No Fluke

Fishing the Cape Cod Canal


If you ever wanted to learn how to fish one of the greatest striped bass fisheries in the nation, the Cape Cod Canal, now is your chance. East End Eddie Doherty is a Cape Cod Canal fishing expert. He also happens to be an excellent fishing author, fish advocate and speaker. On Monday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. he will be the speaker at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association seminar conducted on Zoom.

Doherty will talk about his experiences fishing the Cape Cod Canal along with his favorite strategies and tactics for targeting striped bass from shore on the Cape Cod Canal and all along the eastern seaboard. He has fished with the best and writes and talks about his experiences.

He is author of Seven Miles After Sundown, a book about surfcasting for striped bass along the Cape Cod Canal. His fishing writing has also been publish in Cape Cod Magazine, On The Water, The Fisherman Magazine, Cape Cod Times, the Boston Globe and a host of others.

Ed Doherty has been a major contributor to my fishing column for a few years now, keeping us all informed on what is happening at the Canal. He has a wonderful personality and is a colorful speaker. You won’t want to miss his presentation.

Visit the Nov. 30 event calendar at to pre-register for the event, once you register you will receive an email with your special pass code. RISAA members attend free, non-members will be asked to make a $10 donation to the RISAA scholarship fund in advance of the seminar by calling the RISAA office at 401/826-2121.

River access better than ever

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Wood-Pawcatuck Wild & Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council (WPWSRSC) are working in partnership to increase public awareness of the seven newly designated Wood Pawcatuck Wild & Scenic Rivers. Signage is being installed at 14 public access points for paddlers, anglers and nature enthusiasts. DEM and the WPWSRSC recognize that educating the public and this new designation is a vital part of their mission to protect, preserve and enhance this wonderful resource.
“DEM is proud to partner with the Wild & Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council on this exciting project to enhance public awareness of the cultural and natural resources of the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “The seven rivers in the watershed are among the state’s most valued natural resources and boast excellent water quality, a thriving native trout population, prime habitat for rare and endangered species, and exceptional recreational opportunities. These amazing rivers will be protected for future generations with this important Congressional designation.”
In March 2019, the seven rivers of the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed were officials designated as “Wild and Scenic” by the National Parks Service. This was the result of work done by dedicated local representatives of the 12 towns of the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed, and approval of local governments. 
The Pawcatuck is very popular for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and other forms of outdoor recreation. It’s a beautiful river that supports Rhode Island-raised stocked trout and warm water fish species. The upper Wood River offers excellent water quality, cool temperatures and continuous flow. The river is well suited for trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery produced fish by DEM's Division of Fish & Wildlife. No wonder it’s the most popular trout fishery in Rhode Island. And, the 52 navigable river miles on the Wood and Pawcatuck Rivers offer tremendous opportunities for paddling and recreational pursuits.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at for timely updates.
Where’s the bite?
Tautog. Tautog fishing remains strong when anglers are able to get out. High winds and seas have prevented many from fishing, however, when able to fish the bite has been good. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “When we were able to get out fishing the bite was rather good. Blackfishing has continued to see limit catches or a few fish shy every day. Pool fish on the week have been right around 10 pounds. Both jigs and the bait rigs have been producing with more fish going to the bait rigs. When you can get a light tide and wind day the jigs really shine.”  Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “The tautog bite is still good. I know some fishing off Newport were struggling with a lot of small fish but anglers just have to fish were the large fish haven’t been picked over. But the bite is very good still.” John Lavallee of Continental Bait & Tackle, Cranston, said, “Customers that have been able to get out are doing very good tautog fishing. The best bite seems to be places close to the Jamestown and Newport Bridges.”
Offshore. “The bluefin bite was outstanding last week at the CIA Grounds south of Block Island with multiple fish caught, all over 100 inches. Reports of thresher sharks being caught too in the area,” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor.
Striped bass. John Lavallee of Continental Bait & Tackle said, “Anglers were catching school bass at the Pawtucket River Bridge. A customer showed be a video of many school bass just waiting under the bridge for a meal to float by right where the fresh and salt water mix.” “Striped bass fishing for school bass continues to remain strong in salt ponds and from the beaches. Last week we had reports of bluefish being caught from the southern coastal shore beaches too. And off beaches like Charlestown there is a lot of shad. You could catch shad just about any day,” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor.
Cod and black sea bass. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “When we could drift last week we saw the best action. We were able to get through all the scup and sea bass and get some cod in the boat. When we had to anchor up it was lock and load on scup and sea bass. Full sea bass limits were the norm. Sea bass have been all sizes ranging from 4 inches to 6 pound monsters. All the scup you could want as well with hubcaps close to 3 pounds.”  Elisha Cahill of Sung Harbor said, “Cod and black sea bass fishing at Cox Ledge was pretty good last week. You just had to work your way through the black sea bass to catch the cod.” Cod fishing at the CIA Ground south and southeast of Block Island was good too.
Freshwater. Lavallee of Continental Bait said, “DEM did a great job stocking trout once again. Metal lures and PowerBaits are working the best performing ponds include Meadowbrook and Carbuncle ponds.”
Dave Monti 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, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at or visit and his blog at

Dave Monti

2024 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email