Fishing Report: Warm water means fish go deeper
There’s still plenty of beach time left in the season and, with the smaller crowds, it’s a perfect place to be. However, this wonderful weather isn’t helping the striped bass much, especially off the beach. In order for the migratory fish to make their way out to the island, the water temperature must drop a few more degrees, something in the 63 to 68 range. It is at that point that we’ll see our “fall run” which, in the past, has been legendary on Block Island.
Bottom fishing for black sea bass by boat continues to be great. Bill Latva, a year-round resident, reported his biggest sea bass being caught on the southwest side of the island in 30 to 60 feet of water using strips of squid. He added that there are good bottom fish all around the island right now, although the keeper fluke are becoming harder to find. Matt King of Hula Charters reported good stripers on the south side along the peanut-drifting eels. If the bluefish are an issue with the eels, just add on a one- to three-ounce egg weight to the line to get it down quicker.
Due to a recent illegal fishing bust where fishermen were caught fishing outside the three-mile mark down at the southwest ledge, I think it’s important to remind boaters of the rules over there. When fishing off Block Island, especially on the southwest ledge, you are required to fish within Rhode Island waters, which extend to three miles. Anything past that is federal water and is prohibited. It’s important to know these rules, along with all the sizes and amounts.
From shore during the day, most people are still heading down to the Coast Guard Channel for their shot at the bonito or false albacore (albies). The best lure for either is definitely the Deadly Dick due to its thin and shiny profile. You can also still get plenty of scup at the channel, fishing the bottom, with squid (you’ll also find some fluke and schoolie stripers). For the larger fish from shore you have to go at night. Small bait is the name of the game now, so stick to lures such as sluggos, stubby needlefish, and storms. A lot of times when the fish are being picky, you can tie a small teaser fly onto your lure and the bass will actually hit that instead.
Enjoy the beginning of fall. Get out there and fish!