No Fluke

Tautog limit increases; black sea bass opens this Sunday


The tautog limit increased to six fish/person/day on Sunday, Oct. 15, and will run through Dec. 15. However, the ten fish/boat/day limit is in effect, but does not apply to charter and party boats.

Tautog fishing has been fair in low water spots; however, some anglers have been catching their limit. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “Some guys have been filling their freezers with fish caught in places like the Codding Cove jetty, Hope Island and General Rock.” The hope is that the water is cooling now and the bite will pick up in deeper waters along our coastal shores.

Black sea bass opens Sunday, Oct. 22

The black sea bass fishing has been very good. Anglers caught them this summer when fluke fishing and they have been catching them when fishing for tautog and cod. The only challenge is that the season closed when the Federal black sea bass season closed from Sept. 22 to Oct. 21. So, anglers have not been able to take black sea bass. This will change Sunday, Oct. 22 when the season reopens.

The minimum size for black sea bass is 15” and when the season reopens the limit will be seven fish/person/day. Black sea bass are a great eating fish and usually can be caught around structure on the bottom. Bait of choice is generally squid, however, anglers do catch them with crabs while tautog fishing, clams when cod fishing as well as with jigs.

Workshop Oct. 23: Bay and rivers cleaner but climate change impacts great

The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program will release the State of Narraganset Bay and Its Watershed Report at a workshop on Monday, Oct. 23; 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Save The Bay Center, 100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence.

The State of Narraganset Bay and Its Watershed report combines key findings from a 500-page technical report developed by the Estuary Program in collaboration with numerous research partners in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The geographic scope of the report includes the 1,705 square-mile watershed. While most of the bay itself is in Rhode Island, 60 percent of the watershed lies within Massachusetts including the Blackstone, Tauton and Pawtuxet Rivers.

The workshop will highlight key findings of the report including the future implications of rising temperatures and more intense precipitation with respect to the significant reductions of nitrogen and phosphorus loadings in its first panel discussion. A second panel discussion will focus on the present and future biological implications of climate change.

The key themes of the State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed report include the water in the bay is cleaner; conditions vary greatly among places in the bay and watershed — generally improving with distance from urban areas but urbanized areas are expanding; stressors associated with climate change are increasing; and scientists are tracking changes to bay and watershed ecosystems. The report culminates with a call for funding to do more research and monitoring to understand the changes occurring in the bay and watershed to enable well-informed adaption and mitigation planning.

Space is limited and those interested should pre-register. If you are interested in attending the workshop RSVP by sending an email to

Ron Montecalvo, long time fly fishermen passes

Ronald Montecalvo, a fifty year/founding member of the Rhody Fly Rodders passed away while fishing on Oct. 10. He was former owner of Pt. Jude Lures and a fly line specialist and consultant for the Ashaway Line Company. Peter Nilsen, president of the Rhody Fly Rodders said, “Ron was a great person who worked for many years with veterans groups in Rhode Island teaching vets fly tying and fly fishing. He will be missed.”

Fin & Feather Outfitters fly casting workshop

Noted local fly fishing guide Ed Lombardo will hold a free fly fishing casting demonstration and clinic at Fin & Feathers Outfitters, North Kingstown, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 9:30 a.m.

Lombardo will conduct a fly casting demonstration and review gear, terminal tackle and relate how to cast large flies. For information call Fin & Feathers Outfitters at 401/316-6924.

Where’s the bite?

The false albacore bite continues to be very strong along the southern coastal show with fish in the Bay penetrating all the way up the Providence River. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “The false albacore bite has been very good with some bluefish mixed in but the bass bite has been slow, perhaps due to dirty water caused by storms last week.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Eight to nine pound fish are being caught off the docks in Providence. I have never seen them up this far. About 25 years ago I can remember some being caught near Barrington but never up the River. Customers are throwing all kinds of lures. Kastmaster, Deadly Dicks and epoxy lures and catching a fish or two but the fly fishermen are the anglers that seem to be landing the most fish consistently as they are having luck with flies these fish can’t seem to resist.” “The false albacore bite has been very good from the beaches,” said Tony Pocchia of Misquamicut Bait & Tackle, Westerly. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “This week it has been all about albies in the Bay, they are being caught off Barrington Beach, around Hog Island and all over the Bay.”

Striped bass fishing along the coastal shore has been OK. Pocchia said, “Fishing from shore in the Westerly and Charlestown areas has been good. Anglers have been landing 25 pound fish.” Angler Eric Appolonia of North Kingstown, said, “Fishing on the Southwest Ledge at Block Island has been pretty good with anglers landing nice fish trolling tube & worm.” School sized striped bass have been all over the Bay. Many of them are chasing peanut bunker which are immature Atlantic menhaden. I caught two school bass to 22” in Wickford Harbor off my dock this weekend casting a Yo-Zuri Cristal Minnow.

“Scup are still in Bay as the water is still warm, 64 degrees. They are at Colt State Park, Lavin’s Marina and off Rocky Point,” said Littlefield.

Tautog fishing has been spotty. Anglers catching fish are working for them catching a number of short tautog, sea bass and scup before they get their limit (the limit increased to six fish Sunday with a ten fish boat limit). However, some of the keepers being caught are quality fish. “We weighed in an eight pound twelve once tautog this weekend. Tautog fishing along the coastal shore has been good in shallow water. They are not in deeper water yet as the water is still pretty warm,” said Wade. “Tautog fishing in the bay and river has been slow,” said Littlefield. I fished the General Rock, North Kingstown area Saturday and managed to catch tautog to 22 inches, however it was a very slow pick. The day before I fished there and landed two nice keepers to 20” in about 90 minutes. All major bites came on green crabs cut in half with some of the shell and legs left on (other days they like the shell and legs off).

Freshwater fishing has been very good in waterways stocked with trout by DEM. Visit for a complete list of stocked waterways. “We have been selling a lot of large shiners to anglers fishing Carbuncle Pond, Coventry.” DEM stocked this pond with larger trout as a pilot project.

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He 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 and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at or visit his website at

Capt. Dave Monti

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.