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Black fish, blue fish both biting

Our black fishery is in good form right now with the fish biting well from most spots between Hatchetts and Watch Hill. In addition we have some large blues along the shore at times plus Montauk offers lots of bass on top on some days if you don't mind fishing in a crowd of boats.

Captain Kerry Douton of J&B took out some of his friends Wednesday, fishing the local humps and rockpiles for very good numbers of tautog. The average size was about 4 pounds, tops for the day around 5 pounds. There are lots of blues in The Race, Kerry said, but bass fishing right now, both day and night, is a struggle. You are lucky to get a few fish each time out.

Captain Jack Balint at The Fish Connection said he made a charter run over to Montauk on his Wednesday morning trip, catching about 24 stripers. He tried to stay away from some of the very aggressive boaters who would mistakenly run right through a school of surfacing fish. In the afternoon, he stayed on this side with his charter, catching small bass and larger blues from behind Fishers Island to spots down off the Rhode Island beaches.

Black fishing has been good weather permitting, at most of the local spots including the Middle Clump. You'll likely find some large blues in The Gut and over to Gardiner's Island, also The Race.

Surf fishing along the Rhode Island beaches were slow for a couple days this week with sunny weather. It's better just after dark with the fish sometimes staying only for an hour, others nights for several hours, feeding under a bright moon in flat, calm water.

Red at Bob's in Uncasville said shore anglers from the docks in Norwich Harbor caught blues still chasing after dwindling schools of large bunker. Harbor blues remain at spots in the lower part of the river, and the striper anglers landed fish in the river into the 30-inch range on mostly chunks on the bottom or plugs.

Black fishing is going along well, with chances to catch something for supper from the Gold Star Bridge down to the rockpiles at the mouth of the river and beyond.

Hillyer's Tackle reported lots of small blackfish this week in the near-shore spots, better sizes out in 20 to 40 feet. That depth might be even deeper in this coming week. Wednesday, the parking lot at the launch ramp was mobbed as people took advantage of the calm day. The biggest of the week as of yesterday were a couple 8-pounds and one 10-pounder.

Shore anglers caught some large blues from Harkness Park at times and a couple bass, one of them a 25-pounder.

False albacore were hanging around the Millstone discharge on at least one day, hopefully staying put for the weekend. Bucktailers and diamond jiggers caught blues up to 12 pounds in The Race and Pigeon Rip plus drifters had some bass after dark at Black Point.

One fellow trolled an umbrella rig at Bartletts for a 35-pound bass. Kayakers trolling a tube and worm in 15 feet of water around the boulders off Ocean Beach also caught some bass during the daylight.

Black fishing is very good right now, Don at King Cove in Stonington said. Best bets are at Latimer Reef and light, plus more landed at Watch Hill Reef. Bass catches on the reefs were up and down, the fish following the bait around. Shore anglers caught some stripers from the Stonington commercial dock and the Monsanto jetty. Montauk offers lots of fish on top anywhere from Shagwong to the point. Look for the birds and usually lots of boats.

Captain Brad Glas of the Hel-Cat said in an e-mail that blue fishing in The Race was very good on the days they got out. Some of the fish were of the alligator variety as reflected in the big fish of the week, an 18-pounder caught by Matt from New London. In addition to the blues there were also a "few scattered striped bass mixed in." They will continue to sail every day the weatherman lets them at 9 a.m. until the end of this month.

Pat Abate reported from River's End Tackle Shop in Old Saybrook that the Sand Shoal offered the best chance to catch a striper if you drifted a live eel after dark and kept it away from all the blues. Black fishing is good; so much so in fact people with only moderate experience were catching limits said Pat. Montauk has been good for bass on top if you wish to make the run over there.

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

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