July offers a full menu of fish and fishing
This week kicked off with the Fourth of July festivities bringing with it fireworks, fun, fishing and fog. Bass, blues, fluke and scup have all been seen in large numbers. Reports of blue fin tuna surfaced earlier in the week with a few local fishermen finding success with a hook up or two. Water is warming up fast with the muggy weather and reaching the upper sixties in the late afternoon. The fishing should hit its stride soon with some late arriving bass moving in for the rest of the season. July is usually a good month with lots of action from the full menu of northeast species.
Blue fin tuna in sizes ranging from 20 to 100-plus pounds have been spotted west of Montauk and to the east of Block Island. Several pods have been seen as close in as the southwest ledge, and even in 60 feet of water off the Southeast light. These fish are often on the move and can be difficult to hook into. Local angler Nick Batty hooked one at a close-in four miles from the island. He said slow-speed trolling green rigs did the trick. Batty managed to land two fish. Other reports of anglers throwing everything in the boat to the fish and not getting as much as a sniff leaves anglers scratching their heads as to the best method to snag these fish this time of year. It’s always cool to see the ruckus these fish can cause when they are up and out of the water. Hopefully these speedily silver bullets will hang around for a bit.
The light tackle report comes from Chris Willi of Block Island Fishworks, who says there's good action on top water gear. “Violent strikes, airborne fish, and doubled-over rods” was the theme earlier this week, with fish hammering surface lures. Top honors go to Al Lemire's big 9” spook plug, the sebille stick shad and the big D. For best results with light tackle, fly and artificial-plug fishing, dusk and dawn, are king and queen this time of year so go early or wait till late.
On the troll, Captain Bill Gould from G.Willi Makit reports his charters have gone gangbusters reeling in fish. They have been loading up some nice sized bluefish in the 10 to 12 pound range. Using tubes and umbrellas and I’m sure a few other tricks the crew, have been keeping the rods bent and putting bass in the high 20s and 30s in the box. Bill says the east and southeast out to 60 feet have been productive during both his morning and afternoon trips.
Small fluke, skate and lots of porgies — also known as scup — have been hanging around in the cut over in New Harbor. John from Twin Maples says the students from the fishing academy have had good results using squid and a weight, and have landed some good sized fish. John also reported that the action was good on the southern rock mid-week. Using eels, he boated and released fish 25 pounds and up. The one that found its way to the dinner table was caught by John’s daughter, Kristie. The fish was 45 inches and weighed 43 pounds. Way to go!
The black sea bass season will open this Monday, July 11, and run till December 31.The minimum size limit is 13inches and you may keep 12 fish per person, per day. Also coming up is the annual Block Island Volunteer Fire Department's fishing tournament. Fishing starts on Friday, July 15, at 6 p.m. and will end at noon on Sunday, July 18. Following will be the barbecue and awards ceremony. Call BI Fishworks or Twin Maples for sign up info.
Good luck this week.