Monday, October 9, 2017

Fishing after storms can be tricky

Noah Brunelli of Wakefield (13 years old) with the 4.9 pound largemouth bass he caught on the Saugatucket River with worms he dug from the woods next to his home.

Fishing after storms can be tricky

Many of us may have a touch of cabin fever after being waylaid by the remains of Jose.  Freshwater fishing is a good bet after a storm as the water is not as turbid and conditions are usually more tolerable with no high ocean surf.

As the weather clears here are some ‘fishing after storms’ thoughts and tips.

Be safe. Winds and rain create fast moving water on river banks and the coastal shoreline.  Stay away from this water as you can get washed in particularly from high ocean surf.

A storm like the one we had this week can change fishing a lot.  Some species like summer flounder (fluke) may leave the area totally.  Yet others species just won’t bite.  They may not bite because the water is dirty with sand that irritates the gills of fish so they stop moving around and feeding or they simply cannot see your bait in murky, cloudy water. 

Storms can also create fishing opportunities with reefs, clam and mussel beds that get torn up with broken shells providing a feeding ground for many of the fish we target. 

Additionally, a good storm this time of year often provides a cleansing and transition time for anglers suggesting it is time to target fall species like tautog, migrating striped bass, surface feeding bluefish, cod and false albacore.

Sea run trout seminar

The Narragansett Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU225) will host its monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. at the Coventry/West Greenwich Elks Lodge, 42 Nooseneck Hill Road (Rte. 3, Exit 6 off of Rte. 95), West Greenwich, R.I.

After a short chapter meeting, Ron Lasko will give a presentation titled ‘Beyond a tale of two rivers – a future for sea run brook trout’.  Lasko is the author of ‘A tale of two rivers’ which is the ecological, and historical story of Cape Cod’s sea run brook trout.  For additional information contact Glenn Place at 1-401-225-7712 or at .   

Where’s the bite

False albacore (albies) and bonito fishing was very good this week as false albacore and some bonito were running along our coastline from Watch Hill to the Sakonnet River with reports from the East Fishing Grounds and other areas lighting up too.  The most intense contact was around Pt. Judith both toward Westerly and north to Narragansett Beach.  Angler Adam Maziarz said on the RISAA blog he landed a nice bonito off Scarborough Beach Saturday.  Maziarz said, “They put on a quite a show, occasionally getting completely airborne. I managed to catch a bonito on a pink Hogy epoxy jig, which made the trip worthwhile. They seemed fairly picky; I tried many colors of epoxy jigs attempting to match the hatch but the pink did the trick.”  Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Albies and bonito were thick, acres of them from Pt. Judith to Block Island feeding on peanut bunker. Popular places to land them from shore include the West Wall at the Harbor of Refuge, Fort Getty, Jamestown and Sakonnet Point.”  Dimitri Mancini of Continental Bait & Tackle, Cranston said, “Diego Vargas, one of our good customers and an outstanding fisherman, fished the East Fishing Grounds Saturday and landed false albacore and his party limited out on extra-large black sea bass underneath.  Large bluefish were on the surface too.”

Tautog fishing is spotty.  Some anglers landing fish in the upper Bay but the best bite has been in the lower Bay with some tautog anglers landing fish to ten pounds.  John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Customers are trying to hook up with tautog from shore but are not having much luck at places such as Wharf Tavern.  But, I did hear the bite at Castle Hill, Newport was good.”  Charlie and Carole Prisco of Warwick caught keeper tautog in the upper Bay last week, the fish were there with small ones too but as Charlie said, “The tautog bite is on.”

Striped bass fishing is the Bay is not good however the bluefish bite exploded this week in the east passage and south of Conimicut Light.  “The bluefish bite off Barrington Beach and south of Conimicut Point was good this weekend.  The blues were feeding on schools of peanut bunker.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.  The bass bite at Block Island was on and off last week.  “The bite has been early in the morning.  We have been leaving the dock at Pt. Judith at 5:00 a.m.” said Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too Charters.  Some days you arrive at the Island and the bite is on other days the fish are just not there.  Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “The striped bass bite at the Cape Cod Canal continues to be outstanding.  Anglers are landing pass in the 40 pound range from shore.  The ‘Whip it Fish’ by Al Gag’s, a soft plastic lure, is working very well for Canal fishermen. Dimitri Mancini of Continental Bait & Tackle said, “The striped bass bite for customers fishing the Cape Cod Canal has been staggering.  Better than it has ever been.  Hogy soft plastic lures are working well. It has been a very successful lure for our customers fishing the Canal and comes in a variety of colors with white and pink working the best lately.”

Black sea bass, scup and summer flounder.  Anglers are reminded that the black sea bass season in Rhode Island and Federal waters is closed this Friday, September 22 to October 21.  The season opens again on October 22 with a seven fish/person/day limit.  The closure in the fall was a tradeoff for the season staring a month earlier in June this year.  “The scup bite is strong at Sabin Point and Colt State Park with anglers often reaching their 30 fish limit.  They are also catching a lot of northern kingfish.”  said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait.  This weekend anglers fishing my dock and the Town Dock in Wickford were landing scup, northern kingfish, skipjack bluefish and an occasional summer flounder.   I fished off Beavertail Point this weekend with my brother Henry, Mike and friend Kevin.  They landed summer flounder, black sea bass and scup with a slow pick of keepers.  

Cod fishing is starting to pick-up with anglers targeting them at the East Grounds and Cox’s Ledge. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Hi hook this Saturday was four cod with a decent number of fishers having two apiece. There were some large sea flounder to over four pounds and a few big fluke to 11 pounds along with a nice assortment of ling including some real "baseball" bat size specimens. Both jigs and bait produced on the cod fish.”

Freshwater fishing continues to be good in area lakes and ponds.  “The largemouth bass bite is good in ponds at Rehoboth, MA and at the Brickyard Pond in Barrington where one of my customers caught a six pound catfish this week.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.  “The largemouth bass bite is very solid with three and four pound fish being landed fairly common in places like Meshanticut Lake and Randall Pond in Cranston.” said Dimitri Mancini of Continental Bait.  Noah Brunelli (13 years old) and his brother Zach Brunelli found a good largemouth bass bite to 4.9 pounds on the Saugatucket River.  They caught multiple bass using worms dug from the woods near their home in Wakefield, RI.