Fall is a great time to fish, and it is getting better every day.
Last week the tuna bite for school tuna was outstanding. Reports had as many as 40 school tuna being caught and released by one vessel. Angler Dick Pastore said last week, “The Gully (east of Cox Ledge and south of Martha’s Vineyard) was flush with bluefin tuna last Thursday. Multiple hook-ups on large school to giants; suspect they were caught jigging and with chunks”
Tautog fishing exploded last week too, with fish being caught in the mid to upper Bay at Rocky Point, Conimicut Light, as well as in the lower Bay and out in front of Newport, with many anglers fishing there and on structure along our coastal beaches from Pt. Judith, Narragansett to Watch Hill, Westerly.
Bonito, false albacore, striped bass and bluefish were all being caught off our coast and in our Bays and estuaries.
Fishing the East and West Passages of Narragansett Bay was outstanding last week. Angler Joe Rochira of Warwick landed three striped bass on the east side of the shipping channel in front of Barrington Beach, with anglers landing as many as 30 bass in one outing south and north of Chepiwanoxet Point, Warwick, in Greenwich Bay.
Arguably, the fishing this week and last has been as good as it gets. The warm water, with an enhanced warm water bait profile, has been keeping scup and black sea bass to larger animals in tight close to shore for us to catch, eat and/or release.
So stop by your local bait & tackle shop, ask them what is biting and go out and fish before it gets too cold and windy.
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass, bluefish, false albacore. “Striper fishing is improving now. Last night an angler caught a 52” fish from the Quonnie Breachway, Charlestown. Two weeks ago, I caught a 48” striper from the breachway. Anglers along the beaches are doing well too, with boat anglers catching both bass and false albacore. The albies are thick from Watch Hill, Westerly to Pt. Judith all along the coastal shore,” said Parker Mandes of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly.
Striped bass fishing in the bay continues to be one of the best fall runs in a long time. We caught three in 30 minutes fishing the channel pad in front of Barrington Beach this weekend, with anglers in Greenwich Bay catching multiple bass of all sizes below, above and slot size keeper fish (28” to < 31”).
“The bonito has been caught all the way up to the northern end of Prudence Island at Providence Point, with bass of all sizes prolific both in the East and West Passages of the Bay, with bluefish mixed in,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick.
Capt. Tom Pelletier of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle North Kingston said, “The striped bass bite had slowed down a bit in the lower bay. However, the false albacore are still being caught in the lower Bay.”
Summer flounder (fluke)
“Believe it or not we have had two reports of very large fluke being taken in deep water. This is unusual for this time of year,” said Parker Mandes of Watch Hill Outfitters.
“Tautog fishing has been very good for customers, with many catching fish off Newport and Jamestown and from shore along the East Wall of the Harbor of Refuge in Narragansett,” said Capt. Tom Pelletier of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle.
Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, said, “The bite for tautog is great in the Bay, with fish being taken at Rocky Point, Warwick Light, Conimicut Point and just about everywhere in the mid and upper Bay.”
“Tautog fishing continues to be great, with anglers catching their limit. he fish are just starting to leave the shallows. No longer a good bite from the breachways,” said Parker Mandes of Watch Hill Outfitters.
Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “The tuna bite went off this past week, with a lot of bluefin being landed. Ocean conditions were as good as they get, and a lot of boats were able to get out. Most of the bites coming from the jig and chunk.”
Tuna fishing is the best it has been in years. Angler Richard Pastore said on the RISAA blog, “Very large blue fish between point Judith and Block Island this weekend. Sixteen-pound fish on a butterfly jig. Fish looked like a king salmon. On to sharks ledge. On jigs and clams on teasers we caught scup, mackerel (Atlantic and chub), black sea bass, false albacore, green and oceanic bonito and cod ( three at 24”). Moved to the mountains – more of the same and one more cod. Water was smooth all day. A couple of whales between Point Judith and Block Island.”
Freshwater fishing continues to be very strong for largemouth bass and pike for anglers at Gorton Pond and at Little Pond behind Warwick Vets Highs School. Customers are trout fishing once again too, since the State of Rhode Island stocked 25 waterways last week with brown and rainbow trout. Visit Designated Trout Waters | Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (ri.gov) for an update on ponds stocked this fall.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.