Fall squid fishing tips
“The fall squid fishing season is on.” said Greg Vespe, president of the Aquidneck Island Striper Team fishing club. Greg and his fishing partner Capt. B.J. Silvia of Flippin Out Fishing Charters conducted a squid fishing seminar Monday night at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association meeting.
Vespe said, “The fall squid seasons have been getting progressively better. The ideal water temperature is 58 degrees, however the water in Newport is a now about 63 degrees, so the best is yet to come.”
Anglers catch squid to eat and to use as bait, usually fishing at night on docks, bridges, near illuminated vessels and near shore where there are lights. They often bring lights and generators to shine on the water to attract the squid. Boat anglers light the water too, often with lights installed on the hull of their vessel or hang them over the side. You usually see the squid darting in and out of the shadows chasing bait and hopefully your lure.
Gear for squid fishing is very light, the lightest fresh water rig you have will do just fine. Vespe said, “I like to use 10 to 15 pound monofilament as it is easier to untangle in the cold weather. Often times the squid is attached to your lure with just one long tentacle or two so it is a delicate operation getting that squid up and into your budget.”
Capt. Silvia said, “When we fish from the boat we first find the squid with the fish finder. On the screen they look like long lines, not thick solid red spots like schools of bait or a large fish but rather crooked lines.”
“Once we are on the squid I’ll engage the Spot-Lock motor by Minn Kota (minnkotamotors.com). It’s an electric motor that functions as a GPS anchor (it uses GPS to lock you onto a fishing spot). The terrain we fish (near bridges and structure) has a lot of debris on the bottom so anchoring is difficult.” said Silvia
Vespe and Capt. Silvia often fish the Newport Bridge area as the lights from the bridge attract the squid. They use all types of squid jigs including Yo-Zuri squid jigs with pink and blue being some of their favorite colors often deploying two jigs about 12” apart with a bank sinker below.
Good locations to catch squid from land include the Goat Island Causeway in Newport, the docks in Galilee, and Ft. Wetherill in Jamestown.
Where’s the bite?
Tautog. The tautog fishing improved greatly this week. “Customers are catching tautog in low water off Pt. Judith and off Newport,” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown. The water is now starting to cool off a bit and the tautog bite seems to have improved, even with a slight drop in water temperature. “The Island Current party boat limited out three days last week. We weighed in some nine pound fish and then a ten pound fish on Saturday,” Conti said. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Black fishing has greatly improved. It is amazing what a difference a week can make on this fishery. The start of the week was on the slower side, but by the end it was as good as it gets. Many anglers catching limits of tautog to over nine pounds. Nearly everyone at the end of the week was going home with a limit.” Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “We’re finding that the bay is still strong for tautog fishing with customers catching tautog to nine pounds at General Rock in North Kingstown.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “We had a customer catch some nice keepers at the Wharf Tavern. Fishing in the Warren River has been good. When they arrived to fish, one angler near them had landed four nice keepers; they hooked up with three keepers themselves.” I fished the General Rock, North Kingstown area Friday and boated two keepers to 20” before the wind picked up in the afternoon and I left.
Striped bass, bluefish, false albacore. “School striped bass are being landed a Sabin’s Point with anglers using Storm Shad with success. Those lures wiggle like crazy when reeled in fast. The type of movement that the bass can’t resist,” said Littlefield. I continue to have luck fishing with a Yo-Zuri Crystal minnow with a fast retrieve from my dock in Wickford Cove. The bait fish, peanut bunker, are still there to some degree. Conti said, “Block Island is loaded with bluefish, anglers are using jigs to try to catch striped bass, but the bluefish are making it difficult. The false albacore are still here with a great bite from Watch Hill, along the coast and up into Narragansett Bay.” “Customers Al and Kevin Bettencourt have been landing keeper bass to 16 pounds fishing with eels at night, drifting in the Warren River,” said Littlefield.
Scup fishing continues to be strong in the bay, all the way up to Providence and Sabin Point.
Cod fishing is not been good. Anglers fishing for cod at Cox’s Ledge, Shark Ledge and at the East Grounds are having difficulty hooking up with cod; however, the black sea bass they are catching have been large, in the four to five pound range.
Freshwater fishing is very good as some anglers are fishing freshwater with all the saltwater storms. “Anglers are catching largemouth, smallmouth bass but also landed a large variety of fish last week, pickerel in particular,” said Littlefield.
Capt. 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. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at noflukefishing.com.