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The storm was rough, but luckily short-lived, and things are starting to get back to normal. Striped bass fishing remains steady everywhere, especially Block Island. Sea bass, scup and a few more fluke decided to show up and chew this week.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reported good fishing on all trips prior to the storm and should be picking back up with the water cleaning up. A new push of fluke seems to have moved into the area and they are hungry! Some anglers managed fluke limits, with the largest going 11 pounds, while sea bass limits remain easy to find. The half day trips have been just as strong as the full day trips, with the local rockpiles being loaded with bomber sea bass. The nighttime combo trips have been successful as well. The sea bass are biting after dark and there is squid all over the place.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me the fishing is still solid across Rhode Island. The bottom fishing has been consistent, with plenty of big sea bass, great scup fishing and a solid start to the tautog season. The fluke bite has required a bit more work, but some good catches are still being reported. The sea bass have been all over the hard bottom and the scup fishing has been best at many of the usual haunts; Colt State Park, Tiverton, Newport etc. Big pods of 5- to 7-pound bluefish have been busting the surface around the west passage, and the striped bass fishing is as strong as ever at Block Island on eels and large soft plastics. Chub and frigate mackerel have been all over the area, and a few bonito reports have started to trickle in as well. Dave will be open until 730 PM daily, and opens up at 430 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, told me the striper fishing off Newport is still stellar with a wide variety of sizes, from school bass to 50-pound cows. The fish have gotten a bit pickier due to the warmer water temps, but properly presented live baits are still getting it done. Bluefish of all sizes can be found up and down the coast, along with frigate and chub mackerel. These fish have been keyed in on small rain bait, so flies and very small epoxy jigs have been the best bet. Fluke fishing picked up again locally, with more keepers being caught each day, while sea bass and tautog action has been steady as well.
Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing, told me that despite the increased water temps, striped bass fishing continues to be amazing. There have been so many fish in the 30- to 50-pound range that it has been hard to find slot fish, but they have managed some keepers on each trip. If you’re worried about filling the cooler, the sea bass have you covered! There are still big numbers of big biscuits, and a few fluke here and there. The tuna bite remains very good, with the wrecks holding some nice football bluefin and yellowfin. The storm dirtied up the water a bit, but it should be cleaning up. Hopefully it pushed some more tunoids into our area.
Connecticut Fishing Report
Andrew, at Fishin Factory III in Middletown, said the striped bass fishing has been quiet locally. A few guys are catching out by Fishers and in the Race, but the bulk of the anglers are steaming to the Block for some very strong striper action. Fluke fishing has been relatively weak, with some decent catches at Block and Montauk that have been hard to dial in, and not much doing in CT waters. There are snappers in most tidal rivers now. Tailors are all over the place, Pine Island, Race Rock, Watch Hill… Sea bass action has been good at places like Two Tree Channel and Plum Gut, the deep spots off the Rhody beaches are covered with them. Bonito reports pop up between Point Judith and Watch Hill, but its been tough to find them with all the chub and frigate mackerel around.
Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters, reports that the striped bass fishing remains solid, but has still been best around dawn, dusk and overnight. The gut and the race have produced some bass on jigs during the day, and those same areas are seeing some schools of macks and bonito. Snapper bluefishing is good in the rivers, and small blues can be found on many of the reefs and rips as well. The sea bass fishing has been consistent in 40-80 feet of water, while the fluke fishing has improved a bit. They seem to be moving around quite a bit, so dialing them in is tough, but the catches have improved. Scup continue to be all over the area and are readily available for shore or boat anglers.
Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me that the rise in water temperatures 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 Blackhawk Sportfishing, told me they had another strong and interesting week. The bottom fishing has remained very consistent, with plenty of scup and sea bass coming over the rails. They also decided to do a little shark fishing last week and managed a 355-pound thresher! The storm churned things up a bit, but has quickly started to clean, so they should be right back to stellar bottom fishing this weekend.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, told me that the striped bass fishing picked up for him this week with the full moon, and he had fish to 52 inches this week on live eels and soft plastics such as GT Eels. They also had a better mix of big bluefish this week, with plenty of gators in the 12- to 14-pound range. Sea bassing remains very steady, with limits coming in 2-3 drifts, while the chub mackerel has filled in and has provided some great light tackle action.
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reports that the bass fishing has slowed a bit once again, as the water continues to warm. There are still a few 20- to 30-pound fish being taken on bait during the nighttime hours, but it has been a dice roll. Cocktail blues are still prevalent around the islands and around the harbor on small bait, and larger gators can still be taken around mid-sound. Fluking has been so-so lately, with the better bites starting to come from deeper water. Sea bassing is still fairly steady in the 60-100 foot range, with whole squid and jigs taking most of the fish. Some large scup have been in the mix in the same areas that anglers are sea bassing.
Fishing Forecast for the Weekend
The storm was a rough one for southern New England, but luckily it was short-lived and it has been calm ever since. The warm weather has made the striped bass game more of a nighttime game locally, but they are out there, and Block Island is still putting up consistent slob fish. Unlike last year we are seeing more bluefish, with mixed sizes of fish all over the area. Fluke action has been up and down all year but seems to have improved a bit prior to the storm, while sea bass and scup action continues to pick up the slack. Bonito are starting to show up a bit more in Rhode Island waters, but they are greatly outnumbered by the mackerel. The amount of small bait is incredible though, so we should have a nice season worth of speedsters ahead of us.