Stock up on your fly fishing flies by joining the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Fish & Wildlife Aquatic Resource Education’s annual Fall Fly Tying Program. Learn how to tie flies from knowledgeable fly tying instructors.
Participants will have a choice of tying saltwater or freshwater flies at either the beginner or intermediate level. You will even have a chance to win a holiday wreath covered with a variety of flies.
The program begins Monday, Nov. 14, 2022 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cold Spring Community Center, North Kingstown, RI.
The fee is $5/person/session or pre-register for all five sessions for $20. For information or to register online visit, https://dem.ri.gov/events/fall-fly-tying-workshop or contact Kimberly Sullivan at 401.539.0037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anglers weigh in on tautog regulations
Last week you might say anglers stood up for tautog, a great eating fish often called black fish that is primarily targeted by anglers in the fall.
Most comments made November 1 were in favor of new proposed 2023 tautog regulations for the State of Massachusetts as anglers expressed their thoughts at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) hearing on the subject. The State of Rhode Island had enacted similar regulations for the 2022 season.
The aim of the “Trophy” fish regulation for tautog is to preserve large female fish that have great spawning potential. Under new regulations, anglers are allowed to take just one fish larger than 21 inches, and their remaining fish in a slot limit of 16 to 21 inches.
Jack Creighton, past president of the Cape Cod Salties fishing association, said, “The Cape Cod Salties supports this proposed more conservation minded tautog regulation. Protecting large fish with great breeding potential makes sense and will help continue to grow this fishery.”
Fred DeFinis who lived in Massachusetts much of his life, but now lives across the border in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, said, “Recreational anglers like me have had good success tautog fishing the past couple of years. It is a great fishery and only makes sense to preserve the fishing in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as we are in the same management region with the aim of making regulations similar.”
Four charter captains at the meeting who all fished in Massachusetts and Rhode Island related how the new regulation worked in Rhode Island this year. All said there was no negative impacts on business. And, by allowing anglers to keep fish 16 to 21 inches they are going home with plenty of meat and yet are still allowed a trophy fish for personal best records and tournaments.
DMF will accept written public comment on all proposals covered at the meeting through 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Submit written comments to Director Daniel McKiernan by e-mail (email@example.com) or post (251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114); emailing comments is preferred. Full text of the regulations may be found on DMF’s website .
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said, “So many anglers are fishing for tautog that we are not hearing much about striped bass. I do know there was a decent bite at the North Rip (Block Island).”
Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “The striped bass bite in is still very good with this warm water. Slot fish and larger are still being caught at the Cape Cod beaches, on the Canal as well as in Narragansett Bay and along the southern coastal shore. SP Minnows and soft plastics are working well for anglers. The bass are still here but you have to find them.”
“Barrington Beach and places further up Narragansett Bay are still holding bass. Anglers are catching bass from the Kettle Point Dock (East Providence) with soft plastic, white is working well,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside.
Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “The beaches have been relatively quiet with most schools of bass passing at ease well out of casting distance. However there are still a good amount of bass in the salt ponds and feeding in and around the Breachways at night.”
East End Eddie Doherty, expert Canal angler and author, said, “Plenty of baitfish are still swimming in the Canal feeding sustained blitzes for miles. Striped bass were breaking for hours riding the east tide as Anast Terezakis and his son Nick from Connecticut had a good day at Pip’s Rip. They had fish up to 42 inches and Anast landed a 26-pounder on a white Beachmaster pencil.”
Tautog. “Tautog fishing has just been outstanding. The Island Current party boat caught an 18-pound tautog last Friday. Shore angles on the West Wall are still catching tautog but they have started to move to deeper water with a good bite off Brenton Reef, Newport and off Pt. Judith Light,” said Cahill.
Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle said, “Anglers are catching tautog all over the Bay at about a 10 (short) to one (keeper) ratio. Keeper tautog are being caught as far up as the broken bridge at the mouth of the Seekonk River with spotty action (some days good, some days bad) at Conimicut Light, Warwick.”
O’Donnell of Breachway Bait, said, “Many boats have been limiting out on tautog and even grabbing a few black sea bass. The fish are still in both shallow and deep water. Some spots are holding shorter fish then others but when you get on a good bite there’s some 8lb + class fish around.”
“Cod fishing has been good for customers at the Southeast corner of Cox Ledge where Capt. Louis DeFusco of Hot Reels Sportfishing charters ran into some large cod that made it difficult for them to boat slot sized fish (22” to <28”, five fish/person/day).” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor. O’Donnell of Breachway Bait, said, “A few boats took advantage of the nice weather last week and ran south of Block Island for cod and did pretty well catching a mix of cod and black sea bass.”
Freshwater. “Freshwater fishing for largemouth bass has been very, very good, but not many of my customers are fishing the fresh water with the lively tautog and striped bass bite still alive on saltwater.” said Henault of Ocean State. John Littlefield said, “We still have few customers fishing Willet Avenue Pond and Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods for trout but they are far and few between at this time.”
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.
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