Fluke (summer flounder) fishing continued to be extremely strong last week along coastal shores, out at Block Island and in Narragansett Bay. John Wunner of John’s Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown said, “Fluke fishing has exploded in Narragansett Bay with fish being caught in the upper bay… in places like Greenwich Bay…which hasn’t been the case for years. I have had a number of customers catch their limit.” (Eight fish, over 18” each.) This weekend, Brian Hehir of Burlington, VT caught two fluke, a 20″ and a 22” fish in a matter of thirty minutes off Warwick Neck Light after striped bass fishing in the east passage. Hehir said, “I bounced the fluke rig off the bottom a bit and it would elicit a strike.” Hehir was using a white squid fluke rig tipped with squid made by Capt. BJ Silvia.
Here is what some of the experts have to say about fluke fishing.
Capt. George Cioe, Patricia Anne, Pt. Judith: “I use squid strips with a sand…put the hook thru the squid once. I split the trailing edge of the squid to give it some action as it moves thru the water. We often use fluke belly, especially if there is other bothersome species hitting the bait. Fluke belly is more durable and you’ll get more bottom time with the bait. There is an issue though. Because it will not tear off like squid, it is possible to pull the fluke up to the surface, even though he is not hooked, only to watch the fish let go of the bait and swim away. When you fish with belly let the fish keep the bait a little longer before you pull him up.”
Capt. Jim White, White Ghost Charters, author and lecturer: “I use fresh native squid to fish for fluke attached to a buck tail jig and often use a second bait… a fly I tied, and attach to a 36” trailer. The best type of bottom is irregular. I also like to keep the jig as vertical as possible.”
Capt. Rich Hittinger, RI Marine Fisheries Council and Vice President of the Rhode Saltwater Anglers Association: “I find the best fluking spots are where there is a change of depth and you are on the edge of a rock pile. I use a buck tail with a long trailer, about 36” long.”
Capt. Charlie Donilon, Snappa Charters, Point Judith: “I like to jig for fluke and use a buck tail tipped with squid and a three foot trailer with spinner. My favorite places to go include the North Rip at Block Island drifting into Cow Cove, and the State Beach on the east side. The south side is good too. Later in the season I often fish off Narragansett.”
Favorite places to catch fluke (look for drop- offs, structure, the banks of channels, and deep water particularly in the warm weather—in spring they tend to be in lower depths):
• channel breaks in and around Warwick Neck light, and on the northeast side of the Jamestown bridge
• areas off the north west corner of Dutch Island, and the underwater valley off the southeast side of Dutch Island
• areas off URI’s Bay Campus
• Austin’s Hollow (an underwater valley) off the west side of Jamestown
• Beavertail in deep water off the west side
• off southern Rhode Island coastal beaches, Watch Hill, Charlestown, etc.
• off the center wall of the Harbor of Refuge
• off Newport at any number of deep water breaks
• at the mouth of Hull and Mackerel Coves off Jamestown at the drop-offs
• off Block Island, the North Rip, and Cow Cove on the north end, along the state beach on the east side
Your help and boat are needed at Take-a-Kid fishing
Boaters are urged to volunteer their vessel for the 16th Annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, Saturday, June 15, at Brewer Greenwich Bay Marina in Warwick. The event is sponsored by the RI Saltwater Anglers Association. Over 300 children from various youth organizations go bluefish fishing in Greenwich Bay from 9 a.m. to noon. The morning of fishing is followed by a cookout. If you can volunteer and/or volunteer your boat please contact Steve Medeiros, RISAA president, at [email protected]
Where’s the bite
Fluke (summer flounder) fishing has been great in the Bay and off coastal shores. Dick Pengri reports from the RISAA blog, “Found good size fish directly north of Dutch Island in 35 to 60 feet of water. Used chartreuse squids with fresh squid initially then squid strips.” Noted local anglers Don Smith and Peter Vican reported limiting out with fluke on Saturday, south of the Jamestown Bridge. Don said, ”We limited out with the smallest keeper measuring 20.5″ and the largest was 26.5″ and weighed in at 7.56 lbs. We only had four shorts for the whole trip, which was a lot different from a lot of reports I had heard last week. We used fluke balls and green plastic squid for the teaser. Green seemed to be the preferred color over white and pink.” Fishing in Greenwich Bay and in the crossover to the East Bay in front of Patience Island, Brian Hehir caught two nice keepers using squid gigs tipped with squid strips. John Wunner of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “Fluke fishing has never been this good for my customers, it’s like the old days.” Francis Fleet vessels are reporting good fluke fishing along southern R.I. coastal shores with keepers, shorts and even several jumbos mixed in. The fluke are spitting up squid, which certainly is an indication the squid are here.
Striped bass fishing continues to be good in the Bay and off Block Island. Worm hatches in a number of covers and rivers lead to a great bass fishing week. Anglers catching them both with live Atlantic Menhaden and chunks as well as tube and worm (seems to work particularly well in worm hatch areas). Jim Levy said, “Got out yesterday with Capt. Jerry Sparks of Northeast Boat and Kayak Charters. We fished in Point Judith Pond in flat calm conditions (during a worm hatch) and the two of us caught some skinny water bass on surface plugs. Largest fish went about 15 pounds.” On the RISAA blog, Tony Lombardo said, “Fished between Prudence Island and Poppasquash Point (Friday) between 6:45 a.m. and noon. Caught three stripers 29, 32 and 36 inches… all caught on black tube and worm”.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com; his blog www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at [email protected]