Fluke fishing was good once again this week. Here are some fluke fishing tips and where to find them.
Fish when the tide/current and wind are going in the same direction.
Fluke face into the current to feed, so you want to drag your bait over them, drifting with the tide and wind when in a boat, or slowly pulling your bait over the bottom when on land.
When fishing slack or flood tide with no water movement, try to fish in locations that have a lot of current (like under bridges or around jetties) or try power drifting (putting the vessel in and out of gear to create movement)… or troll perpendicularly if in a boat so no matter what way the fish are facing you are passing them at least on a right angle.
When it comes to fluking, squid is the bait of choice. Some anglers cut it in very fine strips while others like to use the whole squid.
One of my favorite fluke baits is what I call Capt. Monti’s fluke cocktail. The recipe… a fluorescent green or white plastic squid rig, baited with a squid strip, a vertical or horizontal hooked minnow or silverside and topped off with a strip of fluke belly. This arrangement doubled my keeper ratio. There’s something about the big bait presentation that attracts the big ones—you will catch fewer fluke with this large bait presentation but your keeper ratio will be better as smaller fish seem to pass on the offering.
As with all fishing, you should match the hatch or the bait in the water that the fluke may be feeding on. For example, early in the season the squid are in, so emphasize squid on your fluke rigs. Some anglers use an entire squid when the squid are in, however, later in the season when squid are not so plentiful you may want to emphasize other baits…silversides, mummies, menhaden, bluefish or some other attractant (I often use whatever we are catching).
Another tactic that will enhance your fluke bite is teaser bait placed above the main bait. The idea is to create action above and behind the main bait that gives fluke a second chance to see your bait. A buck tail hook is often used as a teaser with a piece of squid stip. The top hook often gets the hit.
Favorite Places to catch fluke
Look for dropoffs, structure, the banks of channels, and deep water particularly in the warm weather, in spring time they tend to be in lower depths. Favorite places to catch fluke in my area are noted below, check with your local bait shops for hot spots in your area.
Channel breaks in and around Warwick Neck light
Channel breaks on the northeast side of the Jamestown bridge
Areas off the north west corner of Dutch Island
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, in front of the five cottages, etc.
Off the center wall of the Harbor of Refuge
Off Newport over humps and bumps
At the mouth of Hull and Mackerel Coves off Jamestown at the drop-offs
Off Block Island… the North Rip, Cow Cove on the north end, along the State beach on the east side and the south and southwest sides of the Island which have been hot this year
Special video interviews on fluke fishing
Click here for an interview with Capt. Charlie Donilon of Snappa Charters, Pt. Judith on how and where to catch fluke off Block Island and coastal shores.
Click here for a video with Capt. Dave Monti, Kelly Parker and Tom Richardson, co-hosts of New England Boating TV, as they fish for fluke off Jamestown and make Capt. Monti’s Fluke Cocktail.
New England Boating TV in Newport
The New England Boating television program is in its second year airing on New England Sports Network (NESN) and they are doing a program on Newport this season. This Friday, I served as fishing guide for co-hosts Tom Richardson and Parker Kelly. We landed four fluke in a matter of 40 minutes all keepers with the largest being 21”. Al Elson of Striper Marina captained on a new Pursuit 30 foot center console that he sells at Striper Marina, Barrington. Christina, Al’s daughter, served as first mate. New England Boating TV program features coastal towns that boaters and fishermen can visit and highlights shops, restaurants, tourist sites and where to fish when in the area. Click here for an interview with show host Tom Richardson about the show’s first season and what you might expect to find on the website newenglandboating.com.
Operation Dry Water aims to reduce alcohol and drug related accidents on water
Safe boating patrols will be stepped up on June 27 to June 29 in a joint operation conducted by the Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Law Enforcement. The effort is part of Operation Dry Water, a coordinated national weekend of Boating Under the Influence (BUI) detection and enforcement. It is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related and drug-related accidents and fatalities, and making recreational boaters aware of the dangers of alcohol and drug use on the water. During Operation Dry Water, DEM marine law enforcement officers will be out in full force on Rhode Island waterways, searching for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties.
Where’s the bite
Summer flounder (fluke) fishing remains good with anglers landing some very large fish, some catching their limit and others working hard to catch one or two. Roger Simpson of the Frances Fleet said, “In general there were many limit catches this past week …There were exceptions… especially on days with the slower drift conditions when buck tails prevailed.” Larry Norin of Cumberland landed “Flukezilla” Friday… a 12.06 pound, 31” monster in the Jamestown Bridge area. Larry said, “I was in 35 feet of water using one of his homemade fluke rigs with squid strips.” Friday, fishing with the New England Boating TV show and Al Elson of Striper Marina we landed four fluke in a matter of 40 minutes all keepers with the largest being 21” drifting south from the Newport Bridge along Rose Island on the outside of the red can in about 120 feet of water. Fished there the next day and did not have good luck at all. Mike Cardinal of Cardinal Bait & Tackle, Westerly, said, “Fluke fishing along the southern coastal shore is good, very steady.” Anglers are catching fluke in the Nebraska Sholes and Watch Hill Beach area with a lot of black sea bass being caught. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said, “Fluke fishing in the east passage on the flats from Conimicut down to Prudence Island is very good.”
Striped bass fishing still good in the Bay and improving at Block Island “especially at night ” said Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters. Mike Cardinal of Cardinal Bait & Tackle, Westerly, said, “There are larger bass now mixed in with smaller fish which are being caught by shore anglers off Watch Hill, Weekapaug and Charlestown beaches. We weighed in a 45.7 pound Block Island bass this week.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence said, “Bass in the 14 to 17 pound range are fairly common being caught on live menhaden or chunks behind Crescent Park, Conimicut Light and Barrington Beach on the channel pads. The bluefish are there too and guys are going through 12 to 15 pogies just to catch their limit of two striped bass.” Noted local fly fisherman Ed Lombardo said “We fished the Narrow River … tide was outgoing… fish where easy when we first got to the river… We then moved down river to the sandbars closer to the mouth and pick up some nice fish that where bigger. The fish seem to like flies that are streamers made of craft fur or bucktail, brown over white, olive over white and all white, high tie style. My hot pink high tie worked very well too.”
Scup fishing picked up dramatically this week. Mike from Cardinals Bait, Westerly said, “Shore anglers are experiencing a good scup bite from shore in the Westerly and Charlestown areas.” John Littlefield of Archie’s bait said, “Scup in the 12 to 13” range are being caught at Colt State Park, Ohio Ledge, and Conimicut light. Some anglers have caught their limit.” Scup limit is 30 fish/person/day with a minimum size of 10”. However, a 9” minimum size prevails for shore anglers fishing only in special provision areas including India Point Park, Providence; Conimicut Park, Warwick; Rocky Point, Warwick; Stone Bridge, Tiverton; East and West Walls (Harbor of Refuge), Narragansett; Fort Wetherill, Jamestown; and Fort Adams, Newport.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing 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 noflukefishing.com or e-mail him with your fishing news and photos at [email protected].