Local blues are some of the best
More blues are being caught in The Race; a summer staple, our area may be offering the best blue fishing on the East Coast. Sea bass catches are on the rise off the Rhode Island beaches but fluking reports are mixed: either upbeat and optimistic or very disappointing depending on the source.
Don at King Cove reports the boats at his marina did very well with sea bass this week, fishing lumps and wrecks from Misquamicut off to the east. Dogfish have thinned down at Block Island and as a result fluke scores were better over there on both the west and south sides.
Striper fishing on the Watch Hill reefs was terrible one day, more productive the very next. Fluking was better toward Weekapaug and Charlestown than out front of the Pink House.
Captain Peter Fisher of the charter boat Fish did well yesterday morning in The Race. He told me via cell his party caught lots of blues and some bass, all trolling. He tried drifting at first but didn't do near as well.
Fluking in local waters has been erratic and a disappointment to date said Roger at J&B Tackle. You might get some big ones in 90-120 feet of water along with dogfish and maybe some sea bass but overall anglers drifting in shallower water were throwing back fish after fish.
Bluefish are getting bigger in The Race and night bass trips on their charter boat have been steady. Large porgies were caught around Wicopesset, Race Rock and some smaller but still legal ones just outside Niantic Bay.
Hillyers Tackle told me people are hooking small blues around the Millstone Discharge and having them grabbed by three to four-foot sharks before them can get them back to their boats. Bass were also caught around the outflow, those on the tube and worm.
Look for birds working off Black Point: that might be the time to troll a parachute jig with green hair and yellow pork rind on 225 feet of 40-pound wire in the rip there for both blues and bass. Porgies were caught by shore anglers at the Fort Trumbull pier and Pleasure Beach plus a few right from the rocks along the Niantic River.
Fluking over at Isabella Beach was poor this week: either shorts or nothing, the place might be cleaned out for the time being? A better bet for keepers was Two Tree Channel or using large baits in very deep water off Black Point for chance at something over 6 pounds. Blue crabbing is best now after dark up in the Niantic River or Jordan Cove.
Joe Balint was minding the store at the Fish Connection and gave us the report. Shore anglers are catching a mix of keeper and short fluke from the Fort Trumbull pier along with some blues and bass, the place at great facility for those without a boat. Shore fishermen also caught porgies, a few fluke, school bass and small blues around buoy 27 and the Montville power plant.
Joe got reports of keeper fluke between Seaflower Reef and Intrepid Rock and also a report from an ex-lobsterman who has caught fluke to 28 inches so far this season in 40 feet of water along the edges of the channel north of the Gold Star Bridge. Jack Balint took out a family trip and found lots of big porgies to 16 inches around Latimer Light. Race Point offers blues and smaller bass for casting boats in the morning, sometimes in crowded conditions.
Down at River's End, Mark said the small boaters drifting in the lower Connecticut River are now catching some keeper fluke to 4 pounds. There are fluke outside on the Sand Shoal but most of those are too small to keep. Wednesday morning a school of small bass mixed with blues popped up on the surface around Hatchett's Reef, providing casting opportunities for those boats on the spot. Light tackle boats also caught school bass early in the morning casting small poppers or plastic lures around the Race Point rip or Race Rock.
One of the local surfcasters caught some schoolies off Stonington Point at daybreak this week on a Bomber top water plug. He said the water was full of small bait but unfortunately lots of weeds prevented him from catching more before the sun came up.
Tim Coleman is The Day's saltwater fishing columnist.
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