By CAPT. DAVE MONTI Stephen J. Medeiros of West Warwick, founder, president and executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Associaton (RISAA), passed away suddenly on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.
In an announcement about his passing RISAA said, “It is with heavy heart that the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association announces to you the passing of our founder, leader and friend, Stephen J. Medeiros. Steve was a tireless advocate for recreational fishermen and women in RI and all of southern New England. He founded RISAA In January 1998 and was a steady hand at the helm for over 23 years. Steve built a strong organization that will continue his great work long into the future.”
I fished Sunday, with Debra Barry and her family on my charter boat. Her son had attended the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association’s youth fishing camp at Rocky Point State Park (produced with partner RI Department of Environmental Management). “My son loved RISAA’s camp. He got in the second year it was held and it really peaked his interest in saltwater fishing. In fact, he offered to volunteer at the camp the following year,” said Debra Barry.
I had to smile. Steve Medeiros started that camp, just as he started Take-a-Kid fishing that takes up to 250 children fishing each year (some have never even seen the saltwater, never mind ride on a boat and fish it), as well as RISAA’s youth scholarship program. I reflected that even though it was just one day after Steve’s funeral services, there was no rest for him. His efforts for youth and adults teaching how to be a good stewards of the environment, fostering conservation, and advocating for habitat, access to the shore, fish and fishers could be felt the very next day.
Fly fishing guide and fly tie expert Ed Lombardo put out a call for fly fishing instructor volunteers to help with DEM’s ‘Introduction to Saltwater Fly Fishing Workshop’ on Saturday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers are to meet at the Sprague Bridge, Narragansett at 8:15 a.m. If interested in volunteering contact Kimberly Sullivan, DEM principle biologist and Aquatic Resource Education Coordinator at 401.539.0037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Perry of the United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island, said, “If you are interested in fly tying, United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island (www.uftri.org) meets the first Wednesday of the month, September through May, 6:30 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus, 475 Sandy Lane, Warwick, RI.” All equipment and supplies are provided. Dues are $30.00 per season, and you able to attend one meeting at no charge. For further information call Jeff Perry at 401-741-0598.
It’s hardtail season again and the only way to make this momentous time of year more exciting is to spice it up with some competition. Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge, Middletown, said, “The Albie Shootout is running until October 2 with competition in divisions for shore, kayak, fly, and boat—with awesome prizes for each winner.”
The event is running in a catch-photo-release format and anglers compete to tally the lengths of three albies. There will be awards for the largest albie, the largest bonito and the largest Spanish mackerel — with opportunities to win other prizes as well. The entry fee is $25 per angler, available for purchase in-store or on saltwateredge.com, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the American Saltwater Guides Association.
Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, said, “Tautog fishing is improving every day. Anglers are catching keepers in 30-40 feet of water. The water is cooling a bit and it is improving the tautog fishing.” “The tautog bite is slow. Customers are having to put their time in and work for them. Keeper fish are being caught at Codington Cover jetty in Middletown, at the Plum Beach Lighthouse and out in front of Newport but as I say anglers are putting their time in to catch them.” Paul Phillips of North Kingstown, said, “Fished for tog off Newport Monday from about 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Took about 15 minutes for the first bite then action was nonstop. Kept my three fish limit. Threw many 16 to 20-inch fish back, lots of shorts between 14 inches to just short of 16 inches were released as well. Caught 42 tog in all.”
Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane, said, “The false albacore bite has come back a little after last week’s storms. And, the striped bass bite is pretty good along the southern coastal shore.” Ed Lombardo expert saltwater fly guide said, “I got a beautiful stripper this past Thursday afternoon on Narrow River (Narragansett). The shad have been prolific now for the past three weeks or so, which in most cases bring in larger stripers. The bait, juvenile bunker have been very copious for the same time. As you know so much fun catching stripers on the fly rod.” East End Eddie Doherty said, “The Canal’s east tide carried a medium size school of breaking striped bass on Monday at first light while feasting on peanut bunker & silversides. Fish up to 42 inches were caught on pencils, swimmers & soft plastic jigs under the full Harvest Moon.” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “The striped bass bite is sluggish from the beaches but there is tons of bait around. Customers were jigging for squid in the middle of the day. And, the false albacore bite did come back after the storm, however, they have been up and down.”
Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait said, “Anglers are catching black sea bass, scup and summer flounder off Newport on the humps and bumps near Brenton Reef and Seal Ledge, Newport. We fished a ledge southeast of Beavertail this week with good results. Plenty of action with short and keeper black seabass and keeper size fish (minimum size is 15 inches) in a four to one ratio. The scup bite there was good too.
Giant blue fin tuna continue to be caught off Narragansett. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “My son Kenny (Landry) has caught three giants right off Scarborough, just a mile or two off show. His last fish last week was over 700 pounds. There is a fleet of boats fishing there, that’s what many of my customers are fishing for.”
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.
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