No Fluke

Giant carp landed by Dave Pickering


Fishing has been great in Narragansett, Mt. Hope and Buzzards Bay, along the coast and out at Block Island. But the real news last week comes from the freshwater with Dave Pickering, noted fresh and saltwater angler, author and lecturer landing a 40 pound, 40 inch carp in a Rhode Island pond.

Pickering said, “This fish would have smashed the official RI DEM record of 32 pounds. However, rather than killing this female with great spawning potential to have it officially weighed and claim the official record, I chose to release it. I caught the fish on a combo hair rigged bait that consisted of one kernel of maize and one kernel of white, artificial maize.”
Outstanding fish Dave, congratulations!

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass fishing continues to be good at Block Island both at the North Rip and the Southwest Ledge with fishing picking up on the Cape Cod Canal. In our bays there are big fish under pogies (Atlantic menhaden) all the way up the Providence River to Pawtucket.

Angler Mike Swain of Coventry said, “The bass season has been outstanding. We are finding that the best time to fish is at night. Most of the fish we catch at night are larger and do not fit the slot limit (28” to < 35”).

The upper Providence River all along the channel banks has been good as well as Ohio Ledge area and the channel banks to Poppasquash Point. You just have to put your time in and find the fish." Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “Fishing has been good in the upper bay with anglers hooking up casting metal and swimming lures, live lining and chucking with pogies. Anglers are catching fish at India Point, Bold Point, Sabin and Conimicut Point.”

Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “Anglers are catching fish in the East Passage fishing with pogies. There are some big fish, over 34” good for the commercial fishery.” Angler David Murphy reports, “My son David (11 years old) caught a 44” striped bass off Sakonnet Point Tuesday evening. My guess is the fish weighed somewhere around 35 pounds (give or take), but we did not weigh her as we wanted to get her back in the water. We caught this beauty by drifting a live eel while we were bottom fishing for sea bass.”
Summer flounder (fluke) fishing is still not remarkable in the bay. Large fish have not arrived en masse. Landry of Ray’s Bait said, “Anglers are catching short fluke with an occasional keeper mixed in.” Some larger fish are being taken off Jamestown in the West Passage but there are a lot of short fish too. We fished off the west side of Jamestown north of the Bridge and managed only a few keepers this week and Newport Harbor yielded just short fluke.

Anglers are experiencing a strong black sea bass bite at the mouth of the Sakonnet River, however, the fluke fishing has been very slow. Angler Eric Duda said, “Tried Sakonnet Point and Elbow Ledge Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. hoping the fluke bite would improve. Nope. We only got six fluke, all shorts. A bunch of black sea bass around though, all keeper size pretty much and all returned to the ocean. Fluke season is really off to a slow start for me. Still no keepers.”

Dave Henault of Ocean State said, “The fluke (and cod) bite has been pretty good at the East Fishing Grounds off Block Island.” Fishing the south and southeast side of Block Island for fluke has been mixed, good some days and not so good other days. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “There were a few high notes and a few lows but over all a very strong week of fishing. When we had the drift fluke fishing was great with many limit catches throughout the week. Last Wednesday's drift was strong in the morning and then at noon it seems someone flipped a switch and the fish shut right down.”

Freshwater fishing remains very strong. The largemouth bass bite is good, however, anglers and bait shop owners are having difficulty getting shiners. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “We ran out of shiners this weekend, but normally have great inventory on all bait, gear and tackle as we do a good job sourcing inventory. The fresh water bite is good with anglers still catching trout. A customer caught a golden trout at Only Pond, Lincoln Woods this week.”

Dave Monti 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, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at or visit and his blog at

Dave Monti

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