No Fluke

Agency takes emergency action on striped bass

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Last Tuesday, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved a new emergency slot size limit to be implemented this year of 28” to less than 31”, one fish/person/day. Presently we have a 28” to less than 35” slot size. 

The emergency action was necessary because of last year’s striped bass catch rates, which were found to have increased by more than 1,000,000 bass from the prior year. This increase caused a significant reduction in probability of the current rebuilding plan as required by law to effectively rebuild the stock.

The action requires states to implement the new 31” maximum size as soon as possible and no later than July 2. At press time, neither Rhode Island nor Massachusetts had announced when the new slot size regulation would be implemented.

Freshwater fly-fishing workshop

The DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold its annual Adult Introduction to Freshwater Fly-Fishing program for ages 17 and older this month. Hosted by the division's Aquatic Resource Education (ARE) program, the workshop will be held at Addieville East Farm, Mapleville, R.I., on Saturday, May 13, fro 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The workshop is $30 per person and includes lunch and all fly fishing equipment. The program will cover Basic Entomology, Fly Tying, Fly Casting, Basic Knots, and fish in a freshly stocked trout pond after lunch. To register, contact Kimberly Sullivan at Kimberly.Sullivan@dem.ri.gov or call 401-539-0037. Volunteers to help run the program should call Kimberly to register as well.

Economic workshop points to electronic data collection

Last week NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Recreational Economic Constituent Workshop was held in Tampa, Fla., with an online option, which I attended.

Private anglers, the charter fishing industry, NOAA and regional scientists/economists, fish mangers and fishing industry leaders attended the two-day workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to enhance the understanding of how economics plays a role in management decisions and identity gaps; how can stakeholders improve recreational fishing economic data collection; and identify tangible ways anglers can help collect data and share information in the future.

Doug Lipton, NOAA’s chief economist for the NMFS, said, “I believe electronic data recording and gathering methods discussed at the workshop can help identify climate impacts on recreational fishing as well as fisheries in offshore wind farm areas.” 

I agree. We need new methods like electronic data gathering by anglers to get a real time assessment of climate impacts on fish stocks. I believe that recreational fishing and offshore wind developers would benefit from scientific data on who fishes in a wind farm lease area, what they catch and the economic impact of the catch.

A report is expected to be posted on NOAA’s website. A Google folder link that contains the workshop agenda and presentations is at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1B4EgPWoZBErUfLYejLeTD6iqOkNtaM5a

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass: Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author East End Eddie Doherty said, “Striped bass fishing is heating up on the Canal, with large fish being caught by many. Angler Kenny Nevens of Sagamore Beach caught ten slots to 34 ½ inches that were fooled by a bone-colored Daiwa SP Minnow.”

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “The striped bass bite continues to be outstanding in the East Passage from Poppasquash Point, Bristol, all the way up the Providence and Seekonk rivers.”

Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, caught a 35-pound striped bass in Narragansett Bay last week.  Jeff said, “The bass fishing continues to improve in the Bay, with some large fish being caught.”

Fred DeFinis of Middletown, who fished last week with Jim Lundy, said, “East Passage loaded with stripers from the marina in Melville up to Colt Park and the Barrington shore. Also Warwick Neck extending to Seminary Cove and Rocky Point as well. Soft plastics such as the Fin-S or Cocahoe minnow work well.”

I fished Saturday with Steve Burstein of North Kingstown. We caught multiple bass to 30” with tube and worm in Greenwich Bay.

Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Fishing for stripers continues to be great, with fish taking a variety of baits. Bass up to around 38 inches are being caught from the surf to back in the ponds. Fly fisherman have been having great success fooling fish with smaller silverside and shrimp presentations.”

Tautog

Tautog fishing remains very good in the Providence River and in both the West and East Passages of the Bay.  Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “Tautog fishing is getting into full swing here on the south shore, with the fish moving into the shallows to spawn. This gives shore anglers a great opportunity, and they won't say no to a clam or sandworm dropped in front of them. If you are traveling through the backwaters this weekend, keep your eyes pealed for cinder warm hatches “spawnings.”

Freshwater

Stocked ponds continue to produce nice trout for anglers of all ages. “The prespawn largemouth bass bite is very strong, so fishing freshwater is outstanding, with many anglers using shiners at this point in time,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick. For license and stocking information in RI visit www.dem.ri.gov/fishing and in MA 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 dmontifish@verizon.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com.

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