Take-a-Kid Fishing big success
“Double hook up”, “Fish on at Sally Rock”, “The bluefish are going for anything small and shiny.” This was the sound of a successful fishing trip Saturday as I listened to the marine radio on my boat. It was another successful Take-a-Kid fishing trip held last Saturday in Greenwich Bay sponsored the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association.
The aim of the program is to give children a chance to learn about Narragansett Bay and the environment, experience the thrill of catching a fish and ride on a boat in saltwater. Eighty one children, 41 volunteer vessels and about 150 volunteers served as mates, logistics volunteers, cooks, servers and cleaners. The children were treated to hotdogs and hamburgers which capped off a very successful day on the water.
Steve Medeiros, RISAA president said, “The day was a big success, the weather cooperated although we had some recreation departments cancel due to the threat of bad weather. The bluefish cooperated as well as the bite was good with all catching fish. We teach the children about the value of catch and release but many of them want to take the fish home and that’s OK. So we accommodate them and offer to clean and fillet the fish and make sure we have plenty of ice and bags available so kids can take the fish home.”
Brewer Cowesett Marina in Warwick once again donated their facilities to host the event. RISAA has held TAK fishing day for twenty years.
Council and Commission to consider transit provision
A joint action on a black sea bass transit zone between Block Island and the Rhode Island mainland is being considered by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).
Under current regulations when scup and black sea bass recreational fisheries are closed in federal waters but open in state waters, vessels may not transit federal waters with scup or black sea bass caught in state waters. This has been problematic in Block Island Sound from September 22 – October 21 when black sea bass is closed in federal waters.
State waters in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York are open to black sea bass fishing during that time. Anglers fishing in state waters around Block Island must pass through federal waters to return to the mainland. If they retain any black sea bass, they are in violation of the federal regulations while they pass through federal waters, even if those fish were legally caught in state waters.
This has not been an issue for summer flounder as federal waters regulations for summer flounder are waived under conservation equivalency. It has also not been an issue for scup in recent years as the federal waters scup season has been open year-round since 2012.
Also, commercial vessels with state-only permits face potential obstacles when transiting between RI state waters around Block Island and state waters along the mainland.
Bob Ballou, chairman of the Rhode Island Marine Fishers Council and assistant to the Janet Coit, Director of the Department of Environmental Management said, “Next steps will include further development of alternatives by staff in June and July; a Public Hearing Document/Draft Addendum is expected to be approved by the Council and Commission in August; with public hearings taking place in Fall so a final joint action can occur as early as December 2018.”
Proposed alternatives may include status quo, use of the current striped bass transit zone or the use of a narrow zone running north and south from Block Island to the Rhode Island mainland. A variety of conditions will be considered including what species the zone is applicable for, good for recreational and/or commercial fishing; and would the law apply to state-permitted vessels only or duel state-federally permitted vessels.
Where’s the bite
Striped bass/bluefish. Striped bass fishing has been spotty. Good days and bad days. George Allen, noted local fishermen fished off Newport earlier this week and did not hook up. However, on the weekend John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “We weighed in a 42 pound bass caught off Prudence Island with tube & worm Saturday. Some nice fish in the 15 to 20 pound range were caught at Ohio Ledge and Conimicut Light using either chucks of Atlantic menhaden or live lining them. And, a customer caught a 30 pound bass using clam tongue fishing off Sabin’s Point.” The bluefish bite (fish in the 1.5 to 2 pound range) has been outstanding. Anglers fishing the RISAA Take-a-Kid fishing event Saturday could not keep fish off the hook using small silver lures like Kastmaster and Deadly Dicks.
Summer Flounder (fluke)/black sea bass/scup. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “After weeks of throwing back 4-5 pounders, black sea bass are finally going in to the coolers as the season is open. The fluke fishing has remained on the good side. There have been huge balls of sand eels on the grounds. With these huge bait balls we are finding a new body of fluke showing up ready to bend some rods. The catching action has been great with many anglers catching upwards of 25 shorts on half day trip. The quality of the fish has been great as well with many, many fish in the 4-7 pound range. One angler reported catching his limit with a 10.4, 8.6, 8.1 7.2 and a 5 pound fish.” Littlefield said, “Fluke fishing at Warwick Light has been mixed. Ohio Ledge and Conimicut Light have been yielding large black sea bass. The scup bite continues to be strong with 10 to 15 inch fish being caught at Colt State Park, Ohio Ledge and at the Mt. Hope Bridge.”
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com or e-mail him with your fishing news and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.