Fluke… easy to cook and easier to catch this year
Fluke (or summer flounder) is plentiful this year and it's easier to catch keeper size fluke as the minimum size has been reduced to 18" with a bag (or catch) limit of eight fish per angler per day. Fishing in the mid-Bay area in Warwick, East Greenwich and North Kingstown in the West Passage and off the shores of Barrington and Bristol in the East Passage has been as good as it has been in ten years. Fishing around the Newport and Jamestown bridges has been good too with a strong fluke bite all along the southern coastal shore from Newport to Westerly and out to Block Island.
So if you have been lucky enough to catch this delicate, delightful, white meat fish here are two simple recipes. But first prepare flounder fillets for cooking by rinsing in cold water to clean. Carefully feel fish flesh one last time to remove any bones left from the filleting board. Pat fish dry with paper towel and set aside.
• 1 to 1 ½ lbs. of fresh flounder fillets
• Two fresh lemons or lemon juice
• ½ cup flavored Italian bread crumbs
• ¼ cup all purpose flour
• Olive oil, 1/3 to ½ cup
• One sliced large tomato
• Three to four leaves of lettuce
• Tartar sauce (or your favorite mayonnaise and relish to make your own*)
• Sandwich bread
• Combine and mix flavored Italian bread crumbs and flour
• Put olive oil in pan and heat prior to cooking fish
• Lightly moisten filets with lemon juice on both sides so fish coating sticks
• Lightly bread fillets with coating on both sides and place in frying pan
• Cook 4 to 6 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the fillet. Once cooked (fish is flaking, do not overcook) place on your choice of lightly toasted bread (we like light rye or wheat at the Monti house).
• Spread tartar sauce on second slice of bread and top with lettuces and tomato slices. Cut sandwich in half and garnish plate with olives, pickles and chips.
*Making your own tartar sauce is easy. Start with ½ cup of your favorite mayonnaise and add green relish to taste (two to three tablespoons), mix together and then place in refrigerator to cool.
Baked Fluke Recipe
By Robb Roach from Kettlebottom Outfitters, Jamestown, RI.
• 1 to 2 lbs. fluke fillets (or any white fish fillet)
• 1/2 to 3/4 stick of butter
• 1 or 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers
• one Lemon, sliced thin
• Large Ziploc baggie, in which to crush the crackers
• Lightly butter the bottom of a glass baking dish and cover with the fillets, arranged in a single layer.
• Place Ritz crackers into large Ziploc, remove all air, and crush into medium-fine crumbs.
• Cover the fillets completely with the crumbs.
• Melt butter in the microwave and drizzle evenly over entire dish.
• Place thinly sliced lemons on top, for color and flavor.
• Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, removing from oven when crumbs begin to brown.
• Squeeze lemon juice over dish, as desired, and serve.
Where's the Bite
Striped bass. "Today was the best striped bass fishing day I have ever had." said angler Mike Swain of Coventry. He and fishing partner Darryl fished the Prudence Island/Poppasquash Point, Bristol area last Sunday fishing with chucks of Atlantic Menhaden. "We could have caught bass all day… over twenty fish, the largest ones we kept were over 20 pounds." said Swain. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait, Warren, RI said, "The bass fishing remains strong in the Bay all the way down to Newport." Al Conti of Snug Harbor Marina reports a good bass bite on the north and southwest sides of Block Island with good sized fish being caught off Newport and Point Judith along the rocky coastline. Craig Castro of Erickson's Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said "We weighed in two bass in the 29 pound range for the Striper Cup Tournament yesterday caught between Providence Point and Poppasquash Point, Bristol."
Fluke (or summer flounder) fishing continues to be strong with fluke being caught in 40 to 50 feet of water along the southern coastal shore from Watch Hill to Pt. Judith. "Water off Matunuck and the Nebraska Shoals has been particularly good for fluke." said Al Conti of Snug Harbor Marina. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait said "Fluke fishing has been good even in the East Passage of the Bay with keeper fluke being caught from land at Colt State Park, Bristol, RI." Catching keeper sized fluke from shore hasn't been easy for the past several years as they have not been that plentiful. Fishing around Warwick Neck has also been good as I caught three nice keepers in the 19 to 22" range there this weekend near the red bell on the channel bank off Warwick Neck Light. Craig Castro of Erickson's Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said, "Customers have been catching fluke at both the Newport and Jamestown bridges."
Scup fishing has been good a Colt State Park, Bristol said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait. Al Conti of Snug Harbor Marina said, "The scup bite is starting to improve off coastal shores as the water is warming up."
Shark fishing is picking up to said Al Conti of Snug Harbor Marina. We weighed in a 338 Mako and a 309 pound thresher shark this week caught by the O'Hara family of Cranston, RI.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay 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