If you have not spent time on Block Island in the fall, you should. There is less traffic on the roads, the beaches are not as congested, the locals are, well, friendlier, and the fishing can’t be beat.
Let’s face it — fresh fish and Rhode Island go hand-in-hand. Locally caught fish is a seafood lovers dream — and September and October is a choice time to take advantage of Block Island’s coastal bounty. Block Island is a treasure for Rhode Island anglers and those visiting the island to fish.
I met up with Capt. Matt King of Hula Charters after chatting with him about his plans for the fall and his burning desire to capture anglers from around the country, especially in the land-locked west, to come and experience the best fishing in New England, in one of the best seasons of the year — the fall.
Capt. Matt guides anglers to some of the best fishing on the East Coast. He has built a reputation as a captain that has the knowledge, experience, and perseverance to find fish in the most challenging conditions.
Capt. Matt grew up in Narragansett, R.I. fishing in the waters of Southern R.I. As a kid, he fished with some of the great surfcasters of our rocky coastline. In the mid 1990s, he moved to Hawaii, attended culinary school, and pursued a career as a respected chef in some of the best island restaurants. When he wasn’t in the kitchen, King was surfing, fishing, or sailing.
In the summer of 2000, and again in 2001, King returned from Hawaii to chef at Block Island’s popular Eli’s restaurant, owned by his friend Dave Silverburg. It was at that point that he realized that his true calling was to be back in R.I. By 2003, Hula Charters was in full swing and reeling ‘em in.
King was owner of two local establishments, favored by the locals — Juice & Java, and then Topside Café — where he created his amazing Poke dishes and shaved Hawaiian Ice. The ultimate sale of both establishments meant his focus was solely on his charter business.
Currently, Capt. Matt is focusing his time and talents on creating a destination fishing adventure while teaming up with the Bellevue House for a fall fishing package in the shoulder seasons — in June and then again in the fall. False albacore, Bonita and striped bass are great catches in September! Although Hula’s fishing charters run from May through October, the calm of the island’s off-season is a prime time to book a trip.
Capt. Matt has perfected the art of fly-casting and has brought that particular skill set to Block Island — sight fishing — fly-fishing the Block’s shallows for elusive stripers and false albacore. The slow-down of the busy summer months allows Hula’s Flats boat to get into the Great Salt Pond for this.
Block Island is also one of the best surf-casting spots on the East Coast, and local anglers always do well by fishing the beaches along the western and southern shores. The best action typically comes at night or dawn, and especially when a swell is running. Capt. Matt can tell you the hot spots to hit while on island.
With a commercial seafood dealer’s license, King is able to sell his catch to local restaurants — this season he supplied fish to The Beachead, Finn’s, Tigerfish and Poor People’s Pub — look for the “B.I Caught” logo on the menu, fresh local fish compares to non other.
Capt. Matt is fully licensed and insured, certified in CPR and a member of the Rhode Island Angler’s Association. Matt is a Coast Guard certified Captain, and a member of the Block Island Chamber of Commerce. His loyal following keeps him busy so call early to reserve your trip.
What’s next for Capt. Matt? He has not abandoned his love of cooking — perhaps a new restaurant? King loves to write — possibly a new book? His love of being on the water is insatiable — maybe a new boat? Follow Capt. Matt and Hula Charters on Instagram and Facebook to see what next.
Why not come out to the island this fall? If you do, give Capt. Matt a call — life is short — book that trip.
For more information on Capt. Matt and Hula Charters visit hulacharters.com or call (401) 263- FISH (3474)