No fluke

No fluke

Big bonito: Local author and expert angler Dave Pickering with the ten pound bonito he caught while fishing off southern coastal shores Saturday.

Big bonito: Local author and expert angler Dave Pickering with the ten pound bonito he caught while fishing off southern coastal shores Saturday.
Big bonito: Local author and expert angler Dave Pickering with the ten pound bonito he caught while fishing off southern coastal shores last Saturday.
Rhody Fly Rodders anniversary book; shellfish symposium

A book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Rhody Fly Rodders, the oldest saltwater fly fishing club in America, has been released by author Peter Nilsen of Barrington.
The Rhody Fly Rodders decided to do something special to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s formation by Harold Gibbs and Al Brewster. Peter Nilsen, a club member, board member and newsletter editor,  took on the challenge  to research, write, design and photograph the story of these saltwater fly-fishing pioneers. The book is titled, “Rhody Fly Rodders….50 Years, 50 Members, 50 Flies.”
For information and to purchase a book ($32.95 plus shipping) contact Peter Nilsen at [email protected] or write to him at 75 Massasoit Ave., Barrington, RI 02806.

Water quality, regulations, economics, social trends, habitat, innovation—all these forces contribute to the success or failure of commercial shellfishing and shellfish aquaculture. Rhode Island has embarked on the development of a shellfish management plan that addresses these issues, and a symposium is bringing together experts from the state, the region, and beyond to discuss them.
The 12th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, “The Future of Shellfish in Rhode Island: Providing sustainable seafood, economic opportunities, and ecosystem benefits,” will be held November 14 at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick. The current and the potential value—economic and environmental—of shellfish to Rhode Island will be discussed. The sessions will focus on restoration and public aquaculture, commercial aquaculture, commercial wild harvest, water quality, and the “Go Local” movement. Registration is $45. Student rate and industry scholarships are available at $20. For information and to register, contact Deborah Lafen at 401/874-6645.

Where’s the bite

Tautog fishing is improving. Angler Charlie Prisco of Warwick said, “(we) tucked around the South side of Hope looking for some shelter from the wind and the waves… we had no bite. (My wife) Carole said lets go back to the exposed side of the island. Set anchor and fished in very large waves. Difficult to feel bite… we managed to get one keeper.”
Angler Bob Oberg said, “Anchored over tautog in my kayak for the first time (Saturday). Fished…Hope Island… Started out on the Southwest corner but moved quickly because there was a seal causing a little commotion on top of the water and, I am sure, a lot more below. Set up at the southern end. Landed about 15 togs, most, by some seeming conspiracy, 15″ long. Caught three keepers for the table, including a nice five-pounder. All in 25-30 feet of water.”
John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & tackle, East Providence said, “Upper Bay tautog fishing is improving with about a ten to one keeper ratio with fish being caught in the Warren River, at Wharf Tavern and Conimicut Light.”

Striped bass fishing is still good in spots with a lot of school bass being caught in the Bay and off coastal shores.  John Littlefield of Archie’s said, “Keeper bass in the high teens and low twenty pound range are still being caught in the Warren River at night with eels, and we have school bass with an occasional keeper mixed in being caught off the Squantum Club and in water north of Conimicut Light. Bluefish in the four to six pounds range are being caught at Sabin Point.”
Angler Mike Swain said, “We hooked up with school bass at Hope Island this weekend and fished north of Conimicut Light.  No keeper bass but large bluefish.  Upper Bay and the Providence River was loaded with Atlantic Menhaden.”
Shore fishing for striped bass has been slow this fall with mostly school bass being caught. Steve McKenna noted local shore fishermen and Quaker Lane Outfitters associate said, “I wish I could tell you that the fall run thus far has been good but I can’t, at least by my experiences. I have been out several times since 10-1 and have only a hand full of school bass for my efforts.”
Bonito. Noted Rhode Island angler and author Dave Pickering said, “We were sitting on a big pile of bait (bay anchovies) about a mile off the south shore (Saturday) while fishing from my brother’s boat. There were birds diving from above and fish whirling from below. Under the bait were good numbers of stripers, bluefish and black sea bass.  There were times when my brother Steve, my son, Ben, and I would all be on a fish at the same time. There were that many. On occasion we would notice a big blast through the bait. We assumed it was either big blues or maybe a false albacore, though I had not heard of any albies in the area. I casted my Zoom fluke on a jig head into some breaking fish.  I had a hit, hooked it, and the fish was off, screaming line off the reel and digging deep in the 30 feet of water we were fishing. This fight went on for a while with shorter runs as I got the fish closer to the boat.  Once near the boat, I could not believe that I had a good size bonito, the first I have landed in years. The fish went around ten pounds.  For me, it was the surprise of the year.”

Cod fishing remains good. Roger Simpson of the Frances Fleet said, “Monday’s cod trip was the best for size with several cod that were in the 25 to 28 pound range… Folks remember to keep that drag set on a setting that allows some forgiveness and lets the big cod dig for the bottom. For reasons many of us do not really understand the bigger cod are often not hooked all that well and in the relatively shallow waters we fish down here they can easily rip a hook out on their journey to the surface… Just about all of the cod have been taken on bait this past week.”
Freshwater fishing is good with anglers landing trout in ponds stocked by DEM a couple of weeks ago (visit for a listing). John Littlefield said, “Both the Brickyard and Echo Pound in Barrington (near the YMCA) have been good for bass with anglers landing fish using shiners.”
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. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at [email protected] or visit his website at