Warm water improves the bite

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 7:30am

Our water temperature is about 67 degrees and rising quickly these days. With that, the baitfish numbers around Block Island are growing. We are seeing a lot of fish caught by both beach and boat. The spring and early summer was all about fishing the west side mostly, but at this point it’s safe to say we have fish circling the entire island.

From the shore, the Coast Guard Channel has been the best spot for fluke and scup during the day. Ian Pollock from the Block Island Fishing Academy reported several fluke caught in his groups, along with a few keeper-sized striped bass as well. We’re still not seeing large amounts of scup around, but the conditions are right for that to change any day. Another good spot during the day for scup and occasionally stripers is on Mansion Beach near the rocks. Sometimes all it takes is for the wind to shift direction a little and the fishing completely changes on the island. Striper and bluefish fishing picks up at dusk. Right as the sun drops under the horizon, use surface poppers to attract the fish that are making their way in from deeper water. There have been several good-sized bass caught at Sandy Point on the western side. Also, Ballard’s Beach is producing good results at night.

From the boat, eels have been the main method used lately to bring in the big ones. Mostly on the south side, boats are drifting eels in about 40 to 80 feet between the Southeast Lighthouse and Black Rock point. Since there are bluefish near the top, most people have been adding egg sinkers to their eel rigs in order to drop the eel down fast enough to get to the bass and not get chopped up by blues. Capt. Bill Gould of G Willie Makit charters also reported good numbers using green umbrella rigs in about 35 feet of water in front of the Southeast Light. Black sea bass season is also upon us and you can find them either on the south side or west side using the same setup you would use for fluke. Most people use squid as bait, but the new Gulp Alive! artificial baits work very well. Remember, the limit for sea bass is only one per person, per day, but there are plenty of them around.

What we have now is what Block Island is famous for: good fishing conditions all around the entire island, both from shore and boat.

Get out there and cast a line!