Weekly RI Fishing Report: 5/302014

Bass to a Confirmed 38-11 Taking Bunker In Upper Bay

T hings are starting to come together on multiple fronts all around the state, and warmer weather in the forecast is only going to help things along. In the meantime, the next three weeks to a month is probably your best shot of the season at sticking at double-digit fluke, and the bass/bunker situation in the upper Bay is in full swing. For the relative handful of guys still at it, blackfish closes the 31st.


Mikey Wade at Watch Hill Outfitters said the big news of late has been the appearance of some bass from keepers to monsters hanging with the roving bunker schools in the Pawcatuck River, notably out behind CC O’Brien’s, the “Brink” and near Greenhaven Marina. Fluking out front have been heavy on the shorts, with reports of some bigger slabs off the beaten path along the south side of Fishers, at Block Island, and off Montauk. There has been no consistent word of bigger bass from the Race just yet, though that fishery should take shape any day now.


Jon Lyons at Ocean House Marina confirmed there have schoolies and also some broad-shouldered cow bass on patrol up inside the Breachway and along the deeper holes and channel edges up inside Ninigret Pond, presumably in town awaiting the big worm hatches that often have the effect of making the fish unbelievably persnickety.


Elisa at Snug Harbor said the Drifter managed to troll up three keeper bass at Block Island’s SW Corner late-week, while that normally fruitful area has been remarkably stingy to date this season. The fluking at the Island has come down a few pegs after some better action on larger fish off the west side earlier in the week. The slab search has been turning up more and bigger fluke along the SoCo beaches—Carpenters, Green Hill, and the broken bottom out in front of the Center Wall, among other spots—in 30 to 40 feet of water. Joe Cicerone weighed in a 9.6 doormat from a local area. The dogs and some rig-shredding tailor blues have invaded the Island grounds. There have been some good bass taken on the shallow rockpiles between Five Cottages and Quonny, and word has it Ninigret and the Charlestown Breachway over the last few days. Fluking’s down a bit out front but still a viable option if you’re willing to put the time in after dark.


Kenny Landry at Ray’s Bait in Apponaug saw proof positive of some bigger bass coming out of the middle to upper Bay, when Ben White of Falmouth, MA weighed in a 38-pound, 11-ounce cow he’d caught on bunker. The latter bait source has been scattered up and down the line, reliably somewhere between Conimicut Point and the Seekonk River—exact locales varying by day. The general M.O. has been the old snag-and-drop maneuver right with the bait schools. The one trick there is that some schools of pogies have mainly bluefish in the 3- to 5-pound bracket, some have bass from keeper size up past 30, and still others have absolutely z-e-r-o life with them. Asked for quick ways to observe the differences, Landry noted the blues will often get the pogies bolting in tight circles, slashing and darting to avoid the finned meat grinder. When bass are dogging a school, you’ll see less frantic activity—just the occasional fish blowing up on the surface. Naturally, every pattern is subject to complete change. Other fishermen have been taking their bunker off-site and catching some better bass with less of the circus atmosphere of the Providence River. One area that has turned out better fish has been “The Flats” near Bear Point, Prudence Island. On the fluke front, folks have been scratching keepers north of the Jamestown Bridge in the area from the Dollar Lighthouse up past Fox Island outside Wickford Harbor, and further up in the 70-foot hole off Warwick Light, among many, many other places. The tautog fleet has been at it daily, pulling some fish off Conimicut—the place to be for more than a week. That season closes the 31st. There have been no weakfish reports in a week.


After almost succeeding in braining himself with a piece of fitness equipment, Dave Henault at Ocean State Tackle said the bass bite is in high gear in the river, both around the bait schools and off-site on the high spots, or over at Prudence—among other areas. Squid picked up a tad after a slump last week, and the tautog bite is going strong coming up on the 5/31 closer.


Scott over at the Saltwater Edge reported a significant improvement in the local fluke fishery; some of the local charter guys made out fairly well with some better slabs, presumably out front—off Bailey’s, First, or Second Beaches—or up inside the East Passage from outside Fort Adams to the outside of Goat Island. The 30- to 40-foot drifts in the lower Bay and the 40- to 70-foot spots with gnarlier bottom out front should be surrendering some substantial slabs into double digits in the next week or two. Just watch the unmarked or mis-marked gillnet gear that’s scatter-shot across the latter area, complements of a couple of shady net boats—the guys who’ve long given that gear type a bad name. The bass fishing is improving all around the Island (Aquidneck), with fish taken along the banks of the Sakonnet River, Brenton Reef and probably the south end of Jamestown as well. The bass/bunker fishery up in the Providence River is in high gear, with fish north of 30 pounds logged over the last week. One light-tackle guy managed fluke, sea bass, stripers, blues, and a weakfish somewhere off Jamestown—perhaps near Potters Cove on the east side?

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