School striped bass numbers are tremendous across both states and the bigger fish should be close. Meanwhile, the early indication from fluke anglers is that sizes are great and limits are attainable.
BY WILL SIROTNAK MAY- On The Water
Captain Frank, of The Frances Fleet in Narragansett, was happy to report that the fleet started sailing for fluke and the early results have been strong. Saturday’s opener saw some tough weather, with steady rain all day, but the fish didn’t seem to mind. High hook went home with half a limit of fish to 4 pounds and every group scored some nice fluke for the table. The fishing continued to improve each day, with Captain Greg reporting their first full limit on Sunday’s full day trip. High hook had 6 keepers and both bucktails and long rigs were working equally as well. Captain Chris reported another solid day on Monday; most anglers took at least 3 keepers and high hook took 5 keepers to 6 pounds. All the captains agreed that this is one of the best starts to the season in years, with most keepers being over the 20-inch mark. The fleet will continue to sail daily at 7 AM, weather dependent and reservations required.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the striped bass fishing has picked up across the state this week. Bill Silvia reported some large schools of menhaden and striped bass at Ohio Ledge, Providence Point, the Hurricane Barrier and the east side of Prudence Island. Anglers are reporting scattered keepers throughout the bay and rivers; while light-tackle and fly anglers are hitting plenty of fish in the Newport area. Squid reports remain strong for the most part, big scup are being taken at Colt State Park and tautog reports are good in the bay and along the rocky shoreline. Freshwater anglers are reporting good largemouth bass fishing this week, including a fish that nearly hit 8-pounds caught by Jim White.
Mike, at Watch Hill Outfitters in Westerly, reported both an increase in numbers and an increase in size in the striped bass fishery this week. A glut of schoolies are in the area, but there are more and more keepers showing up each day. Inshore fluke fishing reports have been quiet outside of a few fish being taken off the beaches, while word is that a good number of keepers have settled in around the island. There remains a good amount of squid in local waters, so we should start seeing some better fluke fishing along the beaches this week. Those who are targeting tautog seem to be doing pretty well, and the trout fishing remains very steady across the state.