This week has been the warmest all year, it actually feels like the dog days of summer. Hot weather equals two things to many Southern New England fisherman: false albacore and bonito. Little tuna chasers will be happy to know there have been isolated reports of bonito being caught in the region, but no solid blitzes yet. It might be a little early to run out looking for them, but I’ll leave that to you.
Nothing gets the blood flowing like people chasing tuna. Every year you see boats chasing the albacore and bonito all over the ocean. We also hear of the not so friendly discussions between boat owners. Nothing like a nice peaceful day on the water.
Remember to limit run & gun fishing as it pays to be patient when fishing for these guys. Please be respectful of other fisherman. Trolling though a blitzing school of fish or driving full speed up to a boat tight to a fish is not considered good etiquette.
Sand eels are still the top item on the dinner menu, although small anchovies are starting to show up. No reports of the peanuts arriving in mass yet. They put in a poor showing last summer so keep your fingers crossed.
Bluefish and bass are in full force, though you definitely have to work harder to catch the big bass. Night time and deep are the keys to consistently getting to the big fish at this time of year.
South Shore and Block Island
Sand eels are the prevalent bait supply all along the south shores and beyond south to Block Island. Early morning surface action produces a mixed bag of bluefish and schoolies. Look for early morning surface action from the West Wall all the way towards Charlestown B’way. Shearwaters will give the location away. These are smaller fish on small bait. Who know where the peanut bunker are?
Block Island is still fishing well for all kinds of angling. Eels are the easiest way to catch a keeper bass. Don’t forget about an occasional surface plug. Needles at night, walk the dog types during morning hours. Of course, sluggos work. Give it a few seconds before setting the hook.
Fly Fisherman are having success using small sand eels patterns. On bright mornings the stripers become line shy. Increase your leaders if possible and work it slower in deeper waters. Plenty of fog each morning extends the bite into the late morning hours.
This week we had the three amigos on board Cast a Fly from the New England Saltwater Fly Rodders. After hearing consistently good fish reports, Steve Murphy, Dick Henry and the legendary long rodder, John Mulvany wanted to try their luck at Block Island. Between the three they boated some 30 stripers all in the six to ten pound range. No large bass today, but all commented on the great fights with a fly rod. All of these fish have sea lice on them spending the summer off shore.
Dick Henry asks, “Does this striper come from the Merrimack River?” “Only one way to be sure,” says legendary Joppa Flats expert John Mulvany. That’s to taste it!
Also this week, Cam Stout, a dry fly trout enthusiast from California and his son Gus were on board along with their uncle Prentice, a local from Wakefield. We were greeted to dense fog as we drifted along the south shore. Plenty of small surface activity between the high rollers made the morning interesting. Cam managed to catch a few species before heading back to an early morning flight back home. The uncle is quite the birdwatcher and authority on marine life. He managed to photo shoot several shearwaters while diving for bait.
Reel-Time EIC Mark Cahill was off the East End of Block Island last weekend and had this:
Went out with a group of friends one a wireline trolling charter Sunday off the east end of Block Island. Constant action throughout the tide on fish in the 30-38″ class, with a report of one 40lb fish taken in the morning. Fish were fairly deep, so plan accordingly…
Watch Hill and Eastern LI Sound
Capt. Mike Duclos of Tiderunner Charter reports:
Fog, rain, sunshine, rain, fog and no fog; not the weather for the week, just one day on the water. The fishing has been inconsistent as well, with fish showing one minute then vanishing not to be seen again on that particular tide. If you are willing to spend the time there are good fish to be caught by hitting a number of spots. The tale of one trip this week sums up the July experience, Took the ride to Watch Hill in the morning, no fish showing, fished Napatree and the rips for three Stripers and one Bluefish, moved to the outside of Fishers, hooked and lost one very large bass shy of the net on a 4″ baby bunker imitation, it was the kind of fish that gives you” the one that got away” bragging rights. Finished the tide on the west end of Fishers with another three bass with one a 29″ keeper size bass that made the day.
If you enjoy being on the water and don’t mind putting in the time there are still fish to be caught during the slow times. Have a great week and tight lines to all.
Capt. Roger K. Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters reports:
I am a little late this week with a report, probably because I have been hoping for something interesting to report. However I have not been able to get out since the weekend when fast-moving cold fronts freaked out the striped bass population.
Pop-up thunder storms, heavy rains, and a lot of run-off left behind a lovely beach day or two, but left fish with a hangover, and fly fishing was mostly casting practice. A couple of blues and a plethora of Sea Robbins seemed to be impervious to the swift changes in barometric pressure. But stripers would not take a fly.
There are stripers in the neighborhood as we could see them occasionally cruising across the bow, in the shallow water on the incoming tide. But anything connected to a string was off the menu. Oh well; it has been an exceptional July to this point, and honest reporting was the only option for this week.
Have a good weekend,