Fishing Report — Warm waters, big fish
It’s been a great season for Block Island fishing as anglers are reeling in large numbers off the boat and the beach. The water temperature is beginning to plateau, reaching an average of 71° F this week. Again, these warm water temperatures should bring bonito and little tunny (false albacore) to the island any day now. Out of the two fish, whose appearances are very similar, bonito is the fish that people typically eat. In offshore fishing news, JB Tackle held its 10th annual Tuna Jam Tristate Tournament on the island this week, bringing in several large tuna in the 200-plus pound class.
Fishing off the beach this week, anglers hoping to catch fluke should look no further than Coast Guard beach, where these fish are being caught on strips of squid as well as live minnows. Scup, as well as the occasional bluefish or striped bass, can also be caught in this area during the day. Bass and bluefish can be caught in this area from sunset until about 4 a.m.
Charleston Beach is an excellent place to fish for bass at sunset. It’s best to use poppers or other surface plugs at this time, as this is when striped bass and bluefish travel from deeper water to closer in-shore. A feeding frenzy takes place as bass and bluefish drive schools of baitfish into shallower water. Poppers work well at this time because they tend to splash a lot on the surface, mimicking the baitfish and attracting striped bass and bluefish. After sunset, darker-colored plugs that dive under water tend to do well attracting bass, and darker-colored slug-gos are always a safe bet when surfcasting at night. Mansion, Scotch, Grace’s Point, and Dorie’s Cove are all excellent fishing spots for bass at night, as well as West Beach (the dump beach) and again, the Coast Guard Station.
Fishing off of the boat, Matt King of Hula Charters reported plenty of striped bass being caught between the Southeast Lighthouse and Southwest corner of the island, in 35 to 45 feet of water. He said that the fish were being caught during the day using eels and just a little bit of weight, and at dawn and dusk using surface plugs. Matt uses Lemire Plugworks top-water plugs off of his boat, as the handmade wooden plugs tend to create a lot of action. This week, his charter pulled in several stripers in the 40-pound range as well as one bass in the 50-plus pound range. Pictured here is Kevin Kuryla with his 42-pound bass caught off of Hula Charters. King also reported catching several good-sized fluke on the south side of the island in 50 to 60 feet of water and using squid and fluke rigs.
We hope that this information proves to be useful to anglers visiting the island this week, especially for those participating in the Block Island Volunteer Fire Department Fishing Tournament this weekend. The fishing and weigh-ins for the tournament begin on Friday, Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11.