The Block Island Times
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Things to look forward to

By Sol Schwartz | Sep 07, 2013
Photo by: Sol Schwartz John VanderMaelen with a black seabass and a 23-inch fluke caught off the Southeast Lighthouse in about 60 feet of water.

With the summer season winding down, we’re beginning to look forward to some great fall fishing. In the last weeks, striped bass fishing has slowed down a little, mostly due to the water temperature (69 degrees). With cooler weather on the way, bigger bass fish should start moving in soon. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t still plenty of fish being caught nightly off the beaches. The west side of Sandy Point has seen a good number of stripers and bluefish caught at night.

Anglers have fished it from the very tip down to about where the North Lighthouse is. Sunset at Sandy Point is a great time to use surface poppers as the fish move in from deeper waters when the sun drops beneath the horizon.

At sunset, any of the western beaches would be good to try. West Beach, Charleston, Dorie’s Cove, and South West Point have all seen good action as the sun drops. At night, Mansion Beach and Ballard’s Beach are still hotspots for stripers and blues. Most fishermen use larger sluggos, needlefish, and an assortment of swimmers in those spots, but chunks of mackerel or whole squid work just as well. Mansion Beach has also been good in the mornings for large scup using mostly strips of squid.

The Coast Guard channel still has good numbers of keeper fluke and scup, along with occasional black seabass and snapper blues. The bonito are also in the channel throughout the day, so have your Deadly Dicks and L-Jacks ready when they blitz. We are also expecting the false albacore to start showing up soon, which are not as tasty to eat as bonito, but give quite the fight if you’re lucky enough to hook onto one.

From a boat, the southwest side of the island and the Black Rock area still have decent numbers of striped bass and bluefish caught with eels and top water lures (Lemire’s wavejammers), according to Matt King of Hula charters. The black seabass fishing has really picked up lately, mostly on the south side of the island in about 50 to 60 feet of water — which is great because the limit is now at seven fish a day.

There are good numbers of fluke right outside of New Harbor, just to the south of the Red Bell Buoy, and also in 30 to 50 feet of water near West Beach, all the way up to Sandy Point. The fluke and seabass are fished similarly with small strips of squid and a bright fluke rig (either green or pink). The amount of baitfish and squid in the waters now is a great indication that our fall will be the best time for catching big fish! Also, keep an eye out for the Block Island Inshore Fishing Tournament (presented by the Lions Club) which runs from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15. Signup and weigh-ins are at Block Island Fishworks.

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