RI Fishing Report: 10/10/2014

Rhody Surf Opportunities Abound

In yet another tough week of boating weather, the surfcasting activity has broken open in a big way, with some solid fish landed along the Newport shoreline, southern Narragansett, all over Matunuck, in every Breachway and channel in South County, and from Weekapaug to Watch Hill. After more than a few non-starter “fall runs” in recent seasons, most surfmen with whom I maintain contact have been generally pleased to have had some bass, blues, and late-running tunoids—both false albies and bonito—to work on. With plenty of feed still around and fish in migratory binge-feeding mode, here’s hoping we’ll get a sustained window of good fishing worthy of the well-worn phrase, “fall migration.”


Mike Wade at Watch Hill Outfitters said he was pleasantly surprised that a number of boats that braved marginal conditions on Thursday found loads of false albacore and some straggler green bonito anywhere from Wicopesset Pass off the east end of Fishers all the way to Quonny. Folks have been out and about in spite of the relentless winds over the last week to ten days, finding some excellent fishing up and down the line. There were quite a few blues in and around the Weekapaug Breachway on Thursday, first run-of-the-mill 5- to 8-pounders, followed by a wave of real slammers—fish in the mid to high teens—along with some quality bass. All the Breachways have seen some excellent tides over the last week, some producing bass to over 20 pounds, on jigs, darters, metal-lips and other inlet-current standards. Black sea bass and scup remain plentiful when the water has had a moment to clean up between blows, and there has been a major spike in tautog effort now that CT has opened up and Fishers Sound is now fair game. Bass catching is very good as this goes to press Friday noonish, and Wade continues to spot full-size pogies, bass, and blues of various sizes right out behind the shop.


Matt at Snug Harbor Marina lamented the continued weather antics over the last week, but noted he sent a bit of everything—clams, green crabs, butterfish, eels, shark chum, squid, metals, and plugs–out the shop doors Friday morning, evidence that folks are out trying for just about every viable target species within striking distance: Cod, tautog, scup, sea bass, stripers, blues, albies, bonito, yellowfins, bluefins, and sharks, at least. The beaches have been hot on the average, with bass making regular appearances in and around the Charlestown Breachway, Carpenters Bar, the West Wall, the Short Wall in Galilee, Potters, Black Point, and various other spots north, east, or west. Bonito and false albacore have continued to hang around along the South County beaches as well as offshore in the Mud Hole. Tautog fishing is heating up on the 10- to 20-foot rockpiles, and black sea bass remain plentiful even as the sizes have come down a bit on the average. There were a few brave souls out in the Fishtails as of Friday mid-day trying to get in some quick recon before weather turns again. No recent word on the striper situation over at Block.


Sam Toland of Sam’s Bait and Tackle in Middletown reported big improvements in the quality of the blackfishing over the last week or so; the action has still been up in the shallow spots, though another couple of cold spells should get them on the move. There have been loads of schoolie bass on the move along the oceanfront and around the lower Bay—these fish mainly in the 20- to 26-inch range, with an occasional better one in the mix. The bunker-fuelled gorilla-blue and big-bass bonanza continued between Castle Hill and the Newport Bridge this week, though there’s no knowing how long that activity will continue. Scup are still chewing on the hard pieces from the old Brenton Tower rubble eastward to Sakonnet, with big knots of mixed-size sea bass scattered across the area.