Freshwater fishing hot thanks to DEM
Opening day last Saturday didn’t let anyone down. I traveled to ponds in South County and the East Bay and although the morning was cold the excitement was contagious. Excitement from the likes of Kyra Anderson… seven years old on opening day… who was the only one in her group that caught a fish. Just as she was saying “It’s my birthday!” she reeled her second rainbow trout at Silver Spring Lake in North Kingstown. John Bergantini, ninety-one years old, from Narragansett, RI was proud to share, “I’ve been fishing opening day for seventy years.” It was exciting for Michaela Doro of East Providence too. Just as she said, “I am doing pretty good.” her father Michael picked up her rod and she reeled in another trout at Willet Avenue Pond in Riverside. Three generations of the Doro family generations fished opening day.
The Department of Environmental Management’s Fish & Wildlife Division said approximately 80,000 hatchery- raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout with an average individual weight of one and a half pounds were stocked in more than 100 ponds and streams for opening day. DEM estimated that about 20,000 anglers fished on the official opening of trout season and the official opening day of the freshwater season. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for a listing of ponds and lakes that have been stocked.
Business was brisk opening day week for Lorraine Danti, owner, and Manny Macedo, manager, of Lucky Bait & Tackle in Warren. They sold more freshwater licenses than ever before. “The number of both fresh and saltwater licenses has been rising since Lorraine took over the shop in 2007,” said Mr. Macedo. “We believe we are gaining market share too.” Lucky Bait & Tackle is one of the more sophisticated bait and tackle shops I have visited. Their entire inventory is bar-coded. They have a wide selection of fresh/saltwater fishing gear, tackle and bait as well as all types of recreational clam and quahog equipment. They even carry Asian crabs (as well as green crabs) for tautog anglers.
Tautog season opens
The spring tautog season runs from April 15 to May 31 with a 16” minimum size and a three fish bag limit. It is closed June 1 to July 31 during the spawning season and reopens August. Tautog anglers often use soft baits in the spring such as grass shrimp and clam works but green crabs and Asian crabs work well too.
RISAA seminar Monday, April 29
The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) will hold a seminar Monday, April 29, 7 p.m., at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick, on weather for boaters and fishermen with meteorologist Fred Campagna. Mr. Campagna is the former chief meteorologist at WLNE-TV ABC6 in Providence and currently owns his own weather service, Right Weather, which offers in-depth weather coverage on a website and through multiple wireless media outlets. Also at the seminar, RISAA members Roger and Sue Lema will speak on fishing for striped bass during the annual worm hatches in South County. Capt. Dave Porreca will also speak about fishing the cider worm hatches… with fly fishing gear. He is owner of River & Riptide Anglers, a fishing guide business. Non-members are requested to make a $10 donation to the RISAA scholarship fund, members attend free. The event will be preceded by dinner paid separately and served by the West Valley Inn starting at 5:30 p.m.
Final 2013 saltwater fishing regulations
DEM has posted final 2013 saltwater fishing regulations with some liberalization to scup and fluke regulations but more restrictive regulations on black sea bass, as Rhode Island has to take a 32% reduction in total catch. Here are regulation highlights, for a complete listing visit DEM’s web site at www.dem.ri.gov.
Black sea bass: 13” minimum size, June 15-Aug. 31, 3 fish/person/day; Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 4 fish/person/day.
Bluefish: no minimum size, no closed season, 15 fish/person/day.
Cod: 22” minimum size, no closed season, 10 fish/person/day.
Summer flounder (fluke): 18” minimum size, May 1-Dec. 31, 8 fish/person/day.
Scup (shore and private), 10” minimum size, May 1- Dec. 31, 30 fish/person/day; Special area provisions (this is new)… while fishing from shore at India Point Part, Providence, Conimicut Park, Warwick or at Stone Bridge, Tiverton, anglers may possess up to 30 scup 9 inches or greater in length from May 1 to Dec. 31; Scup (party and charter boasts), 10” minimum size, May 1 –Aug. 31, 30 fish/person/day, Sept. 1-Oct. 31 45 fish/person/day and Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 30 fish/person/day.
Striped bass: 28” minimum size, no closed season, 2 fish/person/day.
Tautog: 16” minimum, April 15-May 31, 3 fish/person/day; June 1 –July 31, CLOSED; August 1 –Oct. 19, 3 fish/person/day and Oct. 20-Dec. 15 6 fish/person/day (maximum of 10 fish/vessel during all periods)… Tautog (party and charter), same spring seasons and closed periods as recreational plus Aug. 1-Oct. 14, 3 fish/person/day and Oct. 15-Dec,. 15 6 fish/person/day (no vessel maximum).
Weakfish (squeteague), 16” minimum size, no closed season 1 fish/person/day.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com; his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at email@example.com.