Striped bass prizes

Sat, 10/08/2016 - 7:00am

Water temperatures around the island are finally starting to drop.

After this last week’s northeast blow, along with cooler nights, we are definitely set for fall fishing. I’ve noticed the squid in both harbors are a little bit bigger lately, as well as an increased amount of small baitfish such as silversides, sand eels, and even small peanut bunker. The striped bass sizes have been all over the place. Mostly smaller sizes but, trust me, there are some very large fish swimming Block Island waters. 

Most of the people going out by boat are still targeting the black seabass on the bottom. The seven-fish limit, along with excellent numbers, is perfect. Simple strips of squid on a fluke rig jigging off the bottom works just fine, but some prefer an artificial lure and go with Gulp Alive mullets instead. There are still fluke and large scup around, as well. Bill Latva, a year-round resident and fisherman, reported his biggest seabass on the southwest side of the island in 30 to 60 feet of water using squid. Striper fishing is good right now, as well. Matt King of Hula Charters reported several fish caught and released in the 30-pound class on the southwest side of the island, near the three-mile mark, but definitely still within the legal fishing area. There are also plenty of smaller bass inside the pond near the clam flats, King reported. 

From shore, there is a lot going on right now. Winter flounder have started to show up off Payne’s Dock — use clams or squid as bait. You can still try your luck for the false albacore, which show up at the Coast Guard Channel several times a day, but anglers have reported them being very finicky even using Deadly Dick lures, which are usually the best. At the channel, you can also still get into fluke and scup on the bottom, as well as stripers and bluefish at night using any small swimmer you have. From the beach, there are some good reports all around. Spots like Mansion Beach, as well as Ballard’s Beach, have been good on the east, and Grace's Cove and Charleston Beach on the west. The south and southwest side of the island at night is where you’ll find the biggest fish, typically, and the best lure to start off with there is a darker colored needlefish, and fish it very slow.

Our fall run has officially begun.

Tight lines!