Thursday, July 24, 2014

It’s not all about the fish

First fish:  Logan McDermott (7 years old) with his first fish, a scup he caught off Jamestown, RI last week.
Weakfish (Squeteague) bite coming back.  Logan Lemay of Bristol with the 21” weakfish he caught in Greenwich Bay.
Alex and Joe Noga of Rye, NY with two of the fifteen summer flounder (fluke) they caught off Newport Saturday on a family fishing trip.
 Christine Blount and her son Capt. Nicky Blount, both from Narragansett, RI, proudly display a jumbo sea bass caught aboard the Frances Fleet.
 Fishing with friends: Chris Gasbaro (right) found this 26” summer flounder one mile off Newport’s Seal Ledge, he fished Monday with his friend and business associate Jason.
Family fishing at Block Island:  Al Bacon and his son from Austin, TX with a 33 pound striped bass caught with Captain John Sheriff of Fish On Charters.

It’s not all about the fish

As a fisherman, I have adopted the saying “It’s not always about the fish”.  Just as important are the lessons we learn from fishing… discipline, patience, creativity, self reliance, conservation and how to have an adventure.  However, the most important fishing lessons are obtained through the conversations and relationships we develop with fishing companions. To this day, some of my fondest fishing memories include fishing with my father, son, wife, brothers, brothers-in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Everyone who catches a fish is happy.  I have a wall in my office with photographs of people (young and old) who have caught fish on my boat and every one of them has a smile on their face.  Fishing feeds our sense of self worth, makes us feel successful and gives us a sense of accomplishment.  A sense of accomplishment and enhanced self image that is particularly important to young people.
So I thank Logan and Michael McDermott, Rob and his father Bob and their young neighbors,  Alex and Joe Noga,  and Chris Gasbaro and his friend Jason for fishing with me this week.  Your spirit reminded me of what is important about fishing… the relationships we build with family and friends.  And of course, I particularly liked the expression on Logan McDermott’s face when he said… “Wow, this is the first fish I ever caught.”

Fishing summer flounder (fluke) from shore
Local author and shore fishing expert Dave Pickering said, “Fluke will readily hit bucktail jigs from shore.  The key is finding the fish, and you will generally have better luck in deeper water.  You want to cast that jig out and let it sink to the bottom.  Reel it in slowly with occasional jerks of the rod tip.  The key is to keep it close to the bottom at all times.  Using this technique in past summers I have landed black sea bass, fluke, scup, stripers and bluefish in the daylight on the jig.”

Learn how to catch bonito and false albacore this Monday

Bonito and false albacore are speedsters know to strip line off a reel at lightning speed.  They are two of the most challenging fish to catch, yet they are the most fun.   This Monday, July 28, 7:00 p.m. learn how to target and catch bonito and false albacore at a Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) seminar at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick, RI.  Guest speakers will be Capt. Eric Thomas and Roger and Susan Lema.  Capt. Thomas from Teezer77 Charters, Portsmouth, RI was a featured speaker on false albacore and bonito fishing at the New England Saltwater Fishing Show; and Roger and Susan Lema are two local expert anglers that target these fish (and do a lot of catching) every day once they arrive.  Non-members requested to make a $10 donation to the Scholarship Fund, RISAA members attend free.

Meet with RI’s ASMFC commissioners

A meeting of Rhode Island's Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) members will be held on Thursday, July 31, 4:00 p.m. in the Large Conference Room in the Coastal Institute Building at the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett. The purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss the agenda for the upcoming August 5-7 ASMFC meeting in Alexandria, VA with our commissioners. Anyone may attend and offer input on the agenda items. The agenda for the ASMFC meeting is available on the ASMFC's website at  Key issues expected to be on the agenda include eels, striped bass, fluke and spiny dog fish.  For further information contact Bob Ballou at

Where’s the bite

Striped bass fishing continues to slow in the Narragansett Bay but is strong on Block Island and off Newport.   Manny Guerzon of Quaker Lane Outfitters, North Kingstown said, “Block Island and Newport have been good for striped bass.  Customers are catching them at night and day using eels.”  John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence said, “Small bass in the 16” to 22” range are being taken from shore in the Providence River.  However customers are still catching their limit using chucks of Atlantic Menhaden at Nayatt Point and in the Barrington Beach area.”  Angler Bill Sokolowski  said, “Headed out to the SW Ledge (Block Island) at 3:00 p.m. (Saturday). Current was at its max. Skies overcast. I ended up first catching a good size bluefish. Then on the same eel a 42 pound then a 38 pound striper.”  Dave Keil of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “Block Island fishing is good, anglers are hooking up with 40 lb bass fishing the southwest side with eels and trolling umbrella rigs.”  Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too Charters, Pt. Judith said, “The bass at Block Island are very large this year.  But the fishing is funny. We’re either catching our limit in 20 minutes or having difficulty finding them.”

Summer flounder (fluke) fishing has been good along southern coastal shores, at the Sakonnet River mouth, off Newport and the Harbor of Refuge in Narragansett and around Block Island.  However in Narragansett Bay it has been a bit slower.  I experienced a strong summer flounder bite off Newport Saturday when the wind and tide were in line, however, with a northeast wind, conditions were not ideal Sunday and Monday in Narragansett Bay for most of the day.  Angler Eric Duda said, “Fished about 2 miles south of the Sakonnet Light house on Saturday. Left at 8:00 a.m. and returned at 3:00 p.m.  Light wind until about noon, 1-2 foot seas.  Caught about 14 fluke, 7 keepers, largest around 22”. Tons of small BSB in 14” range, kept 2 big ones.”  Roger Simpson from the Francis Fleet reports good fluke and black sea bass fishing on nearly every trip this week.  Roger said, “A good number of big fluke this week with quite a few fish in the 8 to 9 lb range… with a trio of fish in the 9 lb range (Friday) battling it out for the pool.”  Minimum size for summer flounder in RI is 18” with an eight fish/angler/day limit.

Scup. Manny Guerzon of Quaker Lane Outfitters said, “Scup are everywhere just wet a line with some squid on it and you will catch them.”  Michael and Logan McDermott landed scup to 15” while fishing on the west side of Jamestown north of the bridge last week.  Scup minimum size is 10” with a 30 fish limit.  Visit for special areas from shore were the size limit is 9 inches.

Black sea bass.  “We had a six pound black sea bass caught Saturday and customer Mike Swain of Coventry and his two fishing partners easily caught their limit when fishing in the Breton Reef area off Newport Saturday.” said John Wunner of John’s Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown.  Black sea bass minimum size in RI is 13” with a three fish/angler/day limit.  Anglers catch them as they target fluke, fishing the bottom with squid.

Weakfish or squeteague continue the comeback in our waters as they have for the past three years.  Anglers are catching them in the Warwick Light area when targeting summer flounder.  Loran Lemay of Bristol, RI caught a 21” weakfish using a bucktail.  His mother Bobbi said, “He was ecstatic.”

Offshore.  Matt Grennan reports on the RISAA blog, “Fished the claw to the northwest corner of the dump today, went 4/5 on small bluefin. Kept one and put tags in the rest. Water temps were 66-70 and green was the color. Just FYI for anyone interested, there are a ton of whales feasting on sand eels in 120' SSE of Block Island. Probably only 8-10 miles from the island.”

Shore fishing has been slow this past week.  Mike Cardinal of Cardinal Bait & Tackle, Westerly said, “Fishing from shore has not been good.  Anglers from shore are finding it difficult to hook up with striped bass.”  “Scup and Tommy cod, the first I head of this year, are being taken at Sabin Point (Providence) from shore, and the scup fishing is very good at Colt State Park and Conimicut Light” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait.  Dave Pickering author and expert striped bass fishermen said, “The areas I fished (last week) were difficult to fish because they were loaded with weed.  Still, I was able to hit some spots that had little weed, but no fish.”

The "Striker" strikes with a 295 pound thresher

 Steve Brustein with some of the fluke and black sea bass caught off Seal Ledge, Newport last week.
 First place thresher and overall tournament winner was a 295 pound thresher caught by Adam Littlefield (right), North Kingstown with captain of the Striker, Russ Blank. The Snug Harbor Marina Shark Tournament was held this weekend.
 251 pound mako shark took first place in its category. Tom Lai, Bill Ward (Capt. and angler), John Durand and Ken Lai.
 Lary Norin with a 22” summer flounder (fluke) he caught from a State dock in South Kingstown on his lunch hour Tuesday.
Five pound black sea bass caught aboard the Francis Fleet last week by Ginny Reed of Bristol, RI and her grandson Cole.

The Striker strikes with a 295 pound thresher

Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, ended their two day shark tournament Sunday with a 295 pound thresher taking the tournament’s top prize. 

Adam Littlefield of North Kingstown caught the fish while aboard the Striker captained by Russ Rand.  Al Conti of Sung Harbor said, “57 boats and 200 anglers participated in the tournament.  And, 43 fish were tagged and released with only eight fish captured.  This is a great use of the resource when you start to think about the economic impact of such a tournament”.  Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor said, “The sharks topped fishing news this week but there was a lot of other news too.” Proceeds from the tournament are being donated to the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).

“We had anglers fishing the Gully, the Suffix and the Horns area and some went all the way to the edge. But you do not have to go that far.” said Elisa Martin. Bill Ward of Mansfield, MA took the mako shark first place prize with a 251 pound fish.  No blue sharks were weighed in at the tournament.

Lunchtime fluke big surprise

Lary Norin fished for fifteen minutes for summer flounder (fluke) during his lunch break Tuesday from a State dock at Snug Harbor.  Here’s what he had to say, “I only made about ten casts but I did manage to hook up five times.  Two of them were keepers.  The biggest was 22 inches and weighed 4.4 pounds at Snug Harbor.  I was using a very simple setup, a small white bucktail tipped with local squid.  Sometimes you just need to be in the right place at the right time.  Best day of fishing yet this year!”

Rhody Fly Rodders meeting July 17

The Rhody Fly Rodders are holding their summer fishing meeting Thursday, July 17, 3:00 p.m. to dark at the Narrow River.  A grill, condiments, water and chips will be provided, but bring your own food items to grill (and a chair if you want to sit).  The head guide for the meeting is Geno Rapa.  Meeting at the Sprague Bridge parking lot at Narrow River on RT 1A.  Contact Peter Nilsen at with questions.

Trout Unlimited stream side meeting

The Narragansett Chapter of Trout Unlimited (#225 ) will hold streamside meeting Wednesday, July 30, 6:00 p.m. at the Arcadia Management Area Check Station, Rt. 165, Exeter, R.I.  Hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages will be available. All members and guests welcomed. For information contact chapter president, Ron Marafioti at (571) 643-1452. 

Where’s the bite

Striped bass.  Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, “Block Island was on fire the past few days, starting the weekend we weighed in several fish in the 40 plus pound range.  We weighed in a 34 pound fish caught in the Westerly area by Charlie Soars trolling tube & worm.” Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “Striped bass fishing blew wide open on the north rip and southwest side of Block Island this weekend with several fish in the 40 plus pound range being landed.”   Angler Jack Leyden of North Kingstown said, “We fished Block Island this weekend and landed a nice fish in the thirty pound range.”  Phil Tower reports on the RI Saltwater Anglers Association blog, “My brother, me and three dozen live eels launched at Pt. Judith for a bumpy ride out to the SW corner ( of Block Island Saturday night)… We were greeted by lots of birds and bluefish that we're scattered all around the area. After about 2 hours of trial and error we landed our first striper at 8:00 p. m. We found good action between bass and pesky blues. We landed seven bass with four over 40" and the largest weighing 26 lbs.”  Dave Henault of Oceans State Tackle, Providence said, “Capt. Billy Silvia of Can’t Imagine Characters caught (striped bass) at 51, 53 and 61 pounds last week off Newport and Capt. BJ Silvia of Flippin Out Charters caught several bass in the 40 pound range.”

Shore fishing.  “30 and 40 pound striped bass are being caught at night with eels from the Charlestown Breachway along with large bluefish.” said Julian Trozzi of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown.  Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait said, “Scup fishing has been great all over with 12 and 14” fish being caught.  Guys have not been catching their thirty fish limit, but they are going home with fifteen or so good sized fish.  Scup fishing is good at Colt State Park and even at the Warren Bridge where we don’t normally see scup until later in the season.”  Dave Henault of Ocean State said, “Bass still in Providence and Seekonk Rivers”.

Summer flounder fishing remained strong with fish being landed off Newport, at the mouth of the Sakonnet, all along the southern coastal and out at Block Island.  Angler Steve Brustein of West Warwick landed fluke to 22 inches off Newport drifting southwest of the Seal Ledge, Newport area.“We weighed in two eleven pound fluke caught on the south side of Block Island this weekend.” said Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor.  “Fluke fishing at the Sakonnet was good Sunday, we weighted in a 6.2 pound fluke that was being entered in the RISAA fluke tournament.” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait.  Julian Trozzi of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “Anglers fishing from boats along the beaches in the Charlestown area are doing well but fluke fishing from the rocks on shore is slow.”

Black sea bass fishing is good with anglers catching them when the fishing for summer flounder.  I fished off Newport this weekend and had no trouble catching my limit of three mixed in with some keeper fluke.  Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “Black sea bass, fluke and scup are all being caught by anglers when fishing form fluke.  The mid Bay area has been good with guys catching fish right at the red can off Warwick Light.”

Offshore.  Adam Dunstan reports on the RISAA blog, “We were heading south to Tuna Ridge, put in there and trolled to Ryans Horn… Caught four BFT to 40 inches (kept one), fought something much bigger for a few minutes … Best performer was my trusty and old cedar plug in the wash”.  Spencer Ingram, who fished for tuna both Saturday and Sunday, said, “Trolled for four hours, mostly north past The Fingers, with small football BFT blind hitting us… Kept one 30” BFT for dinner.  Green machines were never hit but my rainbow daisy chains, bird with a feathered red/black teaser and pink spreader bars were the ideal choice for trolling.” 

Fooling fish with soft plastics

 A lot of shaking going on: Al Gag with his new Whip-It-Fish lure that rolls from side to side as it travels underwater while shaking its tail.
 Black sea bass bite good:  Scott Kiefer of Exeter, RI said “The wind slowed me up a little yesterday but the Sea bass are in and Large!!!!!”

Fooling fish with soft plastics

“Vibration and color are important when using soft plastic baits.” said Al Gagliarducci, owner and designer of Al Gag’s Custom Lures since 1978.  He spoke to 250 fishermen last week at a Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) seminar on ‘Fooling fish with soft plastics’ at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick, RI.

“Fish can feel vibrations and can tell the difference between light and dark…That’s why our lures are designed to move back and forth vibrating as they swim through the water.” said Gagliarducci. And, in regard to color the rule is simple.  “Bright day, bright (or light colored) lure; dark day, dark colored lure.” said Gagliarducci.

Al Gag’s Custom Lures came out with a new lure this year… the Whip-It-Fish.  Like its predecessor the Whip-It-Eel, the new lure is PVC rubber, can be used in fresh or saltwater, comes in various sizes and colors and uses the same weighted heads and hooks. 

Al  Gag said, “The Whip-It-Fish has a unique design paddle tail that allows the lure to roll from side to side as it travels though the water.”  The lure mimics a variety of bait fish including shad and silversides and is available in 3” to 6” sizes. 

“Throw one of these Whip-it-Fish off the stern and deadhead it in a rod holder and you will be surprised at what you catch.  The lure bounces off the bottom as the boat bobs up and down.”   Gagliarducci also showed his new double hook fluke rig that can be use as is or weighted using a three way swivel, however, he said, “If you are going to use a three way swivel to weight the lure make sure you have an extra long leader... about five feet… to allow that lure to bounce up and down off the bottom."

Visit for information and video links.

Seeking angler input on fisheries policy

The National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking input on our new National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy which is being developed this year.  Regional meetings, conference calls and webinars to gather input for the new policy will be held through September 12th. Recreational anglers are urged to provide input. The next webinar will be held on July 28 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, participants are asked to register in advance. To register for the webinar and for a schedule of input opportunities visit

Where’s the bite

Shore fishing.  “Anglers fishing for scup on the Warren River, at Ft. Adams and all around the Bay are catching large scup in the 13” to 14” range and we had a 48” striped bass landed at Ft. Adams from shore this week.” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren.  “Fishing from shore for scup at Colt State Park has been good, anglers like the new extended dock, they are getting out deeper and catching larger fish.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence. “Sabin Point is also seeing a lot of action from shore with a ton of sea robins, school bass, snapper blues and a lot of scup which has not been the case in recent years.” said Littlefield.  Before the storm last week Brian Therrien said, “Went down to the (Conimicut) Point last night to enjoy the cooling breezes and see what was moving. Set up for some scup with clam bellies and ten minutes later… bam, nice little striper not a keeper so he was set back but a very solid fish. A few scup after that one about 15” and broad.”  Capt. Ron Mouchon of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Fishing from the Breachway is good, a ten year old customer landed a 41” striped bass this week using an eel.  And, scup fishing has been really good too.” Dave Pickering, striped bass fishing expert said, “I think the numbers of keeper bass from shore are down, way down.  In fact the numbers have steadily been dropping for the last few years, and this is by far the poorest year so far.”  However, Dave and his son Ben did manage to land keeper striped bass at the Cape Cod Cannel after his fifth trip there over the holiday weekend.  Dave said, “Ben and I each got a keeper.  My fish, about 15 lbs., fell for a mackerel colored Daiwa SP Minnow.  Ben's fish, a bigger one of 20-25 lbs., smashed a pencil popper on the surface.”

Summer flounder (fluke).  “Fluke fishing was good before the storm, but this weekend conditions with tide and wind were not right.” said John Wunner of John’s Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown. “Fishing in the Mt. Hope Bridge area, Newport and at the mouth of the Sakonnet River has been yielding fluke.” said Manny Macedo of Lucky’s Bait & Tackle. John Wunner of John’s Bait said a kayak angler fishing the Monahan’s Dock area in Narragansett  landed a 22” fluke this weekend and in the Bay a seven pound fish was taken on the east side of Warwick Neck in the seminary cove area.”  Don Smith, noted striped bass and expert fluke fisherman said, “Fished the south side of Block Island (Sunday) in 65' to 70' of water. Used squid strips and spearing for bait, hi-lo fluke rigs with 6 oz. fluke balls on the bottom because of the wind. We kept nothing under 20" and threw back a lot of 18" and 19" fluke… (kept) nine fluke all between 5 and 7 lbs.”  Angler Dennis Talos who fished the Newport Bridge area this Sunday said, “Lots of boats moving around, didn't look like anyone was catching. Still pretty choppy out there.” Roger Simpson of the Francis Fleet said, “Fluke and sea bass fishing remains strong despite some stormy weather late in the week… Wednesday and Monday (of last week) were the best days overall… many fish over 4 lbs and quite a few over 6 lbs.” Last week Mike Bucko of Bucko Bait & Tackle, Fall River said, “The fishing at Sakonnet Point for fluke has been good, a lot of fluke being caught, the ratio is four fish to one keeper. Most of the customers start with squid and change over to fluke bellies.”

Striped bass fishing was fair this weekend as anglers did not get out due to high winds.  “Anglers continue to catch striped bass in the channel at Conimicut Light area using chucked Atlantic Menhaden with tube and worm yielding bass too in the Barrington Beach are.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s bait.  Capt. Ron Mouchon of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “I was out after the storm and the striped bass are still holding on the reefs along the southern coastal shore… black sea bass and fluke fishing are still great too.”

Black sea bass fishing is very good with many anglers catching their limit of three fish.  John Wunner of John’s Bait, North Kingstown said, “Richard Sears of North Kingstown landed a five pound black sea bass when fishing the Newport Bridge area.  Another angler fishing the Monahan Dock area in Narragansett landed sea bass to 3.2 pounds.” Tom Fegtherston said “(Sunday) ran to 55' south of East Gap (of the Harbor of Refuge, Narragansett). Good marks, began bailing sea bass, some double headers. Non-stop 0700-0800.”

Scup fishing has exploded in our Bays and off coastal shores.  John Wunner of John’s Bait said, “The scup have been very large.  This Sunday a customer landed a 21” scup off the northern end of Jamestown.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer flounder fishing no fluke

Paul DeMarco of North Kingstown, Russ DeMarco and Dave Zartarian of South Kingstown with some of the twelve summer flounder they landed off Newport Saturday. All keepers shown below. 

 Liam Teixeira and his dad Bill of Bristol, RI landed this 36” striper last week while trolling with tube & worm in Narragansett Bay. 
 Steve Weinstein, Cranston, with the 33 inch, 17 pound bluefish he caught Saturday while fluke fishing.
Chris Catucci of Warwick with the 40 plus inch striped bass he caught and released while fishing from shore in Warwick last week.
 Atlantic sturgeon found at the mouth of Narrow River, Narragansett last week by the Burdick brothers.  Their mom Melissa Burdick said, “DEM took the fish for study.”
Noted local fly fishermen Ed Lombardo (in photo) and his fishing partner Richard Santos caught striped bass to 36” on Narrow River, Narragansett last week.

Summer flounder fishing no fluke

Summer flounder (fluke) fishing is great.  The best season I can remember in a long time.  This week anglers continued to report great fishing along the southern coastal shore from Pt. Judith to Watch Hill, fishing off Newport, Jamestown and Block Island has been good with the mouth of the Sakonnet River yielding fish too. 

If you have not given it a try, now is the time.  Our fluke fishery is in good shape, so good, fish managers lowered the minimum size in RI last year and this year to 18” with an eight fish/angler/day bag limit with a fluke season running from May 1 to December 31.

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 return to the same areas, bays, etc. year after year.
  • The local abundance of flounder, including summer flounder or fluke, has been on the rise.  Studies show abundance moving from off Maryland and Delaware in the early 1960’s to off the coastal shores of NY, CT and RI today.  Some scientists (including Dr. Jonathan Hare, NOAA’s lab chief in Narragansett, RI) believe climate change is contributing to this movement.
  • 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.  The RI State record is a 17 pound, 8 once fish caught by G. Farmer or Warwick, RI in 1962.
Fluke fishing tips
       Wind and tide should be going in the same direction because fluke face into the current to feed, bait should drag over the front of the fish, if dragged over their back they may not see it
       Fish edges of channels, banks, underwater valleys and humps as big fish ambush bait there
       Squid is bait of choice, many use other attractants… blue fish, silversides, mummies, fluke bellies
       Trailer teasers work, a second hook usually a bucktail with a 3 ft. leader tied above main bait/jig
       Find the fish and repeat pattern… drifting over the same location or depth that is yielding fish
       Both jigging and fishing traditional fluke rigs work
       My favorite bait is big… a fluke cocktail… a plastic squid rig tipped with squid, a fresh water minnow held on by a fluke belly, you will catch fewer but larger fish
       Power drift putting vessel in and out of gear for movement at slack tide or when wind and tide not ideal, as you need movement to catch fluke

Special video interviews on fluke fishing

Visit for a video with Capt. Dave Monti, Kelly Parker and Tom Richardson, co-hosts of New England Boating TV, they fish for fluke off Jamestown, RI and make Capt. Monti’s Fluke Cocktail.

Visit for and interview with Capt. Charlie Donilon of Snappa Charters, Pt. Judith, RI on how and where to catch fluke off Block Island and coastal shores.

Atlantic sturgeon found at river mouth

The Burdick brothers started their summer with quite an adventure.  They found an Atlantic sturgeon at the mouth of Narrow River in Narragansett last week. Their mom Melissa Kells Burdick (manager of Adventureland, Narragansett) said, “It had beached itself.  There were no visible injuries or markings on its body. The boys carried it home in a towel and we froze it over the weekend in our business' ice cream freezer!   We called DEM on Monday and reported the find.  They came it took it for study.”

Atlantic sturgeon is among the oldest fish species in the world and can be found from Canada to Florida.  It was in great abundance when settlers first came to North America but has since declined due to overfishing and water pollution and is considered an endangered species. They can grow to 14 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds and travel up rivers to spawn in brackish water.  When juveniles reach 30 to 36 inches they move into near coastal waters.

Where’s the bite

Striped bass fishing slowed a bit in the Bay but some nice fish are still being caught.” said Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick. “Anglers are still catching 25 to 35 pound fish.  Many of them working schools of Atlantic Menhaden up near the old Henderson railroad bridge in Providence.  Bass and bluefish continue to crash the pogies there. And, at Block Island, day fishing is improving.  Night fishing is still OK, but guys are staying two and three tides to catch five or six fish. If you want to call that good, I guess it is a matter of perspective.”  Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters, Pt. Judith said, “Daytime Bass fishing is improving out at Block Island with some big fish being caught on each trip.” Liam Teixeira and his dad Bill of Bristol, RI landed a 36” striper aboard their vessel the “Keeper” last week while fishing in the middle of the afternoon on Narragansett Bay trolling with tube and worm.  Dave Keil of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, “The Fish are getting larger, we weighed in a 56 and a 49 pound striped bass this week, both were from Block Island.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence said, “Customers have been catching keeper size bass in the 28" to 30” range using tube & worm off Barrington and catching fish in the 15 to 25 pound range using Atlantic Menhaden (chucked, live lining and yo-yoing) in the Nayatt Point, Conimicut Light area.”
Summer flounder (fluke) fishing was very strong this week.  “Fluke fishing under both bridges improved for customers this week.” said Ken Landry.  I fished this Saturday with Rus DeMarco and Dave Zartarian of South Kingstown, Paul DeMarco, North Kingstown and Steve Weinstein of Cranston and they landed over a dozen fluke under the Newport Bridge and out in front of Brenton Reef, Newport.  “Fluke fishing is good when the drift is strong, smaller fish are biting as it slows down.” said Capt. Rick Bellavance. “Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor Marina said, “Bruce Dubois won first prize in their fluke tournament this weekend with an 8.98 fish, followed by Ron Enright who landed an 8.80 pound fluke for second place.  Forty-four anglers participated in the Tournament most fishing off Newport, at the mouth of the Sakonnet, Block Island or along southern coastal shores.”  Dave Keil of Watch Hill said, “Fluke fishing is now very good, we have customers catching their limit with fishing is particularly good off Misquamicut and Charlestown beaches.”
Shore fishing continued to improve this week.  Julian Trozzi of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown said, “Striped bass fishing at night, right in the middle of the Breachway with eels has been very good.  Anglers are landing 30 to 40 pound fish. There is a lot of small bait in the water and blue fish and bass are crashing them all over, just watch for the birds.” Warwick angler Chris Catucci caught and released a 40 plus inch striped bass from shore in Warwick last week.  Fly fisherman Ed Lombardo reports a  good bass bite in Narrow River, Narragansett.  He and fishing partner Richard Santos landed 29” and 36” fish while fly fishing.  Ed said, “The bite was much better on the incoming tide… My hot pink high tie streamer and all white high tie streamers worked very well. Also my shrimp worked well on the shad at dark.”  Dave Keil of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly said, school bass fishing from the breachways at Weekapaug and Quonnie has been good. With fluke and scup being landed from the shore at Watch Hill.” Scup fishing continues to improve with the fish getting larger.  John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait said, “One customer came in with a 19” scup he cauth off the dock at Colt State Park.  And another customer and his grandson caught a total of 55 scup in Barrington.” 
Offshore.  “We caught and released eight Blue Sharks on our first offshore trip on Thursday. As an added bonus Whales, Sea Turtles, Sunfish, and Dolphin sightings can be expected on any trip offshore right now.” said Capt. Rick Bellavance. Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor Marian said, “Customer Bill Fazano landed a Mako and a Thresher shark this weekend at Tuna Ridge.  The fish must have been good size as he had to respool his reels and check gear due to the all the action.”  Shark fishing for mako and thresher sharks has been good offshore with lots of bluesharks being caught said Capt. Gene Kelly of the Montauk Sportfishing Association. Last week, first place winners of the Montauk Marine Basin shark tournament included a 353 lbs. mako, a 355 lbs. thresher and a 311 lbs. blueshark.
Freshwater. Fly fisherman Ed Lombardo fished the Wood River Sunday night for brown and rainbow trout during the Hexagenia or “Hex hatch”.  The Hex hatch refers to the emergence from the water of large, white mayflies when they mature from nymphs to flying insects. Ed said, “I raised two fish when we first got there during daylight with an orange colored body Wolff pattern size #8. White wings and tail of calf tail and one hackle feather wrapped in back and front of the wing brown in color. Spent Spinners work best once the hatch starts; we left the water at 10:10 p.m.  (My fishing partner) Toby had a great night with eight or so fish.”