The RI Lions Sight Foundation (RILSF) will host their 7th Annual VIP Fishing Tournament for Visually Impaired Persons (VIP’s) of Rhode Island on June 22.
The tournament, which takes place on a party fishing boat out of Galilee, is supported through donations from RI Lions Clubs and individual donors. This year, the tournament will also receive support from the Pabst Brewing Company through the Pabst Blue Ribbon Northeastern Fishing Tournament held from June through September (visit pbrfishing.com).
The event includes breakfast and a half-day of fluke fishing followed by lunch and an awards presentation. Participants vie for the opportunity to represent Rhode Island at the Lions National VIP Tourney being held in October in North Carolina.
The event is free of charge to all VIP’s and their guides. To be eligible participants are must be legally blind, at least 17 years old, physically able to fish from a party boat, and accompanied by a guide (transportation and/or guides will be provided if needed).
VIP’s and guides must fill out an application to participate. Visit lions4sight.org/index.htm or call Ken Barthelemy at 401/529-6173 for information.
Where’s the bite
With warmer weather and a lot of bait (Atlantic Menhaden and squid) in the Narragansett Bay and along coastal shores, fishing broke wide open last week with tautog, fluke and striped bass. Here’s what is going on.
Striped bass bite for schoolies was very strong all along coastal shores and in Narragansett Bay. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “Many fish were caught in the River (Pawcatuck) this week with s 28” keeper caught from shore at Weekapaug.” Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “There were more striped bass in Greenwich Bay this week than in years. Everyone was catching school bass with an occasional keeper — about one in fifty fish.” Last week’s warming water combined with bait fish in the Bay in large numbers seemed to be the combination of conditions needed to activate the bass. Dave Pickering, noted author and shore striped bass fisherman said, “The fish tonight (last weekend) were hitting well after dark, a real good sign that the fish are becoming more active. The hot artificial combination that has been scoring big time has been a Red Gill teaser set up on a leader along with a white, 7 1/2 inch Slug-Go at the terminal end. The leader that holds this all together is made with 30 lb. test mono and is about 2 1/2 feet long. The teaser (Red Gill) dangles about 6 inches off the leader’s swivel. This is cast out and twitched along with short pulls of the rod tip as you retrieve at a slow to moderate speed. The Slug-Go moves erratically in the water and stripers simply cannot resist slamming it. One fish out of seven or eight will take the teaser which sometimes leads to double headers. This is hot stuff right now.”
Tautog fishing heated up last week too. Angler Larry Norin said he fished off shore this week for tautog, “Left Point Judith at 7 a.m. Three guys fished for two and a half hours and we caught eleven fish, nine keepers to six pounds, all on crabs in 30-40 feet of water.” Ken Landry and friend caught tautog to 11 ½ pounds using both clam worms and green crabs. “They fished at Plum Point Light, General Rock and Ohio Ledge.” said Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters said the tautog bite has been slow as not many anglers are targeting them this spring.
Fluke fishing is heating up with commercial fishermen starting to land fish along the southern coastal beaches. Noted fluke angler Cathy Muli said, “Got the word there’s small fluke on the beach here, draggers are working out front.” So Cathy and her husband Pat gave it a try this weekend. “There were only three boats out (ours being one of them) from Watch Hill to Weakapaug Breachway.” They picked up a few fish, all under 18” (recreational minimum size is 18” this year, 8 fish/angler/day). Cathy said, “I used the Jackpot Digger Jig with a new addition to the line…a fluorescent squid skirt on a glow jig head. That’s what I was using tipped with a strip of squid. Pat, on the other hand, was using the white/red bucktail jig. We got out late, 12:30 p.m., stayed 2 hours… Nothing to write home about but at least we know they’re moving in.” Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet reports that, “(Last week) hi hook took home six fine keepers with everyone on board getting at least 2- 3 fish apiece to take home. Pool fish was 5 lbs…. This past Saturday’s fluke fishing was also pretty good with a nice pull of keepers… From mid week on they have been marking increasing amounts of bait as well.”
Squid fishing has blown wide open with the Frances Fleet reporting great squid trips. “Patrons are landing a half of bucket (five gallon pail) each which is equal to last year’s best trip,” said Roger Simpson. John Migliori of Newport said, “Squidding at Goat Island is better than it has been in a few years.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.