Fishing Report: It’s All Happening
The shore report this week stays strong with many of the surfcasters reporting stripers being caught around the island from dawn to dusk.
The North Light, Scotch to Mansion Beach, Southeast Light, and Black Rock have all been producing fish. The Coast Guard Station still has large scup and small fluke, with the occasional striped bass. What we are waiting for is the bonito to show up in the Channel. This is the time of year for them to make an appearance, so keep your eyes peeled for multiple fish breaking water during a moving tide. These can very well be speed demons, so many anglers live for the chase and catch. Casting small metal jigs, like Hogy Epoxy jigs, green Deadly Dick's, or Swedish Pimples, will get these fish to strike and start ripping line off your reel. Bonito are often confused with false albacore (albies), which arrive a little later in the summer. The easy, distinguishing feature to remember is bonito have sharp teeth, albies don’t. And, if you like to eat fish, bonito are delicious — albies aren’t! So stock up on your metal jigs and small sluggos and get ready to catch some mini tunas.
Off the beach has remained strong with several large bass being caught on the southwest reefs, Clayhead, and Southeast grounds. Colt Darrow, an Oklahoma boy here on Block Island, landed a 62-pound striper, a true fish of a fish of a lifetime, and did the best thing true sportsman can do — took a picture and released it. Congratulations to him for becoming a member of the 60-pound club. Live eels are a sure thing to catch the big girls, but soft plastics like Sluggos and Hurley sandeels are working as well. Extra-large bluefish have also moved in with 15 to 18 pounders caught on the south side of the island. There is plenty of topwater fishing in tight to the island with lures like the Heddon Super Spook, Rebel Jumpin’ minnow, and the legendary Vanilla Thunder bringing plenty of fish up from the depths.
We are happy to finally have an offshore report for our fans this week. Canyon fishing has been pretty good for those that made the journey. West Atlantis and Veatch Canyon (80 miles southeast of Block Island) have had the most consistent reports of yellowfin and bigeye tuna. School bluefin tuna have been caught in the Dump and Mudhole, which is a much shorter run than the canyons. Trolling ballyhoo and jigging have both proved to be successful methods to land these prized fish. Even more fun has been had with Mahi Mahi, found around the lobster pot buoys around the island. Find a buoy or high flyer and there are usually a few Mahi hanging around it.
The Tri-State Canyon Tuna Tournament was held this week out of the Boat Basin, with more than 70 boats competing for prize money and bragging rights. Weather severely hampered the efforts of even the biggest boats. A 113.5-pound bigeye tuna caught by Il Sogno took the top prize. Local boat Pandemonium, owned by Capt. Nick Battey, managed a respectable second place in the Wahoo Division. Not bad considering fewer than 40 fish were weighed in.
Catch 'em up!