Chris Konkol from North Kingstown RI with the brace of nice cod to ten pounds he caught last on the Gail Frances party boat.
Anglers simply want to be outdoors
In a recent angler survey by Southwick Associates of Fernandina Beach, when anglers were asked to note the reasons they like to fish, 88 percent of survey respondents cited "I like to spend time outdoors." It was the most selected response.
The desire to be outdoors was followed by "I like to spend time on or near the water." which was noted by 84 percent. The challenge experienced when fishing, selected by 80 percent of respondents even paled to simple "fun," which was selected by 83 percent.
As I mentioned last week in this fishing column, my personal feelings about fishing were reflected by most other anglers. Fishing is seen as a social activity with 71% citing spending time with friends and family as a key motivator. Only 50% cited eating their catch as a primary reason to fish.
"Many people love to spend their free time on the water with friends and family," says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the angler survey (as well as hunting and shooting surveys). "Fishing offers a lot of recreational benefits, but one of the biggest is the chance to simply get outside and enjoy nature. Angling is the preferred way to achieve the overall outdoor experience."
Visit www.anglersurvey.com for survey details.
Capt. Joe Pagano’s website at www.stuffitcharters.com .
Where’s the bite
Tautog fishing continues to improve with fish being taken in Narragansett Bay and along the coastal shore. Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Outfitters, North Kingstown said, “Customers are catching tautog at just about any rock pile. And at places such as Whale Rock, Pt. Judith Light and Plum Point Lighthouse they are catching fish.” I fished the Newport area about ½ mile southeast of the Seal Ledge can Sunday for an hour after returning from Block Island with no luck. However, customers fishing closer to shore seem to have better luck producing fish. “Dirty water this weekend made tautog fishing challenging but customers still caught fish so this is a very good sign” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown. John Littlefield of Archie's Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “Customers fishing the Providence River at the Heart Club just north of the Hurricane Barrier said they caught many short fish there but the Wharf Tavern in Warren produced two keepers for them. Others are reporting a good tautog bite in the Jamestown Bridge area.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet, said, “Tautog fishing continues to be very strong. Fishing was outstanding last week with limits common place. We broke the ten pound barrier with a fine tog of nearly 11 pounds and had two other fish in the 10 pound range. Varying numbers of sea bass mixed in but a few trips early in the week saw some fishers have a limit of those to go along with their tog and a few keeper cod.” “Tautog are still in low water as the temperature in the Westerly area is still in the 60’s. Once the water cools the fish will be moving to deeper water. We weighed in a couple of eight and nine pound fish caught inside of Fishers Island that were in fairly low water. The tautog bite is going to do nothing but improve so I am looking forward to fishing.” This Tuesday Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle called me from the water when fishing with Capt. Rene Letourneau of On the Rocks Charters. Dave said, “We have caught about forty fish and four keepers, the bite is very, very soft and subtle.” They were fishing in 40 feet of water on a rock pile off Jamestown.
Black sea bass, cod and scup bite is still strong. “Anglers are catching their black sea bass limit in waters along the southern coastal shore where they normally catch summer flounder. However, they have moved to deeper water” said Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters. I fished with angler Steve Brustein Sunday and we had little trouble catching our limit at the southwest ledge on Block Island with scup in the 15” range. Four party boats from New York where fishing the southwest ledge hard for black sea bass and scup. Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane said “The black sea bass and scup bite is good but it is starting to slow.” “Cod fishing was good this week both on the southeast and southwest corner of Cox’s Ledge. The good news is that anglers can keep sea bass they catch in Federal waters so it makes traveling that distance worthwhile.” said Matt Conti of Sung Harbor Marina. “This weekend customers fished the Newport area for seabass and all three limited out with 28 fish to four pounds.” said John Littlefield of Riverside.
Bluefish and striped bass. “A customer took a charter to catch bluefish in Narragansett Bay and they caught six nice bluefish and one keeper striped bass in the Ohio Ledge/Colt State Park area.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle. “Customers are still catching striped bass and bluefish from the beaches in Narragansett and from the breachways in South County.” said Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Outfitters. “Last week things slowed a bit because we had so much bait in the water. But I expect they will pick up again this week. The week before last was outstanding with many striped bass and bluefish blitzes.” said Mike Wake of Watch Hill Outfitters. Conti of Snug Harbor Mariana said, “The bass bite is pretty good along the southern shore where they are catching school size bass and fish to twenty pounds. And, they are still catching fish at the North Rip at Block Island. We haven’t heard much about the bite on the southwest corner.”
False albacore. Mike Wade of Watch Hill said, “Customers are still catching false albacore inside of Fishers Island.”
Offshore. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina said, “We have a good weather forecast for early in the week. I have some customers that plan to fish the Hudson Canyons for yellowfin tuna and swordfish. Customers this week that fished the Mud hole did not produce.”
Freshwater fishing remains very strong. “I had a customer that caught a great variety of fish at Echo Pond, Barrington including largemouth bass, trout and pickerel so fishing is pretty good. I am still selling quite a few shiners.” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait. “Trout fishing at the lakes, ponds and rivers that were stocked by DEM has been very good.” said Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for a listing of stocked pounds.