No Fluke

His passion is Canal fishing… and he is good at it


“When I retired they made me a t-shirt that read ‘Stripers and Diapers’… Stripers because they are my focus most days. I go to the Cape Cod Canal to fish every day when they are here. And, diapers because at the time I had five grandchildren all still in diapers,” said East End Eddie Doherty.

Doherty, an expert Cape Cod Canal shore angler and author, was the guest speaker at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association online seminar Tuesday night. Here are some highlights from his presentation:

When deciding to fish he assesses three criteria… he wants to be fishing at first light as feeding occurs then, he prefers a low tide so he can get out further and see lobster pot lines and traps and third he prefers an east tide (meaning it is flowing to the east).

He uses a number of lures, but his favorite soft plastic is a (Bill) Hurley Canal Killer in white.

He casts up current, the lure sinks toward the bottom and the line tightens, then after it passes he works it back against the current creating a lot of wiggle action (strikes often come as he works the lure back).

Ed’s parting suggestion… “Get there early to pick a spot as things are often crowed in peak season when the bite is on. I usually like to fish the mainland side but often fish the Cape side when things are too crowed.”

Cheering on environmental leaders

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) held the 11th Annual Rhode Island Energy, Environment and Oceans (EEO) Leaders Day on December 4, an online event this year with over 300 attending. The event recognized energy, environment and oceans champions in Rhode Island. And, it fostered awareness of state and national environmental policy today and in the future.

Participants came from government, environmental advocacy groups as well as our oceans, energy and fishing communities. Speakers at EEO Leaders day were a who’s who in the nation (and world) advocating for the environment, clean air and oceans.

Speakers included actor and oceans/environmental champion Ted Danson; John Hocevar, Oceans Campaign Director for Greenpeace; U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Brian Schatz of Hawaii; with the keynote address being delivered by Dame Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Pierce and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are both members of the Conservative Party in the UK yet they and their party are great supporters of the environment and climate change initiatives. This conservative party support demonstrates that climate change does not have to be political, and should be a bi-partisan issue in the United States too (as it once was).

Senator Whitehouse hosted, introducing speakers and recognizing campions throughout the five hour event. It was clear that he enjoyed recognizing those that have been in the trenches advocating for environmental, energy and ocean issues.

A major takeaway: “Corporate American has not shown up yet on the climate change issue. We need to get them engaged. We need to put a spotlight on the dark money (fossil fuel lobby) to get corporate America engaged in climate change putting pressure on leaders,” said Senator Whitehouse. “President-elect Joe Biden will help control fossil fuel interests and get corporate America engaged in the climate change issue.”

Also at the event Jerry Elmer, senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation, received the EEO Leaders Day ‘Service Recognition Award’. In presenting the award Senator Whitehouse praised Elmer for his tenacity fighting for clean environments, oceans and energy.

We are fortunate that our congressional delegation in Rhode Island (who all spoke at Leaders Day) are climate change advocates, believers in science on both fisheries and climate change fronts.

Senator Jack Read (D-RI) recognized Senator Whitehouse for being a tireless champion for ocean and ongoing climate change issues and said “Climate change issues are more impotent than ever for Rhode Island with sea level rise and storms and to take advance of the ocean... the blue economy and lead the way in the nation with smart offshore wind development.”

Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), said, “Although the present administration has wreaked havoc on our natural resources by repealing vital environmental policies and pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord... I look forward to working with the Biden administration, the Rhode Island congregational delegation and all of you to preserve our air, land and water and for the United States to rejoin the fight against climate change.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said, “Seven weeks ago... when Joe Biden was elected president… Americans chose science over fiction when they made Donald Trump a one-term president.” Rep. Cicilline congratulated all the environmental champions at the event and thanked Senator Whitehouse for hosting the event as he has for the past 11 years.

Thank you to the entire Rhode Island congressional delegation and all the environmental/oceans advocates in Rhode Island. But most of all, thank you Senator Whitehouse for holding the event and being such a supporter of those that advocate for clean air, water, oceans and energy.

Where’s the bite?

Tautog, cod and black sea bass. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “We fished wrecks from Fishers Island to Pt. Judith and did very well with tautog last week. Anglers fishing from shore left of Watch Hill Light and the area to the left of the Weekapaug Breachway were catching tautog. We fished in front of Watch Hill Reef and it was lights out with large black sea bass. And, the Block Island Wind Farm turbine number five was yielding both cod and black sea bass last week.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Customers were catching tautog at Kettle Point in East Providence.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “We are still in blackfish mode as long as the water and weather allow us. The water is still very warm for this time of the year so fishing is still good.”

Striped bass fishing for school bass is strong with a lot of bait in our rivers, covers and bays. Littlefield said, “Quahoggers fishing in the bay are reporting large schools of Atlantic menhaden. Customers are snagging them but are not hooking up with striped bass.” Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters said, “We never got the influx of large fish during a fall migration, but we have plenty of bait, both Atlantic menhaden and shad. And we have a very strong school bass bite from the beaches and the breachways.” Angler Dave Sweet reports on the RI Saltwater Anglers blog, “Lots of fish through Narrow River estuary this Sunday. Tagged and released eight bass to 29”. Fish were feisty with the colder water and released easily. All fatties too.”

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

Dave Monti

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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