The little tunny

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 2:45pm
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To kick off this week’s report, I’m pleased to report the arrival of false albacore (Euthynnus alletteratus) or little tunny. The bonito caught on the leading edge of Tropical Storm Hermine have seemed to move out, being replaced by false albacore showing from the Coast Guard Channel and all throughout the Great Salt Pond. These pelagic speedsters are making their presence known primarily on the heaviest current of the daytime hours, with sporadic blowups throughout the day. Be sure to double-check your drags before casting for these fish, as some of them are in the 15-plus class — big for New England. The lure of choice seems to change from day to day. The most effective lures so far have been the Deadly Dick, the Hogy epoxy jigs, unweighted Albie Snax, as well as unweighted pink-over-pearl 6-inch Sluggos. As is the norm for the Coast Guard Channel, get there early to get parking because participation is way up there. It’s again that time of year where getting lucky has little to do with fishing and everything to do with getting one of the few, limited parking spots available.

Moving on to the surf zone, we are seeing stripers to 40 inches, as well as large blues coming to big, topwater presentations during the light change hours, both in the morning and evening. Large spook-type lures and poppers are seeing explosive activity at these times. No particular side of the island is producing better than any other side. Putting your time in with a noisy top water lure should put a bend in the rod.

Hermine stirred the water up quite a bit around the island, making clean water hard to find by boat. Fishing the mudlines, areas where clean and muddy water meet, can often produce when the conditions get stirred up. Also, banging up areas with noisy lures will often raise fish from the murk. Big blues and 20- to 30-pound stripers are around the island, from North Light to the east side, and around to the southwest reef. Live lining eels still produce in the deeper water if you can find the schools moving through.

Chasing albies off Charleston and at the entrance to New Harbor is a game of patience from the boat. Running up on the fish with a boat only pushes them down. If you pay attention and watch, the fish you’ll see will get into a feeding pattern and you can set yourself up ahead of the pack.

Seabass and fluke fishing have been excellent, especially near the windfarm. The limit for seabass is now seven per angler, and by using heavy metal jigs you can limit out on keeper seabass in an hour. Traditional heavy bucktail jigs, with your bait of choice, have been getting fluke on drifts by the number three and four turbines. (The wind turbines are marked.) There have also been some 40-plus class stripers taken at night in the same area dropping eels. This structure is sure to be a fishing bonanza as the years progress.

This weekend, Sept. 16 to 18, is the Lions Club Inshore Fishing Tourney benefitting the National Children’s Cancer Society and island youth activities. Registration is at Block Island Fishworks and fishing starts at 6 p..m Friday. Fishing ends at noon on Sunday with a cookout to follow. Species targeted are seabass, fluke, bluefish and scup, as well as a catch-and-release division for false albacore and striped bass. A tee shirt is included with the $40 entry fee. Youth division is $30. Call us at the shop for info (401) 466-5392.

Catch 'em up!