Thankful for the fish


It’s the holidays. Time to take stock and be thankful.

First and foremost I am thankful for the privilege to fish, take people fishing, get paid for it as a charter captain and then write about it.  For me it does not get any better.

Second, I am taking stock personally and pledge to do everything I can to ensure we manage our fisheries in a bipartisan fashion, the way it was in the past.

We need to work together for the benefit of the fish, so we grow them to abundance, so there are more in the water for all to catch, eat and/or release. The fish have no political party or affiliation they just want to swim, eat, grow and reproduce. So we need to let them do this for their benefit and our benefit.

We need to reach across the water, republicans and democrats alike, and approach the fish, the environment, and climate impacts in a bi-partisan manner for the benefit of the environment and the fish.

This year, right now is the time to work together, give and take for the growth of the fish, the environment and to benefit all the people of the United States of America.

Public hearings on draft striped bass regulation options

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and their marine coastal states from Maine to Virginia have scheduled hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum II to Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. Addendum II considers management measures designed to support stock rebuilding by reducing fishing mortality to the target level in 2024.

Hearings for public comment on Addendum II options will take place in Rhode Island Thursday, November 30, 6 – 8 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, 215 South Ferry Road, Narraganset, RI. Contact is Jason McNamee at 401.222.4700.

In Massachusetts the meeting is slated for Tuesday, December 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Admiral’s Hall, 101 Academy Dr., Buzzards Bay, MA.  Contact is Michael Armstrong at 978.619.0012.

A copy of Addendum II can be found at Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission ( Tony Friedrich, vice president and national policy director, American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA) said, “While we strongly supported the initiation of Addendum II, we believe that the potential outcomes of this action are not enough to ensure long-term striped bass sustainability and abundance. These measures may only be in effect for the 2024 fishing year, assuming a 2024 stock assessment warrants another management action. Five consecutive years of poor spawns out of the Chesapeake Bay should be on everyone’s minds as we consider Draft Addendum II and the future of this fishery.”

Visit the ASGA comment guide at Striped Bass Addendum II – Public Comment Guide – American Saltwater Guides Association.

Public comments will be taken by the ASMFC until December 22.  For background on the Addendum and how to provide comments visit Public Input - Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass. East End Eddie Doherty, Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author, said, “The Canal has slowed down, but mostly 21 - 26 inch school striped bass, an occasional slot (28 to < 31 inches) and some bigger are still being caught along the 7-mile stretch. Some anglers are still fishing, like Canal legend Bob “Bull” MacKinnon, who intercepted the migration of several fish including a hefty 22-pound striper that hit his Walley’s wonder bread pencil.” 

Declan O’Conner of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “There are still some striped bass working the Breachways and beaches eating peanut bunker and silversides primarily. With the bigger bass that are still around dialed in on shad. The Average size of fish has been decreasing but the size has ranged from schoollie to over slot. I recommend having a popper and a bucktail in your bag if you plan on walking the beaches. A popper allows you to cover water and look for a reaction strike. A bucktail can be fished slower and closer to you if you locate the fish. If you want to catch shad carry a small piece of metal with a fly teaser rig a foot above it.”

Tautog fishing continues to produce for anglers. Anglers Walt Galloway and Walter Berry caught tautog to 21 inches fishing structure in the General Rock, North Kingstown area last week.

O’Conner of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “Tautog fishing has been very good with many customers reporting limit catches of fish up to around 9 pounds. The fish are starting to move a bit deeper, solid reports coming from areas with depths ranging from 25 to 40 feet of water. There have been more than a few black sea bass mixed in on some of the deeper reefs.” 

Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick, said, “Tautog fishing is still good with a very strong bite this past week at Coddington Cove, Middletown.  We are still open for gift certificates, tackle and gear by appointment, call 401-736-0605.”

Squid fishing continues to be fairly good.  But as usual it is hit or miss.  Squid fishing expert Greg Vespe of Tiverton reported an good night squid bite in the Newport Bridge area.

“Freshwater fishing for trout in stocked ponds has been very good with a number of large fish being caught that were stocked by the State,” said Giddings of the Tackle Box. For a complete list of stocked ponds in Massachusetts visit Mass Wildlife at Trout stocking report |  and in Rhode Island visit, or call 401-789-0281 or 401-539-0019 for more information on trout stocking.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s expert 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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