Fishing Report: The Night Bite
It’s the beginning of September, and Block Island’s water temperatures have peaked. This means several things for fishing. The elusive monster striped bass typically move into deeper water, especially during the day. Bonito and false albacore (albies) start showing themselves at the Coast Guard Channel a few times throughout the day. Also, the scup take over the channel, making fluke fishing more difficult.
The night bite means that due to the warm water temperatures, fishing at night for larger fish is necessary because they will only come in close once it gets cooler. Lastly, it’s important to note that as of the first of the month, black seabass limits are now at 14 inches, seven fish per person per day.
From boat, I’m getting decent reports for stripers. Bill Gould of G. Willie Makit Charters found big fish in deep water on the southeast side of the island trolling tube and worm. You don’t necessarily need to head out deep for the stripers, though. A few divers diving around Black Rock reported “walls of 30 pounders” right near the rock in about 25 feet of water. Matt King of Hula charters said that eels are still working the best for the bass, mostly on the southwest corner of the island. There are a lot of bluefish around as well, so, if you’re having trouble getting the eel below the blues, throw a one- or two-ounce egg sinker on the line. There are a ton of black seabass around right now, as well. Pretty much anywhere around the island you’ll find them as long as you’re in the rocks and not the sand.
The Coast Guard Channel remains the best spot to fish from shore during the day. There have been a few sightings of bonito already, but they’re not yet in the numbers that we want to see. This may be due to the amount of bluefish around and gobbling up all the baitfish. Scup fishing is excellent right now, with a few fluke mixed in as well, using strips of squid as bait on the bottom. At dusk, fishermen have had great luck up at Sandy Point on the west side of the rip with surface poppers. Once it’s fully dark, you can fish using either bait or sub-surface lures, such as needlefish or sluggos, for the stripers. Mansion Beach has produced fish all summer long, but the west side beaches shouldn’t be ignored. If you want to work for your fish, southwest point and Black Rock have bigger fish in close at night, but you would need to use lures there because it’s too rocky for bait.
If you’re out at the channel during the day, have your deadly dick lures ready to go for a bonito or albie blitz.
That’s what early September is all about. Take a nap during the day so that you have plenty of energy for the night bite!