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The news is mixed this week on fluke

We have good news and some not so good on this week's fluke fishing. The good is a small to moderate increase in the number of keeper fluke and doormats in the eastern Sound. The "bad" news is it's still more consistent down off Rhode Island, but even there the fishing was sporadic, sputtering a bit on some days requiring more looking, more drifts in different depths.

Don at King Cove told me the fluke news from the Rhode Island beaches is up and down, even the regulars getting less, having to check various depths instead of trying the usually productive 45 to 55 feet from the Pink House down to the trailer park.

You can catch sea bass at Block Island if you can get through all the dogfish. Bass catches were up and down, sometimes poor for two straight days said Don. They did weigh in a 44-pounder on a live bunker caught in a boat and a 30-pounder from shore by Ken Dumais.

Porgy numbers are on the increase and Don closed with unconfirmed reports, one from a very good source that told of seeing bonito off Watch Hill, that news one of four such reports he got last week. The water is still very cold, very early in the fishing year for bonito to show up.

Al Golinski reported some single large bass caught on the Watch Hill Reefs with live bunker but no body of the bigger bass around. Al landed a 32-pounder early in the week and Pat Natlo a 48.8-pounder, but on Wednesday Al and Capt. Ben DeMario had a tough time getting bait and couldn't even get a single bite.

Captain Allen Fee at Shaffers said some of his steady fluke customers keep trying between White Rock and the Eel Grass Grounds but have to yet land a keeper fluke in 2010. He and his wife fished in 42 feet of water off Barley Field Cove on Wednesday, landing seven with one keeper. Jim Diem of Lord's Point was out in his boat over the weekend, catching some shorts and a 28-inch doormat south of Wicopesset Island.

The daytime casting on the reefs wasn't near as good as the week prior, maybe best now very early in the day or later in the evening just before sunset. Porgies are arriving in better numbers; some caught from shore at the park at Cottrell Street on the Mystic River.

Some customers caught three fluke in a trip, said Joe Balint at the Fish Connection, but others caught nothing or nothing big even to keep, fishing in the Sound between Ocean Beach and Sarah's Ledge. Fort Trumbull pier produced some porgies, short fluke, blues and a couple stripers, one angler coming in to buy a 12-foot net to help land fish from the height of the pier. Blue fishing in the Thames River is very poor as this time and the bass that were in Norwich Harbor appear to be dropping down, maybe following the bunkers, their numbers decreasing in that area.

Red at Bob's in Uncasville said he weighed in three doormats of 8, 10 and 11 pounds caught from local waters but overall the fishing isn't any where near what people would like. Porgies can be caught from shore along the Thames from 95 down to the river mouth and up in the Mystic River.

Flukers at Misquamicut are catching sea bass while down there prospecting for summer flounder. Bass fishermen in The Race are pleased with the lack of blues hitting their bucktails and diamond jigs but a look at the calendar would lead one to expect more bluefish any day now.

Roger at J&B Tackle reported lots of dogfish at Block Island and a mix of fluke and sea bass for the boats running down to Misquamicut. They also got news about a modest increase in keeper fluke on the south side of Fishers but not every day. The daytime casting for small and medium striped bass from Latimer to Watch Hill fell off from the week before though one day a school of presumably bass had bait corralled off the Eel Grass Grounds with birds hovering overhead.

The steadies are catching some keeper fluke in the Sound while the weekend angler might not catch anything just now said Mark at Hillyers Tackle. They also weighed in some stripers bucktailed up in the deeper water south of the Bartlett's Spindle.

Tim Coleman is The Day's saltwater fishing columnist. He can be reached at


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