Landing 380-pound mako was a team effort


There is something mystical about coming in contact with sharks. They are very powerful. Anglers do take them for food. Very much the way they catch and eat cod fish, summer flounder, striped bass or tuna. In fact, mako sharks taste very much like swordfish.

Shark fishing can be exciting. Like fishing for any other large game fish such as giant bluefin tuna, shark fishing is very much a team effort with the entire crew working to successfully land a fish. Teamwork was exhibited last week when Bob Neilson and crew landed a 380-pound mako shark that was nearly eight feet long. One of the largest mako sharks landed in Rhode Island this year. Here is their story.

Bob Nielson said, “We started the day cod fishing at Cox’s Ledge and after landing 20-25 cod we decided to set up a slick and start shark fish. Within 10 minutes, we had a two-foot mako in the slick and we watched it devour a bait close to the boat. The fish left in a hurry. We hooked into a mako approximately six feet in length which shook the hook at boat side. I figured we were done with mako fishing for the day. About 30 minutes later, an eight-foot mako hit a bluefish filet. The fish made five spectacular jumps and it took about an hour to bring it along side and tail rope it.”

Bob Neilson of Exeter was fishing on the Kimberly Marie, which is owned by John Kowaleski of Narragansett. The fish was landed by Dan Fleury of Hope Valley and Bob Neilson was the leader man and fought the fish on the harpoon line. Bob said, “I am very proud of the crew and how they handled the battle. This was the first Mako for Ian Drumm of Burrillville, who fought the fish valiantly for the first 30 minutes while other crew members jumped on the reel and drove the boat. The dock hand at Sung Harbor Marina, where the fish was weighed in, said at 380 pounds it was the largest mako weighted in so far this year.”

Where’s the bite?


fishing has improved as the weather was not as warm this week. Chris Catucci of the Tackle Box, Warwick said, “Gorton’s Pond, Warwick, has been giving up some four- to five-pound largemouth bass but you have to work for them.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “Stump Pond has been producing a mix of largemouth bass, pickerel and perch for customers. Their bait of choice has been shiners. We sold a lot of shiners this week.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Bass fishermen have been landing fish shiners as well as with Yamsmoto Senkos.”

Scup/black sea bass

fishing remains strong throughout Narragansett and Mt. Hope Bays with fish being caught around structure particularly where there is moving water. Chris Catucci of the Tackle Box said, “Customers have been catching a lot of scup at Conimicut Point and Rocky Point.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle said, “Scup, Tommy cod and some northern king fish are being caught around Lavin’s Marina on Bullock’s Point Cover, Barrington.” Angler Ken Blanchard reports on the RISAA blog, “Fished from 9:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Saturday), lots of short scup and sea bass at the rock piles near the Quonnie Breachway. Fished the corner of the Breachway with rubber shad. Caught one schoolie bass about 14 inches and then got cut off by a bluefish. Started out cloudy and warm with an outgoing tide. Water is in the mid-70's, clear and weed free (pretty much).” Angler Jack Leyden of North Kingstown said, “Went out at 2:00 p.m. Saturday about one mile southeast of Pt. Judith in 64 feet of water and caught large black sea bass and small summer flounder on every drift.”

Striped bass

fishing remains to be spotty a Block Island during the day with a much better night bite. Anglers fishing the north rip and the southwest ledge in daylight have not done well. “The evening bite is pretty good at Block Island,” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait. “Customer Al and Kevin Bettencourt (and Kevin’s son) continue to do well at the southwest ledge at sunset. This weekend they caught their three fish and returned to the dock at about 10:30 p.m. They caught a total of 17 fish with 30 ells with black sea bass taking many of the eels.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “The striped bass bait of choice has been eels with fish taking pencil popper lures as well.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Francis Fleet reports a great night time striped bass bite. Capt. Blount said, “This week turned out to be extraordinary for striped bass night fishing. Not only was the boat easily limited out all three nights, but piles of good size blue fish mixed in too. Some better size bass mixing were in the 15-25 pound range.”



Although somewhat of a slowdown in some areas Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “The fluke bite along the southern coastal shore has moved out to deeper water outside the Watch Hill Reef in about 60-80 feet of water. Although further out these fish are larger. The outside of the North Rip of Block Island is producing fluke too as well as the wind farm area.” I fished the lower west passage off Jamestown and Dutch Island and managed four keepers Friday and two on Sunday. It has been a slow pick with some nice fish of size caught but not the steady pick we have witnessed the past two years fishing off Brenton Reef and Seal Ledge area, Newport. Fishing off Block Island in the wind farm area continues to yield fish but not at the volume it had been early this year. Angler Mike Swain of Coventry said, “We fished the wind farm area Sunday and hooked up with some nice fish, it’s arguably the best fluke fishing off Rhode Island, however, it was hardly worth the ride to fish there as we did not catch a volume of fish.”

The bluefish

bite off Sabin Point and Barrington Beach has been very good. Chris Catucci of the Tackle Box said, “Customers are catching some bluefish of size using poggy (Atlantic menhaden) chunks as bait. We also have a lot on anglers catching skipjack bluefish in coves and ponds and inlets. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait said, “Bluefish are being caught in the rivers. In Pawtucket we have pogies three feet thick and some bluefish have worked their way up the river to feed on them.” Reports of blue fish running at Block Island an along the southern coastal shore from Charlestown to Pt. Judith with some striped bass mixed in.


have been running hot from the West Wall at the Harbor of Refuge to Watch Hill with the West Wall and Weekapaug areas being the hot spots,” said Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters.


fishing has started to pick up as anglers are targeting them earlier than usual due to a soft fluke season in shore. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Tautog are hitting Asian crabs with a fair bite off Jamestown and Newport.” Sophia Garzoli weighted in a 5.7-pound tautog at Ocean State Tackle that was caught with Asian crabs off the West Wall of the Harbor of Refuge.

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’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 or visit his website at


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