No Fluke

How to preserve and cook your catch


If you are fortunate enough to catch a striped bass in the allowable slot size of 28” to less than 31”, and plan to keep and eat it, here are some tips on how to preserve and cook the fish.

Bleeding your catch, getting most of the blood out of it, will help to preserve and keep the meat fresh. To bleed striped bass, firmly hold the fish on the deck, as you do not want it to move and chance getting cut.  Cut its gill plate and then tip the fish upside down in a five gallon pale filled with water. The fish’s heart continues to pump much of the blood out of its system.

Once the fish dies, we put it in a cooler with ice and add saltwater, creating a brine solution. Fish blood has a high salt content, so the brine solution prevents the remaining blood from coagulating.

Once fileted and you are ready to cook, here is a grilling recipe from the Saltwater Anglers Association “Cooking Your Catch” columnist Paula Smalec. Paula modified the original recipe, which was from "New England Open-House Cookbook: 300 Recipes Inspired by the Bounty of New England," by Sarah Leah Chase.


  • β…“ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 plump shallot, peeled and finely minced
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for oiling the grill grate
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 4 fresh striped bass fillet portions (6 - 8 oz. each)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges, for serving


Combine the white wine, lemon juice, and shallot in a small nonreactive bowl. Let stand until the shallot softens, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil, parsley, and tarragon.

Place the fish fillets into a Ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and allow the marinade to cover as much of the fish as possible for 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat your grill to medium high. When you are ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Remove the fillets from the marinade and place them flesh-side on the grate. Grill the fillets until cooked through in the center (they will flake easily when tested with a fork), 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning them once.

Season the fish at the table with salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Secretary Raimondo equips NOAA with $3.3 billion for climate fight

Last week U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced about $3.3 billion in funding for NOAA under the Inflation Reduction Act. NOAA Fisheries will invest in strengthening the agency’s core mission to provide science-based management and conservation of the nation’s marine resources as we confront climate change.  The move was welcomed by the fishing community that has long advocated for enhanced NOAA Fisheries funding to address climate impacts.

IRA funds allow NOAA Fisheries to advance several critical areas focused on tackling the impacts of climate. Funds are earmarked for NOAA Fisheries Climate and Ecosystem Fisheries initiative as well as North Atlantic right whale programs, Pacific salmon, red snapper, facilities modernization, Arctic research, permitting efficiency, and support for hatcheries and other Tribal initiatives.

Hats to Secretary Raimondo and her NOAA Fisheries chief, Janet Coit, for facilitating this round of funding. For funding details, visit Inflation Reduction Act: A Historic Investment in America’s Climate Resilience | NOAA Fisheries .

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass and bluefish: Reid Beland of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, said, “The larger bass are being caught at night off Newport, Jamestown and at Block Island. There are fish in the bay, but anglers are having to work for them.”

East End Eddie Doherty, fishing author and Cape Cod Canal fishing expert said, “The action on the canal slowed last week, however the new moon appeared on Father’s Day and there are still schools of bait swimming in the Big Ditch, so hopefully more predators return soon.”

Dave Henault of Ocean State Bait & Tackle, Providence, said, “Customers are catching striped bass and bluefish in the bay, but they are having to work for them as they are scattered. Once you find them, you’re good.”

“One customer caught a 24” bluefish at Conimicut Point this weekend, but the large bass and bluefish are being caught off Newport,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick.   

Scup, black sea bass and summer flounder

Dave Henault of Ocean Stale Tackle, said, “Customers that are catching fluke and black sea bass are putting in their time. Fluke fishing has been decent along the beaches. A lot of recreational shorts, and you have to put your time in to get some keepers. Most fish coming from 40 feet of water. Don’t be afraid to try stickier bottom where the draggers can’t go. Some better reports coming from areas along the backside of Block in 50 feet. Sea bass report continues to improve, with bigger fish starting to move up into shallower water. A lot of dinner plate scup being caught while targeting fluke.”

I took home one 22” fluke for dinner this weekend caught at Warwick Light drifting across the channel.  Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick, said, “Shoe fishing from Rocky Point Pier, Warwick, has been very good. Customers are catching large scup to 18”, fluke to 22” and this weekend a customer caught a 37” skate that she kept, cleaned and cooked for her fellow anglers on the Pier. Weak fish were also caught by anglers of Warwick Light and the Warwick Neck country Club. Larger fluke are being caught off Newport.”


“The largemouth bass bite is good, with anglers using both lures and bait (shiners) with success,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box.

“Customers are doing fairly well at Ryan Park in North Kingstown,” said Reid Beland of Quaker Lane. “Anglers are hooking up with largemouth bass and some catfish at Ryan Park.” 

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 or visit

2024 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.