I had the privilege of fishing with three different families this week, all with children from seven to fourteen years old. Some were learn-to-fish charters and others were just keeping up with the kids — like fourteen year old Alex Noga of New York who keet landing fish after fish after fish. We used no complex rigging, no fishing pressure and there were no high seas… just a lot of family fishing fun.
As a fisherman, I have adopted the saying “It’s not always about the fish.” Just as important are the lessons we learn from fishing: discipline, patience, creativity, self reliance, environmental awareness, conservation and how to have an adventure. However, the most important fishing lessons are obtained through the conversations and relationships we develop with fishing companions. To this day, some of my fondest fishing memories include fishing with my father, son, wife, brothers, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Everyone who catches a fish is happy. I have a wall in my office with photographs of people (young and old) who have caught fish on my boat, and every one of them has a smile on their face. Fishing feeds our sense of self worth, makes us feel successful and gives us a sense of accomplishment — accomplishment and enhanced self image that is particularly important to young people.
So I thank Logan and Michael McDermott, Rob and Bob McDonald and their neighbors, as well as Alex and Joe Noga for fishing with me this week. Your spirit reminded me of what is important about fishing: the relationships we build with family and friends. And of course, I particularly liked the expression on Logan McDermott’s face when he said “Wow, this was the first fish I ever caught.”
Where’s the bite
Striped bass fishing continues to slow in the Narragansett Bay but is strong on Block Island and off Newport. Manny Guerzon of Quaker Lane Outfitters, North Kingstown said, “Block Island and Newport have been good for striped bass. Customers are catching them at night and day using eels.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence said, “Small bass in the 16” to 22” range are being taken from shore in the Providence River. However customers are still catching their limit using chunks of Atlantic Menhaden at Nayatt Point and in the Barrington Beach area.” Angler Bill Sokolowski said, “Headed out to the SW Ledge (Block Island) at 3 p.m. (Saturday). Current was at its max. Skies overcast. I ended up first catching a good size bluefish. Then on the same eel a 42 pound then a 38 pound striper.”
Summer flounder (fluke) fishing has been good along southern coastal shores, at the Sakonnet River mouth, off Newport and the Harbor of Refuge in Narragansett and around Block Island. However it has been a bit slower in Narragansett Bay. I experienced a strong summer flounder bite off Newport Saturday when the wind and tide were in line, however, with a northeast wind, conditions were not ideal Sunday and Monday in Narragansett Bay for most of the day. Angler Eric Duda said, “Fished about 2 miles south of the Sakonnet Light house on Saturday. Left at 8 a.m. and returned at 3 p.m. Light wind until about noon, 1-2 foot seas. Caught about 14 fluke, 7 keepers, largest around 22”. Tons of small BSB in 14” range, kept 2 big ones.” Roger Simpson from the Francis Fleet reports good fluke and black sea bass fishing on nearly every trip this week. Roger said, “A good number of big fluke this week with quite a few fish in the 8 to 9 lb range… with a trio of fish in the 9 lb. range (Friday) battling it out for the pool.” Minimum size for summer flounder in RI is 18” with an eight fish/angler/day limit.
Scup. Manny Guerzon of Quaker Lane Outfitters said, “Scup are everywhere — just wet a line with some squid on it and you will catch them.” “Scup and Tommy cod, the first I head of this year, are being taken at Sabin Point (Providence) from shore, and the scup fishing is very good at Colt State Park, Ohio Ledge and Conimicut Light” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait. Michael and Logan McDermott landed scup to 15” while fishing on the west side of Jamestown north of the bridge last week. Scup minimum size is 10” with a 30 fish limit. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for special areas from shore where the size limit is 9 inches.
Black sea bass. “We had a six pound black sea bass caught Saturday and customer Mike Swain of Coventry and his two fishing partners easily caught their limit when fishing in the Breton Reef area off Newport Saturday,” said John Wunner of John’s Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown. Black sea bass minimum size in RI is 13” with a three fish/angler/day limit. Anglers catch them as they target fluke, fishing the bottom with squid.
Weakfish or squeteague continue the comeback in our waters as they have for the past three years. Anglers are catching them in the Warwick Light area when targeting summer flounder. Logan Lemay of Bristol caught a 21” weakfish using a bucktail. His mother Bobbi said, “He was ecstatic.”
Offshore. Matt Grennan reports on the RISAA blog: “Fished the claw to the northwest corner of the dump today, went 4/5 on small bluefin. Kept one and put tags in the rest. Water temps were 66-70 and green was the color. Just FYI for anyone interested, there are a ton of whales feasting on sand eels in 120′ sse of Block Island. Probably only 8-10 miles from the island.”
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com or e-mail him with your fishing news and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.