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 led by fly fishing and tying expert guide Ed Lombardo.
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 Tuesday, November 14, 2022 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cold Spring Community Center, North Kingstown, RI.
The fee is $5/person/session or pre-register for all five sessions for $25. For information or to register online visit, Annual Fall Fly Tying Event | Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (ri.gov), contact Kimberly Sullivan at 401.539.0037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Atlantic right whale population decline slowing?
NOAA Fisheries has released a comprehensive population viability analysis for North Atlantic right whales, and the 2023 population estimate.
The analysis allows users to project how the total population’s extinction trajectory could change under various “what-if” scenarios. Results show that both vessel strikes and entanglement of these whales need to be considerably reduced for the species to continue to exist.
NOAA and long standing whale conservation groups concur that reducing entanglement and vessel strikes are paramount to preserve the species and offshore wind surveys and development is not contributing to mortality as suggested by some. There is no known link between recent large whale mortalities and ongoing offshore wind development and surveys. Visit Frequent Questions—Offshore Wind and Whales | NOAA Fisheries.
The annual population estimate shows that approximately 360 animals were alive at the beginning of 2022. This is fewer than the numbers alive at the beginning of 2021, but the sharp downward trajectory of this species observed between 2015 and 2019 may be slowing.
For an article with details visit Reducing Entanglements and Vessel Strikes Makes Extinction Less Likely for North Atlantic Right Whales | NOAA Fisheries.
Kidney needed for tackle shop owner
Long time recreational fishing tackle shop owner Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence has polycystic kidney disease and is in need of a kidney. Possible donors do not have to be a match but he does need one donated to offset the kidney he may get in return. For information call 781.960.1201 or contact the Living Donor Transplant | Massachusetts General Hospital (massgeneral.org).
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass, bluefish, bonito. “The striped bass bight was outstanding this weekend with school bass to over slot size fish being caught off Pt. Judith and along the coast with bonito and chub mackerel mixed in. Add anchored tautog anglers into the mix and it was chaotic, almost better to troll tube and worm,” said Elisa Chahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown.
“The striped bass bite in the mid and upper Bay is still good with anglers catching keepers trolling tube & worm off Barrington Beach, however, activity is spotty. The fish are here and then there the next day. You just have to find them,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside.
Expert shore fly fisherman and instructor Ed Lombardo said, “Fished the Narrow River and got a dozen Shad and five Bass to 25”. I used my hot pink and dark brown flies, both weighted. The water was outgoing and was near perfect, nice flow, no weeds, and nice and clear. Lots of bait to keep the fish there. Most of the fish hit the fly deep.”
Declan O’Conner of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Surfcasters have been finding good number of bass in the breachways and along the beach. Most of the bass were chasing bay anchovies. Which are a minnow type bait ranging from .5 - 3 inches. Customers have been using small soft plastics, bucktails with a teaser, and top water plugs. Fishing in the south shore salt ponds remain solid. There are good size mullet as well as peanut bunker keeping bigger sized bass entertained. Now that the temp is dropping you can expect bass to be active throughout the day.”
Tautog fishing has been produced for anglers all over Narragansett Bay, off Newport and along our southern coastal shore with some large fish being caught.
“We weighed in an 8.3 pound fish and two ten pounders this weekend with anglers Bob Murray and Rich Hittinger of Skipjack catching some very large tautog for the RISAA Tournament. I caught three nice keeper tautog to 23-inch in the General Rock, North Kingstown area on an isolated piece of structure in 15 feet of water in about two hours. Also caught four underside tautog, three oyster fish and two cunners (choggies). The tautog regulation now is a 16-inch minimum size, five fish/angler/day with just one of them allowed to be 21 inches or larger. There is a ten fish per boat limit for private anglers.
“Tautog fishing has been very solid with most boats easily catching their limit. The bite is anywhere from 15-40 ft of water. Both jigs and rigs seem to be producing well even some tog being taken on metal jigs. There still are a few sea bass in the mix happy to take a half crab,” said O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle.
“Everyone is tautog fishing. About ten boats were fishing the Bristol Light House Saturday but anglers fishing Conninicut Light caught a lot a shorts and found it difficult to catch keepers,” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.
Scup, black sea bass and cod fish have been caught by anglers targeting tautog. Both scup and black sea bass catches have been dwindling. “The cod bite at Cox Ledge and black sea bass fishing at the East Fishing Grounds (three miles east of Block Island) has been good,” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina. “Scup are going caught in Providence by anglers fishing for tautog off the bulkheads and at the old train bridge,” said Littlefield.
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 email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com.