I have made a lot of friends fishing but have made just as many at coffee shops. Sorry to say my coffee friend Marc passed away Saturday after fighting pancreatic cancer for over a year. Fishing provides common ground for friendships to develop, but oddly enough the mere fact that you spend time together at a coffee shop before dawn provides common ground, too.
In earlier years I was often at coffee shops to get a jump on my writing, but as I grew older, I found that the friendships I and others developed, like with Marc, were well worth the trip to chat and find out how all were doing.
Marc was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he thrived on reaching out to others, finding out about their lives, their day and what they expected to encounter.
I took him and his wife on an early evening wedding anniversary cruise on my boat a few years ago. Marc did not like the water, never mind fishing, as his threshold for sea sickness was very low. His wife was not a boater either, but both felt the experience of riding on my 47-year-old Bonito with a stinky diesel engine was unique enough to make it a grand anniversary experience.
Marc was like a good fishing friend, who will never let you down, and does everything to help you be a success. So, I thank him for that and feel certain he will continue to provide family and friends with counsel in a divine way.
I would not expect anything less from Marc. Goodbye, good friend.
2023 Holiday Gift Guide
Searching for that perfect gift for the saltwater fishing enthusiast in your life? Then check out the 2023 Holiday Gift Guide, curated by The Saltwater Edge in Middletown, R.I.
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Still time to weigh in on striped bass regulations
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and their marine coastal states from Maine to Virginia have scheduled hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum II to Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. Addendum II considers management measures designed to support stock rebuilding by reducing fishing mortality to the target level in 2024.
Hearings for public comment on Addendum II options will take place in Rhode Island Thursday, Nov. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus, Corliss Auditorium, 215 South Ferry Road, Narraganset, R.I. Contact is Jason McNamee at 401-222-4700.
In Massachusetts, the meeting is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Admiral’s Hall, 101 Academy Dr., Buzzards Bay, MA. Contact is Michael Armstrong at 978-619-0012.
A copy of Addendum II can be found at Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (asmfc.org). Visit the American Saltwater Guides Association comment guide at Striped Bass Addendum II – Public Comment Guide – American Saltwater Guides Association.
If you miss the public hearing, you can still post comments, as they will be taken by the ASMFC until Dec. 22. For background on the Addendum and how to provide comments, visit Public Input - Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (asmfc.org).
Where’s the bite?
“Striped bass fishing is still good for anglers in Narragansett Bay. As of this past weekend, customers were still catching fish, an unusually prolonged season, but that is it for us. Our shop closed this week,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence.
Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, said, “The bass bite has slowed dramatically, but anglers are still catching school striped bass, with larger fish being caught in our estuaries.”
Squid fishing continues to be fairly good. But as usual it is hit or miss. Squid fishing expert Greg Vespe of Tiverton reported a good night squid bite in the Newport Bridge area last week.
Tautog fishing was pretty good Sunday, but some vessels did not sail last week due to bad weather and the Thanksgiving holiday. “The tautog bite is still outstanding, with anglers catching their limit. However, the fish are in deeper water, in the 50- to 60-foot range,” said Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle.
Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said, “The tautog bite is very good. The Island Current returned to port yesterday (Sunday) and reported a great day of tautog fishing in waters they hadn’t been fishing before, with some cod fish mixed in.”
Call ahead to make a party boat reservation; vessels generally sail between 5 and 7 a.m. and return in the afternoon. Visit www.islandcurrent.com, www.francesfleet.com and www.sevenbs.com. Full day rates for vessels are generally $130 to $135 per adult and around $80 for those under 12 years old.
Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “The freshwater bite in stocked trout and Sebago salmon ponds has been very good. I have been spending my time focusing on the salmon, which have ranged in the 22” to 23” size.” For a complete list of trout stocked ponds in Massachusetts, visit Mass Wildlife at Trout stocking report | Mass.gov, and in Rhode Island visit www.dem.ri.gov/fishing, or call 401-789-0281 or 401-539-0019 for more information on trout stocking.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com.