Fishing tournament for visually impaired; bass fishing looking up
The RI Lions Sight Foundation (RILSF) will be hosting their 10th Annual Fishing Tournament for Visually Impaired Persons (VIPs) on June 25 aboard the Frances Fleet party boat in Galilee.
The half-day tournament is free to the VIPs and their guides and includes gifts, breakfast and the half-day of fishing from 8 a.m. to noon. The fishing tournament will be followed by lunch and an awards ceremony at the Hanks’ Down South restaurant. The three top winners will be eligible to represent Rhode Island at the Lions National VIP Fishing Tournament held on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
There are over 2,500 visually impaired persons in Rhode Island so organizers are urging readers to pass along information about this opportunity. For information and registration forms visit lions4sight.org or call Ken Barthelemy at 401/447-4228.
NEFMC to hold coral public hearing
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) will hold seven public hearings on its Draft Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. The aim of the hearings is to collect input from fishermen and other stakeholders on the alternatives being considered to protect corals in the inshore and offshore Gulf of Maine and in the offshore canyon/slope region south of Georges Bank. The Rhode Island hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, 1 to 3 p.m. at the URI Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett.
DEM workshop for fishermen nets some good ideas
It was about half way thought the commercial fishing workshop last Tuesday night at the URI Bay Campus when fisherman John Walker recommended a change in license use regulations that made a lot of sense to most fishermen and Department of Environmental Management (DEM) staff persons in the room.
The issue was allowing two licensed fishermen fishing on the same vessel to each take their allowable catch limit (this is done now with select species). Walker said, “When you think about the amount of fuel, the added carbon pollution and cost we incur each time we fish it makes a lot of sense to allow two licenses to work one boat… it cuts expenses in half and is a lot safer.”
Fisherman Greg Duckworth said, “This recommendation makes a lot of sense to me, whatever we have to do to make it work should be explored.” DEM is taking the suggestion under advisement and will explore if and how such a change could be implemented.
Another proposed regulation discussed at the meeting was a regulation similar to one that exists now for lobster pots. The regulation would prevent all pots such as eel and crab pots from being raised an hour after sunset and more than an hour before sunrise. The aim of the proposal would be to prevent poaching, however, fishermen felt the regulation would be restrictive as some fishermen now raise their pots early morning to sell crabs, or set them a dusk, etc.
Workshops such as the one held Tuesday night are designed to seek fishermen input on regulations. Regulations and proposals discussed will be explored further and presented at a public hearing in June.
Where’s the bite
Striped bass fishing continues to improve with school bass being caught with keeper size bass mixed in throughout the region. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “Customers have focused on the Pawcatuck River with high winds this weekend, we have a lot of school bass and bunker in the River but not large bass yet.” Anglers are catching school bass with keepers mixed in from Watch Hill to Narragansett. Noted author and striped bass surf fishing expert Steve McKenna (an associate at Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown) said, “I’ve been out ten times so far and last week caught 70 fish on an outing and my first keeper of the year, a 31” fish.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Jeff Henderson caught a 32” striped bass in the Providence River using a white Slug-Go and another customer caught a 32” fish in the bay using a pencil popper. So the larger bass are in the bay with soft plastics and surface lures working best.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Anglers fishing the Barrington and White Church Bridges have caught 28” and 29” striped bass using clam tongue and worms.”
Tautog fishing opened up a lot this week. Littlefield said, “Conimicut Light was hot this week with anglers catching their limit of three fish with a one to four keeper ratio, which is not bad for this time of year. The bite was also good at the day marker north of Conimicut Light. The keeper ratio was not as good there but anglers were catching keepers.” Henault said, “Tautog were thick at Conimicut Light with Capt. Billy Silvia catching limits for charter customers this week. If the fish are there they have to be up the river too at places like Save the Bay and Field’s Point.”
Squid fishing has been on and off this week with fish being caught at Pt. Judith and off the Goat Island causeway in Newport.
Freshwater fishing was expected to explode this weekend due to Free Fishing Weekend and restocking of six waterways with trout and golden trout. However, fishing was off due to high winds and cold weather. Anglers that fished did catch trout and largemouth bass with an excellent carp bite that continues. Henault said, “Pulaski State Park has been very good for trout and some very large carp continue to be taken in ponds and lakes. Customer Ronnie Lippe landed a 31 pound carp last week using a pop-up bait.”
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit his website at noflukefishing.com.