Hot Spot: Flint Point Ledge - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: Flint Point Ledge

FLINT-POINT

It’s a good bet that whoever named Flint Point Ledge off Middletown’s Third Beach was not a striper fisherman. There are actually three high spots that qualify for ledge status, and I have seldom found any of them to be less than productive. It was always the first choice whenever we headed west out of Sakonnet Point and for good reason. The ledge closest to the Flint Point comes up a bit shallower than the 7-foot depth listed on the NOAA chart and the 20-foot gravel bottom to the southwest has given up some impressive fluke, even for those who were not targeting the toothy fluke. The Flint Point Ledges are a great spot to troll a tube and worm rig while slow trolling (around 2.5 Knots) there has resulted in catches of stripers in the 30-pound class, fluke up to 8 pounds and more worm stealing black sea bass than we care to count. It is also one of the first places we look for tautog as they move into the rivers and bays from their offshore winter haunts during the spring and on their way back out during the fall exodus.

In late-November of 2023 heavy southwesterlies nixed an ocean tog trip off Newport for a friend hoping to make one last outing before shrink wrapping his boat so he called me for some advice. The Newport oceanfront and the east shore of the Sakonnet River were heaving with white water so I suggested the deeper northeasterly structure of the Flints Ledges where he set up his Minn Kota spot lock right on the edge of the 15-foot mark and caught their 10 fish limit while releasing numerous smaller keepers. One of the photos he sent me that evening was of a big deep purple knot head sea bass that ate the whole green crab his deckmate was fishing. Whenever the afternoon southwesterlies created drifts too fast for one of my favorite fluke runs from the Sakonnet Point Light to the end of the first breakwater fish trap we headed for the lee shore off Flint Point. Once there, we drifted the gravel bottom from 20 to 23 feet of water and as close as we could alongside the ledges to bounce our offerings in those edge spots where the larger fluke love to ambush. Many years ago my deckmate Artie Benfeito caught a 20-pound bass there on a fluke rig and in the same week caught an 8-pound fluke trolling the tube and worm alongside the middle 17-foot high spot.

The three high spots on Flint Point are an excellent place to toss a big Doc or Danny plug where those rips set up around the structure. When I first began fishing there many years ago there were more than a few lobster pots on the grounds but last year as the inshore lobstering has fallen off there was plenty of room to make a clean pass. The area from the shoreline of Flint Point all the way south to Sachuest Point is one of the best places you could toss a plug into. One top notch New Jersey angler I brought here a few years ago claimed this was a School Bus yellow plug area and dug out two of his favorite surface swimmers. It took about an hour to make the first run up to Sachuest as I held the boat in tight and allowed him to cast. He caught stripers from schoolies to teen-sized specimens that came out from behind the boulders that lurk just under that surface all along that shoreline.

When it was time to leave he said he could not believe we had this place to ourselves and that if this was Jersey this would be a very crowded location. On mornings when there is a light southerly breeze you can drift from the knob at the tip of Sachuest Point down to the tip of Flint Point casting plugs or as one friend prefers, casting live eels. On occasion you are likely to encounter surf fishermen soaking bait or plugging from those little openings along the aforementioned stretch. Remember you have mobility, and they don’t so skip the occupied areas and give them a break. Either way, you’re likely to find fish, more often than not.

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