The Pabst Blue Ribbon Block Island Bass Tournament kicks off Saturday, June 2. Anglers will compete for cash and prizes totaling $30,000. Prizes will be broken down to boat, beach and juniors divisions with the three heaviest fish in each category receiving the loot. You can enter at B.I. Fishworks and Twin Maples, or online at www.pbrfishing.com. The cost of the tournament is 30 bucks before June 2 and 40 throughout the remainder of the event, which ends on July 7. Make sure you enter before you try to catch the big one. One rule on the website states: “No competitor may weigh in a fish before he or she is registered in the tournament.” There are a number of rules listed on the Pabst website, including minimum weight requirements to weigh in a fish. Just make sure you read them — you might be tested on it later. Good luck to all who enter!
The bite on the island has been good this week. The large schools of sand eels all around the island have kept many of the northerly migrating striped bass in our waters for the time being. Bass from the North Rip out to the Southwest Ledge have been chewing up a storm, usually on top and often through a whole tide. Reports indicate many of the stripers are 28 to 34 inches with a few 8-pound blues in the mix. The morning and the late afternoon tides have shown the best top water action. Diving birds will mark the spot. Cast a soft plastic or troll an umbrella rig set up with green or yellow tubes. Make sure to go deep for the bigger bass.
John at Twin Maples confirmed a report of a 44-pound bass weighed in earlier this week. The fish was taken on a boat in the deeper water on a butterfly jig. Capt. Bill Gould from the charter boat G. Willie Makit confirmed he also had a 40-pounder almost two weeks ago. Look for more reports of the bigger ones moving into our waters over the next few weeks.
The beach bite has been consistent through the night and into dawn. The channel in New Harbor is the place to be during the stronger part of the tides. Sluggos or a Cape Cod sand eel will work well to imitate the real thing. For the more adventurous, try casting a lemire needlefish off one of West Side beaches; you might catch a tournament winner. Just remember to enter first.