Big plugs for big fish


Expert angler Richard Reich will be the featured speaker this Monday, May 20, 7 p.m. at a seminar titled “Big plugs for big fish.” The seminar is sponsor by the RI Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) at the West Warwick Elks Lodge, 60 Clyde Street, West Warwick. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with food available through the Elks kitchen. RISAA members free, non-members are asked to make a $10 donation to the RISAA Scholarship Fund.       

Reich is an expert shore angler. He caught the RISAA shore Hall of Fame striped bass, a 52-pound fish he caught from shore. He will talk about using large plugs for large fish from the surf. He is a RISAA board member, Youth Camp Director and past chair and vice chair of the Surfcasters Committee.

For information contact Scot Travers, RISAA Executive Director, at 401.826.2121.

NOAA steps up reports associated with offshore wind

Bring on the science as the more we know about offshore wind energy and its positive and negative impacts on our environment, ocean habitat and fisheries the better. Much of what we know now has been gleaned from the over twenty five years European countries have been using wind energy as a primary source of renewable energy. For example, Denmark creates about 56 percent of their energy needs with wind power.

As a charter captain I spend most of my fishing days seeking out and fishing structure… drop offs, jetties, rock formations, ledges, channel edges and bridge abutments. So, my belief is that offshore wind farms will create enhanced structure and more fish, just like the Block Island Wind Farm has and wind farms in Europe. 

A seven year fish abundance study in the Block Island Wind Farm showed there was more cod and black sea bass in the Block Island Wind Farm area compared to control areas south and east. All other species were even, if squid was up in the wind farm area, it was up by a similar percentage in the control areas.  Greater fish abundance has been the case in multiple European wind farm fish abundance studies too.

Last week NOAA Fisheries announced how they continue to updated and expand analyses and reports to help the public better understand the impacts of offshore wind development on commercial and recreational fisheries along the U.S. Atlantic Coast. The new reports build upon the previously developed analyses, but now include updated data and additional analysis on impacts to ports and cumulative impacts from all Greater Atlantic offshore wind lease areas combined.

For details on new data, analyses and a new data query tool visit Offshore Wind Energy Development in New England/Mid-Atlantic Waters | NOAA Fisheries.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing. Anglers continue to find trout in stocked ponds in RI and MA. “The largemouth bass are in prespawn mode so the bite is outstanding along with a good trout bite. One of our customers who fished Johnston Pond caught some great looking catfish last week,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick. Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, said, “The largemouth bass bite is as good as it has ever been, and the trout bite has been fairly good.” 

Striped bass and bluefish. “Stripers are everywhere, particularly in the East Passage with anglers catching them with all types of hard and soft plastic lures,” said Giddings of the Tackle Box.

East End Eddie Doherty, Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author, said, “There has been some action in the west end with some 30 inch stripers caught on both sides, Bell Road and Mass Maritime. 30-pound bass are stacked up outside of Sippican Harbor, Marion, hopefully contemplating an entrance into the Canal. The new moon on Tuesday is ushering in breaking tides all week so if the water warms up a little it could be epic!”  Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Fish range in size from 6-inch schoolies to 40-inch cows. Last week we saw an uptick in tidal moments, as we approached the end of a new moon. Bass around the Breachways are mostly after silversides. Having said that, thin-profile baits, such Joebaggs Miracle Minnow, Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow, and SP Minnow, have proven to be effective. There are increasing reports of larger bluefish, and their abundance should continue to rise. To avoid getting bit off when hitting the rocks, you might want to thicken up your flouro.” 

Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, said, “Some nice sized blue fish have arrived in the Bay. Angler Steve Brustein of Warwick caught a 30-inch bluefish while trolling a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow in Greenwich Bay Saturday.  “Earlier in the week angler Adam Tam of Worcester caught a monster bluefish over 30 inches while fishing at night at Salley Rock, Warwick,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence.

Tautog fishing continues to improve. “The bite is gradually improving with most boats capturing a respectable limit. In order to have a productive day, you might need to try hitting a few different rock piles because the fish are not moving around all that much” said O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle. 

Giddings of the Tackle Box, said,” The tautog bite is outstanding with anglers doing well at Indian Pt. Park, Providence to Newport with anglers catching some nice fish a Plum Beach Light next to the Jamestown Bridge.”

Squid fishing has been on and off from the shore and from boats from the Newport Bridge area.

Dave Monti holds a master 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 or visit

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