No Fluke

Newport International Boat Show next week


The 49th Newport International Boat Show will be held Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 12, 13 and 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 14, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The show takes place on the waterfront along American’s Cup Avenue in Newport.

Newport is one of the largest in the water boat shows in the country and the kick-off to the boat show season, the event will host exhibitors from around the world with an exceptional assortment of boats of every type and style, plus a variety of accessories, equipment, electronics, gear and services for boaters.

“While the new boats and products are a main reason our visitors come to the Show, we always try to enhance the experience with first-rate activities,” said Nancy Piffard, Show Director of Newport Exhibition Group. “This year we have a very robust itinerary of courses, special events, seminars and guest speakers, designed to give valuable information and a lot of fun to boaters of all ages and levels of experience. We are confident this will be a great show!”

Visit for information, show seminars, events, for course schedules, to register for courses as well as to buy tickets.

Warm water fuels sea bass explosion, limit increased Sunday

Balck sea bass are everywhere. You can’t go fishing in most places without caching them.

Last week Jason McNamee, chief of Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Resources, said, “One reason why we have so many black sea bass is that the young of the year (newly born sea bass) are living though the winter. The winter water is not as cold as it used to be. So we have had a couple of years when these small fish have returned to shore in the spring creating an abundance of small fish.”

McNamee spoke at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) seminar on black sea bass, he was part of a panel with Capt. Eric Thomas of Teezer Charters and Kraig Ruth, chairman of RISAA's kayak committee.

The Rhode Island’s catch limit until August 31 was three fish/person/day. However, the limit increased this past Sunday, September 1 to December 31 to seven fish/person/day. In Massachusetts the season ends September 8 with a five fish/person/day limit. In both states the minimum size is 15”.

Black sea bass facts
• Black sea bass are primarily black (sounds odd), but they have the ability to adjust their colors ranging from grey, brown, black to a deep indigo hue. The larger fish are male, McNamee said, “Dominate males tend to be the most colorful and the largest fish with humps on their heads which in part may be a way they communicate their dominance.”
• They spend most of their time around the bottom and can be found near rocky areas, jetties, rips and like a lot of bottom fish, they like structure.
• Black sea bass are hermaphroditic fish… they begin life as female then some turn male.
• Black sea bass put up a good feisty fight but they do not grow to be huge fish, however, record sizes in the northeast have been caught in recent years, fish in the 20” to 25” range are common.
• The largest black sea bass tend to be in deeper water on or near structure.
• Ideal water temperature for black sea bass is 59 to 64 degrees.
How and where to catch them… rigs and bait
Rigs often used to catch black sea bass have two hooks approximately 12” to 16” apart with a bank sinker to hold bottom. However, Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters said, “Black sea bass fishing could not have been better this year with easy limits of blue males common. A simple one hook rig with squid is all you need.” They can also be caught with jigs and many prefer this method.
Any underwater structures… rocks, wrecks, piers and jetties will attract black sea bass. The larger males are generally found in deeper water.

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass, bluefish, bonito and mackerel. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Bonito, chub mackerel and Spanish mackerel are running all along the southern coastal shore from Pier 5, Narragansett to Westerly with these fish being taken in front of Newport and the Sakonnet River too. Anglers are using Epoxy jigs, Daddy Mac jigs and soft plastics to target them.” Capt. Rene Letourneau of On the Rocks Charters had two customers score a RI Slam… they landed striped bass, bluefish and bonito in the same outing off Newport. “It was their first time saltwater fly fishing.” said Capt. Letourneau. Bluefish and keeper striped bass have infiltrated Narragansett Bay. We caught bluefish and a 30” striped bass off the dock in Wickford Cove this week. The Cove was loaded with needlefish with a fair about of Atlantic manhanden and snapper blues in the water too. Henault said, “The striped bass bite is good at Block Island and up in the Bay at places like Conimicut Point, Sabin Point and Salter Grove we have a lot of small bluefish with keeper based mixed in being caught. The fish are very fast moving so they are likely chasing peanut bunker.”

Summer flounder (fluke), black sea bass and scup. Bottom fishing for anglers is good with scup being caught just about any place in Bays and along coastal shores where there is structure and water movement. The fluke bite continues to be good at the Sakonnet River around Elbow Ledge. We continue to catch large black sea bass in the 20” to 23” range at the mouth of the Sakonnet using squid in combination with soft plastic. Red seems to be working best with white a second best choice. Three anglers on my vessel caught their limit in 60 minutes of fishing at the Sakonnet this weekend. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Monday started out with the Marathon trip boxing around 140 keeper fluke. We had two fish around 10 pounds and five other fish over eight pounds. Tuesday- Thursday saw up and down results but quality fish on all trips. Fluke fishing is not over yet! Sea bass fishing was rock solid with full boat limits on every trip.”

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. Follow Capt. Dave on twitter @CaptDaveMonti. He’ll be tweeting about ‘Where’s the bite’, fishing regulations, national fishing policy, and issues that impact the fish. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at or visit

Dave Monti

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