Fly fishing program for veterans
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the veterans organization Dare to Dream will host a fly fishing program Saturday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Narrow River, Narragansett.
The program will include instruction on forage and bait fish identification, fly casting, knot tying, equipment, and fishing. All equipment including rods, reels, flies, will be supplied but participants are encouraged to bring their own gear if they chose and must supply their own waders. Striped bass and shad will be targeted during the program. Adults and youngsters 11 years and older are eligible to participate. A fee of $15 for lunch is the total cost for the day, the program is free. To register contact Kimberly Sullivan at DEM, email her at email@example.com or call her at 401/539-0037.
Fishing after storms can be tricky
Many of us may have a touch of cabin fever after being waylaid by the remains of two hurricanes… Jose and Maria. Freshwater fishing is a good bet after a storm as the water is not as turbid and conditions are usually more tolerable with no high ocean surf.
As the weather clears here are some ‘fishing after storms’ thoughts and tips.
Be safe. Winds and rain create fast moving water on river banks and the coastal shoreline. Stay away from this water as you can get washed in particularly from high ocean surf.
A storm like the one we recently had can change fishing a lot. Some species like summer flounder (fluke) may leave the area totally. Yet others species just won’t bite. They may not bite because the water is dirty with sand that irritates the gills of fish so they stop moving around and feeding or they simply cannot see your bait in murky, cloudy water.
Storms can also create fishing opportunities with reefs, clam and mussel beds that get torn up with broken shells providing a feeding ground for many of the fish we target.
Additionally, a good storm this time of year often provides a cleansing and transition time for anglers suggesting it is time to target fall species like tautog, migrating striped bass, surface feeding bluefish, cod and false albacore.
Where’s the bite
Tautog. At press time not many anglers had targeted tautog as waters were turbid and sandy, which are not optimal for tautog fishing as the sand irrigates their gills and they remain inactive. However, Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina said, “Before the storms we had anglers hooking up with tautog in 25 to 30 feet of water in areas like the rocky bottom off Pt. Judith and along Nebraska Shoals and other rocky coastal areas.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Customers fished the Conimicut Light and Rumstick Point areas with no keeper tautog. Worms actually worked better than crabs but anglers caught all short fish in the 8 to 10 inch range.” Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “We have no reports of a great tautog bite yet, however, we did have a customer land some nice keepers this weekend in the Westport area.”
Striped bass fishing in the Bay is spotty with bluefish schools of various sizes surfacing in the Bay and along the coastal shore. Littlefield said, “One customer was trolling tube & worm out of the Warren River from Striper Marina and landed a thirty pound fish. School bass are being caught in the Barrington Beach/Rumstick Point area.” “The school bass were all over the beaches during Jose. They had schools of bait pinned up against the coastal shore so fishing there was fantastic throughout the storm,” said Cahill. Macedo said, “We had a good striped bass bite from the beaches before the storms and all are wondering if they will come back.”
False albacore fishing continues to be strong even after Jose. Cahill said, “They are a little more leader sensitive since the storm but the albies are still here. They are popping up all along the coastline from Narragansett to Watch Hill.” Many anglers believe you cannot eat false albacore but you can and it tastes pretty good if cared for and cooked properly. You do need to care for the fish by bleeding it and icing it in a saltwater ice solution when bleeding and after bleeding. See a great recipe for false albacore that On the Water magazine ran lasts year at onthewater.com/recipe-yes-can-eat-albies.
Cod/scup/fluke fishing before Jose was pretty good, Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said at the beginning of last week. Blount said, “We found a fair amount of cod into the mid-teens along with plenty of nice scup and sea bass that were released (due a temporary season closure). Some bluefish, ling and lots of good size ocean perch were mixed in as well.” Cahill said, “Monster scup are being caught at the windmills with an occasional fluke being caught too. Cox’s Ledge and Shark Ledge are holding some cod.” The scup bite in six to eight feet of water at Rumstick Point has been pretty good, said Littlefield.
Freshwater fishing continues to be good as anglers are landing largemouth bass at a number of area ponds and lakes. Littlefield said, “Two of my young customers continue to land a fair amount of catfish at Brickyard Pond in Barrington. By the photos they are sharing with me my guess is they are in the four to five pound range.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at noflukefishing.com.