Fluke bite mixed, some tips to enhance your catch

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Posted 7/15/21

By CAPT. DAVE MONTI The summer flounder (fluke) bite has been mixed this season with some nice fish being caught off Block Island on the south side and a monster fish 15.24 pounds caught off Newport …

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Fluke bite mixed, some tips to enhance your catch

Posted

By CAPT. DAVE MONTI The summer flounder (fluke) bite has been mixed this season with some nice fish being caught off Block Island on the south side and a monster fish 15.24 pounds caught off Newport by angler Greg Vespe. But overall the bite has been sluggish.

Anglers catching fluke are working for them fishing edges to find the fish that are there.  Last week we went to ten different spots to find the fish. All of these spots were pre-selected based on wind and tide moving in the same direction and the fact that we would be fishing edges. By edges we mean the base of a jetty or bridge pylon, the edge of a reef, an uphill or downhill slop underwater, etc.

So when fluke fishing is off, you have to work for them. Plan where you will fish first, second, third, etc. the night before based on recent wind forecast and tide. Hopefully you will be rewarded with some nice fish, even in difficult times, to take home and in the process catch some nice eating black sea bass.

The minimum size for summer flounder is 19 inches with a six fish/person/day bag limit with the fluke season running until December 31. Here are ten fluke fishing tips I like to remind myself of when planning a trip.

•  Wind and tide should be in line as you want to drag (or drift) over the front of the fish so it sees your bait, drift over the back of the fish and it may never see your bait.

•  Fish low/high/low bottom… this means fishing channel breaks, edges of structure, etc. My largest fluke have been caught on edges.

•  Match the hatch tipping with squid, blue fish, bass, silversides, mummies, minnows. Often times whatever we catch (or seem to be in the water where we are fishing) I will cut up and strip for the fluke rigs.

• Trailer teasers work, my largest fish have been caught with the trailer stinger bucktail

•  Find the fish, repeat pattern … noting both location and depth

•  Power drift (putting boat in and out of gear to go slow) for movement at slack tide

•  Both jigs and traditional fluke rigs work

Fluke face into current to feed, drag bait over front of fluke from boat or shore

Power drift or troll perpendicular when wind and tide not ideal

Personal favorite is big bait… Capt. Monti’s fluke cocktail … squid rig tipped with squid, fluke belly and horizontal minnow, believe that big baits catch big fish, you will catch fewer fish with a big bait arrangement but they will be larger.

 

Register this week for the Block Island Inshore Fishing Tournament, July 24 and 25

The Block Island Inshore Fishing Tournament starts Saturday, July 24, 5:33 a.m. and ends Sunday, July 25, 12 noon. There will be an ‘After Party’ at Capt. Nick’s Rock & Roll Bar, Block Island from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with a brief Tournament awards ceremony.

Capt. Chris Willi of Block Island Fishworks, tournament host, said, “This is a length only tournament with entries made electronically on a smartphone application. You never have to land on the Island to win but you might want to attend the ‘After Party’.   Winners will be posted online.”

Tournament entry fees are $100 per boat for up to four anglers, $25/person for additional anglers; and $25/shore angler. Capt. Willi said, “Thanks to the Block Island Wind Farm and Ørsted Tournament sponsorship we are able to donate 100 percent of Tournament entry fees to the Block Island Fire Department and Rescue.”

Tournament highlights include over $10,000 in VISA card prizes, swag and tackle shop gift certificates. Fish fluke, black sea bass, striped bass and bluefish with boat, shore, youth, team and photo divisions. For information and to register visit www.sandypointco.com/bi-inshore-tourney .

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass and bluefish.

 Brendon Roden of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown,  said, “Striper fishing from the beach has been slow with some shorts being caught at night. However, it has been lights out for striped bass fishing at Block Island. Overall things slowed with the storm at the beginning of the week but started to pick up once the weather cleared.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait and Tackle, Riverside said, “The striped bass fishing in the upper Bay has slowed down a lot with some fish being caught at Providence Point and Kettle Point.” “Striper fishing in the Conimicut Point, Rocky Point and Warwick Neck area has been very good. Anglers are catching slot fish (28 inches to less than 35 inches) trolling tube & worm as well as live lining and fishing with chucks of Atlantic menhaden (poggies). And, they are using ells at night with success,” said Mark Passarelli of the Tackle Box, Warwick.

“Fluke fishing

at Block Island has been very good while fishing along the southern coastal shore has been slow.  When you find them it is a steady pick of shorts with some keepers mixed in,” said Brendon Roden of Breachway Bait & Tackle. Mark Passarelli of the Tackle Box said, “Customers are catching fluke off the beach side of Conimicut Point with some doing well at Warwick Light.” John Littlefield of Archie’s said, “The fluke bite has not been outstanding. One customer fishing the Newport bridge area with some pretty good drifts caught 17 short fish and no keepers on Sunday. They were using squid and mummies. Some customers are catching fluke at Warwick Light but it is a slow pick most days and other days there are no fish there at all.”

Black sea bass

fishing has improved a bit with fish being caught off Newport in the ocean and the Bay. John Littlefield of Archie’s said, “Customers are starting to catch black sea bass all the way up to Sabin Point which was unheard of in past years.”  Passarelli from the Tackle Box, said, “The sea bass bite at Warwick Light has been good for customers.” “Large black sea bass are being caught along the coastal shore with very nice keepers being taken around Block Island,” said Brendon Roden of Breachway Bait & Tackle.

“Scup

fishing continues to get better with good sized fish being taken just about anywhere in the East Passage,” said Passarelli of the Tackle Box. John Littlefield of Archie’s said the scup bite is hit or miss. Some days guys are catching 35 fish and others just 5. Lavin’s Marina and Colt State Park continue to produce scup for anglers.”

Freshwater

fishing softened a bit with the warm water last week but continues to be consistent. “Anglers are still catching trout at stocked ponds with a decent largemouth bite on days that are not too hot,” said Mark Passarelli of the Tackle Box. “Ponds producing for customers include Sandy and Gorton Pond in Warwick, Carbuncle Pond in Coventry; and Silver Spring in North Kingstown.”

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 dmontifish@verison.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com. 

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Block Island Fluke & BSB – Photo D

GETTING READY: Fluke and black sea bass caught at the Block Island Wind Farm. Anglers are preparing for the July 24 and 25 Block Island Inshore Fishing Tournament. (Submitted photo)

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