By CAPT. DAVE MONTI "I will always be prepared for anything that may come my way now and I can thank Troop 2, Bristol, Rhode Island," said Nathan Simas, who worked on a fishing line receptacle project as part of his Eagle Scott journey. Nathan built and
By CAPT. DAVE MONTI “I will always be prepared for anything that may come my way now and I can thank Troop 2, Bristol, Rhode Island,” said Nathan Simas, who worked on a fishing line receptacle project as part of his Eagle Scott journey.
Nathan built and erected five line receptacles in his home town of Bristol, RI. The locations were Mount Hope Boat Ramp, Independence Park, The Narrows, Bristol Marina, and the State Street Dock.
The project was funded in part by a $500 grant from the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Foundation.
Nathan said, “The goal of my project was to make Bristol a cleaner environment for fisher men and women of all ages. I had seen large amounts of monofilament line being left at precious local fishing spots. Monofilament line can take up to 600 years to degrade. Most sea life and land life don't live anywhere close to 600 years so I would have the opportunity to change how long they may be living by setting up a simple and cost effective fix.”
“I think my main takeaway was that no matter how much the Eagle Scout project is a huge deal. Being able to help my community and make it a more fishing friendly environment is a bigger help than any rank that Boy Scouts could provide for me.”
Anglers have been treated to an abundance of bluefish of all sizes this week. Bluefish provide a great fight for angles and if treated properly after catching them they make for excellent table fare. The coastwide regulation for bluefish is three fish/person/day.
This week we caught fish in schools from 18 inches to 30 inches. Most were caught on the surface during feeding frenzies (when bluefish push and trap bait close to shore or up on the surface where they have nowhere else to go). To experience what a feeding frenzy or blitz is like, view a video by Mike Laptew at www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd9k_UNC15A&t=34s.
The fish were in the mid to lower portion of the East and West Passage of Narragansett Bay north and south of Gould and Hope Island, off Quonset, Jamestown and many other places.
All the fish were chasing good size peanut bunger (immature Atlantic Menhaden). They were coughing them up when brought on deck. Bluefish eat 2 ½ times there wait every day, so they never stop feeding.
The lures of chose were small shiny lures that mimic this bait and flash in the water. Lures such as Kastmaster, Deadly Dick and Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows worked well this week. Honestly they were biting almost any lures we put in front of them including epoxy jigs.
Here are some tips for fishing bluefish blitzes:
Use metal leaders when fishing for blues to avoid cutoffs (the fish biting through your line)
Speaking about biting treat the fish with respect, they have sharp teeth that can take your finger off.
Work the edges of schools when they surface, don’t drive through a school or right up on top of it as you will spook them and they will go down.
Be respectful of others making room from them when working a school of fish on the surface
Be safe, try not to get too caught up in the excitement. I find that no more than two, possibly three experienced anglers, can be casting at the same time. This is to avoid the casting angler hooking others. I also suggest taking care of the fish once it is on board, it is hard to unhook a fish, clean what it coughs up and wash away the blood while others are fishing. Attending to the fish before commencing casting prevents anglers from getting hooked and slipping on the deck.
When you catch a bluefish you are keeping, bleed the fish by cutting it under the gill and putting in a five-gallon bucket upside down so it bleeds out. Once dead put in an ice/salt water brine solution for the remainder of your trip.
Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “Slot limit fish (28 to less than 35 inches) were being caught all along the beaches Monday morning with anglers tossing their lures into the frothy surf.”
Allen Newell of Red Top Sporting Goods, Buzzards Bay, said, “The bass bite on the Cape Cod Canal was very good Wednesday with fish on the surface chasing large baits such as squid and mackerel.“ Fishing for bluefish in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay has been very good. On a charter Sunday we hooked up with 14 bluefish with striped bass mixed in on the surface. The area between Quonset, Hope Island and Jamestown exploded with the largest schools of bluefish we have seen in the Bay for some time.
Jeff Smith reports on the RI Saltwater Anglers Association blog, “Hunted for Albies from Beavertail to Scarborough on Sunday. Headed back up towards Narragansett Bay and when the tide finally started to move we got some fish boils west of Whale Rock. They were a mostly blues with a few stripers mixed in. Some schools of albies too but they were not around long. I managed to hook up with one Albie, but lost him at the boat. Headed back up the West Passage around 10 a.m. At first nothing going on but a few sporadic fish surfacing, but no hook ups. Then around 10:30 the water out in front of Quonset started to boil with tons of birds and surface action all around. Turns out to be mostly blues, a few bass with some real gator blues. The largest sized blues I have seen in the bay in quite some time. Action died down around noon. We were throwing a few plugs and I caught most everything on a green epoxy jig. “
The fluke and black sea bass bite off Newport was good last week if you could fish around rough sea condition. Caught two nice keeper fluke to 22 inches between the Fountain and Brenton Reef of Newport after the storm with a strong black sea bass bite.
Allen Newell of Red Top Sporting Goods, said, “We have had a strong tautog and black sea bass bite on Buzzards Bay.”
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.