Leaning how to cast a spinning rod and reel takes practice. The more you do it, the better you get.
But knowing the basics can go a long way.
Capt. Ken Cooper, a fellow fishing writer and an active Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association member loves to take his grandchildren fishing. And, when it came time for them to graduate from bottom fishing for scup to casting lures for stripers and blues, he wanted to help them become proficient casters.
Capt. Cooper put together a seven count methodology for casting spin tackle that was easy for them to master and produced fine casts in fairly short order. He would practice on a quiet beach and counted out loud together at each step. Here are the steps he laid out for them:
Power comes from pulling down and in rapidly with the hand that is grasping the rod butt and not from pushing forward with the hand that is grasping the rod at the reel seat.
Capt. Ken said, “Over the years, as my grandkids’ friends or other novice children and adults came to fish with me, I found that it was often even better to start them out with just a rod, no reel, and focus mainly on the rod and hand motions described in Count 6. Once that’s mastered, we would add the reel and begin the full seven count training.”
Capt. Ken said, “The key to success seems to be breaking down the cast into its elements and counting off each step together and out loud until a fluid rhythm develops.”
The Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council will meet Monday, March 7, 6 p.m. at the URI Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI. You may also join the meeting online via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8505 1936166 .
The agenda will include 2022 management regulations for both recreational and commercial tautog, the commercial tautog tagging program, the commercial aggregate program for summer flounder and black sea bass and the summer flounder exemption certificate program.
Other recreational management regulations will be reviewed at a future RIMFC meeting.
Recreational anglers in Rhode Island have been advocating for new tautog regulations to protect this slow grown species. Although stock assessment data is good anglers fear that we are doing damage to this fishery by taking to many large female fish with great spawning potential. Anglers and charter captains at the meeting expressed concern about high numbers of fish being caught and killed that are not reflective in data in part due to the high volume of out of state for hire vessel fishing our waters.
At the public hearing in February the RI Saltwater Anglers Associaton proposed limiting each angler to no more than one fish over 21 inches and reducing the “bonus” fall season from a bag of five to a bag of four fish per person (this was proposal No. 1 at the hearing). Many charter captains, RISAA members, the Island Current party boat and Freedom Boat Club spoke in favor of this proposal saying how important it is to protect this fishery.
Although the public comment period on proposals has passed, charter captains and anglers are encouraged to attend the Council meeting to demonstrate support for their preferred regulation options if further public input is desired by the Council at the meeting.
For details on the meeting agenda and background information visit www.dem.ri.gov/prog r a m s / m a r i n e -fisheries/rimfc/index.php .
Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick, said, “We sold shiners for ice fishing to customers when we had ice. Now things are in flux. As it warms fishing will start to pick up again.”
“As temperatures rise we are starting to see some open water in ponds, like Onley Pond at Lincoln Woods. Fishing at Massachusetts and Rhode Island ponds that had safe ice was outstanding this year. Carbuncle Pond in Coventry had been yielding some nice bass for anglers through the ice,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, RI. Allen Newell of Red Top Sporting Goods, Buzzards Bay, said, “Not much ice on the Cape at this point, a lot of open water in area ponds and not many anglers are fishing. A couple of warm days in the next three or four weeks and things will open up quite a bit.”
Party boats fishing for cod south of Cape Cod and off Rhode Island weather permitting include the Frances Fleet at www.francesfleet.com , the Seven B’s at www.sevenbs.com, and the Island Current at www.islandcurrent.com.
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 dmontifish@verison. net or visit www.noflukefishing. com