Sure, this summer it's been a bit slower for the Blues and Stripers, but I am glad to report there are still plenty of fish to be caught off the shores of Middletown.
On a recent fishing trip, my son Jason and his girlfriend joined her family aboard the Borden's 22-foot Striper motorboat. In the Rhode Island Sound near Block Island, they found themselves in waters that were a bit rough with 5- to 8-foot swells.
They had started at 6:30 am and, after 4 ½ hours, had only caught two fluke, so there were no complaints when it was decided to head back to the harbor to drop off Mr. Borden's son, who felt ill.
By 11:30 am, the fishing party was back on the Sakonnet River and decided to throw lines between Sachuest Point and the Sakonnet Lighthouse.
Great idea, it turned out.
By 12 pm, they were catching an abundance of fish such as Bluefish, Fluke, and Black Bass. Within such a short time, my son and the Borden family lost count after seventeen fish were pulled in, ranging from 12 inches to more than two feet long.
The Fluke were the biggest, while the Blues ran a close second at nearly 24 inches. In all, they caught eight Blues, three Fluke, and five Black Bass, not counting the small ones they threw back.
Mr. Borden, his daughter, daughter-in-law, and my son Jason were fishing with single hooks, weighted heavy because of the quick current. Mr. Borden let the boat drift on the incoming tide, watching the fish-finder and depth at 55-65 feet, occasionally restarting the motor to reposition the boat over the fish.
The fishing party was using squid they bought at a supermarket, and medium weight fishing equipment. The poles were only seven footers, which would have been challenging had they caught a big Striper that could easily tip the scale over thirty pounds.
But make no mistake, the smaller Bluefish they caught still put up a great fight.
The pace slowed and they called it quits at 2 pm and finally headed for home.
The group was hungry and excited about their catch and planned to cook the fish for their evening meal. Mrs. Borden gave everyone a lesson on her filet technique which, my son said, was a challenge because of the diverse size and species of their day's catch. Jason fried his Bluefish in olive oil seasoned with black pepper, which tasted like tuna, he said.
What started as a rough day quickly turned into a good haul and nice evening meal, thanks to a chance turn onto the Sakonnet River.
If you are interested in finding the best places to fish and want to move off shore, there are a number of charter boats in Middletown, Portsmouth, and Newport that can improve you chances of catching more fish. Click here for one of the most comprehensive website listings for fishing charters and guides.