No Fluke

Saltwater Anglers appoint new executive director


Scott Travers of Coventry, R.I., has been appointed executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA). He replaces Greg Vespe, who took the helm to bolster the organization after Steven Medeiros, founding executive director, died in 2021.

RISAA represents more than 7,500 recreational anglers and 29 affiliate clubs in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Travers moved to Rhode Island after graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He is a retired member of the Portsmouth Police Department and served as their harbormaster.  Most recently he was a technical assistant to the Aquatic Resource Education and Hunter Education Program of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management. He is an avid fly-tyer and fisher. Prior to joining the police department, he sailed all over the globe as a commercial sailor.

I enjoy all aspects of being outdoors on the water and in the field. I think we should all do more to protect our wild spaces and the environment which gives life to literally everything. It's all about the wise use of renewable resources,” said Travers. “As executive director, it is my responsibility to sit at the helm of the organization, steer it, manage operations, and carry out its mission.”

The RI Saltwater Anglers Association mission is to provide education to members concerning fishing techniques, improved catches, and overall enjoyment of fishing; to foster sportsmanship; to support marine conservation and sound management of fisheries resources; and provide a unified voice to preserve and protect the rights, traditions and the future of recreational fishing in Rhode Island.

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass and bluefish: “The bass bite slowed greatly in the Bay and Providence River. Not many pogies (Atlantic menhaden) around in the Bay,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside.

Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly, said, “Striped bass fishing on the reefs has been pretty good, with customers taking fish to 48” using live eels at night. And during the day top water lures are working well with bluefish mixed in.”

“The striped bass bite has been OK from the surf, but anglers are fishing from Narragansett to Watch Hill to find the fish. Block Island’s Southeast Light and the Southwest Ledge are producing for anglers trolling with wire,” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown.

“The pogies disappeared for a couple of days, so anglers must move to find the fish in the Bay. The best bite is off Newport, where kayak anglers continue to do well trolling tube & worm,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence.

Ed Lombardo, fly fishing expert and guide, said, “Last week we fished both the Narrow River and the Charlestown Breachway. For the first time this season we have started to see very good numbers of sand eels in both locations. The incoming tide has been better than the outgoing, I believe because the water is much colder, coming in from the ocean. Sand eel patterns work well in colors of dark olive over white buck tail or craft fur. My hot pink and burgundy shrimp pattern worked very well also. Hickory Shad and striped Bass are taking our offerings. One bass was close to keeping size from the Breachway.”

Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Striped bass fishing has been very good, with fish being caught locally and out around Block Island. Many of the bigger fish are being caught on live bait, while many of the slot fish are falling for jigs or being caught on the troll. Still a lot of sand-eels around, some lures that have been good to match them include the Joe Baggs Sand Eel, green Deadly Dicks, and the chartreuse Colt Snipper.”

East End Eddie Doherty, Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author said, “Striped bass up to 44 inches were caught last week in the Canal. Rods were bent all around as schools entered the Big Ditch from Buzzards Bay on the breaking tides caused by the new moon last week. I caught a 36-inch the previous morning on a three-ounce white Guppy JoBo Jr. and a 38-inch fish with a fish oil infused white Hurley Canal Killer.”

Fluke, scup, sea bass

Fluke (summer flounder), scup and black sea bass fishing have been improving. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, said, “Fluke fishing is picking up. Last Monday we saw better fishing and bigger fluke being caught in 50 to 60 feet of water from Matunuck to Green Hill, at the East Fishing Grounds and in the Block Island Wind Farm. However, the black sea bass bite has been slow, with anglers catching frisbee size scup all along the coastal shore.”

“We have had a good bite along the southern coastal shore to Fishers Island, N.Y., with the best bite at Block Island. Customers are not hooking up with many keeper black sea bass, but south of Block Island and Fishers Island, the bite is good,” said Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters.

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Anglers from shore are catching large scup all the way up the Providence River to Sabin Point, Rocky Point, and Conimicut Point. Fluke are being caught commercially on the channel pads from the T-Wharf at Prudence Island and south as well as off Newport and the Sakonnet River.”


“Giant bluefin tuna fishing kicked off last week, with one customer bringing in a 465-pound fish fully dressed (likely a 500-plus-pound tuna). The bite was east of Block Island and Cox Ledge,” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor.


“Freshwater fishing continues to be good for largemouth bass, with shiners still being the bait of choice for anglers.  Ponds producing for customer include Olney Pond at Lincoln Woods, Turner Reservoir in Rumford and Stump Pond in Smithfield,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle.  “Anglers are buying a lot of shiners, so I know they are fishing for largemouth bass, and believe it or not, trout fishing is still good in ponds that have been restocked recently like Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s.

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 or visit

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