Block Island Fishing Spots - 10 Favorites

Block Island is a great place to fish and may be your best shot for a big fly fishing striped bass especially from shore. See out article Block Island Striper Fishing for more details.

Thanks to Dave Beasley for another great article!

Now let's talk about the places to fish. I have ten places that I like a lot. In no particular order other than how they circumvent the island, they are:

1. The Block Island Coast Guard Station. The "cut" from Block Island Sound into the Great Salt Pond is a terrific place to fly fish. The tide runs hard, as a lot of water runs through its 300 foot width and depth of over 25 feet. Needless to say, the drop off at each side is substantial and the fish love it here.

The south side of the cut next to the Coast Guard Station itself is often called Coast Guard Station Beach and it is about as popular a fly fishing destination as there is on the island. It has plenty of casting room if you get there early and the prime spots to fish go for several hundred yards. It's also easy to get to and the parking is clearly identified. Stripers are caught here consistently, but mostly during the prime times of early AM and just around dark. Once the sun is on the water, things can slow down, except for the false albacore and bonita that run in the fall. The Coast Guard Station cut is where everyone heads first. It's "information packed." Locals and visitors alike will give you the latest on what's happening around the island. Some of it "true" and some of it not so "true."

2. Charlestown Beach. This is another prime spot to fish on Block Island. I park at the Coast Guard Station and walk from the breakwater at the mouth of the Great Salt Pond south. The beach is over a mile long. The "corner" of the breakwater and the beach is a "hot spot." If the fish are around, there are usually some pushing bait against the beach next to the jetty, especially at night. If you don't mind some exercise, walk the length of the beach down to Grace's Point. There are fish all along it. When the wind is blowing hard from the east or south, this is a great place to hide.

3. South West Point. As the name implies, this is a point of rocks that begins the famous stretch of water that runs around the south west corner of Block Island. This water separates the hard core from the casual fly fisherman. You're going to be walking on lots of six inch to twelve inch rocks and regular beach sand is welcome sight.

Fish can be anywhere, but the Point itself is one of the few places on the island that stripers can be taken in broad daylight even during the summer. Fish it at low tide and look for fish chasing bait. Be sure to bring some surface flies, as the Point is shallow. If the wind has been blowing hard from the south for an extended period of time, weeds can be a problem. A surface fly cast right at breaking fish may be your only option when weeds are present.

4. Black Rock Beach. As we continue around the island to the south side, the bluffs get higher, the rocks get bigger, and the fishermen get fewer. If you want one place to fish for big fish, Black Rock is the place. Access is an issue. You need to drive down Snake Hole Rd. to the parking area and take the "goat trail" from the top of the bluff down to the beach. Ignore any signs that indicate that Snake Hollow Rd. is a private road. It isn't. The home owners on the road like their privacy and try to keep everyone else out. Snake Hollow Rd. itself is a challenge in that it is one big speed bump. Just take it slow and you'll do fine. Black Rock Beach and its adjoining point have deep water all around them.

More 20+ lb. striper are caught here than anywhere else on the island. Lots of hard core spin and bait fisherman visit this spot for that reason, so don't expect to be fishing alone, especially at night. You'll be the "new guy" there and fly fisherman are often looked on as a nuisance. So, pick your spot carefully and try to work the water where the beach meets the rocks. This confluence is where you'll often find the biggest fish that are closest to shore and within reach of a well cast fly.

5. Vail Beach. If you've survived the Black Rock experience, and would like to see another spot like it, but easier to get to, try Vail Beach. It's just one mile further down the south side of Block Island. There is a parking area for it right at the beginning of Snake Hole Rd. Follow the marked trail down the bluff and you will arrive on a nice sandy beach with rocks adjoining it to your right and left.

I think this spot is a better fly fishing spot even than Black Rock. The water isn't quite as deep right off the beach, but there is lots of room and plenty of big fish "visit" this area. Everyone has his favorites, but it's hard to beat Vail beach at low tide as the sun is coming up. As an FYI, I fish big flies and an 11 weight rod at any of these spots on the south side of Block. You're in "big fish' water. So don't bring an 8 weight outfit here.

6. "The Steps." There are lots of other spots to fish on the south side, but they all require more time getting up and down the ever higher bluffs and I just don't find them to be fun. The "Steps" is one of them. At Mohegan Bluffs, just west of the southeast light house, there is a series of 141 steps that take you from the top of the bluff down to the beach. I guess it's the coming back up after a night of fishing that is a bit discouraging. If you're into exercise, I guess this is the place for you. I go here only if the crowds leave me no choice.

7. The "Poop Shoot." This is one of the easiest places to fish the southeastern side of Block Island. The Poop Shoot is a hundred and fifty foot jetty that is the remains of the islands first sewage discharge pipe. The days of its use are long gone, but the jetty remains and ten foot deep water surrounds all but the closest section to the beach. Unlike other jetties, this one has a flat cement surface that allows for easy walking, however, algae is always present, so wear studded boots for traction. At high tide the waves can break over the jetty with some vengeance, so keep an eye open for larger than expected waves on the incoming tide.

The Poop Shoot resides at the southern end of Ballards beach. Once you've fished the "Shoot" you can walk the beach north for about half a mile up to the mouth of Old Harbor inlet and Ballards Restaurant. It's mostly sand with rock outcroppings that provide great cover for stripers. The balance of the south east side of the island has difficult access due to private property. Although all the beaches on Block Island are public, their access isn't always easy. This area is best fished by boat or on calmer days by kayak.

8. Crescent Beach. This is the general name for the longest beach on the Island covering over 2.4 miles in length and faces almost due east. It is almost all sand and is comprised of several sections including Town Beach, Scotch Beach, and Mansion Beach, which ends at the first real rock formation called Jeff's Point at the foot of Clay Head Bluff. Fish run the entire length of the beach, but find the best cover at the confluence of the north end of Mansion Beach and Jeff's Point.

This a great place to fish, but primarily at night. Parking is easy and the walk to the beach is flat and safe. You park the car and you're fishing within minutes. The usual "ocean side" trough in the surf exists the entire length of the beach, but where it meets the rocks at Jeff's Point, it becomes exceptional. It's easy, safe fishing and I have yet to go there at night and not catch stripers, not always big, but ten to twenty fish nights are not uncommon. I fish it mostly in the fall, but once the bathers are gone for the day in July and August, you will still have some of the best water I have found and mostly to yourself.

9. North Point Light House. As you round the northern end of Block Island from Jeff's Point, rocks and boulders become a major obstacle. There are paths that run along the high bluffs , but getting down to the water is a challenge. This water, like that of the south east side of the island is best fished by boat. However, at the northern end of Corn Neck Road there is a parking area that provides access to some "big fish" water.

The parking area is know as "Settlers Rock" and is said to be the place the first white settlers set foot on the Island. From that parking area you will see the North Point Lighthouse and to its right a dangerous looking point, called North Point. North Point a mile from the parking area and you can still see waves breaking over the sand bar. Yes, it can be fished on foot for several hundred yards at low tide and less at high tide. However, don't be fooled.

This narrow strip of sand is a major rip tide area that has claimed the lives of more than one careless person. Spectacular wave formations relentlessly attack the area and create deep drop offs on either side. Waves can sneak up on the absent minded angler as tides and winds change, so keep an eye open for the unexpected. Just remember to be careful; wear a flotation devise; and stay out of the heavy water at night. The walk from the parking lot to the point is along a sand beach for about a mile. Heavy weed beds are packed along most of its crescent shape and the majority of the fishing is within 300 yards of the Point itself. Again, the heavy wave action has produced a sizable trough within a hundred feet of the beach and stripers along with some massive blue fish patrol the area constantly. Along with South West Point, this is one place stripers can be taken during the day light hours. It's also a great place for big blue fish in the early morning during the summer months.

10. Andy's Way. If you're a kayaker, or like protected flats fishing, this is your spot. Andy's Way is a small dirt road off of Corn Neck Rd. with a parking area at the end of it. It's on all the Island maps and it's a great place to hide when the wind is blowing from the anywhere except the south. Upon arriving at Andy's way, you'll see a bunch of kayaks pulled up on a small patrolled public beach and the largest flat on the Island laying in front of you. You will actually be standing at the northern end of the Great Salt Pond and looking a mile across at the Coast Guard Station.

This area is loaded with bait fish and is easily wadable even at night. Lights from New Harbor will keep you orientated even on the darkest of nights and the stripers don't seem to mind them a bit. You'll notice one thing at night: it very quiet, except for the fish chasing all the bait. Wade slowly and stay on shore as much as possible and you will find bass pushing bait right up against the beach. Fish all the way down to the northern side of the cut by the Coast Guard Station and round the point (Beane's Point) as the sun is starting to come up. There will be "targets" everywhere.

I use a small #2 green and white Deceiver on an 8 weight with a long leader. The Deceiver works as well as anything, but these fish can be selective, so smaller can be better. Most of the fisherman will end up across from you at the Coast Guard Station Beach, crowded and pounding away, while most of the fishing opportunities will be on your side. The sun hits the CGS side first, but you will have an additional hour of good fishing before the sun gets on your water. The biggest fish I ever caught in this area was just shy of 40 inches, so don't expect all the fish here to be "schoolies."

Well, that's about it. You now know ten of my most cherished spots to fly fish for striped bass. Depending on your "energy level" and the fishing conditions now you can pick the spot that's right for you when you arrive on Block Island.

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