No Fluke

What I liked at the Newport boat show


I am somewhat of a boat geek. I can remember going to the library as a kid and spending hours in the periodical section looking over boating magazines. I would dream about what it would be like to be on and own one of these vessels.

I still do much the same thing at the Newport International Boat Show which was held last weekend. The boat show allows me to see the boats in the flesh and collect information that provides me with material to review features and specifications after the show. I now have owed ten boats in my lifetime; I own two now and like many boat owners I am always looking.
Here are two fishing boats that caught my attention at the Newport International Boat Show.

Sportsman 282… a 28 foot center console

The Sportsman 282 open center console and its sister Tournament Editor, which has a second half helm station on top of the vessel, are quite the fishing machines. The former owners of Sea Pro and Key West founded Sportsman Boats in 2012. The Tournament Editor comes complete with two in-deck fish boxes and a large 104 gallon coffin box, all with macerators. Fresh and salt water wash downs, two live wells and on the open center console I counted fourteen rod holders and rocket launches. The vessel is 28’ 2” long; the beam is 9’3”; it has a 21 degree dead rise; and a 20” draft. Complete with electronics the show special price on the open center counsel was $159,900. Visit or check them out at Millway Marina, Barnstable at

Albermarle The Carolina Classic… 29’ Express

Albermarle and Carolina joined forces to offer the best they both have to offer in the 29’ Express. The 29’ Express at the show had twin Yamaha 300 HP engines with fresh and salt water wash down, a galley, stand-up head/shower and a roomy 10’6” beam that provides plenty of fishing area. The boat is very solid and weighs in at 13,000 pounds, has four sleeping births with fishing attributes that include two cockpit fish boxes and a transom live well and a transom door. The boat with standard equipment is $286,900, with “discountable” items on their specification sheet $316,000, with “non-discountable” items on the specification sheet $332,712. Visit or see one at Oyster Harbors Marine on Cape Cod at

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association honors Susan Maffei Plowden

Susan Maffei Plowden of Jamestown (known as Suma in the community) was honored last Saturday morning at the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association’s annual Industry Partners Breakfast at the Newport Boat Show. Suma was a show highlight for me because her accomplishments inside and outside of sailing are remarkable.

Ms. Plowden was given the 2018 Anchor Award for her role as Stopover Director of the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race Newport. As you likely know, the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race Newport drew over 100,000 people to Newport and its surrounding waters and had a big economic impact on the state.

Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport presented the award highlighting Suma’s accomplishments including managing and promoting events in nearly every major sailing arena such as the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Olympic Games and others held in locations as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

Saturday’s Anchor Award was given to Suma for her successful effort and skill coordinating the work of organizations such as Sail Newport, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, countless city and state agencies and over 600 volunteers.
Congratulations Susan Maffei Plowden for a job well done.

Recycling boat hulls

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Environmental Panel that followed the award presentation. One of the panel stars was Evan Ridley a URI Marine Affairs graduate who serves as a Project Manager for the RIMTA. Ridley is directing comprehensive research on fiberglass recycling via an experimental pilot project recycling fiberglass boat hulls.

Ridley said, “Many of the components that are used to make fiberglass are also used to make cement. So ground up fiberglass hulls can replace components we put into cement.” The process would save on the development and mining of these resources while reducing solid waste (spent boat hulls). Efforts such as this have brought the RIMTA to a new sustainable plateau.
Where’s the bite?

Freshwater. Guy Dolloff of Wakefield said, “Fishing has been quite good. Up until last week fish were on or near first drop at weed edges. Rain lately, combined with cooler temperatures, has cooled water and as always in the fall the bass are moving to shore. We have success throwing shallow crankbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs at this time of year. Shoreline structure and rock piles are likely holding bass.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Customers have had a good largemouth bite at Bad Luck Pond in Rehoboth with one angler catching five nice fish from one and a half to three pounds this weekend.” The states of RI and MA will soon be stocking trout in area waterways for the fall. Visit and for dates and waterways that will be stocked.

Summer flounder (fluke), black sea bass and scup. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet, said, “We managed to get out two days last week. The fluke kept a low profile with the very dirty water. Anglers had no problem catching limits of sea bass to five pounds and filling buckets with scup.” The scup bite in our Bays remains very strong.

Striped bass and bluefish. I continued to find bluefish on the surface off Quonset Point and in the East Passage north of the Newport Bridge and Gould Island last week. The bluefish were in the mid twenty inch range. AJ Coots of Red Top Bait & Tackle, Buzzards Bay said, “Fishing from the Cape beaches has been good with anglers having success using needle fish lures. The Canal fishing is slow, however we weighed in a 27 pound fish from the Canal this week.” Littlefield said “We have some large school striped bass in the Providence River being caught a night and early morning in the 25” range.” Nellie Valles of Maridee Canvas Bait & Tackle, Narragansett said, “Fishing from shore has been very slow with all the storms. Some bass and bluefish are being caught from the beaches. But no reports of bonito or false albacore.”

Tautog fishing is just starting to heat up as anglers begin to target them. I found keeper tautog (minimum size 16”) at Plum Lighthouse next to the Jamestown Bridge and just shorts in the General Rock area in North Kingstown earlier this week. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait said, “All short tautog in the six to eight inch range are being caught in the Warren River, at Conimicut Light and Ohio Ledge. I think the water is still a bit warm for them.”

Offshore. The giant bluefin bite has been outstanding off Cape Cod. AJ Coots of Red Top Bait & Tackle, Buzzards Bay, said, “We had a couple of fish over 1,000 pounds landed with some smaller fish 73” and under taken too. One of the 1,000 pound giants was landed in sight of land at Fishing Ledge about ten miles from the east end of the Canal.” Warm, clear water before the storm was very good for shark cage diving. Capt. Charlie Donilon of Snappa Charters, who has had a good shark cage diving and shark tagging season, said, “We tagged about 90 sharks this year with nice clear blue water that facilitated shark cage diving. We implanted a transmitter in one mako as part of a research study. The mako travelled 80 miles to the Canyons in about a day. In a two week period we tagged eleven blue sharks and eight mako sharks.”

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

Dave Monti

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Scott Pickering

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