Fishinar series aims to encourage angler wind farm input
Orsted, owner of the Block Island Wind Farm and five other wind farms off the east coast, is sponsoring a free Fishinar Series. The aim of the Orsted Fishinar Series is to encourage angler input into offshore wind farm plans while relating strategies and tactics on how to catch the fish we love to eat through expert charter captains and private angles.
The first Fishinar, ‘Angling for ground fish’ will be held Wednesday, Nov. 18; 7 p.m. via Zoom. Panelists include Capt. Chris Willi of Block Island Fish Works, Capt. BJ Silvia of Flippin Out Charters, Portsmouth and RISAA 1st vice president and ground fishing expert in the near offshore, Rich Hittinger of Warwick. Species discussed will include summer flounder, cod, tautog, scup and more.
The second Fishinar, “Angling for pelagic fish’ will be held Wednesday, Dec. 9; 7 p.m. via Zoom. Panelists include Capt. John McMurray of New York, charter captain, writer and member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; Capt. Charlie Donilon, Snappa Charters, shark fishing and shark cage diving expert; and Richard Pastore, RISAA member and near offshore fishing expert. Species discussed will include tuna, sharks, mahi and others.
Both Fishinars will live stream panelists from District Hall Providence in a casual town hall format. Visit https://districthallprovidence.org/calendar/ for event listing or the Eventbrite website page for additional information and to register for free tickets.
The Revolution Wind farm will be just 14 miles from Newport. Scientist have shared the Block Island Wind Farm, 17.5 miles from shore, has had a reef effect building habitat, creating sea life and fishing opportunities for the fish we love to catch and eat. New closer to shore wind farms will likely become fishing destinations too, much like the Block Island Wind Farm.
The Fishinar will also discuss the importance of research and monitoring plans for each wind farm to make sure we are not damaging but enhancing fishing opportunities and just how easy it is to provide developers with valuable planning input.
Where’s the bite?
Tautog is the fish to target this week. I fished in West Passage on Jamestown mussel beds and did well earlier in the week easily catching limits, but this Sunday the bite was off there. Did find fish in the General Rock ledge area including three keepers to 21” with about seven shorts. Dave Henault of Ocean State tackle, Providence said, “The bite was slow this weekend but once the water settles the bite will come back. Tautog do not like turbid water and have a tendency not to move around much as the sand in the water irritates their gills, but once the water settles down the bite comes back.” Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “Anglers are catching their limit out in front of Newport and then returning. But in the Bay all the usual places are producing for anglers too… Plum Light, Hope Island and the General Rock ledge area.” Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown said, “The tautog bite is good for customers in 20 to 40 feet of water. Anglers are catching their limit in a couple of hours of fishing with fish in the 18” to 25” range with a lot of shorts mixed in. Rock piles in front of the Breachway are yielding some nice fish.” “Customers continue to catch their limit of tautog. The Newport area… Brenton Reef, and the Seal Ledge area are producing for customers,” said Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “We had another solid week black fishing in Rhode Island. We have been seeing limit catches or just a few fish shy on every single trip. Pool fish have been a solid 9-10 pounds on nearly every trip.”
Striped bass fishing for school bass continues to be strong. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait said, “Potters Cove, Prudence Island was loaded with school striped bass this week.” Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait said, “I fished the stretch of beach between Charlestown beach and the Breachway and hooked up with twenty bass fishing for an hour with fish in the 15” to 28” range. The bite has been very good from the beaches. And, we have a lot of shad in the water, fly rodders are having a blast catching them.” Dave Henault said, “Customers are doing well from shore all along the southern coast shore.”
Freshwater fishing has been OK when anglers have been able to get out. High winds and cold weather has discouraged anglers. However, as the weather cleared this week anglers got out and fished. Dave Henault of Ocean State said, “The trout and bass fishing have been off but will likely pick up a bit as weather improves, however, many customers are starting to turn their attention to pike and carp fishing. Many are using lures they use for bass to target Pike.”
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.