Late summer fishing starts
Late summer fishing on Block Island is a time for changes. Striped bass fishing begins its lull before the fall and we start looking out for other species to show up. When our waters reach their warmest, the bigger stripers typically stay in deeper waters until the temperature drops near the shore. This doesn’t mean that you can’t catch stripers in late summer, but the main attraction in August into September is the bonito and albies (false albacore).
From boat, eels are still the name of the game for striped bass. Matt King of Hula Charters said that striper fishing is still good, but spotty. He noted that a full running tide is really important, and to change out your eels often so that they are as lively as possible. The majority of striper fishing right now is on the south side of the island between southwest and southeast in 30 to 70 feet of water. Bill Gould of G. Willie Makit charters also reported large bass (40 pound class) trolling tube and worm off Old Harbor Point.
There are also some really huge bluefish (20-plus pounds) around right now as well in deep water. For them, you are best off using metal jigs of some sort, so as to not lose your gear. Make sure your drag is set tight! Fluke fishing has been productive off the west side about one-quarter mile west of Dorry’s Cove in about 60 to 65 feet of water heading south towards Montauk. Black seabass is also plentiful just about anywhere around the island if you’re jigging on rocky structure.
From shore, there haven’t been any reports yet of the bonito or albies, but be sure that fishermen are standing by ready with their Deadly Dick lures for a blitz to roll through. During the day the Coast Guard channel is still the most productive spot. Plenty of fluke and scup are being pulled up, using mostly squid or spearing as bait, or Gulp Alive for artificial. Ian Pollock from the Block Island Fishing Academy reported consistent scup and occasional fluke using squid. Going for stripers and bluefish begins at dusk.
You can use top water lures such as poppers in the last 30 minutes of light, and go subsurface as it gets dark. Dorry’s Cove and Mansion Beach are where I’ve gotten the most consistent reports for good-sized fish at night.
Tight lines, everyone!