Located on the western side of Sharks Ledge, these spots produce cod year-round as well as bluefish, black sea bass and more in-season.
I previously discussed the 30 Line in a Hot Spot feature (October 2020) which covered some key numbers on the eastern side of Sharks Ledge’s. The Apple Tree and Camelback are key spots more to the western edge of Sharks Ledge, located approximately four and half miles south of Block Island.
The Apple Tree is located around 41-04-09/71-30-56 and can offer good action with cod, cusk, and black sea bass on the bottom, while offering a shot at bluefish and bonito further up in the column in-season. Winter or early spring is the time to look for a few cod here. You may find your share of cusk in addition to cod, but they are also tasty and can give a good fight. Look around 41-03-11.7/71-30-42.0 or 41-04-16.4/71-31-42.9.
In late August and September we often find a school of bait or blues on the bottom and anchor up above them. With a stream of butterfish we could entice schools of bonito to the boat and have a blast catching them on light tackle. I don’t see a lot of guys still doing this and I myself have focused on some other areas as of late but I suspect that you could still find some bonito this way. Look around 41-04-35.6/71-31-09.5 for blues and or bonito. Light lines and small live bait hooks are the key to getting bites from these fish with keen eyesight. You may lose a few with light line, but it’s better to get a lot of bites and lose a few than to get very few bites.
In the late fall this area can provide for some excellent black sea bass action, producing some big sea biscuits on either jigs or bait. The peak of Sharks Ledge is located at 41-04-31.8/71-31-21.3 and should offer a good starting point to find sea bass. Staying over the hard bottom and shortening your drift or anchoring when you find a concentration of fish will up your score. This is a great spot to intercept these fish as they start their offshore migration in the late fall, too.
The Camelback is a pair of humps (hence the nickname) located around 41-04-44.1/71-29-14.8. These humps have held a fair number of cod and even a good number of jumbo pollock when that fishery was healthier. Anglers looking to anchor up and bottom fish can find a few cod around 41-04-34.3/71-29-19.6 or 41-04-02.5/71-28-36.4. Pay attention to your sounder to make sure that you’re getting over the structure on bottom. I would mainly look for the cod to be here December to May, but if we get some good concentrations of bait look for them at any time of the year. If heading offshore and looking for a few bluefish as shark bait, then keep your eyes open as you pass 41-04-00.6/71-28-33.5—you might just find what you’re looking for!
Both of these spots are on the way home for offshore trips south of the Island and can be a quick stop for some different action. It you want to hit a few bottom fish before stopping for some bass at Southwest Ledge, it’s a close location. Remember these spots are in Federal waters so don’t do your bass fishing first if you’re going to keep any!