Rumors of Bonito at BI are True!

2009 08 06 Ray (Bonito)

Dave with an early bonito

And we have the picture to prove it.  In general, not a lot has changed from last week.  Blues and bass are still around with few signs of bonito.  Water temperatures are still cool, so they may be a little late this year.  However, don’t tell that to Dave Pollack who was fishing with Capt. Ray as he landed this nice bonito in Rhode Island.

Block Island

Cast a Fly skipper, Capt. Ray Stachelek reports:

Higher seas this week produced some mix results.  Bonito have invaded our waters.

Lots of residual rollers from storms this week have changed the bait system offshore. Sand eels along the western side of Block Island are fairly dispersed. Limit surface action on windy days. Bluefish have dominated the southern shore over stripers. It’s a mixed bag most mornings. Stay away from wire bites and use heavier mono instead. That will increase your striper to bluefish hook-up ratio. Last year there were tons of huge scup caught on a fly, this year none.

North Rip is fishing slower as most of the better fishing is moving toward the southern end. There are a few stripers during the early morning hours. The rip offers protections from the larger swells driven by the southwest winds.

The good news is that bonito have been running along the southern shore as of late. Look for them running the currents and turbulence along the twenty foot line. They love big water but don’t look for them on top. Use a sand eel pattern.

A Dad Keeps a Promise to his Son.

Some parents seem to find an excuse when it comes to family commitments with their children. After all, parents work a hectic week. Leisure time is limited. Adults just don’t want to hear it on weekends.  This is not the case for this dad.

Dad is a busy executive in New York City. He travels around the country, controls a staff of personnel, has time mandates, and is always on the go.

Dad promised his three young sons some quality time bonding this summer. Each child had their choice of activities.  Michael, the middle son, enjoys the outdoors. He spends part of the summer at outdoor camp learning about the environment. He has achieved some lofty goals. He’s proud of his ability to survive in the outdoors, understands the beauty and the dangers involved. Mike is independent and very sociable child.  He puts everything in prospective.  So it was logical for Michael to spend the day fishing with dad on the ocean off Block Island. Unfortunately we had very high seas Saturday morning. Both hands were needed on the grab rails.  We found calmer water later on but the bite had died.  It was not about counting fish. The sea gods were angry! Today was about spending quality time with father/ son on a stage of nature’s majestic beauty. Who wouldn’t enjoy these elements especially if you live near an urban center?

Tuna! …. Tuna!

2009 08 06 Ray (bass)

Not a bonito, but not bad

Dave Pollack and Mike Testa worked the south side of Block Island on Wednesday morning with fly rods in hand. The numbers of fish were down due to the high surf.  Most of the bait was dispersed with the rough conditions, but we managed some notable catches. Four different species were caught. The first bonito of the season was landed by Dave using a sand eel imitation on a sink tip line in twenty feet of moving water. Mike landed a nice striper near 30 lbs using an olive sand eel pattern. Bluefish and one summer flounder in the mix.On the way home, we headed over to Charlestown Breachway for the dumping tide. There was plenty of red weed in the water. Nothing to show for our efforts along the south shore. We continued east toward Pt. Judith and turned the corner. One bluefish near Rose Nulman /Champlain’s Rock and we were back to the dock at 1:30 pm.

Good news! Bonito have arrived in our local ocean waters. Dave Pollack has the distinction of catching the first tuna of the season and has christened our new rig with tuna blood. Good job Dave!

Mike Testa has caught his fair share of good stripers on a fly.  This nice fish has to be near the top of the list. Mike took this brute fishing a full sink line in twenty feet of water using an olive sand eel pattern on a 1/0 hook. The fish was barely hooked as she came along side. Talk about luck! It takes good angling skills not to throw the hook. She was released back again unharmed after a few digital photos. Congrats Mike!

Capt. Mike Duclos of Tiderunner Charter reports:

2009 08 06 Mike

Even the pros are catching fish

What a pleasure it is to fish with fly guys that can cast on the deck of a pitching boat. Last Saturday we ran to Watch Hill at first light to catch the end of the incoming tide, I had two of Cabela’s fly shop outfitters, Jon and Gordon on board; both very knowledgeable fly fisherman and both eager to catch fish.. After a couple drifts we settled to one of my favorite spots at Watch Hill and began to hook up, the first fish was a hard fighting Bluefish that cut off before landing, for the next couple of hours the action was pretty steady with two doubles on Stripers, talk about making a guide feel good. On the turn of the tide we managed a couple more Stripers and one hot running Bluefish that had us thinking Bonito, but it was not.

The hot flies were a small mushmouth and green and white deceivers, we had no luck fishing large herring flies, and settled down to all small flies. No birds and very few breaking fish, we fished structure blind and managed a dozen fish for the day. Have a good week, and tight lines to all.

Capt. Roger K. Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters reports:

2009 08 06 jake_S_jpg_w300h518

Jake won the battle

I wonder if Mark Twain knew just how prophetic his famous quip about the weather in New England would become.  More cold fronts, more thunder storms, lightening, rain, quack, quack…..But even Mother Nature runs out of breath once in a while, and the week ended on a day without wind or rain, but not without fish.  The bite was quality over quantity with just a few tugs from Bass at sunrise.   Jakes S. got bit hard on his second cast with a tackle-torturing take-off from this 12 pounder, but held on to land the fish and the photo.

Blues are still popping up here and there for some action in fits and spurts.  They seem spooky and more than a few fish from the brief blitzes is good work.  The best baits seem to be smaller plastics on spinning rods, and smaller flies such as eels and Clousers under 3 inches.

The best bite has been early with the water moving.  Slack tide has simply been purgatory and to be avoided if possible, or used to fuel up on coffee or check messages if not.  But as the current picks up, so do the bites and even some large Porgies have been smashing artificials and flies.  Persistence is the best technique, so keep casting!

Have a good weekend and don’t forget to send me your reports,


Posted in Fishing Reports, Lead Article, Southern New England

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