DEM seeks public comment; tautog fishery heating up
The Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will solicit public comment on a variety of management plan proposals at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19, at the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett. Written comments concerning the regulations proposed by DEM may be submitted to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, 3 Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown, RI 02835 no later than noon on November 19.
Recreational fishing big business in US
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) held their annual summit in Florida and a key focus was the state of the industry. Michael Nussman, ASA president and CEO, said “According to the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national study, America’s anglers spend $48 billion per year on fishing equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses associated with fishing.” Other agenda items discussed at the summit included challenges and opportunities facing fisheries management as well as the latest trends and insights from customers regarding recreational fishing. For additional information visit www.asafishing.org.
Where’s the bite
Bonito. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “Customers are still catching bonito along the southern coastal shore mixed in with bluefish and striped bass.” Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “One of my customers was trying to reach what he thought were bonito at the mouth of the Narrow River in Narragansett Sunday. The fish were breaking just beyond his casting range from shore.”
Striped bass fishing has slowed off Block Island, according to Conti. “A few fish are being caught on the southwest side of Block Island, however, anglers along the southern coastal shore continue to land school bass in the 26” range,” he said. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “Ivan Brown of Texas fished Beavertail Point this weekend and landed a 39”, 18 ½ pound striped bass.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence, said “School bass and bluefish continue to be caught in the Providence River off Sabin Point and further north around the Hurricane Barrier and Hemingway’s Restaurant.”
Tautog fishing was by far the species target by most anglers this week. “The Brenton Reef area off Newport has been very good,” said Conti. “Tautog fishing has been very good at Seal Ledge and around can number two and four off Newport, with a fair bite at Coddington Cove, Middletown,” said Landry. In Narragansett Bay, “Anglers are finding fish at Rocky Point, at the day marker in the Warren River and at Conimicut Light with keeper fish in the six to eight pound range. The ratio was one keeper to every seven or eight fish which is a lot better than it has been the past couple of weeks,” said Littlefield. Dave Henault and Cody Trostel fished for tautog off Little Compton and in the Horseneck Beach area this week aboard Bounty Hunter Charters. Henault said, “Our party landed about 100 tautog and out of that about 36 were keepers, with my heaviest weighing nine pounds three ounces.” Roger Simpson of the Francis Fleet said, “Tautog of eleven and ten pounds were recorded this past week as well as a few others in the seven and eight pound range. It is very early still and the waters are on the warm side so as things cool down this fishery will continue to improve.”
Offshore fishing was good this week when the weather was warm and seas calm enough to get out. “Yellow fin tuna were caught at the canyons early this week and anglers are expected to fish offshore again this week as weather permits,” said Conti.
Fresh water fishing anglers were buying shiners at Ray’s Bait & Tackle this weekend targeting bass and trout in ponds stocked by DEM (visit www.dem.ri.gov for a listing of stocked ponds and lakes). Littlefield said, “Sunday morning one of my customers caught a six pound largemouth bass at the Brickyard in Barrington, on the Legion side. He was using shiners for bait.”
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing 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 www.noflukefishing.com.