Sophia Garzoli of Massachusetts weighed in this 5.7 pound tautog at Ocean State Tackle, Providence. She caught it using Asian crabs as bait fishing off the West Wall of the Harbor of Refuge.
380 pound mako landing was team effort
There is something mystical about coming in contact with sharks. They are very powerful. Anglers do take them for food. Very much the way they catch and eat cod fish, summer flounder, striped bass or tuna. In fact, mako sharks taste very much like swordfish.
Shark fishing can be exciting. Like fishing for any other large game fish such as giant bluefin tuna, shark fishing is very much a team effort with the entire crew working to successfully land a fish. Teamwork was exhibited last week when Bob Neilson and crew landed a 380 pound mako shark that was nearly eight feet long. One of the largest mako sharks landed in Rhode Island this year. Here is their story.
Bob Nielson said, “We started the day cod fishing at Cox’s Ledge and after landing 20-25 cod we decided to set up a slick and start shark fish. Within ten minutes, we had a two foot mako in the slick and we watched it devour a bait close to the boat. The fish left in a hurry. We hooked into a mako approximately six feet in length which shook the hook at boat side. I figured we were done with mako fishing for the day. About 30 minutes later, an eight foot mako hit a bluefish filet. The fish made five spectacular jumps and it took about an hour to bring it along side and tail rope it.”
Bob Neilson of Exeter was fishing on the Kimberly Marie owned by John Kowaleski of Narragansett, RI.
The fish was landed by Dan Fleury of Hope Valley and Bob Neilson was the leader man and fought the fish on the harpoon line. Bob said, “I am very proud of the crew and how they handled the battle. This was the first Mako for Ian Drumm of Burrillville who fought the fish valiantly for the first thirty minutes while other crew members jumped on the reel and drove the boat. The dock hand at Sung Harbor Marina, where the fish was weighed in, said at 380 pounds it was the largest mako weighted in so far this year.”
Location of RISAA meeting changed
The Monday, August 29, 7:00 p.m. Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) meeting will be held at The Villa Restaurant, 272 Cowesett Avenue, West Warwick. Capt. Mike Roy will speak about how to catch striped bass, bonito and false albacore on light tackle (an appropriate topic for the fall fishing season). Non-members welcome with a $10 donation to the Scholarship Fund, RISAA members attend free. Separate fee for dinner which is provided by The Villa.
Fall hatches will be the topic at Trout Unlimited meeting
The August 31st meeting of Trout Unlimited (TU) will focus on fly tying for fall hatches, primarily a variety of terrestrials. This will be the last streamside meeting of the summer held at the Deer Check Station on Rte 165 (Ten Rod Road) in Exeter, RI. In a meeting announcement the Trout Unlimited Narragansett Chapter said “For those interested in tying with our experts, bring your tools. For those who would like to learn the basics of fly tying, we will host a beginners tying table with tools and materials.” Networking will start at 5:00 p.m., food available at 5:30 p.m., with a short meeting at 6:00 p.m. before the fly tying starts. The meeting will end in time for anglers to fish at dusk. Contact chapter president, Ron Marafioti, at (401) 463-6162, with questions.
Where’s the bite
“Striped bass fishing is good at the Southwest Ledge (Block Island) with a stronger bite at night. However, Saturday was a pretty good day on the Ledge with a good night bite at the North Rip.” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, RI. Kim Petti of Fin & Feathers Outfitters, North Kingstown said, “Narrow River is holding bait which has really brought back the shad and school size striped bass.” “Customers Albert and Kevin Bettencourt made a Block Island trip Friday night. They launched from the boat ramp in Galilee at about 7:00 p.m. and arrived at the Southwest Ledge at about 8:00 p.m. They had a total of three people on board and returned by 11:30 p.m. with a 38, 34 and 32 pound fish. They drifted eels… three drifts and each time all three rods when down. They could not turn two fish in time and experience a couple of brake offs that were likely very large fish.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside.
Bluefish reports are spotty in the bay, however, they are at Block Island with anglers catching them when fishing for striped bass. Skipjack bluefish (small bluefish) are in coves and rivers in force. “I had a barrel full of those small skipjack poppers and they are half gone in just a couple of days.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.
Bonito. Reports of anglers seeing or landing bonito are common almost every day now. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor said, “Two customers had a school of bonito come close enough to them while fishing the West Wall of the Harbor of Refuge but could not hook up. There were boats chasing them too, but no reports of landings.” Kim Petti of Fin & Feathers said, “Customers who fish the southern coastal shore have been landing bonito that have been feeding on bay anchovies.”
The scup bite remains strong just about everywhere. “Customers are catching scup (and Tommy cod) at Sabin Point and just about everywhere else, they are doing well from the Barrington Bridge (at the old police station).” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait.
Summer flounder fishing remains strong with the East Grounds (about three miles east of Block Island) and the area around the wind farm towers producing best for anglers. Fluke fishing expert Bob Murray of Skipjack said, “We could not get a good drift going Tuesday at the East Grounds but we managed to hook up with a few fish and then we moved to the windmill area and did better.” Matt Conti said the south shore experienced a wave of good fluke fishing this week, but most of the action is still at the wind farm and the East Fishing Grounds.” Mike Swain of Coventry said, “We have been able to catch summer flounder off Newport but it has been slow going. Saturday I fished alone and managed to land two nice fluke in the 21” to 23” range and my limit of sea bass (three fish/angler/day). But fluke fishing in the lower Bay, off Newport and Jamestown has not been good this season.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Fluke and black sea bass fishing was good this week with angler Tom Lombardi of Connecticut landing a 29 inch, 11.6 pound fluke that was caught on his first drift of the day using a bucktail rig he made himself."
Fresh water fishing has been just OK. “The Wood River water flow is up.” said Kim Petti of Fin & Feathers. “We are optimistic the high water level will be good for fishing over the next week… Customers have also been doing well with trout fishing the Farmington River in Connecticut using small flies. Ant flies are working well and soon green inch worms will be in season which will change fly presentations.”
“Offshore fishing at the Canyons (Atlantis and the Fishtails) was not great last week. With the full moon this week customers did not do well fishing offshore. Some small yellow fin and big eye tuna were caught there. At the outer Butterfish Hole anglers have been catching some small yellow fin tuna and some very small bluefin tuna (18” to about 34”).” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor. Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too Charters said, “Offshore tuna fishing slowed to a crawl this past week. I fished Butterfish Hole last week and the Dump on Monday for not much.” Last Wednesday angler Richard Pastore said he fished the northwest corner of the dump and trolled halfway down the southwest corner and then turned towards the Suffolk with nothing showing, “Lots of whales, birds, dolphins and bait but no tuna. bait was at 50’ and 125’. Water temps are 75+ anywhere south of the Block Island. My summary conclusion is the tuna have left the building so don’t bother chasing them. Mahi and cod are the fun fish right now.”
Cod fishing remained strong this week at Cox’s Ledge. Angler Richard Pastore said, “Wednesday we fished the east to south west corner of Cox’s Ledge where we spotted eight boats fishing cod. Took a few small to medium sized cod on jigs and squid. Also a nice biomass of black sea bass mixed in with the cod and better yet no dog fish. The cod bite is pretty reasonable.” Saturday angler Pastore fished Cox’s Ledge again, “The Ledge is covered with a sparse biomass of small to medium cod and plenty of black sea bass… pick a spot and start drifting. Watch the sounder for violent changes in the bottom structure. Every time we drifted across one of those we hooked up.” Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters said, “Cod fishing is better than it’s been in years.”