Fall catch of cod and black sea bass.
Strong cod bite best in years
“The cod fishing has been phenomenal at the East Fishing Grounds (3.5 miles east of Block Island). I suppose the fishing is good at Cox’s Ledge too but anglers haven’t had to go that far.” said Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown.
How good you ask? Anglers fishing with me on No Fluke Charters did well this weekend. On Saturday Kevin Fetzer of East Greenwich and Jim Stevens of Warwick caught nine keeper cod and thirteen black sea bass in about three hours of fishing at the East Grounds. Weather and sea conditions were perfect.
Angler Steve Brustein of West Warwick netted five nice keeper cod and three black sea bass on Sunday. Southwest winds and rocky sea conditions at the East Grounds made fishing challenging.
Sea clams and jigs both worked well. The fish were not big, large ones were about 8 pounds and 27 inches with a lot of shorts mixed in. Diamond jigs and cod rigs, the type with bright orange and green rubber covering on the upper shaft portion of the hooks were used. Most fish were caught at drop-offs or the back side of humps at a depth of about 60 feet. Many cod were spitting up small crabs when they came over the rail.
Capt. Rich Hittinger said, “When we fished the East Grounds last week the Frances Fleet was there fishing the east side of the ledge. They were there a while so they must have been doing well too. We had three anglers on board and kept a total of 12 cod and 12 black sea bass and one large tautog. ”
Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “All three cod trips sailed this week were very strong with nice green white bellied cod fish showing up and anglers boxing several nice cod apiece. Fish in the 10 to 15 pound range are becoming more common with a few bigger ones mixed in.”
The minimum keeper size for recreational cod in Rhode Island is 22”. The possession limit is 10 fish/angler/day.
If you are thinking about going cod fishing now is the time, particularly with 50 degree days forecast for the weekend. Some smaller charter boats (six people or less) are still fishing with Snappa Charters (maximum of 18 people) and larger party boats like the Seven B’s and the Frances Fleet are still making tautog and cod trips. Visit www.rifishing.com for a list of charter and party boats.
Rhody Fly Rodders to meet December 15
The Rhody Fly Rodders will host a presentation Tuesday, December 15, 6:30 p.m. by noted local fly fishing expert Ed Lombardo. Lombardo will present on “Fly Fishing Saltwater Estuaries and Fresh Water Fly Fishing Tactics” in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The presentation will take place at the Riverside Sportsmen’s Club, 19 Mohawk Drive, East Providence. The meeting is open to the public. Contact club president Peter Nilsen for information at 401.245.7172.
Economic impact of recreational fishing in RI
A study commissioned by the American Sportfishing Association shows that Rhode Island recreational fishing (from anglers that live in the state) has a total annual economic impact of approximately $144,030,467 on Rhode Island. The economic contribution shown for Rhode Island is based on the total fishing-related spending from those that live in the state. What is missing from this number is the amount of money that out of state anglers spend in Rhode Island and the economic impact of fishing related manufactures that happen to be located in Rhode Island.
The study was conducted by Southwick Associates of Florida for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). The study also included congressional district totals for each state so legislators could see just how much constituents were spending on recreational fishing. A copy of the study “Economic Contributions of Reactional Fishing: U.S. Congressional Districts” which was completed in October, 2015 can be found at www.southwickassociates.com.
ASMFC schedules hearings for Atlantic herring
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has scheduled Rhode Island and Massachusetts hearings to gather public comment on the Public Hearing Document for Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Herring. The Rhode Island hearing will take place Monday, January 4th from 6 to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI, contact John Lake at 401.423.1942 for information.
The Massachusetts meeting will take place Tuesday, January 5th, 2:00 p.m. by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries at the Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA, contact David Pierce at 617.626.1532 for information.
Narragansett Trout Unlimited meeting set for December 16
The Narragansett Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU225) will hold their monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 6:30 p.m. at the Coventry/West Greenwich Elks Lodge, 42 Nooseneck Hill Road (Rte. 3, Exit 6 off of Rte. 95), West Greenwich, R.I.
The meeting will celebrate the December Holidays and will provide an opportunity for the club to thank members for their volunteer time spent on conservation, habitat, access improvement, and water monitoring projects completed in 2015. Members will also elect next year’s Board. Contact chapter president, Ron Marafioti at (401) 463-6162 with questions.
Where’s the bite
Cod fishing remained strong this week. See above report.
Striped bass fishing is spotty. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina said, “It’s hit or miss on striped bass as they migrate south. However, anglers fishing the beaches and bridges (Narrow River) continue to catch bass. School bass are plentiful and every now and then larger bass come through.”
Tautog fishing this week remained strong too. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “Customers are doing well out in front of Jamestown and Newport as well as at Coddington Cove and General Rock. Three guys can fish a few hours and they will limit out with ten fish per boat and catch a lot of shorts in the process.” Roger Simpson of the Frances Fleet said, “Tog fishing continued solid with multiple angler limit catches each day and pool fish 8 to 10 pounds. Best day was Tuesday with an easy full boat limit. A fair number of short and keeper cod fish mixed in on the tog runs and an occasional sea bass or two.” Capt. Andy Dangelo of Maridee II Charters said, “We fished the Newport area this weekend for tautog and did very well, things had slowed there but now have picked up again. Last month my son AJ Dangelo landed a fourteen pound tautog in the same area off Newport.”