The search for little tuna has begun
In the next few weeks, Block Island will see its highest water temperatures for the whole season. The warm water is definitely primed for baitfish, which in turn keeps the big fish around. Already, for the beginning of August, we are seeing great catches from both boat and shore. One thing to keep in mind is that pretty soon the bonito and false albacore will show up. This is exciting news! They usually arrive together in the first few weeks of August and will stay around for about two months. These little tuna fight hard, swim fast, and taste delicious. Normally, they will be spotted first by boats, but if you’re at the Coast Guard Channel, keep an eye out for them.
The boat report this week is much of what we’ve already been seeing: large striped bass. Using mostly eels while drifting, Matt King of Hula Charters reported stripers in the 40 to 50 pound class on the southwest corner of the island (near the three mile marker). It’s important to know that you need to stay within the three-mile mark of the island when fishing for stripers. There are also plenty of boats doing well with eels a little closer on the south side of the island between the red bell and Black Rock in about 30 feet of water. As for fluke, they seem to be on the southeast side in 80 to 90 feet of water.
From shore, the best daytime spot for fishing is the Coast Guard Channel. There have been consistent reports all summer of fluke on both sides of the tide. There are a lot of shorts right now, but still plenty of people are catching the legal size (18 inches). Scup are also in the channel right now, but have also been seen in really good numbers on the eastern beaches including Mansion and Scotch Beaches. Both fish can be caught using squid bait for the most part, but you can also go with small two inch sluggos if you prefer artificial. As the sun sets, anglers have had good luck fishing surface poppers on the west side in that last half-hour of light.
At night, there are stripers in the 10- to 20-pound range on the east beaches, as well as slightly larger fish on the south side of the island at Snake Hole. You can use an assortment of lures and bait at night, but for sure the most popular on Block Island is the needlefish. Bluefish have made their way back to the island lately, so it's good to be using a heavy mono or wire leader to prevent break-offs.
We can't wait for the bonito and false albacore to show up, it's really a treat for anglers from both shore and boat. Plenty to catch before then.
Slow and steady is the name of the game. Tight lines!