No Fluke

Anglers say the fishing is hot


Fishing has been outstanding for a number of anglers. Very impressive stories, from some very accomplished anglers, so I thought I would share some.

East End Eddie Doherty, Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author, said, “The new moon provided better action in the Canal, with fish slot size and larger breaking periodically for an hour at first light last week. One of our success stories is 13-year-old Cody Rice from Connecticut, who caught seven nice striped bass, including a couple of 40-inch beauties on a JoeBaggs Swarter in the middle of a west tide.” 

The Swarter, named for its hybrid appearance between a swimming plug and a darter, takes the long, slender profile of the SP Minnow, and pairs it with a sloped face like the Mag Darter, giving it a unique action, said On-The Water in a review of the lure. Congratulations Cody, very nice work.

“Four of the bass we caught off Newport last week were over 40 pounds. The largest, a hungry 44-pound fish, was caught on the surface, this one on a DOC 9” topwater lure,” said expert angler Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren. There is nothing like having a 44-pound fish attack your lure on the surface.

“Later in the morning, we switched off to fluke (summer flounder), still fishing off Newport in 25 to 40 feet of what. The tide was just starting to turn incoming, but the wind was not right. A short time later the wind direction changed, and we were in luck with wind and tide in line. I loaded up a bucktail, as I often do, with squid, fluke belly, Gulp and four spearing. It is a very big bait but works well to attack large fluke. We caught several nice fluke in this area with the large baits. Our largest fluke weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds. It was an outstanding morning,” said Sullivan.

Ryan Turner of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “This is the best start to the fluke season we have had in a long time. Anglers are hooking up with six- and seven-pound summer flounder all along the southern coast shore off the Westerly and Charlestown beaches in 50 to 60 feet of water. Fluke fishing is outstanding for this time of year.”

Curt Shumway fished for bluefin tuna with his son last week. Last week Curt said, “We fished for bluefin tuna about 45 miles southwest of Point Judith. We hooked up inside 15 minutes and then doubled up soon after. Whales spread out all over the area, and by 1 p.m. there were only five boats. Some jigging with success and some trolling. We came home with some nice fish. The largest we dropped at the tuna door was between 65” and 69.” It was awesome.”

Where’s the bite?”

Freshwater … Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, said, “Largemouth bass are in spawn or coming out of spawn on some ponds.  Spinner baits are still working well.”

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle Providence said, “The trout bite is good in ponds recently restocked by DEM with a good largemouth bass bite. Olney Pond, Lincoln; Twin Rivers, North Providence; and Roger Williams Park, Providence are all producing for customers.”

Striped bass and bluefish

“In Narragansett Bay and up its estuaries, including the Taunton and Seekonk rivers, the striped bass bite is on. Many are using pogies for bait with success,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle.

On Monday, angler John Lombardi reported, “Enjoyed exploiting a blitz, along with a few other boats, 1/2 mile- 3/4 mile north of the Newport Bridge yesterday. Action steady from 6:45 a.m. till 8:45 a.m. Medium-plus-sized blues on silver sides and anchovies. Top surface plug worked well.”

Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Bait & Tackle, South Kingstown said, “Striper fishing on the South West Ledge off Block Island has been good. Top water lures and trolling with wire seems to be working well during the day. Eels are not working as well.”

East End Eddie Doherty, said, “Fishing improved on the Cape Cod Canal this week. Once the new moon arrived, “Hollywood” Petracca convinced a slot to attack his Mystic Intrepid green mack as the east bound current was flooding. And I reeled in a healthy slot on the new moon breaking tide with a white Hurley Canal Killer while exploring the bottom.”  Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Stripers and bluefish have been been caught from the Breachways on both tides. It seems like using eels for bait has taken off this week, with a lot of good size fish being caught on them. A few of our customers have been enjoying chunking bunker and mackerel from the shore.   Mummies, rain bait, needle fish, silversides and juvenile fluke, tog, seabass are what stripers are eating in the ponds. Bass are being caught from schoolies to 15 pounds in the pond.”

Summer flounder (fluke),

black sea bass and scup

“This week we had anglers doing extremely well with fluke off Charlestown Beach, and others that did not do well. It is all about timing. If everything is right with wind and tide in line, anglers are catching fish,” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina.

Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “Fluke fishing has been consistent locally and over at Block Island, with a fair amount of keeper seabass being caught in the mix. Squid are still plentiful locally, so as long as you’re putting some fresh bait down you should be well off. Have not really heard any reports of some color rigs producing better than others.”

Dave Monti holds a master captain’s 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 or visit

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