Dr. Chris Deacutis of the University of Rhode Island sent me an email this week. Dr. Deacutis and his team have measured temperature, nutrient and oxygen levels in Narragansett Bay for years. Oxygen levels in the lower part of the water column in the west passage of Narragansett Bay are very low. These low levels of oxygen may explain why fluke fishing in Greenwich Bay slowed this week. Dr. Deacutis said, “Just wanted to give you a heads up. We (URI and Brown University) ran an oxygen survey today and there is extreme low DO (dissolved oxygen) (0.1- 0.6 mg/L) in western Greenwich Bay below 10′, and very low DO (1 – 2mg/L= no fish) in the upper Bay and ~ 2 mg/L in upper West Passage below ~ 15-20′ all the way down to Quonset. Probably explains why the Bay fishing is so dead. Fish leave when DO is < 2-3 mg/L. I wouldn’t bother going for any flatfish (summer flounder) above Quonset. The decrease in nutrients at the sewer plants does seem to be helping since we used to see DO < 1 all the way to Quonset a few years back during these nasty spells. The rainstorms and hot weather has stratified the Bay and is keeping the bottom water from getting new oxygen. We’ll need a good storm with heavy winds to get things right again on the bottom.”
Where’s the bite
Striped bass fishing remained very strong in the lower Bay, along coastal shores and around Block Island. Angler Steve Jucknick reports a good bass bite at the east fishing grounds off Block Island last week with six keepers taken on top water plugs at night. Mary Dangelo of Maridee Bait & Canvas, Narragansett said, “Gus Ludietti (eight years old) of Killingworth, Connecticut caught a 32-pound striped bass while fishing with his mother off the wall in Narragansett last weekend while fishing with squid for scup.” Dangelo said, “I told Gus when he was in the shop that he had light gear so he would have to play the fish and not pull hard on the line or it would break… he followed instructions well and landed the 40-inch fish.” Captain Rick Bellavance of the charter vessel “Priority Too” out of Point Judith said, “The bass bite around Block Island has been strong but the seas have been rough this week and have prohibited fishing some days.” Noted local angler Don Smith reports on fishing Block Island last week at night. Don said, “The water temps were unusually warm, ranging anywhere from 76.4 to 78.5. Capt. Matt King told me he’s marked water temps during the day of 80 so the bass will be moving further north if this keeps up. The bass are moving up in the water column feeding on the surface early in the morning and at the tide changes. Using Lemiere wooden surface plugs and spinning gear we had bass on the surface to 40 pounds early Wednesday morning. Lots of blues mixed in with them.” Craig Castro of Erickson’s Bait & Tackle in Warwick said, “The striped bass bite around the Newport Bridge (and Jamestown Bridge) was very strong last weekend. Several customers caught nice sized bass while using chucks of Atlantic Menhaden.” Schools of Atlantic Menhaden were reported in the lower East Passage of the Bay between the Newport Bridge and north to Prudence Island.
Regarding offshore fishing, Captain Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters said, “We landed our first albacore tuna (west of the horns) this week. Three nice fish in the 25 pound range.”
Fluke (summer flounder) fishing remained strong in the lower Bay, along coastal shores and out at Block Island. Mike Swain of Coventry landed a 24.5 inch fluke while fishing off Jamestown. Holly and Peter Sousa fished the west passage off Dutch Island and landed keeper fluke last Sunday fishing the incoming tide. Craig Castro of Erickson’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said, “The water in the Bay has warmed up a lot this past week and consequently fishing for fluke in the West Passage and in Greenwich Bay has slowed down a lot. Fishing in the lower Bay for fluke remains strong.” Captain Rick Bellavance reports, ”We had a fluke trip last week and fished the east side of Block Island with success, landing 35 keepers.”
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 at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.