Reports this week from anglers, fishing guides and charter captains point to a very positive start to the fall fishing season and a great month ahead. October is one of the best fishing months with striped bass, false albacore, tautog, cod and black sea bass all available to catch.
The striped bass fall migration has started with school bass and now larger fish being caught from the beaches. Angler Gil Bell of Charlestown said, â€śFor the past two weeks I have caught many keeper size striped bass, many in the forty inch range, about 22 to 23 pounds. The fall run has started.â€ť The Cape Cod Canal is still producing fish. Ed Doherty of Mattapoisett said, â€śI caught a 17 pound striped bass and a friend landed a 25 pound fish last Friday. This Monday angler Steve Dewar landed a 45 pound monster on an east tide.â€ť
False albacore fishing is exploding, too. Capt. Ray Stachelek of Cast-a-Fly Charters said, â€śThe hardtails finally hit Rhode Island. Newport already had a slug of them, now they are all along the coast in numbers. Point Jude, Charlestown, Watch Hill, Fishers, it’s all going off now. Finally they have appeared. Also some nice 5-10 lbs. stripers mixed in too.â€ť
Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina in South Kingston, said, â€śThere was mayhem out there with outstanding false albacore fishing. Some fish are being caught of Newport, Jamestown, in Narragansett at Scarborough Beach and Hazard Avenue, however, the major bite is at the Center Wall of the Harbor of Refuge and west to Watch Hill.
False albacore are hard to catch, but they thrill fishermen with their furious runs, stripping line from light tackle and giving anglers a memorable fight.
Many times false albacore and bonito are mixed with striped bass and bluefish. They can be caught from boat and shore with lures and even on the troll. Three types of lures are often used to catch false albacore including tin or metal lures such as Deadly Dicks and Kastmaster lures; soft plastic lures; and metal jigs and epoxy lures/jigs that are weighed and designed to skim the upper portion of the water column or surface.
The shiny metal lures are traditional baits, however, they often have difficulty working the surface if that is where the fish are. Anglers are forced to move them quickly through the water to keep them high in the water column. Epoxy lures or jigs are often weighted so you can cast them far, but yet they can be worked on the surface, or lower in the water column.
The once to two once Daddy Mac metal jigs I have bought for false albacore fishing also work extremely well as bottom fishing jigs for scup, black sea bass, sea robins, dog fish and anything else that lives on the bottom.
Now is the time to get out there and try to hook up with false albacore. Last year they were here the entire month of October into November as far North as Barrington Beach. No way of telling if this year will be a repeat of last year so get out there soon and try to catch one of these speedsters.
Whereâ€™s the bite?
Striped bass, bluefish and false albacore. Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, said, â€śShore fishing for striped bass has been fair with school bass being caught with some keepers mixed at Point Judith and Matunuck. The bass bite at the North Rip and South West Ledge, Block Island, has been fair.â€ť Ken Ferrara of Rayâ€™s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said, â€śBluefish are all over Narragansett Bay in the 6- to 10-pound range. A wave of pogies came in and the bluefish with striped bass mixed in have come into the Bay.â€ť Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, â€śWe have bluefish and school striped bass with some keepers mixed in underneath the bluefish North of Prudence Island so this is a good sign that they have infiltrated the Bay. They seem to be chasing peanut bunker. Customers are also seeing (and some are catching) the elusive false albacore in the lower Bay and off Newport in the Fort Adams area.â€ť
Black sea bass and cod. Ferrara said, â€śBottom fishing for black sea bass and scup is good at Newport and around the Jamestown Bridge.â€ť Cahill said, â€śThe black sea bass bite at the Block Island Wind Farm is fair with a lot of the large fish already picked over but it is a lot better off Matunuck and along the coastal shore. We have had some reports of a good early morning cod fishing at Shark Ledge.â€ť Angler Paul Boutiette said, â€śSaturday we fished Cox Ledge for cod. On a small piece of clam, a nice 18.75-pound, 35Â˝-inch monster cod grabbed on. I let the fish do the work and eased him up and 10 minutes later, it felt like an hour, we landed the fish. We added some nice BSB to the cooler as well.â€ť
Tautog fishing in the Bay has been fair at some low-water spots off Hope Island, Quonset and at General Rock said Ferrara. Cahill said, â€śIt is a little early for tautog, no reports of a major bite yet. Said Macedo said, â€śKeeper tautog are being caught in the Warren River and in Mt. Hope Bay with scup being caught around the Bridge too.â€ť
Capt. Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing for over 40 years. He holds a captainâ€™s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.