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Block Island Shark & BFT tips/techniques

Old 09-12-2019, 08:29 PM
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Default Block Island Shark & BFT tips/techniques

Hey Guys,

I have been really wanting to get into shark/tuna fishing. I have been fishing Block Island and Point Judith/ Newport area for a few years now but only go for strippers and blues and occasionally bottom fish for fluke and sea bass but want to venture into bigger game species. I have read alot about fishing the dump and canyon but that is too far for me on my 22' CC coming out of Warwick, RI.

I am wondering:
Is stark/tuna fishing only a few mile off Block Island dead/worth my time? Any luck at Cox Ledge/East Grounds or any other recommendations?

What is the most effective method (ex. chum/drift/live bait)?

Any recommendations or knowledge would be greatly appreciated as I am a novice in this type of fishing.



Old 09-12-2019, 08:40 PM
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Cox ledge is a great place to catch some late summer makos and play with some blues. Get you a 5gal bucket or two of frozen ground menhaden, pop some large triangular holes in it with your carbon steal dexter Russell, power chum and set a drift. I used to use 300- 400 lb mono and crimp or tie directly to a 16 or 20 ot circle. Bury the hook in a 1lb menhaden and set in your slick. You will outfish guys using cable and wire 3 to 1. Have jigs and cut bait ready for passing schools of small bft.
Old 09-13-2019, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ptag View Post
Cox ledge is a great place to catch some late summer makos and play with some blues. Get you a 5gal bucket or two of frozen ground menhaden, pop some large triangular holes in it with your carbon steal dexter Russell, power chum and set a drift. I used to use 300- 400 lb mono and crimp or tie directly to a 16 or 20 ot circle. Bury the hook in a 1lb menhaden and set in your slick. You will outfish guys using cable and wire 3 to 1. Have jigs and cut bait ready for passing schools of small bft.
we use electric drill with spade drill bit to do holes in chum bucket, or flip the chum bucket upside down into a milk crate with lid off the bucket and and couple bungee cords across the back to hold bucket in milk crate,tie off to top of milk crate and chum falls out thru holes in milk crate. After knowing someone that got cut severely trying to cut holes in a heavy 5 gallon bucket with a knife on a boat miles from help, we use the cordless drill now to drill holes in the bucket

If do the cut the holes in bucket route, you can predrill the holes in land so no mess on the boat and put your pre drilled bucket in another 5 gallon bucket with no holes so you just lift it out and no mess in the boat

we also use bluefish or false albacore for bait, am catching and vac pacíng them for future shark bait.
Old 09-13-2019, 10:51 AM
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Late in the season the dead center of the Mud Hole is a good spot. From Warwick I'd look at Coxes, The Claw, Suffolk or the Fingers, South and around BI I find you need to go a little further than East Ground, The Gully is a great spot.

If you look at the chart and go SW of the where the "Fairway Buoy" was there is a spot that is a little hole that gets to 200 feet it's North and East of the Gully the reality is that is the SW corner of the Mud Hole as the Mud Hole is much larger than just the little circle on the Capt. Seagul Chart. That Spot has produced a ton of Makos some very large 300, 400, 500, 600+.

You don't need a drill for the bucket just be careful and cut holes with a knife. You don't need the milk crate if you cut a small hole in the upper edge of the bucket right net to it on the top then put your line through both holes and tie it off. The reason for this is that you DO NOT TIE YOUR ROPE TO THE HANDLE in any sea you will look over wondering why your not chumming any longer and you will see that you have a rope with a handle and no bucket as the handle has ripped off the bucket and you chum bucket is now bye bye.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:51 AM
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come over to the NE section. you'll get a ton more help.
Old 09-14-2019, 05:09 PM
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I am heading out tomorrow weather permitting. Going to the Mud Hole, start a drift with a chum bucket, and throw chunks of live menhaden. Going to have 4 rods with balloon rigs, sinker and menhaden on the end.

Is there any specific temp I should be looking for? any times better for sharks than others?
Old 09-16-2019, 01:25 PM
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get some squid and pick up some live blues on the way out
Old 09-16-2019, 01:32 PM
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I've done four trips this year to the same area you're targeting. Three at night and one during the day. Spend the extra time to pick up Live Bait. Evey live bait we put out produced a shark. The one trip we took with fresh Dead Manhaden we got Nada..
Old 09-22-2019, 03:18 PM
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Went to the Mud Hole this morning. Water temp was 63-65. Had 4 blues butcher up hanging from the boat, a chum bucket, menhaden chunks thrown and blue fish filets on the hook. I tried to get live bait on the way out but nothing was biting. Saw a school of BFT right when I showed up but not a bite the entire day. There were a few other boat out there but it didn't seem like anyone was catching anything.

Any other suggestions to help produce some results?
Any other spot recommendations for late in the season?
Are sharks more likely to bite at certain times of the day?

Has anyone been having luck lately?
Old 09-22-2019, 04:06 PM
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What kind of leader did you use? Have you tried coxes ledge ?
Old 09-22-2019, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ptag View Post
What kind of leader did you use? Have you tried coxes ledge ?
I used 8' of 480lb stainless multi strand wire, It was a pre made rig at the tackle shop. I have not tried coxes yet, many locals in Pt Judith advised that mud hole was my best bet so I tried there first. I was under the impression coxes was mainly good for cod/sea bass.
Old 09-23-2019, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by captnpete10 View Post
I used 8' of 480lb stainless multi strand wire, It was a pre made rig at the tackle shop. I have not tried coxes yet, many locals in Pt Judith advised that mud hole was my best bet so I tried there first. I was under the impression coxes was mainly good for cod/sea bass.
When I used to shark fish in that area I hooked and caught far more sharks fishing with monofilament leader and circle hooks , no wire or cable. In my experience the difference was profound. Thereís no sense in worrying about losing fish if you canít get them to bite in the first place. I donít shark fish anymore, but one of my buddies here in Florida catches live sharks for public aquariums. They are catching tigers hammers lemons every shark you could imagine in every size range They only use mono because it out fishes wire and cable 10:1.

Did you power chum? Power chumming will also make a huge difference.
Old 09-23-2019, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by captnpete10 View Post
Hey Guys,

I have been really wanting to get into shark/tuna fishing. I have been fishing Block Island and Point Judith/ Newport area for a few years now but only go for strippers and blues and occasionally bottom fish for fluke and sea bass but want to venture into bigger game species. I have read alot about fishing the dump and canyon but that is too far for me on my 22' CC coming out of Warwick, RI.

I am wondering:
Is stark/tuna fishing only a few mile off Block Island dead/worth my time? Any luck at Cox Ledge/East Grounds or any other recommendations?

What is the most effective method (ex. chum/drift/live bait)?

Any recommendations or knowledge would be greatly appreciated as I am a novice in this type of fishing.
I am FAR from an expert on shark fishing and have had little success catching anything else but blue sharks but I have caught my share of them and done so as close in as Sharks Ledge. One day we had a feeding frenzy going on at Sharks Ledge, dozens of blue sharks hitting anything and everything we dropped in the water.

Bobbing bucket of chum tied off with holes drilled in it also some dried cat food soaked in fish oil, makes for a great slick. Bluefish filets on braided wire leaders set up at various depths using balloons.

Again all I have ever caught shark fishing are blue sharks so my techniques are probably WRONG on many levels but if the goal is to bend a rod with a big albeit inedible fish, the above has worked for me on several occasions as close in as Sharks Ledge but also at The Claw, Tuna Ridge and a few other locations.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ptag View Post


When I used to shark fish in that area I hooked and caught far more sharks fishing with monofilament leader and circle hooks , no wire or cable. In my experience the difference was profound. Thereís no sense in worrying about losing fish if you canít get them to bite in the first place. I donít shark fish anymore, but one of my buddies here in Florida catches live sharks for public aquariums. They are catching tigers hammers lemons every shark you could imagine in every size range They only use mono because it out fishes wire and cable 10:1.

Did you power chum? Power chumming will also make a huge difference.
Thanks for the tip, I will definitely try a mono leader next time.

Also, I only had one 5lb chum bucket which I do not think was enough as I could not physically see the chum click behind the boat. What exactly is power chum?
Old 09-23-2019, 07:51 PM
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My main questions at this point are: Does it matter on what time of the day or are sharks feeding at all times? When does the shark bite slow down? Could the lack of bite be caused by the past hurricane/ tropical storms rolling through?

Thanks to everyone for the replies
Old 09-23-2019, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by captnpete10 View Post
Thanks for the tip, I will definitely try a mono leader next time.

Also, I only had one 5lb chum bucket which I do not think was enough as I could not physically see the chum click behind the boat. What exactly is power chum?
Buy/Bring a five gallon bucket of frozen chum. Drill or cut several holes into it, holes must be large enough to release chum. Go to your fishing spot, determine the direction of the surface current. Get your boat on plane and drive 3 miles down current. Deploy bucket and run 10 knots back to your fishing spot. Start your drift, set lines, and the second you start fishing you already have a 3 mile slick. Now youíre sharkin like a pro in the NE.
Old 09-25-2019, 03:14 PM
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I think we caught more makos this year than blues. But this was all during the month of August fishing the fingers, coxes, and gully. I've never noticed time of day to make much of a difference.

Use extreme caution if you hook into a mako. Make sure they are tired before bringing to boat side and never try to gaff them in the head. One flip of the tail and you can have an angry shark flopping around in the cockpit.

I'm curious about the logic behind mono leaders outfishing single strand or braided wire. I've been using single strand for years and more often than not get tired of reeling and leave them biting.
Old 09-27-2019, 09:52 AM
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Donít under estimate your 22í. I have a 22í cc and pick my days... Iím out of Warwick as well... but Iím on a trailer to be mobile
Old 09-27-2019, 09:54 AM
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Sharks are are not far south of block
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:11 PM
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Hey Guys,

I went back out to the Mud Hole yesterday morning. The conditions were less than ideal, at times up to 6ft swells but I wasn't going home without something big. When we arrived to the spot there wasn't a single person out there but we decided to drop some lines and give it a shot anyway. This time I brought along 2 chum buckets, a flat of Mackerel, and a left over stripper for the hooks. I started out with about a mile long power chum leading up to the spot I was going to start my drift. After about two hours of drifting, we finally hear the reel clicker start SCREAMING. I grab the rod, give it about 10 seconds to run the set the hook, the battle was on. I yelled to my friend to clear the other line and boom another hit! We were both fighting the first sharks of our lives, bobbing over and under each other as they were pulling us in every which direction. We made it about 10 minutes into the fight when the lines crossed somewhere and both snapped. For the first time ever I wasn't enraged that the line snapped, but was satisfied just being able to feel the power of these creatures. For the time being atleast. I think it is safe to say that this is the start to a new addiction.

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