No Fluke

Fishing Show was a big success


I love it when a plan comes together.  Scott Travers, executive director of the R.I. Saltwater Anglers Association, and his board of directors did an outstanding job with the New England Saltwater Fishing Show this weekend held at the Rhode Island Convention Center.  “We are on track to exceed last year,” said Travers over the weekend.  “It’s only Saturday, and three exhibitors shared that they are just taking orders now as they have sold out of all the product they took to the show.”

Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge, a tackle shop in Middletown, R.I., that has a great online presence too, said, “We surpassed what we planned on doing in sales both on Friday and Saturday, and we are looking to close it out with a great day Sunday.”

Jenkins, who is also the chairman of the board of the American Saltwater Guides Association, said at a conservation themed exhibitor reception (sponsored by Ocean Conservancy Saturday night) “Being good stewards of fish and habitat is good business. If we grow fish to abundance there will be more of them in the water for all of us to catch, eat or release.”

The atmosphere at the show was electric as anglers, tired of being couped up all winter, seemed to walk through the fishing show with a new lease on life, dreaming about fishing days coming in the near future and stocking up on fishing gear and tackle to take them through the fishing season.

Many of the 300 exhibitors at the show caught my attention. Here are some highlights on four of them …

Ross Boats, Tiverton, R.I. has been building boats for over 40 years, with a line of seven vessels in their brochure, from eight to 30 feet. William Sartini, owner, said, “Our boats are built for fishing. They are wide open with plenty of head room to fish.” The classic design of Ros boats makes them appealing to the eye, and they are seaworthy vessels to fish on at more than a fair market price.  And each vessel is custom built for owners.

Ros Boats is a family affair, with William Sartini’s wife Renni, son Greg, daughter Victoria and other family members active in the business. Visit Ros Boats at

AnglerCatch, Warwick, R.I. and Washington, D.C., is a smartphone application for anglers that acts as a log book for anglers to record species and size, location, sea conditions, temperature, tides, etc. when the fish is caught. It has also served to provide fish managers with supplemental data on recreational fishing.

Variations of the application, developed by Harbor Light Software, has been used in fishing tournaments, a tile fish study and a general catch and effort initiative supported by the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association for two years.  Visit for information and to download the app.

The Saltwater Edge, Middletown, R.I., sells a broad range of fishing tackle and gear for fly fishing, surf fishing and a variety of tackle for species anglers like to target on East Coast boats. Owner Peter Jenkins introduced me to Dustin Phillips, president of Bull Bay Tackle Company, which distributes their full line of fishing rods at The Saltwater Edge.

“We have over 150 different rod types and style and have been building them since 2012 when I started building them in my mother’s spare bedroom. Bull Bay Tackle offers inshore and offshore rods, ranging from $119 to $750, offering anglers both value and performance.  The Saltwater Edge has a great online store too and can be found at

Yo-Zuri lures had a great presence at the show, both in their corporate factory booth and in varies tackle shop booths where their product is sold. Rob Bulla, Yo-Zuri’s regional manager, said, “We have a great show special, also good at the Edison, New Jersey show… buy any two Yo-Zuri lures and get a limited edition 3-D Inshore Twitchbait 130 free. Anglers are taking advantage of this offer. Many are also interested in our new Mag Speed fast sinking lipped minnow bait designed to run at the same depth all the way back to the boat and its ability to stay in the water when fished from an elevation like piers, jetties and bridges.” Visit

Tracking right whales to avoid collisions

The recreational and boating communities have asked for the use of advanced technology to help support North Atlantic right whale recovery efforts. With approximately 360 North American right whales in existence today, vessel strikes are a major cause of mortality.

This week NOAA Fisheries made a major announcement regarding a potential game changer that would alert fishers and boaters to where the whales are, so mandatory and voluntary speed zones can be effectively applied.

In an advisory, Russel Dunn, national policy advisor for Recreational Fisheries in the Office of the Assistant Administrator, said, “We are excited to share that NOAA Fisheries is announcing a new $500,000 interagency agreement with NASA to support North Atlantic right whale recovery efforts using Inflation Reduction Act funds.”

“By developing and advancing technologies for right whale detection, we can improve our understanding of the distribution of right whales, which will enhance our management strategies and expedite our response time when whales are detected,” said Dunn.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing: Anglers are advised that the trout fishing season ended Feb. 29 and reopens again on Saturday, April 13, in Rhode Island and at some Massachusetts waterways. It is time to renew or get freshwater fishing license and trout stamps for the new season too.  For freshwater fishing information in Connecticut, visit; in Massachusetts, visit Freshwater Fishing |; and in Rhode Island,

Saltwater.  Anglers continue to find school striped bass in estuaries. Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Chalrestown, said, “Holdover action continues to remain solid in the salt ponds and rivers. They should begin to get a boost from local alewives beginning their run. Anglers are also finding some white perch; March is often one of the best months to target them.”

If you want to try your hand at cod fishing, the bite has not been good. But hopefully it will improve with improved weather.  You should call ahead to make a party boat reservation as they often do not fish due to weather. Visit and

Dave Monti holds a master captain’s 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 or visit

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