Well, you’d be wrong. Fresh and saltwater fishing is great. Anglers are catching bass and trout in ponds and rivers stocked by the Department of Environmental Management (visit www.dem.ri.gov for locations) and saltwater fishing is outstanding.
“This is the best time of year to fish,” said Capt. Rick Bellavance, president of the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association.
Anglers are catching tautog, cod, scup and striped bass. Black sea bass can still be caught recreationally in state waters (if you don’t have a federal license). Since Sandy many anglers are limiting out with tautog (six fish per angler) and they’re catching migrating striped bass, too.
Angler Kurt Rivard of Warren landed a 35-pound striped bass last week drifting with eel in 30 feet of water near the Mt. Hope Bridge. “The fish pulled 200 yards of line out before it got tired and turned,” said Kurt’s fishing partner, Corey Smith.
Angler Greg Vespe fished for tautog five days after the hurricane. “I took my family out with Capt. B.J. Silvia. We really clobbered them (tautog) on the near shore and mid-shore humps off Newport — lots of five- and six-pounders. Picked up at least 40 legal-sized tog,” said Mr. Vespe.
For anglers who may have put their boats away for the winter — many did just that prior to the hurricane — there are a host of charter and party boats still fishing. Visit the R.I. Charter & Party Boat Association website at www.rifishing.com for a list of boats, fishing times, rates and boat websites for details. The smaller boats take two to six anglers and the larger party boats can take over 100 anglers fishing.
The Snappa from Point Judith is a custom 46-foot fishing vessel. “We (have been) fishing south of Newport in the deeper water between 50 and 100 feet,” said Capt. Charlie Donilon, who’s been fishing for tautog since Sandy. “The largest fish weighed (about) 14 pounds. Approximately one-third of the fish are throwbacks.”
The Snappa has a heated cabin and will provide all bait and tackle. Your cost for full day of fishing is $130. A private group of six passengers can charter the boat for as little as $700; it’s $100 for each additional passenger. Visit www.snappacharters.com or call Capt. Donilon at 401/782-4040.
The Seven B’s is 80 feet long and is licensed to take up to 120 people fishing. The boat is going out for tautog now until Dec. 15, at which time it generally switches to cod fishing.
My brother-in-law and I fished with Capt. Russ Benn this weekend. At first the fishing was spotty but Capt. Benn was determined to find fish — and when he did all rods were bent. The crew was fantastic. Some anglers limited out and others caught two to four keepers; I didn’t find any unhappy customers. We fished out in front a mile or two off shore from Newport to the Sakonnet River. Seven B’s is now fishing Wednesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. It costs $85 for adults and $45 for children. Visit www.sevenbs.com or call 401/789-9250.
The Francis Fleet vessels are owned by Capt. Frank Blount, whose family has been running the business since 1978. They’re running both tautog and cod fishing trips now. Visit www.francesfleet.com or call 800/662-2824.
Windmill mitigation workshop
The second wind mitigation workshop for recreational and commercial fishers will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the URI Bay Campus on South Ferry Road, Narragansett. For more information call 978/465-0492. RSVP to Elizabeth Castle at [email protected]
Fly Tyers’ Christmas banquet
The United Fly Tyers of R.I. (UFTRI) will hold its annual Christmas banquet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Sandy Lane, Warwick. The event will feature a meal, a guest speaker and raffle.
UFTRI is an educational organization dedicated to teaching fresh and saltwater fly-tying. Annual membership dues are $30 (September of current year through May of next year). Tying vises and materials are available for use by guests (anyone attending for the first time), as well as any paid member. Visit www.uftri.org for more information.
Rhody Fly Rodders meet Nov. 20
The Rhody Fly Rodders hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Riverside Sportsmen Association in East Providence.
Alan Caolo will present a slide program, “Sight-Fishing for Striped Bass,” a comprehensive overview on an exciting style of fishing for taking stripers in the clear shallows, including strategy, stealth, presentation and flies. The presentation will include information for everyone from beginners to seasoned anglers.
Monthly bucket raffles with some great items will be held and as usual, and the coffee pot is always on along with a few tasty snacks. For information call Peter Nilsen at 401/245-7172, or e-mail him at [email protected]
Capt. Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing on Narragansett Bay for more than 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. Your fishing photos in jpeg form, stories, comments and questions are welcome. Visit Capt. Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com or e-mail him at [email protected]