Bottom fishing great for beginning anglers,

Bottom fishing great for beginning anglers,

East Providence anglers Kevin Bettencourt (left) and his father, Albert, have been catching striped bass this fall in the Warren River drifting eels.

East Providence anglers Kevin Bettencourt (left) and his father, Albert, have been catching striped bass this fall in the Warren River drifting eels.
Bottom fishing for fluke (summer flounder), black sea bass, scup and tautog this time of year can be fun for the entire family.

This type of fishing is not stressful, learning how to set the hook can be learned in minutes and it doesn’t take a lot of skill to catch a fish. Bottom fishing is great for beginners, particularly children.

The best part, however, is that the down time between bites serves as a great opportunity for family members and friends to socialize and converse. I once took my friend Tom and his son fishing. “The best part of the day was that I actually got a chance to talk with my son about his future plans,” said Tom.

Quite often, fishing isn’t all about the fish. It’s about the time we spend together with family and friends that really counts. That is why I love to take families fishing; the bonding and communication that takes place is remarkable.

You can learn how to bottom fish by consulting bait shop owners or you can go out on a charter or party boat. Most all of the charter boats that belong to the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association ( are more than willing to take families fishing and teach them how to fish the bottom.

Next week you can take advantage of a bottom fishing seminar being offered by the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA). The seminar will include panel-like presentations from three top local anglers: Larry Norin, Rick Sustello and Tom Wood.

The seminar will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29,  at the West Valley Inn, 4 Blossom St., West Warwick. Non-members are requested to make a $10 donation to the RISAA Marine Fisheries College Scholarship Fund. The West Valley Inn offers two different dinner entrée options from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for $6.95.

Stakeholder workshops on windmills

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a workshop on windmills and their impact on fishing and will seek input for recreational and commercial fishermen from 4-7:45 p.m. Friday Nov. 16. The workshop will take placer in the Coastal Hazard Room in the Coastal Institute Building at the URI Bay Campus, 215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett.

This input meeting and others being held on the East Coast will address future potential conflicts between fishing and wind projects within the Ocean Continental Shelf (OCS). BOEM is seeking input from commercial and recreational fishing industries, as well as fisheries management agencies and scientists, relative to proposed offshore wind energy development.

For more information contact Elizabeth Castle at [email protected]

DEM stocks ponds, rivers

The Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife has stocked approximately 6,000 rainbow trout in several locations throughout the state this month for the fall freshwater fishing season.

DEM Fish & Wildlife staff finished stocking the hatchery-raised rainbow trout this week in Stafford Pond in Tiverton; Silver Spring Pond in North Kingstown; Beaver River in Richmond; Wyoming Pond in Richmond and Hopkinton; Wood River in Exeter, Hopkinton and Richmond; Upper Pawtuxet River in Coventry; Blackstone River in Cumberland and Lincoln; and Round Top Ponds in Burrillville. Earlier this month, trout were stocked in Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond, Carbuncle Pond in Coventry, Spring Grove Pond in Gloucester and Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods.

A 2012 freshwater fishing license and trout conservation stamp is required for anglers 15 years of age and older. Visit your town/city hall, authorized agents such as bait/tackle shops and Benny’s to get a license and stamp.

Tautog regulation change

As of Oct. 20, and until Dec. 31, the tautog bag limit has been enhanced for recreational anglers from three fish per day to six fish per day. The minimum size is still 16 inches.

In addition, there is a 10 fish/boat maximum per day. The 10-fish maximum does not apply to charter or party boats.

Where’s the bite?

Tautog — “Customers have been doing good at Washington’s Ledge off shore in the Newport-Jamestown areas, weather permitting,” said Craig Castro of Erickson’s Bait & Tackle.

John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait in East Providence said customers are catching tautog at Conimicut Light with a lot of shorts (15 to one ratio). Tautog up to 23 inches have been landed at India Point Park, said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle in Providence.

Last week I caught a 23-inch fish at General Rock and two other keepers with a ratio of eight shorts for every one keeper, with about 10 small black sea bass. Tautog are also being caught at Point Judith Light in 25 to 45 feet of water, according to Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina in South Kingstown.

Striped bass — “It is either lock and load or no bite at all in the Southwest Ledge area of Block Island,” said Mr. Conti.

According to Mr. Littlefield, “Customers are taking school bass with plugs in the upper bay at the mouth of the rivers.”

Kevin and Albert Bettencourt caught 11 bass in the 15- to-20-pound range drifting eels in the Warren River down to the Blount Seafood area, said Mr. Littlefield. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Striped bass and bluefish are being caught on pogies and eels in the Providence and Seekonk rivers and the Cape Cod Canal has been offering up bass as large as 50 pounds. Customers Francesco DiGiovanni and Cecine Curi have taken bass on eels, plugs, top-water poppers, divers and Sebile Swim baits.”

Freshwater fishing this fall has been slow. With improved weather and recent pond and river stocking with rainbow trout by DEM, things are expected to pick up.

Offshore fishing has been slow due to bad weather last week.

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 or e-mail him at [email protected]