No Fluke

Fluke and tautog tips from the experts


Last week we shared striped bass and tuna fishing tips from expert anglers and captains who appeared on stage with George Poveromo at the Saltwater Sportsman’s National Seminar Series. Here are some fluke and tautog tips from local and national experts.

Fluke fishing tips

·Best place to catch fluke is where you normally fish for striped bass as they both like current, structure, squid, silversides, etc. Try fishing in your favorite striped bass spots and you are likely to catch fluke too.

·In Spring, fluke tend to be in low water, they like feeding on sand eels.

·Captain John Rainone of Lil’ Toot Charters said, “Start shallow in spring and move to deeper water as the water warms.”

·Captain Rainone’s favorite places to fish for fluke include many spots around Block Island… the North Rip area, the northeast side of the Island as well as the south side. Other spots include Cow Cove, Clay Head and the mouth of New Harbor. Off the center wall at the Harbor of Refuge is a great spot too.

·Wind and current should be going in the same direction, ideally start from shore or the high spot and outward toward deeper water

·Use pink squid rigs if squid is in the water, some like to use whole squid in the spring

·Look for bait pods and you will find fluke, just as you would when striper fishing
Tautog fishing tips

·Tautog usually show up in the spring when the water turns about 50 degrees

·Many use soft baits in the string, like worms or grass shrimp and fish in shallow water

·Expert angler “Crazy” Alberto Knie said, “If you get multiple taps the tautog is sensing the bait is not natural. After the first tap I let the rod drop, say the word “barracuda”, and then I cross its eyes setting the hook.”

·Captain John Rainone said, “Keep your rig simple, one hook and a sinker. Two hooks only add additional hardware that can get caught on structure.”

·George Poveromo said, blackfish often take advantage of the slower stages of a tide to feed. The slower stages of a tied also enable anglers to effectively fish difficult structures.

·George Poveromo introduced a simple tautog rig designed to fit in-between structure and rocks… The “knocker-rig” can be used on a 30 pound braid main line with a fluorocarbon leader, an egg sinker (2 oz.) slides on the fluorocarbon that is tied to a circle hook. The sinker and the hook tangle less frequently because they work their way into structure together … and here is the best part… you can attract the fish by tapping on the structure with the sinker and bring it right to your bait… thus the name “Knocker-Rig”.
Important recreational fisheries meetings

Now is the time to let your voice be heard at important Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council (RIMFC) meetings that impact recreational fishing. For more information on these meetings contact Jason McNamee, DEM Marine Fisheries Division at 401-423-1943. Meetings take place in the Hazard Room at the URI Coastal Institute (Bay Campus), South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI.

Thursday, January 19 - RIMFC Scup/Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel Meeting - 6:00 PM

Friday, January 31 - RIMFC Summer Flounder Advisory Panel Meeting - 6:00 PM

Tuesday, February 6 - RIMFC Tautog Advisory Panel Meeting - 6:00 PM

Wednesday, February 15 – RIMFC Menhaden Advisory Panel Meeting – time TBD

Wednesday, February 22, Public Hearing for input on policy/regulations for many species. Agenda to include proposed changes to the Management Plans for most species. Visit for agenda, meeting time and place.

Safe ice for fishing and skating

At press time, there were no “Safe Ice” postings on the Department of Environmental Management’s website regarding the three State Parks they monitor including Goddard, Lincoln Woods and Meshanticut State Parks. DEM says it takes five to seven days of temperatures in the low 20 degree range before ice may become safe. And, this is no guarantee that it is safe. Call your local city and town to check local ice conditions or DEM for the State Parks they monitor at 401.222. 2632. Visit DEM’s Parks website for an ice safety guide at .

East Bay Anglers spring fishing flea market

Mark your calendar. The East Bay Anglers will hold their Spring Fishing Flea Market on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. the 12:00 noon inside at the Riverside Sportsman’s Club, East Providence, RI. The cost of a table to sell your stuff is $25, the cost to attend the flea market is $2 (children free). This is for both fresh and saltwater gear. Call Dave Fewster for information at 401-230-8201.

RISAA seminar on Clean the Bay and Tarpon fishing

Two topics will be featured at the Monday, January 30, 7:00 p.m. Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) meeting this month… the “Clean the Bay” organization will present on its activities in Narragansett Bay and a humorous view of Tarpon fishing will be given by Al “Gag” Gagliarducci, noted fishing lures maker and popular East Coast presenter. RISAA members can bring a friend at no charge; non-members are asked to make a $10 donation. Seminar starts at 7:00 p.m. at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick, RI with optional dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Visit for details.

Question and comment from reader Paul Johnson
Question: “Hello Dave, I really enjoy your column… (and) have a question and comment for you. Every day recently you can see several large commercial fishing boats within in stone throw of the rocks off of Narragansett. I assume they are getting herring and squid. Are they under any regulations or can they just take all the bait fish out of that area? No wonder the game fishing as died off Narragansett. I think a couple of the boats are pair trawling…”

Answer: I responded to Paul’s e-mail this weekend… Yes, there were pair-trawlers off Narragansett this past week fishing for herring (we think). Bob Ballou from DEM’s Marine Fisheries Division was addressing the issue, exploring with his legal group what could be done short term, and long term DEM may explore regulating via legislation.

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license, a charter fishing license, and is a member of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council. Your fishing photos in JPEG from, stories, comments and questions are welcome… there’s more than one way to catch a fish. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at ; his blog at or e-mail him at


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