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It was the third day of my second visit to Block Island, and after two fishless nights Rich Morris and I decided to put some more time into scouting the island. We hit all the spots from the night before—the Poop Chute, Southeast Light, Snake Hole, Black Rock and Southwest Point—and made both mental notes as well as written ones when something stood out that we felt might hold fish later that night. When we pulled into the little parking area at the end of Dories Cove road, we both brought a rod as some cloud cover began to settle in and a light southwest wind made for some fishy-looking water, even at the early-afternoon hour.

By Toby Lapinski

Upon entering the cove, we walked to the north and I threw a pencil popper along the way to see if anyone was home. My casts were half-hearted at best as most of my attention was focused on the structure. As I neared the outcropping of rocks at the north end of the sandy beach, my pencil popper disappeared in an explosion of water. The fish hooked itself and some 30 seconds later I had a 20-pound bass in the wash—my first Block Island striper! I made another 30 casts to the area but no one else was there so Rich and I continued our scouting mission before eventually heading back to our rental house for dinner. I wish I could say that we slammed the bass that night, but as happens so often when fishing on Block the fish were just not home.

Dories Cove is a roughly 1/4-mile long bowl located on the western side of Block Island. There is a large rock directly in front of the access path, and this marks the beginning of the rockier section of the bowl that stretches to the south, ultimately ending in Martins Point. To the north—where the fish from the earlier story was landed—is another rocky point that begins a stretch of rocky, shallow shoreline along which striped bass can often be found cruising. Eventually you will reach Graces Point, located about 1/2 mile to the north of the no-name point in Dories.
Fish can be found at any time along just about every inch of Dories Cove, but I generally concentrate my efforts at the points on the north and south ends of the cove. Deciding which one to try first is usually dictated by the presence, or lack thereof, of another caster at one or the other spot, but given my choice I will head south and fish on the corner as the tide drops out. This is often one of those “night-saving” spots for me as it quite often holds at least a few schoolies. Other nights, however, some very large bass can be found cruising the shoreline, perhaps making a quick run in from a slew of famous boat spots just a few fin strokes to the west.
Plug selection is no different than anywhere else on the island, and the usual line-up of darters, needles and Finnish swimmers are all good choices as are eels in any form that suit your fancy. Many prefer the ebb at Dories—and I must say that my best nights have been on this tide—but I always make a few casts regardless of the tide stage if the fishing is slow and I’m in hunting mode.

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