No Fluke

Striped bass fishing in the Bay is hot; here are 10 ways to catch them


Striped bass fishing has been very strong. Last Friday, noted local kayak angler Bob Oberg reported an excellent striped bass bite in mid-Narragansett Bay in nine feet of water trolling tube and worm. Bob said, "Fishing heated up at the peak of incoming tide…caught nine stripers including one 29 incher and one 35 incher. (It was) a rush to have a nice fish on the line so early in the season." Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle called Sunday morning and said customers were experiencing a great bass bite in Mt. Hope Bay. Don Williams reports on the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association blog that he hooked up with bass big time Saturday as they fed on sand eels on a local reef. Don said, "… the largest was 34" - all stuffed with bait. All caught on the fly rod!"

These reports have been pouring in. Take advantage of the great striped bass bite. Here are ten ways to catch them.

1. Chunking fresh or frozen menhaden. You can anchor (and chum); drift fish or fish the moving bait pods with chunks. Some anglers use a weight slide to get the bait down.

2. Live menhaden. Find a school and snag live menhaden with a weighted treble hook or net them. Hook the bait through the back or bridge of the nose and put the live menhaden back into the school.

3. Surface plugs or poppers. Great way to catch school bass in the spring.

4. Swimming lures. My favorite this spring is a grey Yozuri Crystal Minnow.

5. Parachute squid jigs. Often used in ocean water (or where there are squid). Anglers successfully use this method off Newport, Narragansett and Block Island.

6. Trolling with tube and worm. The idea is to get the bait down to the bottom where the big fish are. Use lead line in Bay and wire offshore in deeper water. Place a fresh clam worm on the hook. Use different colored tubes until you find one that works. Bubble gum colored tubes seem to work in spring in the Bay, amber tubes when fishing the southwest side of Block Island.

7. Trolling with umbrella rigs. Technique often used to troll off Block Island, in deeper parts of Narragansett Bay, off coastal shores with a variety of squid, shad and sand eel baits.

8. Casting soft plastics. Many anglers love this technique and use it successfully in the spring. Make sure the plastic baits are scented if not add some scent.

9. Buck tail jigs with pork rind squid strips. Have had success with this method to get under schools of blue fish and to the striped bass on the bottom.

10. Live eels. Used by shore and boat anglers, some fishing guides use this as their primary method to catch trophy stripers. Hook the eel through the mouth and out one eye.

Tim Coleman, author and fisherman, found dead

According to local news reports, Timothy Coleman, a well known fishing columnist, book author and fisherman was found dead last Thursday on the "sand trail" in Weekapaug area of Westerly, RI. He was found near an inland pond with his fishing gear. His death did not appear suspicious. Coleman, 65, wrote a weekly saltwater fishing column for The Day newspaper for ten years and had been managing editor for The Fisherman magazine's New England edition from 1974 to 2001.

I have quoted Tim in many of my columns and we actually met a couple of years ago at the Springfield Sportsmen's Show. When we met, he casually mentioned he was a fishing writer. After the encounter I realized who he was and thought how humble is was for him to refer to himself as just a "fishing writer". The Rhode Island fishing and environmental community is saddened by his death. Steve McKenna of Cranston, RI, noted shore angler and friend, said, "Tim was a wonderful guy and he will be missed."

Fishing tournament for visually impaired

The RI Lions Sight Foundation (RILSF) will be hosting its 5th Annual VIP Fishing Tournament for Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) of RI on June 24, 2012. The half-day Tournament will be held on the Francis Fleet out of Galilee, RI. Participants will compete for trophies and the opportunity to represent Rhode Island at the Lions National VIP Tourney on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in October. The event is free of charge and includes transportation and guides if needed, gifts, breakfast and a morning of fluke fishing. Participants must be legally blind, at least 17 years of age and physically able to fish from a party boat. Applications for the tournament can be found at or contact Ken Barthelemy, tournament chair, at 401.529.6673 or kenbar123

Where's the bite

Freshwater fishing for trout and bass remains very strong. "Anglers continue to catch trout as some of the ponds as they have already been restocked by DEM.", said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence. Visit for a list of stocked ponds.

Tautog. Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said, "Customer George Latos caught a 9 and a 10.4 pound tautog along the southern shore." Customers of Quaker Lane Outfitters weighed in tautog from eight to ten pound this week said Steve McKenna. "Anglers fishing off the Wharf Tavern and the Barrington bridge are catching a lot of tautog. About one in ten fish have been keepers." said John Littlefield of Archie's Bait and Tackle, Riverside. He said the bite has been excellent at Conimicut Light and fair at Ohio Ledge.

Striped bass. Elisa Martin from Snug Harbor said, "Bass anglers continue to catch small fish off the west wall at the Harbor of Refuge but all are waiting for a few warm days for the worm hatch to really take hold in our ponds." Steve McKenna noted shore angler, author and associate at Quaker Lane Outfitters said, "The fishing has been outstanding. I would rate the season as A- so far. Last Friday I caught a 20 lb bass at Matunuck." Shore anglers have been catching bass using worms from Sabin Point to Bold Point, "32 to 37 inch fish are quite common with a lot of smaller school bass mixed in.", said John Littlefield of Archie's Bait & Tackle. "The bass have now worked their way up to Pawtucket." said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle. The "String Beans" area under the power lines on the East Providence side remains hot for bass anglers.

Squid fishing was soft last week with the cold front moving in. They are expected to return as things warm up.

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 dmontifish@


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