Spring fishing is hot....time to cast a line
It’s spring and the fishing is great. Opening day of the freshwater fishing season was a big hit and anglers are catching school striped bass in southern Rhode Island saltwater ponds, coves and rivers.
If you missed opening day Saturday it is okay as there are plenty of fish left to catch. Jeremy Barton of Narragansett said, “There weren’t nearly as many anglers fishing Saturday morning at Silver Spring Lake in North Kingstown but the fishing was very good. And you had a lot more elbow room fishing from shore.”
Not only was the fishing good but the size of the stocked trout were larger than usual. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said stocking efforts were successful. “We had a father/son and an uncle/ nephew team come in for photographs for our Facebook page. All four of them limited out on trout (five fish/person). Trout fishing was good at Melville Pond, Portsmouth and Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside.”
“Mike Laboissioniere of North Providence caught a 2 pound trout at Olney Pond, Lincoln. Rich Andrews landed with a 27”, three pound trout on opening day and Alicia DeAngelis caught her limit of trout in just a couple of hours at Silver Spring Lake using PowerBait on a size 14 snelled treble hook eighteen inches above a bass sinker. The fish are plentiful and they seem larger this year,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence.
Fishing after the start of opening day did not deter John Soloyna of Warwick who caught a nice rainbow trout and a brown trout in about 60 minutes when he started fishing at 1 p.m. And, Tim Jacobs of Richmond who caught two nice rainbow trout at 2 p.m. said, “I’m using a trout spinner bait with a very slow retrieve rate.” Soloyna landed two fish in five minutes as I watched him from shore.
There should be plenty of fish this year as the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) stocked 80,000 trout into 100 Rhode Island waterways. A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or 'fly-fishing only' area.
It’s easy to get set up to freshwater fish. You can get your license and trout stamp online in five minutes. You can also purchase licenses at town and city halls, many bait and tackle shops and at any Benny’s store. Many retailers offer anglers the advantage of one stop shopping, meaning you can get your license, bait and tackle with just one stop.
Visit dem.ri.gov for licensing information and locations, a list of waterways that have been stocked with trout and details on regulations.
In regard to saltwater fishing, On-The-Water magazine’s striped bass migration tracker
(onthewater.com/striper-migration-map) shows school striped bass are working their way north up the Connecticut coastline. However, Jason Howell, Narragansett fished the Narrow River in Narragansett this weekend and landed school striped bass. Last week Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “School striped bass were being caught in the saltwater ponds in southern county.”
Saltwater Edge Trash Bag Challenge
Earth Day is April 22nd and it may be time for your fishing club to participate in the Trash Bag Challenge. Perter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge said, “If your club cleans up a local shore access point or a popular fishing spot the Saltwater Edge Trash Bag Challenge is a great way to win some prizes for club events.”
“Trash along our shorelines and around our access points is a problem for our coastal communities. Trash from numerous sources including fisherman can fuel a desire to limit access to the water. Plastic is the biggest offender,” said Jenkins.
The Trash Bag Challenge is open to all saltwater fishing clubs. To participate simply clean up your local fishing spot and enter a photo of your club members with your bags of trash. The biggest pile with the most members wins one of three Saltwater Edge Gift Certificates valued at $200, $150 and $100.
Enter by emailing the images to firstname.lastname@example.org or post your photos on Instagram.
Tautog season opens April 15
The tautog season opens Saturday, April 15. The minimum size is 16” with three split seasons: from April 15 to May 31 (3 fish/person daily limit); August 1 to October 14 (3 fish/person daily limit); and October 15 to December 15 (6 fish/person daily limit). A fishery-wide closure, to protect the fish during their spawning period, will be in effect from June 1 to July 31. At all times when the fishery is open, there is a limit of 10 fish/vessel daily limit (superseding the per-person limits). Party and charter boats are subject to the same regulations, except they are not subject to the 10 fish/vessel limit.
Where’s the bite
Striped bass. School striped bass ae being caught in southern coastal ponds and rivers like Narrow River, Narragansett. However, it is early and hard to tell if these are migrating fish or hold-over fish from the winter.
Tautog season opens April 15.
“Cod fishing has been spotty and the water was cloudy from storms earlier in the week.” said Dianne Valerien of the Seven B’s Party Boat. Capt. Matt Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “We fished last week but the water was still churned up from last weekend's big storm. Fishing was quite slow with a few handfuls of market cod fish up to 8 lbs. However, tons of bait were noted on the local grounds which is always a good sign.”
Freshwater fishing has been focused on trout and opening day (see above story). However, early signs are that the largemouth bite is good and picking up too.
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.