The rise in temperatures has turned the striped bass fishery into more of a nighttime game, but they are certainly still around in good sizes and numbers, while the sea bass and scup continue to keep the bottom fishing productive.
Connecticut Fishing Report
Andrew, at Fishin Factory III in Middletown, told me that some local striper sharpies are finding some big bass. Locations have been kept under wraps, but most of the larger fish seem to be coming after dark. Block Island is still producing huge numbers or large bass, while many of the smaller summer haunts are quiet. Fluke action remains spotty, with short fish and sea robins dominating the catch. Sea bass catches have quieted on the more well-known spots, but the smaller pieces of structure are still producing well. Scup all over the area, and the small snapper bluefish seem to be showing up in decent numbers.
Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters, told me that the recent heatwave has slowed down the fishing interest a bit, and has caused the striped bass and bluefish bite to be mainly a nighttime game. At low light hours, topwaters are still producing, while live eels and large soft plastics have been the bait of choice after dark. Scup continue to make themselves accessible on pretty much any reef or rock pile, while the sea bass seem to be more prevalent around the deeper humps. Daiwa DK jigs continue to be a top sea bass producer, along with other similar fluttering jigs. Fluke remains hit or miss, certain spots will heat up for a day or two then die out, so you just need to put in some time and hope you can weed through the shorts. Blue crabbing remains very strong in all the tidal rivers and estuaries, with big numbers or good sized crabs.
Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me that the rise in water temps has made the bass bite a bit more challenging, but 3-waying live baits on the deeper rips is still producing well. A nice push of 10-14-pound gator bluefish have moved into the area once again; hopefully they hang around a little longer this time. Keeper sea bass are starting to get tougher to find on the usual rips, but there are plenty out there if you do a little moving/searching. The amount of small bait in the area continues to rise, so Mike has high hopes for the upcoming fall season!
Heather, from Black Hawk Sportfishing, reported another week of strong fishing. Limits of porgies have been very easy to come by, with a nice mix of sea bass as well. As the weeks roll on, the sea bass fishing seems to improve a bit just about every day. Boat limits of jumbo sea bass are starting to become the norm! The nighttime striped bass trips have been a bit trickier, but most trips are seeing solid action and a few keepers in the slot.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, told me that the few local trips he did this week resulted in a nice push of larger striped bass. There have been some fish both day and night, but the larger fish have been taking eels after dark or right around daybreak. Joe has also started to make the run to Block Island and is finding phenomenal striped bass fishing, along with a nice mix of sea bass and a few fluke.
Captain Chris, at Elser Guide Service, told me that the fishing has continued to slow out west, but there are still a few select area of larger stripers that are willing to hit the tube and worm or chunked bunker. There is still plenty of bunker in the area, and the amount of small bait is insane for late July! The sea bass action has slowed down out west, but Chris is still finding some nice fluke on the rocky reefs in shallower water. 3-5-pound bluefish are plentiful, but there haven’t been too many large gators in the area.
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reports that most of the larger bass seem to have moved out of local waters, except for some fish taking chunks after dark, or by anglers drifting eels around some deeper structure. The shallows around the islands are still producing some decent numbers of school bass and good numbers of 3-5-pound bluefish that will willingly take topwater plugs. Larger blues can be found around the deeper structure, with diamond jigs producing at 28C and 11B. Fluking isn’t completely lights out, but the best fishing in southern New England right now seems to be centered around the Norwalk area, with enough keepers to generally make it worthwhile.
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Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith had another very good week of fishing in Rhode Island, despite less than ideal temperatures. The sea bass have mostly been pretty big, and they are certainly plentiful on the half-day trips. They have also had a nice mix of fluke this week, including one that broke the double-digit mark. The full-day trips have been very productive as well, with fluke stealing the show somedays, and the sea bass taking over on other days. Captain Frank reported easy sea bass limits, and a good number of fluke in the 4-6-pound range. A couple of night trips this week saw good squid numbers, and a nice pile of striped bass, with most of the bass being larger than the slot and thus released.
Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, told me the striped bass fishing is in rare form. You can take your pick from slot fish all the way 40+ pounds in Newport, Jamestown and Sakonnet. Live bait plugs and the troll are all producing a strong bass bite. Frigate and chubb mackerel are on the feed in decent numbers, with some small pockets of albies to the west. Big schools of bluefish are working their way south from mid-Narragansett Bay, and it’s looking like August is going to be an epic month of fishing in Rhode Island. Dates are filling fast, so book your trip now!
Just when Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing, thought it couldn’t get much better, the striper grounds grew even more productive. Slot fish became easier to come by over the past few days, and they are still releasing dozens of 30-50-pound fish to every keeper. The bass of all sizes continue to eat everything they throw at them: live bait, jigs, trolling…it hasn’t really mattered. The fluke fishing around the island picked up a bit, with some nice fish to 10-pounds in 60-70 feet of water. The sea bass bite is as reliable as ever, with fish as big as 8-pounds showing up this week! Scup and bluefish are also plentiful, and the green bonito have shown up in decent numbers along the beaches. A couple of offshore trips this week didn’t produce the target species, but the shark bite has been strong. August is now booked solid, but they have a few dates in September and are starting to book for fall tautog trips.
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Connecticut Fishing Forecast
The striped bass game remains productive despite the warm temps, with some nice local fish in the deeper rips and a whole pile of summer striped bass still feeding at Block Island. The fluke action has gotten even more hit or miss than it has been for most of the season, but they decide to come out and play occasionally. The sea bass and scup bite remains steady and is helping to fill coolers, and we are quickly approaching the hardtail season, with chubb macks and bonito already showing and the false albacore likely only a few weeks away.