There is an assortment of fish to pick from if you plan a weekend on the water.

Fluke catches are a bit better, a nice charge of large bass moved into Fishers Island and the Watch Hill Reefs, while Connecticut blackfish season opened and there are some school tuna offshore.

Captain Kerry Douton at J&B Tackle reported some schools of bluefin tuna hanging the 30-fathom curve from Montauk to the Dump. Some of these fish will bite on a trolled lure, while others do not. Their charter boat landed stripers in the 40s trolling plugs after dark in and around The Race.

Daytime bass fishing was fair, Kerry said, if you get the right conditions and are on top of the fish movements day to day. Bluefish, though, have yet to arrive in summer numbers. The best spot for numbers of keeper fluke is Gardiner's. Block Island has large fluke but it also full of unwanted dogfish.

Hillyer's reported large bass caught trolling live eels in the Sluiceway early in the morning and then again before sunset. Blues and smaller bass were caught around the Millstone discharge, plus there's an increasing interest in blackfish now that the season is opened. You can keep two per day per person at 14 inches long. Blue crabbing is good after dark in the Niantic River.

Red over at Bob's in Uncasville also reported larger bass this week, one a 41-pounder caught around Fishers Island after dark with live eel. Fluke fishing is better in local waters with maybe 25 percent big enough to keep, Red said. The Thames River is warming and porgies biting well for shore anglers and also for those in small boats fishing the rock piles out front of the river.

A spokesman at The Fish Connection told me about fluke fishing along the Rhode Island beaches. If you get a moving tide with the wind, you should be able to make a day of it with the ratio of shorts to keepers about 5-to-1. This fellow and his wife landed a trophy 7-pound sea bass in 38 feet of water off the Misquamicut State Beach while drifting for summer flounder. Porgies were caught along the lower part of the Thames River and fluke are as far up now as buoy 27. You might find a school of bunkers in travels up and down the river.

Al Golinski of Misquamicut did well with stripers fishing early in the morning around Fishers Island, the Watch Reefs and some spots adjacent to the reefs. He and his partner, Captain Ben DeMario, used weighted bunker in some of the deeper spots or live bunker along the rocks on the south side, landing bass from 20-44 pounds. Getting bait was a problem, Al said, requiring them to get up around 2 in the morning, using a net to get enough for a morning's fishing by the time the sun started to pink up the eastern sky.

If anyone is interested in catching lots of cod, haddock and pollock, Capt. Greg Mercurio of the Yankee Captains, a party boat operating from Gloucester, Mass., is having excellent results on his overnight trips. On Sunday and Monday this week, an 11-man charter caught about 400 mixed fish, at times catching something each time they dropped the jigs and teasers to the bottom.

In addition to the excellent numbers of cod, pollock and haddock, Greg said they've also caught seven halibut to 50 pounds since late May. He will be fishing from Gloucester through the end of August. Anyone seeking more information can contact www.yankeecapts.com

Mark at River's End in Old Saybrook reported their customers landed some small and medium bass jigging in The Race during the day and larger bass after dark drifting eels at Valiant Shoal. Pat Abate and another store employee caught 14 bass to 17 pounds on their last surf fishing trip to Block Island.



Fluking in the lower Connecticut River is a matter of catching sub-legal fish, some of those landed by shore anglers dunking bait for bass at the Dock 'N Dine. You best chance for a legal fluke or doormat is to drift in the 100 to 110-foot depths from Outer Hatchetts to Black Point. You may pick up a hefty sea bass as well.
Tim Coleman may be reached at thewreckhunter@aol.com