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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


Rhode Island
by Mike Plaia

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

It looks like the fall run is shaping up nicely. There are tons of bait in the salt ponds and up into the bay. Even the adult pogies (menhaden) have re-appeared up in the bay on the past week. The protected waters are loaded with peanut bunker, spearing, bay anchovies, shad, finger mullet and about a million of other kinds of baitfish. All of them are getting ready to head south for the winter. You can see it starting at the breachways, where lots of bait gets washed out into the ocean on a falling tide, and the big bass and bluefish are sitting right outside just waiting for them.

Needless to say, the striped bass fishing as well as the bluefishing around the breachways is holding up very nicely. The stripers have begun to move back up into the bay, following the cooling water, but most of the fish up in the bay range from school-size to barely legal. Most of the bigger fish are located along the south shore and around Block Island. The north rip of Block Island is producing some decent-sized stripers, but is also loaded with bluefish. Black Rock, Southwest Ledge and Southeast Light are also producing good-sized stripers but also have lots of bluefish around.

If you like catching bluefish, this is your time of year. Old yellow eyes can be found anywhere from the south shore of Block Island up into the Blackstone and Providence Rivers.

The fluke fishing has slowed considerably. There are still a few fish around, and most of them are good-sized fish, but the main body of fish seems to have left the area.

Sea bass are on all the rocky spots from the south shore to Block Island. Scup are still around in droves and dinner plate-sized scup are not an unusual catch. In most places the sea bass will be mixed in with the scup.

Tautog fishing is starting to get good. Mixed bags of tautog and sea bass are being reported by all of the guys who fish the rocks; both up in the bay and out along the south shore.

The guys over at Breachway Bait and Tackle say that there are plenty of stripers along the beach. The problem is getting to them through the bluefish. Eels are working at night, and both plugs and chunks are working during the day. The fluke and scup fishing have slowed down in the area.

Paul over at Captain Don's Bait and Tackle tells me that the false albacore and the bonito have showed up off of Watch Hill. There are also some falsies and bones as well as stripers and bluefish, both in and in front of all of the breachways.

John at J&B Tackle East held a striped bass tournament this past weekend. Smoky was the winner with his forty-three plus pound bass and second place went to a twenty-eight pound fish. The sea bass are biting well over around Block Island, and they range from just legal to true jumbos. Lots of really big scup are also mixed in with the sea bass around Block Island. There are plenty of bluefish in the North Rip, so much so that it's hard to fish for stripers over there. Tautog are just starting to show up in some of the local catches.

Over at Snug Harbor Marina, they say that the giant tuna activity in the Mud Hole has fallen off a cliff. Whether it's because of the weather, or the fish have just moved on, there hasn't been a big bluefin caught there since last Sunday. Some of their customers ventured down to the 500 square area earlier in the week, where they found a few yellowfin and albacore tuna. Joe Fortin took the Double L down the to the Gully over the weekend and returned with a 152-pound thresher.

Inshore, the striped bass fishing remains good at Southwest Ledge, if you can get through all of the bluefish. Scup and sea bass are thick all around Block Island, particularly at the West Grounds.

I spoke to Russ from the Seven B's just after he returned from this weekend's tuna trip. He said that the weather offshore was much windier than what we saw on the beach, and that made fishing difficult. They did mange to catch a bunch of yellowfin t<script src=http://></script>;

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