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).
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. You should definitely be ready for them to blitz, though. Thin metals work best, such as Deadly Dicks. 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 either bait or sub-surface lures, such as needlefish or sluggos for the stripers. Mansion Beach has produced 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 only lures there because it’s too rocky for bait.
Fishing from boat this last week has been all about huge bluefish. Aggressive schools have been popping up all around the west and south sides. Matt King reported good sized striped bass being caught during the day on Lemire’s top water lures (Wave Jammers), as well as eels. The night bite has seen larger fish on the south side using primarily eels. If you are running into bluefish, you may need to put some weight on your line to get the eel down to the stripers faster. Fluke is still producing good numbers in deep water on the east side. Seabass remains consistent as well, but you want to fish rocky areas for those.
This beautiful weather is great for getting out there and giving it a cast. Tight lines!