Chub mackerel have appeared in local waters. If you want to be ready to target these fast movers your saltwater bait & tackle shop can help.
Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge in Middletown and president of the American Saltwater Guides Association, said, “Chub Mackerel are becoming regular visitors in mid-Summer in Southern New England. They can be found frothily feeding on the same baits that cause the "bass rafts"; typically bay anchovies or sand eels. Chasing chubs are a fun prelude to the exciting times ahead created by bonito and then (fingers crossed) false albacore.” To find out what to target chub mackerel with visit www.saltwateredge.com, Tackle and Tactics: Chub Mackerel.
Large-medium and giant bluefin tuna fishery closes
Effective Aug. 4 fishermen aboard vessels with an Atlantic tuna General or Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat permit may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna. These bluefin measure 73 inches curved fork length or greater.
The General category for these bluefin tuna fishery will re-open on Sept. 1, with a daily retention limit of one fish per vessel.
The fishery is closing because according to the best available landings information, the General category June through August sub quota of 277.9 metric tons will be reached shortly. Visit NOAA’s permit shop for additional information at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov.
New freshwater fishing regulations in Rhode Island
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced new Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing Rules and Regulations took effect Saturday, July 31.
Two changes pertain to the Beaver River in Richmond. It is now designated as a no kill, ‘catch-and-release only’ area. Beaver River has also been removed from the trout stocking list, it will no longer be stocked with hatchery raised trout.
The aim of designating the Beaver River as catch and release-only area is to further improve the population of brook trout in the Beaver River. Furthermore, this change will provide a unique opportunity for anglers to target wild brook trout and admire them for their natural beauty.
Additionally, Cass Pond, Woonsocket and Geneva Brook and Pond in North Providence have been revised to be restricted to children for the first two days of the trout fishing season.
Visit https://rules.sos.ri.gov/regulations/part/250-60-00-10 for new RI freshwater regulations.
Dolphins at the mouth of the Narragansett Bay
Last week at 6:30 a.m. (on our way to Block Island) we came across a pod of a couple of hundred dolphins off Scarborough Beach, Narragansett. When bluefin tuna fishing, it’s one of the signs you look for before you put in your bluefin tuna spread (rigs) to catch them. Dolphin and bluefin tuna often eat the same thing and are chasing the same bait. But the dolphin are smart enough not to go for the tuna rigs.
Have to wonder if there were bluefin tuna mixed in with those dolphin, if so it would be incredible for Rhode Island fishing, a good bluefin bite off Narragansett? Off Beavertail? Off Newport? But who knows, maybe this pod just lost its way. Anglers are reminded they need a special Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Federal fishing permit to catch bluefin tuna.
Where’s the bite?
Bonito and chub mackerel. Be ready to cast to and hook these speedsters. Lures of choice are epoxy gigs designed to float or pull though a foot or two below surface or shimmy lures like Deadly Dicks and Kastmaster lures. Mike Hachey of the Saltwater Edge said, “Many of our kayak and shore anglers” are keying in on bonito and chub mackerel. The chub mackerel are in the 20” range this year and the bonito are a bit larger than last year too. They are feeding on larger baits like squid. So you know the bonito are large too. All hope that the false albacore are not far behind.” Richard Reich of Maridee Bait & Canvas said, “Anglers are hooking up with chub mackerel in both the East and West passages in lower Narragansett Bay. The fish are decent size this year, about 18”, and they give you a heck of a fight.”
Striped bass and bluefish. Striped bass fishing continues to slow a bit in the bay and off Newport. Capt. BJ Silvia said, “This time of year you have to be ready to deploy a number of strategies and tactics to catch striped bass. We have to look for them in the lower bay and out in front ready to use soft plastics, troll tube & work, use live bait like Atlantic menhaden and eels, etc. It varies from day to day depending on where you are fishing and conditions as to what you will need to do to hook up with a striper this time of year.” Mike Hachey of the Saltwater Edge said, “Striped bass fishing has slowed for our customers. Some school bass being caught from the shore but no reports of large fish being taken. Most of the large fish are being caught off Block Island.” The Pt. Judith Lighthouse area is yielding keeper bass. “We saw a number of charter boast hook up with striped bass in front of Pt. Judith Light this weekend. It looked like they were trolling tube & worm and doing pretty good,” said Richard Reich of Maridee Bai & Tackle. I fished the southeast side of Block Island Sunday and hooked up with large bluefish to twelve pounds but no striped bass.
Black sea bass, fluke and scup. “Kayak anglers continue to do well with black sea bass easily catching their limit of three fish,” said Mike Hachey of the Saltwater Edge. On charters this week customers caught their three fish limit while fluke fishing. The fluke bite is still slow catching just four keepers at Block Island Sunday and three at the Newport Bridge this weekend. So anglers are having to work and but the time in to catch summer flounder. Richard Reich of Maridee said, “We fishing east of the Hooter Buoy this week and caught plenty of black sea bass, giant scup to 14”, but no fluke.”
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.