Now is the time to hook a speedster
It’s the end of August and anglers are hooking up with Atlantic bonito. False albacore will hopefully follow right behind. Last week Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said, “We have reports of bonito being caught at the West Wall (of the Harbor of Refuge) with some anglers saying they are catching false albacore too.”
Last year, some bonito were caught with false albacore being the dominate catch… yet other years more bonito are caught. Both of these species are hard to catch, but have thrilled local fishermen with their furious runs stripping line from light tackle, giving anglers a memorable fight.
Many times false albacore and bonito are mixed in with striped bass and bluefish. They can be caught from boat and shore with lures and even on the troll. They are generally no more than two feet, weigh four to five pounds but have been caught as large as twelve to fifteen pounds.
Atlantic bonito are part of the same mackerel family (Scombridae) as tuna. Their meat has a darkish color and a firm texture, with a moderate fat content. The meat of young or small bonito can be of lighter color, close to that of skipjack tuna. They are often grilled or baked. However, false albacore are usually not eaten.
Three types of lures are often used to catch bonito and false albacore… tin or metal lures such as Deadly Dick’s and Kastmaster lures; soft plastic lures; and epoxy lures, actually jigs that are weighed and designed to skim the upper portion of the water column or surface. The metal lures are traditional baits, however, they often have difficulty working the surface if that is where the fish are. Anglers are forced to move them quickly through the water to keep them high in the water column. Epoxy lures or jigs are often weighted so you can cast them far, but yet they can be worked on the surface, or lower in the water column.
Atlantic Herring catch limits reduced
The Greater Atlantic Region of the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration reduced Allowable Catch Limits (ACL) for Atlantic Herring Management areas for the rest of 2018. The reductions are more severe than those recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council.
In a press release last week NOAA said, “We agreed with the Council’s recommendation to reduce 2018 catch but determined that further reductions are necessary to lessen the risk of overfishing in 2018. Therefore, we are further reducing the Area 1A and Area 3 sub-ACLs by a total of 3,775 mt, resulting in sub-ACLs for the four management areas totaling 49,900 mt. We expect this reduction to reduce the probability of overfishing in 2018, increase the estimated herring biomass in 2019-2021, and provide for more catch for the fishery.”
For more information, please visit the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region herring webpage or contact Dan Luers at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org; 978/282-8457.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “The largemouth bass bite at Olney Pond at Lincoln Woods has been pretty good.”
Summer flounder (fluke), black sea bass, scup. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “It has slowed up a bit with massive piles of scup moving on to the fluke grounds. High hook still left with limits of fluke to 10 pounds. Along with these piles of scup are more and more sea bass to five pounds.” Littlefield said, “Mostly short 12 to 13” summer flounder are being caught at Conimicut Point with the fish just a little larger at Warwick Light. There are plenty of scup everywhere with Tommy cod being caught along with them. Customers at Block Island were catching black sea bass on the southwest ledge when their baits went down to the bottom.” We picked up a nice black sea bass when trolling for striped bass on the Southwest Ledge at about 7 a.m. Sunday. Holly Frye of the Tackle Box, Warwick said, "During the day customers bottom fishing in the Bay are catching a slot of scup, sand sharks along with Kingfish and sea robins. They are not finding many fluke keepers in the bay at all.”
Striped bass, bluefish and bonito. Striped bass fishing has been on and off. Mostly on but you still can make the trip to Block Island and not hook up with large fish. This Saturday the striped bass fishing at Block Island was not good, although the bite was pretty good prior to Saturday. We fished the Southwest Ledge Saturday morning and did not do well. Littlefield said, “We had customers fishing the south west ledge at night Saturday and the largest fish they caught was 38”… the fish were small but they did catch 20 of them in total.” The bonito bite continues to be very good. Anglers continue to catch nice fish off Newport, Narragansett and Scarborough Beach. Littlefield said, “We have sold a ton of Deadly Dicks so I know anglers are targeting bonito.”
Offshore. John Baldwin of Rumford said, “We went deep Friday chasing tuna and a nice temp break at Fish Tails in the canyons (70 miles south of Montauk, NY). No tuna but two small mako sharks and a ton of great mahi. My son Everett hooked up with them while we fished with squid and spinning reels at some high flyers (buoys) and other spots.”
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. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.