Cicilline and Langevin co-sponsor Climate-Ready Fisheries Act
Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline have signed on as co-sponsors to the Climate-Ready Fisheries Act, H.R.4679, a bi-partisan bill now in the House of Representatives.
The bill is a climate ready audit for our nation’s commercial and recreational fisheries. It is not a revision to our national fishing law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but rather recommends an audit as to what NOAA and our eight regional councils are doing to prepare fisheries for climate change, identifies gaps and then makes recommendations on what should be done moving forward. The resulting audit and the bi-partisan spirt of the bill will go a long way to help set our fisheries climate readiness agenda moving forward.
Rhode Island Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline have long been supporters of fish, fishermen and habitat and their co-sponsorship of this bill is a testament to their willingness to prepare Rhode Island fisheries for climate change impacts.
Cod fishing still good off Rhode Island
Cod fishing generally starts now, in mid to late November and early December and runs through mid-February. The minimum size for cod in Rhode Island is 21” (reduced from 22” last year) with a catch limit of ten fish/person/day.
Capt. Rick Bellavance, president of the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association (RIPCBA), said, “The winter cod fishery in Rhode Island can be amazing. The cod will school in shoal water south of Block Island and offer an awesome opportunity to get out on the water during the winter months.” And, this year anglers (more than ever) have been catching cod when fishing for tautog off Newport and Jamestown. So let’s hope this is a good sign.
Joseph Langan, PhD candidate from the University of Rhode Island has studied cod and cod spawning in Narraganset Bay and off Rode Island’s coastal shore. Langan said, “Fever cod have been caught the past couple of years. It could be tied to climate change from two perspectives. First, warming water, which cod do not like, and second, the abundance of other species competing for food… like balck sea bass.” Langan said that when analyzed in the lab, balck sea bass and cod eat exactly the same food. So with the abundance of balck sea bass (here due to a warming water stock shift), the cod may not have enough to eat.
Cod fishing tips from the experts Monday, November 25, 7:00 p.m.
Atlantic cod fishing has not been good in the Gulf of Maine for some time now. This year the recreational season opened for just one week in Massachusetts north of the Cape Cod (see map), September 15 to 30, at one fish/person/day. However, south of Cape Cod and in Rhode Island, we have a recreational cod fishery which is in part of the George’s Bank cod fishery. As noted above the limit in this area is ten fish/person/day.
If you want to know how and where to fish this stock Capt. Rich Hittinger and his fishing partner Bob Murray of the vessel ‘Skipjack’, will offer cod fishing tips at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) seminar on Tuesday, November 25, 7:00 p.m., West Warwick Elks Lodge, 60 Clyde Street, West Warwick.
Hittinger and Murray plan to cover tips on tackle, jigs and baits and how can find the local cod near bottom structure just an hour away from Point Judith. Members and non-members are welcome. Non-members are asked to make a $10 donation to the RISAA Scholarship Fund. Dinner served by the Elks Lodge starting at 5:30 p.m. For information visit the event calendar at www.risaa.org .
Cod rigs and bait
A hook or two, a bank sinker that holds the bottom and sea clams are often used as bait to catch cod. Jigs of various sizes, color and weight depending on conditions are used too. Cod will generally eat anything that is in front of them, they are not picky, but you have to get their attention and jigs usually do a good job of this. A common rig used is a diamond jig with a colored teaser tied about 12 inches above the jig. Sometimes anglers tip the jig and teaser with fresh bait (a piece of sea clam).
Fly casting and tying at Fin & Feather Outfitters
Fin & Feather Outfitters, North Kingstown will hold a fly casting workshop and presentation on Saturday, November 16, 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. Local fly fishing guide and expert Ed Lombardo will conduct the workshop. Lombardo said, “If we have to go inside the fly tying will be shown on a 43" television screen. Fin & Feather is providing a hot dog and hamburger lunch for participants. For information contact Fin & Feather at 401-316-6924.
Fly tying for charity
The Rhody Fly Rodders will hold their annual Fly Tying Event Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Riverside Sportsmen’s Association, 19 Mohawk Drive, East Providence. Members donate flies and tie flies at the event that are sold at a later date at fishing shows with the proceeds going to charities.
Peter Nilsen, president of Rhody Fly Rodders said, “This year our designated charity is Project Healing Waters. They take wounded, disabled and challenged veterans and introduce them to the quiet world of fly fishing and fly tying.” Also at the meeting quest speaker Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge and president of the American Saltwater Fishing Guides Association, will review and explain actions of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) recent decision to have a 28” - 35” one fish/person/day slot limit for striped bass in the 2019-2020 fishing season.
Non-members welcome to attend. Coffee, soft drinks and snacks available. For information contact Peter Nilsen at email@example.com.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater fishing. “We have not had a lot of freshwater customers as the weather has been kind of cold. However, we did have a consumer catch largemouth and pickerel at Willet Avenue Pond, East Providence this past weekend.” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren.
Striped bass fishing for school bass is still good from the beaches and boats along the southern coastal shore, in our bays and coves. Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly, said, “Fishing from the beaches for keeper bass (28” and over) has been spotty, however, a good number of school bass in the 15” to 27” range have been caught from Weekapaug to Watch Hill. Just this week we had a couple of larger fish taken but overall the fall run has not been great for large fish.” School bass are still on the surface in parts of the Bay, off Newport and the Sakonnet. “The school bass bite at Haines Park, East Providence and along the Sakonnet River has been good for customers” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle.
Tautog fishing continues to be very strong, even better than last year which was a good year too. Anglers are limiting out with five fish/person/day with a ten fish boat maximum. Minimum size is 16”. “Tautog fishing is still on fire. Anglers are catching keeper fish anywhere there is a rock pile suing green crags and jigs.” said Harrison Gatch of Watch Hill Outfitters. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “This is the best tautog fishing we have seen in a long time. In the Bay anglers a changing them at Ohio Ledge and any place there is structure from Warren to Jamestown. One customer caught a cod fish when fishing off Newport.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “We have had limit catches or within striking distance. Pool fish around ten pounds has been the norm. Some anglers are reporting catching nearly 50 shorts on some trips.”
Dave Monti 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, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com and his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com .