IS­LAND TIME

Sport Fishing - - NEWS -

Nar­ra­gansett In­di­ans first set­tled Block Is­land, call­ing it Manisses, which trans­lates to “is­land of the lit­tle god,” ac­cord­ing to is­land tourism of­fi­cials. Dutch ex­plorer Adrian Block sailed to the is­land in the early 1600s and gave the place its cur­rent name. To­day, vis­i­tors can ac­cess Block Is­land by high-speed ferry. Pas­sen­ger-only ves­sels leave from Point Ju­dith and New­port, Rhode Is­land, and from Fall River, Mas­sachusetts. If you want to cross with your car, you must leave out of Point Ju­dith. The is­land fea­tures two bait shops as well as two mari­nas that can ac­com­mo­date boats: New Har­bor, ac­ces­si­ble on the western side of the is­land, and Old Har­bor on the east­ern side. New Har­bor of­fers dock­age and moor­ings, while Old Har­bor is more of a ferry port with some moor­ing op­tions and lim­ited fa­cil­i­ties. Both put you closer to the fish­ing ac­tion than leav­ing from the main­land. Re­mem­ber, when fish­ing Block Is­land, you must stay within a 3-mile zone of the is­land (in state wa­ters) to legally fish for striped bass. The fish­ery for striped bass in fed­eral wa­ters has been closed since 1990. Law-en­force­ment boats pa­trol those wa­ters on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Also, when the fish­ing heats up mid­sum­mer, boat traf­fic in­creases, par­tic­u­larly at the South­west Ledge. On one par­tic­u­lar Septem­ber morn­ing, I could have counted prob­a­bly 300 boats fish­ing the ledge, but at night, traf­fic drops off sig­nif­i­cantly. For more gen­eral in­for­ma­tion on Block, visit the Block Is­land Tourism web­site at

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