Sunday, June 26, 2011

New striped bass record for RI… 77.40 pounds

Peter Vican (right) of East Greenwich with his record 77.4 pound striped bass. Peter caught the bass Sunday using eels as bait while fishing with Don Smith (left) on the Southwest side of Block Island.

Peter Vican of East Greenwich, RI caught a record 77.40 lbs. striped bass on Sunday, June 19. It is the largest fish ever caught in RI. Peter held the old record too… a 76 lbs 14 oz bass he caught off Block Island in 2008. The record fish was caught Sunday night using eels as bait on the Southwest side of the Block Island. It was just one pound shy of the world record.

Peter and his fishing friend Don Smith are arguably the best recreation striped bass fisherman on the east coast. They catch fish in the 40 and 50 pound range often, as a matter of course, where most anglers would dream of catching one in this size range.

Peter was fishing with his friend Don this Sunday when he hooked up with the record breaking fish. Here is Don’s account of their fishing outing.

“We fished an area on the Southwest side of the Island from 9:30 p.m. until after 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning. We landed more than a dozen fish apiece over 25 lbs. often doubling up on each drift. Right around midnight we doubled up on several large fish. I landed a 48 lbs. fish and Peter's was just slightly smaller. On the very next drift we duplicated the catch with both of landing fish around 45 lbs. Since I had kept the 48 lbs. bass all the others were released unharmed.

We were fishing our usual method of using light tackle, 6/0 octopus circle hooks and drifting live eels. The current was pretty strong and we used 3 oz. egg sinkers to keep the eels in the zone near the bottom.

Shortly after 1:00 a.m. the drift died and dogfish moved into the area and starting chopping up our eels… Once the tide started running again we worked our way back to the spot that had been producing large fish earlier in the night.

The drift was absolutely perfect - between 1.5 and 2 mph and with no wind we were drifting with the current so the eels were facing in the right direction. It was right around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning when the fish hit. It took some line out but nowhere the amount you would have expected from a fish that big. It never really made any big runs like his first record (fish) made and actually swam with the boat and kept diving to the bottom. It came up to the surface behind the boat and Peter reeled it in…

I got the net ready and moved over to his side of the boat just as he got the fish to the back corner of the hull. When the fish saw the boat it rolled on its side and swam directly out to the side away from the boat. That was when I got a good look at the fish and yelled to Peter it was a monster… I don't think the fish got more than 25 or 30 feet from the boat before Peter had it turned and it swam right back at us. By then I was really excited and had the net in the water and the fish headed right into it…I was so hyped up after seeing it that I just bent over and grabbed the circular frame of the net and lifted it right out of the water and flipped it onto the deck of the boat. The fish was next to my 48 lb. bass and looked like it could have swallowed it. The fight only lasted about 10 minutes.

The fish measured 52" long with a 35" girth. But, it was 35" from its head right to its rear fins. It looked like a brick with a tail not at all like the usual striper with a crescent shape to their belly.”

Record bass caught off Block Island

Paul Harrison of Fall River, MA with the 8.5 fluke he caught off Point Judith while charter fishing with Captain John Sheriff last week.

Jeff Briggs (left) of Bristol and his father Gary (right) with the first striped bass keeper Jeff has ever caught. The fish was taken in the East Passage.

Record bass caught off Block Island

Peter Vican of East Greenwich, RI caught a record 77.40 lb striped bass this Sunday, June 19. Peter’s fish set a new Rhode Island state record. The fish was caught at night using eels as bait outside New Harbor, Block Island. The fish was just one pound shy of the world record. Congratulations Peter.

Take-a-kid fishing big success
The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) held their annual Take-a-kid fishing day this Saturday, June 18. About 250 children went fishing on 85 boats owned by volunteers. Steve Medeiros, president of RISAA, said, “The event is designed for youngsters who would not otherwise have a chance to get out on the water and fish.”

DEM reminds saltwater anglers that they need a license
With the Fourth of July fast approaching and the 2011 saltwater fishing season underway, the Department of Environmental Management reminds anglers and spear fishers that a 2011 saltwater fishing license is needed to fish recreationally in all marine waters. You can get a license online or at participating bait and tackle shops or sporting good stores.

Obtaining a license online is easy. Just go to Have a driver's license or state identification card handy, as well as your date of birth, address, and phone number. For Rhode Island residents over 65 and for active military personnel stationed in the state, licenses are free, but still required. For all others, the $7 fee ($10 for non-residents) is payable using a VISA, MasterCard or Discover card. Once the information is entered, you can immediately print your license and go fishing.
No license is needed for children under 16; anglers fishing on a licensed party or charter boat; anglers who hold a Highly Migratory Species Angling permit; anglers or spear fishers who are on leave from active military duty; or anglers or spear fishers who are blind or permanently disabled.
DEM and Coast Guard conduct “Operation Dry Water” to enforce boating under the influence law
Safe boating patrols will be stepped up on June 24 to June 26 in a joint operation conducted by the Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Law Enforcement and US Coast Guard Units from Castle Hill and Point Judith. The effort is part of Operation Dry Water, a coordinated national weekend of Boating under the Influence (BUI) detection and enforcement. It is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities, and fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water. Marine law enforcement officers will be out in full force on Rhode Island waterways throughout the long weekend, searching for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the limit of .08 percent. Rhode Island law sets limits and penalties for boating while intoxicated that are similar to the driving while intoxicated standards, and requires the same levels of testing.

Special Senate Taskforce on Fisheries releases final report
The Special Senate Taskforce on Fisheries, chaired by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), has released its final report detailing the challenges facing the fisheries industry in Rhode Island.
The taskforce was developed on November 18, 2010 to track the status and trends of the fishing industries of Rhode Island. It was charged with working cooperatively with management agencies, educational institutions, environmental organizations, businesses and fishermen to meet the challenges ahead and recommend viable ideas and solutions for protecting the fishing way of life.
Here are highlights of findings and actions taken by the task forces to address key issues.
Finding: Rhode Island’s lack of representation on the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council. Action: Introduction/passage of a bill urging our state Congressional Delegation to pass representation legislation.

Finding: RI’s current regulations do not facilitate the sale of local fresh fish at farmers’ markets and other mobile market venues. Action: Passage of a bill by the Senate to establish a Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative that will address regulatory and marketing issues pertaining to local seafood.

Finding: RI aquaculture farms are not inspected twice annually by the RI Department of Health and DEM which is a violation of the federal Food and Drug Administration requirements. Action: At the Fisheries Taskforce meeting, DEM addressed these concerns and discussed potential solutions through agency regulations and policies implemented at a future date.

Finding: RI seafood products face domestic competition from imported seafood products, with more than eighty percent of the total seafood consumed in the US originating in foreign countries. Action: Introduction and passage of a Senate bill urging Congress to pass legislation that support adequate funding for effective and sustained domestic marketing of US seafood.

Finding: RI law requires that shellfish harvested from polluted waters be transferred to clean water for one year before selling, other New England states require as little as three weeks. Action: At a Taskforce meeting, DEM addressed concerns and discussed solutions through future regulations and policies.

Finding: Rhode Island commercial and recreational fishermen face minimal state penalties and fines for illegally possessing striped bass and for repeat offenses of such violations. Action: Passage of bill by Senate Judiciary to increase the fines and penalties for illegally possessing striped bass.

Finding: There is not a federally-funded national seafood marketing fund available for the domestic marketing of American seafood. Action: Senate resolution 2011-S 0850 also addresses this concern.

Finding: The lack of resources and materials to support consumer seafood education programs results in consumers being unaware of the availability of locally caught fresh seafood products. Action: Senate bill 2011-S 0997 also addresses this concern.

Where’s the bite
Striped bass
fishing has been improving. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina said, “The bass are getting larger. We had fish in the 40 lbs and 50 lbs range this week and then Peter Vican’s record fish”. Still a log of dog fish when the water is not moving. Fishing in the East Passage is still very good. Anglers reporting pods of menhaden from Popasquash Point, Bristol all the way up the Providence River. Fish being caught on live and chuck menhaden as well as tube and worm. Don Hampton of Holden, MA caught three nice keepers last week while using light tackle fishing in the East Passage on No Fluke charters.
Fluke fishing is improving too. Reports of large fish over 15 lbs being taken off Warwick Neck. Captain Rich Hittinger said, “The fluke are getting large.” Rich reports a good fluke bite off southern coastal shores with fish in the 8 to 9 lbs range being taken last week.
Fresh water fishing is very good. Bass bite is excellent. Chris Catucci of Warwick said, “The Junior bass fishing tournament was held on Johnson's Pond last week… 9 pounds won the event I came in 2nd with about 7 pounds. Fish were hitting senkos in either junebug or green pumpkin, shaky heads and spinnerbaits were also productive. Small fish were easy to come by but kickers were hard to find. The bluegill spawn is in full force.”

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fluke facts and tips from the experts

Warwick Firefighters Andy Sisson, Matt Goodreau, Tom Bradley and Mike Bingham with the fluke they caught aboard Priority Too Charters fishing with Capt. Rick Bellavance.

Joe Daniels of Warwick caught this 35” striped bass when fishing the channel pad east of Conimicut Light. This was one of ten bass he caught while fishing with Capt. Monti on No Fluke Charters.

Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick with the jumbo fluke he caught off Warwick Neck fishing the edge of the channel.

Fluke facts and tips from the experts
Fluke fishing this week continued to improve and will just get better over the next couple of weeks. Now is the time to give it a try. Here are some helpful fluke facts and tips from the experts.
Fluke facts
In May, fluke move in shore from deep Continental Shelf waters where they spend the winter. They stay inland until October and then move back to the deep water.
Fluke are a flat fish with two eyes on the same side of the fish. They are bottom fish that do not look aggressive, but they will chase bait aggressively and eat the same bait that bluefish and striped bass eat. The difference is that they feed off the bottom.
They can be caught from a boat (usually while drifting) or from shore with little knowledge, so they are an ideal catch for beginners and children
· Fluke are chameleons, they change color to blend with the bottom.

· Largest fluke on record is 26.6 lbs. and 36” long
Fluke tips from the experts
Capt. Rick Bellavance, Priority Too Charters, Pt. Judith, RI
“When I fluke fish with charter clients, I typically use a large style pre-rigged fluke rig which I purchase from a local bait shop. We try to use a piece of fresh bait such as the belly meat of a bluefish to act as an attractant. We use a 3-way snap swivel with a large snap to facilitate changing sinkers (which the mate does often). I believe the smallest weight that will hold bottom is best. Much of our fishing effort takes place around Block Island and just about any piece of shoreline will hold summer flounder and we always drift, usually picking the side of the island with the strongest tide or wind. When we start catching, I record the depth and I also make note of specific depths where bigger fish may be congregating… I coach our clients to drop the tip of the rod when they feel a bite and to then slowly, but deliberately, lift up on the rod to set the hook. We use circle hooks and modified wide gap hooks exclusively to reduce release mortality.”
Ken Landry, Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, RI
Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle of Warwick says big ones are on the edges of channels, drifting from low to high water often yields big fluke. Ken said, “It’s important to drift with current and wind in the same direction. Working the channel edges off Warwick Neck Light yielded close to a 15 pound fluke. If there are fluke under the boat, Ken will find them.
Additional fluke tips
· If possible, fish when the tide/current and wind are going in the same direction

· Fluke face into the current to feed, so you want to drag your bait over them, drifting with the tide and wind when in a boat or slowing pulling your bait over the bottom when on land

· When fishing slack or flood tide with no water movement try trolling perpendicular so no matter what way the fish are facing you are passing them at least on a right angle

· When it comes to fluking, squid is the bait of choice. Some anglers cut it in very fine strips to mimic sand eels, others cut it into an inch thick strip and still others like to use the whole squid.
Fresh water bite is hot
Dayton Martin and Kim Bissonnette of South County, RI fished earlier this month catching 150 bass in one outing. Ken said, “It's probably no secret that the bass are in the post spawn period. With the increase in temperatures, target fish by using warm weather patterns and strategies. Fishing is often better mornings and evenings in the cooler weather. During the day, areas of shade and other cover will produce the best. Docks, grass mats and lily pad edges will hold fish as they will be relating tighter to that type of cover. Cooler times of the day could produce a great post spawn top water bite, with slower presentations better suited as the water warms. Soft plastics like lizards, worms and stick baits work well, casting as tight to cover as possible. Don't worry about getting snagged, as it's all part of the process and helps improve casting confidence. Besides, there are still a lot of warm days ahead yet to fish this season. Sometimes downsizing to 4" can trigger a good bite as well. Slightly deeper water, along drop offs and flats, will also produce, using wacky and Carolina type rigs.”

Hess withdraws LNG proposal

Hess LNG withdrew its proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Taunton River Monday. They cited "unfavorable" economic conditions.

Take-a-kid fishing Saturday, June 18
There is still time to volunteer for the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association’s Take-a-kid fishing event Saturday morning, June 18. To volunteer, contact Steve Medeiros at 401.826.2121.
NOAA announces new aquaculture policies
Earlier this week NOAA announced national sustainable marine aquaculture policies to meet the growing demand for healthy seafood, to create jobs in coastal communities, and restore vital ecosystems. Foreign aquaculture accounts for about half of the 84 percent of seafood imported by the U.S., contributing to the $9 billion trade deficit in seafood. Learn more at .
Senate committee passes Seafood Marketing Collaborative bill
The Rhode Island Senate Committee on Environment & Agriculture chaired by Senator Susan Sosnowski passed the Seafood Marketing Collaborative bill last week. The bill would establish an effort to facilitate the distribution and marketing of fresh RI fish to Rhode Islanders. At press time the bill was going to be moved to the Senate floor for a vote.
Where’s the bite
Striped bass. Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said he caught a number of bass Saturday at Warwick Neck using chucks of Menhaden. Ken said, “I would spot the on the fish finder, send down a chuck and then bam, we were on.” Ken said he hooked up with several fish using this method. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said “Customers are catching plenty of small bass in the upper Bay with keepers mixed in. Most are catching them with live menhaden or chucks as well as clam worm.” Anglers at the North Rip, Block Island are catching bass with a lot of dog fish present.
Fluke fishing. Most anglers seem to be catching two to four keepers on an outing with a good bite around Jamestown, Newport, and Point Judith. Captain John Sheriff said, “Myself and four RISAA members discovered that you can effectively catch fluke in 20 knot East winds, 5 foot seas with 10 -12 ounces of weight. Paul Harrison of Fall River, MA caught an 8.5 lb fluke off Point Judith.”

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fluke experts share tactics

Lynn and Pelky from upset New York with the fluke they caught with Capt. John Rainone of L’il Toot Charters , Narragansett, RI.

Darrell Hatten (right) of North Kingstown with the 8 pound, 12 once fluke (summer flounder) he caught off Rose Island. He and friend Mike Swain (left) of Coventry took seven keepers Saturday, a total of fourteen fish were caught.

Ben Roach of Jamestown with the fluke he caught on his father’s boat, Capt. Rob Roach of Kettlebottom Outfitters.

Fluke experts share tactics

Fluke fishing is great. Fluke (or summer flounder) are biting off southern coastal beaches as well as favorite places at the mouth of the Bay off Newport, Jamestown, South Kingstown and Narragansett. This year with the legal minimum size reduced to 18 ½” the season promises to be a good one. Darrell Hatten of North Kingstown caught an eight pound, twelve once fluke off Rose Island, Newport this Saturday. He and friend Mike Swain of Coventry landed a total of fourteen fish, seven of them were keepers. With the recreational fluke season just starting here are some fluke fishing tips from the pros (more to come next week).

Capt. John Rainone, Li’l Toot Charters, Pt. Judith. “Now that we have larger sizes of Fluke to be legal, I have switched to a larger wide gap hook 3/0 instead of the old J style hook. It is easier to release a short fish without hurting it due to the style of the hook. Like a circle hook, it is usually hooked right in the corner of the mouth. We also have started to use bigger baits, and sometimes even a stinger hook with a very large bait. When the mate fillets a bluefish, he saves a nice long strip of the belly or underside of the bluefish for baits. Whole squids work well too, or larger strip baits of squid, instead of the old 3” strip of squid. You can also save some fluke belly or striped bass belly from your fillets to use on your next trip. Just put them in some salted water and keep cold.”

Capt. George Cioe, Patricia Anne, Pt. Judith. “I use squid strips with a sand eel or live minnows…put the hook thru the squid once. I split the trailing edge of the squid to give it some action as it moves thru the water. We often use fluke belly, especially if there is other bothersome species hitting the bait. Fluke belly is more durable and you’ll get more bottom time with the bait. There is an issue though. Because it will not tear off like squid, it is possible to pull the fluke up to the surface, even though he is not hooked, only to watch the fish let go of the bait and swim away. When you fish with belly – let the fish keep the bait a little longer before you pull him up. When I am in deeper water - 60 to 75 feet – I’ll use a whole squid – a sure recipe for catching jumbos. The slower the drift the better – but you do need to drift. I’ll use a sea anchor to slow me down.”

Capt. Robb Roach, Kettlebottom Outfitters, Jamestown, RI. “Wind and tide in line otherwise stem it. Bigger fish are on sharper edges… meaning a steeper drop off will hold the bigger fish. Don’t forget to fish in the vicinity of wrecks. Live bait works best and snapper blues are THE BEST Fluke bait. Clean the skin off of the squid when baiting”

Senate Judiciary Committee passes bill to increase fines for striped base poaching
Steve Medeiros, president of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA), said last week at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on RISAA’s bill to increase fines for the illegal possession of striped bass, “Chief Steve Hall (Rhode Island DEM Enforcement), George Allen and I testified in favor of the bill. When done the committee held an immediate vote- unanimous in favor. It now goes to the full Senate for a vote. “The legislation would raise the fines for the illegal possession of striped bass up from the current $50 to:$100 first offense; $200 second offense and can confiscate equipment, boat, etc.; and $500 third and subsequent offenses and can confiscate equipment.

Commercial Atlantic bluefin tuna retention limit established
Effective June 3 through August 31, 2011, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) adjusts the General category Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit to three large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip for commercial boats. The General category daily retention limit applies to vessels permitted in the commercial Atlantic tuna’s General category and the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category while fishing commercially. For further information, visit

Take-a-kid fishing Saturday, June 18

RISAA is looking for volunteer boats and mates as well as volunteers for land based activities during their annual Take-a-kid fishing event Saturday morning, June 18. It is a great cause. Last year over 200 children fished on 85 boats, many of them on the Bay for the first time. To volunteer, contact Steve Medeiros at 401.826.2121 or register online at .

Where’s the bite

Freshwater fishing is good. Angler Harold Hemberger said, “Had two decent days at Stump Pond in Smithfield this past weekend. On both days the largemouth bass bite was fairly fast. The bass were hitting anything delivered about a foot below the surface. However, fish size was small. On Sunday, pike in the 2 – 3 pound range were hitting spinner baits at dusk.”

Striped bass fishing remains good in the Bay with action around Block Island starting to pick up. Captain John Sheriff reports an outstanding bass bite with fish to 36” at the North Rip, Block Island on Monday. Captain Rick Bellavance of Priority Too Charters said, “Fishing the North End of Block Island we easily limited out on striped bass (this past weekend and Monday).” This weekend Joe Daniels of Warwick caught ten bass and three keepers with the largest fish 35” when fishing in the upper East Passage on No Fluke Charters.

Fluke (summer flounder) fishing is heating up nicely. Alan Stewart of Westport, MA reports a good fluke bite off Bailey’s Beach and Elbow Ledge near the mouth of the Sakonnet River. Stewart said, “We were surprised at how good the fishing was. We ended up with 8 keepers up to 26" and a few shorts… all on squid strips.” Darrell Hatten of North Kingstown caught an 8 pound, 12 once fluke off Rose Island, Newport while fishing with skipper Mike Swain of Coventry. They took seven keepers Saturday, a total of about fourteen fish were caught. Fancies Fleet party boat vessels our of Pt. Judith report a good fluke bite that is improving weekly.

Tuna fishing reports are good. Robb Roach of Kettlebottom Outfitters said, “Just talked to a offshore lobster friend who reports yellowfin (lots of them!) in the tails and dip. SST's support this and the heaviest break is actually northeast of the tails- 52 to 72.” Kettlebottom Outfitters is booking tuna charters on their new 35 foot Aerocat. You can get out to the tuna in two and a half hours. Contact Capt. Robb Roach at .

Monday, June 6, 2011

Striped bass bite improves... five more ways to catch them

Michael Weaver of Plymouth, New Hampshire caught this keeper bass aboard No Fluke Charters of East Greenwich using a weighted T-Man bubble gum tube & worm while fishing in 13 feet of water north of Conimicut Light.

Alan Stewart of Westport, Massachusetts with bass he caught off Prudence Island in 80 feet of water using a whole native squid.

Craig (left) and Jay Conway (right) of North Kingstown, Rhode Island fished No Fluke Charters on Memorial Day and caught six striped bass, the largest was 32”.

Striped bass bite improves... five more ways to catch them
Striped bass fishing continues to improve in Narragansett Bay, along southern coastal shores and around Block Island. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too Charters, Pt. Judith, RI said he and his parties have been catching nice bass off Block Island. Rick said, “The keepers were 29” and in the low 30”s… perfect for eating”. Alan Stewart of Westport, MA said he “Caught a striped bass in the mid - 30”s near Prudence Island using native squid on the bottom in 80 feet of water. We also caught a 24 inch fluke in 50 feet of water - first time for a fluke in that area as the bottom was rocky.”

Tony Lauro fished outside of Allens Harbor in North Kingstown and said, “As I finished letting the line out on a white umbrella rig, I caught a fish on it before I even got it back in the rod holder. 15 minutes later, caught another on the Rapala (a diving swimming lure). Both fish were 29" and caught in 25 feet of water trolling between 3 and 3.5 knots.”

Monday the bass bite was on in the East Passage. Jay and Craig Conway caught six bass, the largest 17 pounds, 32”. Sunday morning I caught two keepers at 29” and 30” in Greenwich Bay between Sally Rock and Sandy Point. Saturday Michael Weaver of Plymouth, New Hampshire fishing on No Fluke Charters caught nine bass and two keepers north of Conimicut Light. The restricting of menhaden boats north of Conimicut Light and in Greenwich Bay has improved fishing.

Bob Oberg said he “Fished the upper bay this Saturday from 5:30 am to noon in my kayak. Caught 18 stripers, including 7 keepers to 35 inches. Most fish were in the 26" - 30" range with tube and worm. Was hoping to snag pogies, but I only saw about a 3 foot circle of them rise to the surface and they were gone by the time I could put down my fishing rod and pick up my snag rod. Saw a couple of small ripples and a couple of small clouds go under my boat, but that was it.”

There are a number of ways to catch striped bass, last week I related five methods. Here are five more:

1. Chunking fresh or frozen menhaden. You can anchor (and chum); drift fish or fish the moving bait pods with chunks. Some anglers use a weight slide to get the bait down.
2. Surface plugs or poppers. Great way to catch school bass in the spring.
3. Swimming lures. My favorite is a grey Yozuri Crystal Minnow.
4. Parachute squid jigs. Often used in ocean water (or where there are squid). Anglers successfully use this method off Newport, Narragansett and Block Island.
5. Trolling with tube and worm. The idea is to get the bait down to where the fish are. Big fish often at bottom waiting for prey. I have found less line beneficial in tight quarters where maneuvering is tough. Use lead line in Bay and wire offshore in deeper water. Use different colored tubes until you find one that works.

Bluefin tuna stays off endangered species list
After an extensive scientific review, NOAA announced today that Atlantic bluefin tuna currently do not warrant species protection under the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA has committed to revisit this decision by early 2013, when more information will be available about the effects of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, as well as a new stock assessment from the scientific arm of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the international body charged with the fish’s management and conservation.
NOAA is formally designating both the western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stocks of bluefin tuna as “species of concern” under the Endangered Species Act. This places the species on a watch list for concerns about its status and threats to the species.
“NOAA is concerned about the status of bluefin tuna, including the potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill on the western stock of Atlantic bluefin, which spawns in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We will revisit the status of the species in early 2013 when we will have a new stock assessment and information from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment of the oil spill. We will also take action in the interim if new information indicates the need for greater protection.”

DEM opens Bay Line, call 222.888

The Department of Environmental Management announces that its seasonal 24-hour Bay Line telephone information line is now open. The Bay Line number, 222-8888, is toll-free within the state.

Bay Line provides Rhode Islanders with a central telephone number to leave a recorded message about any sign of Bay-related environmental problems throughout the summer season for appropriate follow-up. It also offers updates on water quality in Narragansett Bay, and referral numbers for information about any current restrictions on beaches or fishing. Callers may also pose questions about the Bay.

Reports of Bay water quality conditions, updated weekly on Bay Line, are compiled from data provided by a network of monitoring stations in the Bay that monitor oxygen, temperature, salinity, pH levels, and, in some cases, water clarity and the presence of algae blooms. The Department, in cooperation with the University of Rhode Island, has begun the seasonal deployment of additional monitoring instruments.

Where’s the bite

Striped bass
fishing is outstanding. Fished the upper Bay last week and the striped bass were pushing the bait to the surface, you might have thought they were bluefish. Took two fish, one 30" and one 33" fish using T-Man weighted bubble gum tubes in 13 feet of water as close to the bottom as we could get them.
Blue fish bite is good. I caught ten small blue fish off Buttonwoods in Warwick using a large surface popper this past Sunday. Lenny Lake of Warwick a fly fisherman said he has been catching 8 to 10 bass per outing in Greenwich Bay and Cove. Last Thursday he was landing a 20” striper, just ready to pull the fish into the boat, when a twelve pound blue fish came up out of the water and bit the striper in half.

Fluke fishing is good with fish just starting to get big. Francis Fleet reports fish to eleven pounds taken this past weekend with most customers taking home two to three nice fish. This fishery is expected to do nothing but accelerate over the next three to four weeks as the bio-mass has been enhanced and the legal size has been reduced to 18 ½ “ by DEM this year.

Squid fishing
remains good this week. They are still here.