At press time, the New England Saltwater Fishing Show being held from March 10 to 12 at the Rhode Island Convention Center is already a record breaker, with booth sales revenue the highest it has ever been. The show is the largest saltwater fishing show of its type in the Northeast, featuring tackle, rods, reels, lures, electronics, charter guides, boats, motors, accessories, clothes and much more.
“We have over 300 booths sold at this point and have experienced an increase in large displays for boats, too,” said Greg Vespe, executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (show sponsors). “You can feel it in the air. Exhibitors are excited and stepping up with some great show specials, and anglers can’t wait to get ready for a great season of fishing, with the latest products and some new fishing strategies and tactics they learn from show seminars.”
Seminar topics will include everything from offshore Canyon tactics to inshore tips and tricks for black sea bass. Speakers will cover locations from Boston Harbor to the Connecticut River and everywhere in between. Accomplished charter captains, authors and local sharpies are all pitching in to cover topics of interest.
Visit www.nesaltwatershow.com or RISAA’s Facebook page for updates on seminar topics and speakers. By taking a little time to plan your show visit you can make sure you are at the show for the presentations you want to see and visit the booths that have products you want to check out and buy.
The New England Saltwater Fishing Show is being held at the Rhode Island Convention Center from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 12.
Children 11 and under are admitted free, and Sunday, March 12, will be Family Day, with all women admitted free. Visit the Kids Casting Area on Saturday and Sunday for casting and other games.
All adults who enter the show can register to win a Free Fishing Charter Trip with Archangel Fishing Charters with Capt. Mike Littlefield.
Get tickets in advance at www.ticketmaster.com or at the door for $12. Friday is Military Appreciation Day. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the first 200 veterans and active duty personnel who arrive on Friday will be admitted free.
Parking is available at the Convention Center Parking Garage and at Providence Place Mall.
Scup/black sea bass to get 10% cut
Rhode Island held its public hearing on black sea bass, scup and other recreational species regulations on Monday night. However, in Massachusetts the Division of Marine Fisheries is holding a virtual public scoping meeting regarding the setting of 2023 recreational measures for scup and black sea bass on Monday, March 13, 2023, 6:30 p.m. online via Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JN44Zvd9SByvCcKhJBC_nQ.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) recently voted to implement coastwide changes in recreational regulations for scup and black sea bass in 2023. Both species are subject to mandatory 10% recreational harvest reductions. The states of Massachusetts through North Carolina are following ASMFC regional management processes to develop state regulatory options to achieve the coastwide harvest reductions.
On March 13, DMF will collect public input on the ASMFC-approved range of options developed for Massachusetts’ recreational scup and black sea bass fisheries to meet the required reductions. (Written comment may also be provided through March 15, as described below.)
The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission will provide DMF with feedback regarding a preferred management approach at its next business meeting on March 21. It is expected that DMF will be able to announce the anticipated rules shortly thereafter, which will be implemented by emergency rulemaking given the short timeline for state compliance for the 2023 fishing season.
Directions for providing public input
You must register online in advance to attend the virtual meeting on March 13; after registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information to join the meeting. Register online at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JN44Zvd9SByvCcKhJBC_nQ?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Those unable to attend the meeting or preferring to submit written input can e-mail Director Daniel McKiernan at email@example.com. Such e-mail must be received by Wednesday, March 15, to be considered by DMF in selecting the preferred management approach.
For more information, contact Nichola Meserve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass. Todd Corayer, expert kayak angler and fishing writer, said, “I continue to catch keeper size striped bass in South County salt ponds and estuaries as the water is still fairly warm (39 to 41 degrees) with a good amount of bait still present.” East End Eddie Doherty said, “Herring showed up in the Taunton River in Middleboro last week, so I received a lot of texts and calls from excited anglers who were taking it to be the first sign of spring, hoping the striped bass would follow suit early and chase the bait. Who knows - maybe slots plus in April!”
Cod fishing south of Cape Cod is still open. Party boats fishing for cod this winter include the Frances Fleet at www.francesfleet.com and the Island Current at www.islandcurrent.com .
Freshwater fishing has been good, as not many have fished ponds in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that were stocked in fall and early winter. For licenses and trout/salmon waterway stocking information in Rhode Island visit www.dem.ri.gov/fishing, and in Massachusetts www.mass.gov/service-details/trout-stocking-report .
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. Forward fishing news and photos to email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com.