Fishing Report: Anticipation of the speedsters
This week’s report sees us firmly in a summer pattern.
The Coast Guard Channel is producing a pick of porgies and short fluke for the light tackle anglers dragging squid strips and spearing across the bottom. There is a consistent bite of schoolie stripers, rolling through bait at first light until the sun cracks the horizon. To bend the rod on these aggressive morning stripers, one must be set up and fish before the sun rises. Once the sun shows just the slimmest slice of itself, the stripers disperse and that bite is done for the day.
It should be noted that this is the time of year we expect to see two species of pelagic speed demons appear in the channel and pond, those being the false albacore and bonito. Although Capt. Chris caught one bonito on July 10 on the south side, we have not received any reports of their presence in the New Harbor channel as of yet, but it is time for their annual appearance. We suggest fast retrieves on the fastest of the flood and ebb currents, especially when they coincide with sunrise (but the middle of the day will also produce results).
The suggested lure selection varies, it consists of soft plastics like Albie Snaxx and smaller sluggos, then the metal lures (aka ‘Tins’) like Deadly Dicks, Swedish Pimples, Spanyids and Hogy Epoxy Jigs. Perhaps the most effective tool to tangle with these offshore speedsters gracing our island is the fly rod. An intermediate fly line with a sand eel fly, cast across current and retrieved moderately, will get the attention of these fish. It’s definitely worth the time casting for these light tackle brutes, as the fight will surely be one you will not forget!
On the surf casting scene, bass in the teen weight class may be had by working noisy top water lures at sunset, and the standard fare of lipped swimmers, needle fish, and darters in the dark time. Furthermore, the striper bite on hi-lo circle hook rigs, baited with clams, on the east side sandy beaches still remains effective, with a good deal of 14-inch to 16-inch porgies, too. For those looking for a fun day hanging on the beach with a line in the water, this is the technique for you!
Changing our focus to boat fishing around the island, starting from the ground up, sea bass and porgies, vertically jigged over rocky ground is the surest way to see a bend in the rod on the boat. Flukes are on the ground in good numbers out in deeper water, 70 to 100 feet, and we’re seeing a high percentage of throwback shorts. For the better fluke, one must fish deep and use big bait; whole squid or large smelt. Regardless, if one puts their time in bottom fishing they will have a nice box of meat for the table. Capt. Chris and Capt. Matt report great topwater action in the coves and points around the island, with bass and monster blues crushing poppers and sliders. Lures like the Bid D, Jumpin’ Minnow, One Knockers, Skid Stick, and Al Lemire’s topwater Spook are a sure bet. If fish don’t rise to these plugs, they aren’t there, so move to the next area.
The offshore scene has been slow, to put it bluntly. The J&B Tri-State Offshore Shootout was held Aug. 3 through Aug. 5 at the Boat Basin and was severely hindered by bad weather. Nonetheless, the few that did venture out caught some nice fish with the Castafari coming out on top with a 260 pound big eye tuna.
Lure of the Week: Hogy epoxy jig
This epoxy-covered metal jig comes in seven sizes and six colors and is a versatile lure for the waters of Block Island. Very similar to the Yamashita Maria, which is no longer available, this lure is designed to target bonito, false albacore, and Spanish mackerel. The smaller 3/8 ounce to 7/8 ounce sizes, fished with a medium to fast retrieve, will fool the most selective of gamefish. Another application for Block Island is dropping the heavier sizes to the bottom and jigging for monster black seabass and scup. This all-around lure is a must for the fall on Block Island.
Catch 'em up!