgy) in the channel, many of decent size. Striped bass can be caught at Coast Guard at night, Mansion and Scotch Beaches during the day or at night, as well as Dorrie’s Cove and Grace’s Cove at night. It is important to remember that brightly colored lures work well during the day and to stick to darker colored lures at night. Bait can be used at any time of the day.

Off the boat, striped bass are being caught on the south and southwest sides of the island. Anglers fishing off a boat are typically using eels, plugs, or other lures. Black Rock Point, on the southwest side of the island, is a popular fishing spot for catching bass and blues both day and night. Fluke are being caught just outside of the channel as well as along the south side of the island, usually with squid, clam, spearing, or live minnows fished along the bottom. While fluke tend to stay on sandy banks in the ocean, sea bass inhabit rockier areas. Several fishermen have reported catching sea bass around the south side of the island in about 50 to 60 feet of water.

The Block Island Volunteer Fire Department had its ninth annual Fishing Tournament last weekend, drawing many anglers to the water to partake in this three-day competition. The largest fish caught in the adult division of the tournament was a 41-pound 15-ounce striped bass, caught off a boat by tournament regular Don Smith. Many of the most notable fish in the tournament, however, were caught in the youth division. Reilly Hobe entered the largest fish in the youth division, a 41-pound 12-ounce striped bass. Jameson Padin reeled in a beautiful 12-pound bluefish and Camryn Werbinski brought in a fluke weighing a whopping 6-pounds 5-ounces. All fish entered in the youth division were caught off of boats.

We hope you have a great time fishing on the island this week, especially with two additional types of fish in the water. Good luck!