Thursday, May 6, 2010

Electronic logbook for anglers well received

Peter Sousa of Warwick caught seven striped bass including this 31” keeper on No Fluke Charters out of East Greenwich Cove. The fish was caught near Conimicut Light in fifteen feet of water.

Today I registered and recorded my fist two tautog fishing trips in the Rhode Island Recreational Online Angler Logbook. It took ten minutes. Anglers can use it free of charge and the system is voluntary.

Some saltwater anglers hold details of their fishing trips close to the vest. The less others know about when, how and where they fish the better, particularly an environmental regulatory agency like DEM. However, information in this logbook is confidential; data will be examined in aggregate form to provide an independent data source for DEM policy makers.
I like the log system and will give it a try this season. It allows me to keep accurate historical data that I can build on year after year while helping the fishery.
Dan Costa, who developed the logbook for DEM’s Fish and Wildlife Marine Fisheries Department, said, “We hope Rhode Island anglers use the logbook to their advantage, to help them fish, while we collect data to improve the fishery.” Dan said that Massachusetts one year old logbook system has about 200 uses. Rhode Island, who announced their logbook program three weeks ago, has 45 anglers signed up at press time.
Visit to sign up for the logbook and/or e-mail questions to Dan Costa at .

The squid are in
Anglers use squid as bait for fluke (summer flounder), sea bass and many other species. Last week I attended a Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association seminar titled Squid Fishing Strategies, Locations & Tips given by one of Rhode Island’s top anglers and squid authorities Dave Fewster. Squid fishing is part science, part art and very stealthy according to Dave. “You have to put in the time to find out where they will likely be, set up your lights and then be ready to move into action when they arrive”. Dave related that his favorite locations for catching squid are Newport, Jamestown and Narragansett. Usually near bridges, jetties, wharfs and always around light that attracts the squid. Dave related that the season usually starts at the end of April and runs through May. However, last year the season extended well into June. Calm water is ideal for squid fishing as is a full noon and water temperatures around 59 degrees. Dave spoke highly of new Yozuri squid rig that people (and the squid) cannot seem to resist. He found it at Ocean State Bait and Tackle in Providence.

Fishing tournament for visually impaired
The RI Lions Sight Foundation (RILSF) will hold their 3rd Annual VIP Fishing Tournament for Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) on June 27, 2010. The half day tournament will be held on a chartered party boat out of Galilee, RI. Participants are eligible for trophies and an opportunity to represent Rhode Island at the Lions National “VIP” Tournament which takes place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in October. For information contact Ken Barthelemy, tournament chair, at .

Kettlebottom Outfitters “Brand X” action sport videos now on Cox
Robb Roach and his Brand X Production Company, has produced a series of adventure sport videos airing five times a week on Cox 3. Programs also air on Video’s on Demand (VOD’s) were Kettlebottom Outfitters has a number of other programs on fishing and hunting. Shows are on a variety of topics from shark fishing to kite surfing. I still use Robb’s recipe for baked fluke… a recipe I like and learned from watching one of his videos. Visit for details on Brand X programs.

DEM announced free fishing days
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced that Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 are free fishing days in Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders and visitors can fish in freshwaters without a fishing license or trout conservation stamp. Free loaner fishing rods and bait are available. Visit for locations and details.

Where’s the bite
Tautog. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait and Tackle, Warwick, related that Ken Landry caught a nice white chinned tautog at Ohio Ledge. He also caught a 36” striped bass off Pine Hill this past weekend. Robb Roach of Kettlebottom Outfitters in Jamestown reports a 10 lb fish caught off Narragansett.

Striped bass were all over Narragansett Bay and this week. Robb Roach from Kettlebottom Outfitters reports decent fish caught to 27” in the Narrow River. Angler Peter Sousa of Warwick landed seven striped bass and two keepers to 31” on No Fluke Charter Fishing this weekend. Pete caught his fish trolling with tube and worm on lead line weighted with three ounce sinkers, a method that got the line down low with only 60 feet of line out in about 15 feet of water. The fish were caught between Gaspee and Conimicut Point. Steve McKenna of Cranston and an associate at Quaker Lane Outfitters, North Kingstown, reports many keeper bass to 20 pounds being taken in mid Narragansett Bay area. Steve caught eight keepers using metal lip surface swimmers. His fishing friends used Danny plugs and spook type lures and did just as well. School striped bass with keepers mixed in have been landed in East Greenwich Cove; off Poppasquash Point, Bristol; areas north of Connecticut light, Warwick and Barrington; Pine Hill off Prudence Island: and a host of other Bay and river areas.

Freshwater fishing for trout at stocked DEM ponds is still good, visit for listings. Andrew Cahrhoff of Erickson’s Bait and Tackle in Warwick said that fishing has been good and promises to get better now that spawning season is upon us. Andrew will be fishing the shallows as the water warms and fish start to clear their beds for matting. Andrew bass fishes competitively; his favorite places to fish include Beach Pond, Johnson Pond and Indian Lake.

Six favorite fishing spots and methods to catch spring striped bass

Members throughout the State from the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association donated canned goods and cash at their annual dinner which they donated to the Johnnycake Center’s emergency food pantry in South Kingstown, RI.

The spring run of striped bass is underway. We have received reports of small school striped bass being caught off Rhode Island coastal shores from Westerly to Newport. School striped bass have been caught at Narrow River in Narragansett, on the Pawcatuck River in Westerly and on Narragansett Bay. A number of fish have been landed in Greenwich Bay off Chepiwanoxet Point and Old Buttonwoods in Warwick. With the striped bass season underway here are some of my favorite hot spots and methods used to land spring striped bass.
1. Greenwich Cove, East Greenwich, RI (Apponaug Cove in Warwick is good too). This is the first place I ever caught a striped bass. Menhaden seem to find their way to the cove early. And, it is surrounded with vegetation with plenty of insects to start a feeding chain reaction that ultimately leads to striped bass. This is because the bass feed on small bait fish that are feeding around the perimeter of the Cove. I have caught bass at the end, middle and mouth of the Cove near Chepiwanoxet Point in Warwick depending on the location of bait fish in the Cove. My favorite baits are hard plastic lures (both surface and swimming) as well as soft plastics early in the season and once they arrive, menhaden chucked or live.

2. The East Passage of Narragansett Bay between Popasquash Point, Bristol and Bear Point Prudence Island. I have caught many large fish in this area, particularly trolling with tube and worm. Many anglers fish this area with menhaden (live or chunked). I have particularly good luck fishing the pad or bank areas of the shipping channel.

3. The West Wall of the Harbor of Refuge in Jerusalem area, South Kingstown. This area provides shore anglers (and boat anglers) with one of the best first Rhode Island striped bass opportunities as the bass make their run past the Connecticut coastline to Rhode Island. Angler Steve McKenna reported great fishing off the wall for the past couple of weeks. He and fellow anglers landed hundreds of bass using primarily soft plastic lures over the past two weeks.

4. Buttonwoods section of Greenwich Bay, Warwick, RI. The area from Oakland Beach to Apponaug Cove in Warwick has been a good for early spring striped bass area. Many fish have been caught with soft plastic lures, surface poppers as well as swimming lures. Most fish have been caught up against the shore. As the spring progresses, trolling with lures or tube and worm is productive. Trolling is most productive close to shore or at the water depth breaks one to two hundred yards off shore.

5. Providence River in the cities of Providence, East Providence, Barrington, Cranston and Warwick. The area from the Hurricane Barrier in Providence to Conimicut Point has been a very fruitful fishing area in early spring. The most popular method in recent years has been live lining menhaden. The hot areas to fish include:
a. The Hurricane Barrier down to Save the Bay on Fields Point in Providence. Anglers have caught thousands of bass in this area. When the menhaden spawning runs are strong striped bass chase them up the Providence River to the Seekonk River and other Providence River tributaries. Bass over 50” have been caught in this area.
b. The area all around and in front of Save the Bay at Fields Point, Providence is good too. Shore anglers have access to this land courtesy of Save the Bay.
c. The shoreline in Warwick, Cranston, Barrington and East Providence north of Conimicut Point has been hot as well.

6. Hog Island, Bristol, RI. Fishing the depth break two hundred yards off Hog Island on the west side has been good for early spring bass. I have trolled this depth break in spring and seldom get skunked. Two areas of high ground or mounds appear on the west side of the Island. Fishing over these areas or trolling over them produces fish too.
Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association
The Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association (RIPCBA) held its annual dinner at Spain Restaurant in Narragansett. Members donated canned goods and cash at the annual dinner which were donated to the Johnnycake Center’s emergency food pantry in South Kingstown. Over 100 people attended the dinner where Captain John Rainone, past president, was recognized for his service to the organization. Captain Rick Bellavance, RIPCBA president, presented Rainone with an engraved watch.
DEM stocks trout in several ponds
The Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife stocked trout in several locations not stocked for opening day due to the impact from March floods. Fishing areas stocked last week include Wyoming Pond and the Wood River in Arcadia Management Area from Rt. 165 downstream, as well as several fishing access areas along the Wood River including Barberville, KG Ranch Road, and Dow Athletic Field in Hope Valley. Silver Spring Lake in North Kingstown, Barber Pond in South Kingstown, Frosty Hollow Children’s Pond in Exeter, Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods State Park and Carbuncle Pond in Coventry were stocked last week too. This week DEM plans to stock Eight Rod Farm in Tiverton, Lower Melville Pond in Portsmouth, Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond and Carolina Trout Pond in Hopkinton.

Where’s the bite
Striped bass bite remains strong along southern Rhode Island beaches and the West Wall or the Harbor of Refuge in Jerusalem. Craig Castro of Erickson’s Bait & Tackle in Warwick reports customers continue to take school striped bass on Greenwich Bay at Chepiwanoxet Point. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle in Providence reports customers taking school bass in the Providence, Seekonk and Narrow Rivers. Angler Eric Feroldi caught a 12 pound and a 16 pound striped bass in the Pawcatuck River midweek.
Tautog fishing started to pick up as the weather warmed and fish moved closer to shore and up Narragansett Bay. Some good sized fish being taken. I took three fish this weekend; my largest was about 21 inches. This is the second week I fished Coddington Cove in Middletown, RI.
Cod fishing has been good with the Francis Fleet out of Galilee, Rhode Island still making regular trips. Rhode Island and Massachusetts anglers report a continued good bite at Stellwagon.
Fresh Water fishing for bass, pike and trout remained good. Particularly in trout stocked fishing areas. Visit for a complete list of stocked lakes, ponds and rivers.