Hit or miss, still an excuse to get out of the house

Our spring-like weather brought out lots of fishermen this week, including yesterday when many anglers in small boats without radar waited for the fog to lift so they could get out after blackfish and the last of our striped bass.

Captain Allen at Shaffers reported the blackfish catches up and down this week with a good amount of people out trying, some making their last trips of the 2011 season. On Monday, Otto Miller of Coventry and his friend fished North Hill for their limit. They came back the next day and went to Middle Clump, put in a good amount of time, and caught one lone fish.

Sea bassing reopened, those possibly still available along the rock piles along the Rhode Island beaches or the south side of Block Island where you might catch some cod as well as sea bass. Areas A and B had also opened for clamming, another excuse to get out of the house on a nice day.

Over at King Cove, Don reported black fishing was up and down, OK overall. On Tuesday, the fishing was tough in the very nice weather but the two days prior were good to excellent depending where one fished. Tyler McCray fished a popper out of a small john boat on the south side of Sandy Point and caught a 20.8-pound striper. That area seems to produce one day, said Don, and nothing the next.

If you have a bigger boat at the ready you might catch some bigger sea bass and cod on the rocky bottom south and southeast of Block Island, that about a 25-28-mile run from Stonington, further from ports and ramps to the west.

Al Golinski and his wife Emme got out on their last trip of 2011 on Tuesday, fishing a wreck off Charlestown in incredibly good weather. They landed a cooler of medium sea bass, six blackfish to 5 pounds and a keeper codfish. Al will pull the boat this weekend and get ready to trailer south to Key West for three months this winter.

Captain Jack at the Fish Connection said there are herring now off the Rhode Island beaches but not much chasing them around as of yesterday. Montauk too has been quiet though there is still plenty of time for another big school to arrive from the east.

Black fishing on the local rock piles is still worthwhile though not as easy as a few weeks back. Shore anglers along the Thames River caught blues and a few keeper bass on chunks from buoy 27 to the south, and also a couple more keepers on larger plastic baits from the Norwich docks. Surf fishing along the Rhode Island beaches has been fairly slow since last Sunday. There are some schoolies along the eastern Connecticut beaches from Stonington Point to Waterford.

Hillyers Tackle reported porgies are gone for the year but people still eagerly trying for blackfish from Black Point to the mouth of the Thames River plus Fishers Island Sound, many making their last fishing trip of 2011. Shore anglers are still catching school bass from Griswold Point over to the mouth of the Thames River

Mark Lewchick at River's End said shore anglers continue to catch blues of various sizes and school bass on bait from the Dock 'N Dine. One fellow found some bass on top at the Sand Shoal and caught some casting lures into the breaking fish. Another went out two days later and caught nothing at the same spot. Most of his black fishing customers said they were headed over to Black Point after buying a day's supply of green crabs. Porgies are gone for the year.

Surf fishing over in Rhode Island from Watch Hill Beach to Charlestown was excellent on Saturday evening when a variety of fishermen caught large blues, some of them over 15 pounds, many spitting up 8-inch herring. An elderly man from Smithfield, R.I., caught and released a striper that measured 44 inches long. One of the local retired guys landed 32 bass, two keepers and five blues to 32 inches, fishing from 2 in the afternoon that day until dark.

The next morning, the wind went into the south and the fish took off for parts unknown. The bait is still around but catches are limited now to one or two at daybreak or late in the afternoon. People are still out and scouting around, hoping for another batch to come through.

That will do it folks for another fishing year; our column will stop until the spring of 2012. We hope you all have a safe and productive winter. God bless you, good luck and may the force be with you.

Tim Coleman is The Day's saltwater fishing columnist.

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