The excitement was building outside the New England Saltwater Fishing Show exhibition hall at the Rhode Island Convention Center earlier this month as hundreds of anglers waited in line for the show to open.
Once the doors opened at 12:30 p.m. the traffic was non-stop for quite a while. I worked the Saltwater Anglers Foundation booth at show opening next to Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures’ booth and the action was nonstop.
Dustin Stevens, a pro guide and owner of RI Kayak Fishing Adventures and a Kayak Centre of RI (North Kingstown) said, “The traffic was pretty good from the start. Both Kayak Fishing Adventures and the Kayak Centre of RI had great shows. We had a lot of interest at the booth with folks inquiring about booking us, and the seminars we gave on kayak fishing were well attended and received.”
Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said Friday, “Traffic has been very good with lots of people in our booth. Things are going well.”
Greg Vespe, Tiverton resident, who is executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association and show director, said, “What a great start to the fishing season for all. If the show is any indication, it is going to be a great fishing season. We had over 10,000 people attend — about 1,000 more than last year — and last year was our first year back after COVID.”
Said Capt. Brian Bacon of Big Game Fishing Charters, South Kingstown, “We were nonstop in the booth and just about sold out of offshore charters from those wanting to target tuna. And, we did really well booking inshore charters, too. The seminars we hosted were packed, so it was a very, very good show. We attend shows in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, and this show here in Rhode Island is always the best of them all.”
Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, experienced a very busy show too. “We sold a lot of everything we brought. Rods, reels and lures were all selling well,” said Nick Krajewski of Quaker Lane.
“This show is amazing. I cannot believe all the people that came out to support us and all the other venders. It’s the number one show in New England. So, if you are not here you are losing out,” said Bill Trudell of Feindell Custom Lures.
Al Gags of Al Gags Lures said, “It’s a great organization that puts this together. I am so proud to be a part of it.”
Vespe added: “It was very gratifying to have our old venders back who may have missed a year or two due to COVID. And, see a host of new venders too. About 35 more booths than last year, for a total of over 300 booths. We signed a bunch of venders up for next year, too. To me this is a great compliment to have venders or those attending the show say I’ll be back next year.”
Doherty to present at Fishing Show
East End Eddie Doherty, a Cape Cod Canal fishing expert, will present “Surfcasting the Cape Cod Canal for Striped Bass” at the Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show on Saturday, March 25, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Conn. His presentation will feature photos by surfcaster John Doble.
Doherty, of Mattapoisett and a former North Attleboro, Mass. resident, is a fishing writer and Falmouth Enterprise columnist, and he is author of “Seven Miles After Sundown,” which was announced on Amazon as the #1 New Release in Fishing and selected as an award-winning finalist for the American Bookfest in the Sports Category at the 2019 International Book Awards in Los Angeles.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater fishing has been good, as not many have fished ponds in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that were stocked in fall and early winter. Bruce Miller of Canal Bait & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “Peter’s Pond and others stocked last week and this week have been producing trout customers. Spoons seem to be working well for anglers.”
Both Falls Pond and Whiting Ponds in North Attleboro were stocked with trout last week. 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. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com.