Avid offshore fisherman Richard Pastore with a bluefin tuna he landed at the Dump (about 50 miles offshore).
Greg Vespe caught and released his 1,000th striped bass Sunday at the Southwest Ledge, Block Island.
Good things happen to good people
Last week was one of the best so far this summer… five very successful fishing trips, I spent quality time with my wife, son and dog and then there was this email from Janet Coit, director of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) that arrived Friday morning.
The email said, “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jason McNamee as DEM’s new Chief of Marine Resources.” My heart was filled with joy because this was a good thing, happening to a good person.
Director Coit’s email went on to praise McNamee… 16 years at DEM, supervising marine biologist, his ability to perform analytical stock assessments and his knack to make complex partnerships work.
Jason McNamee is not only a rock star in RI managing marine resources sustainably but he has a great reputation coast wide and nationally for his work chairing technical committees on both the New England Fisheries Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
He recently impressed the fishing community at the Southern New England Recreational Fishing Symposium with the multi-species eco-system research he is doing on Atlantic menhaden, striped bass, blue fish and other species as he obtains his Ph.D. in Fisheries Oceanography at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.
I serve the fishing community in Rhode Island on a number of councils, boards and committees as a volunteer and everyone I meet has only good things to say about Jason McNamee. He is a solid scientist, fish manager and great person. The fishing community wishes him all the best.
Greg Vespe of Tiverton is an avid fisherman with a particular knack for catching striped bass. Here is his account (I say prayer) of his 1,000th striped bass caught Sunday.
“Sometimes it’s all about catching that next fish... sometimes it’s about slowing down and reflecting on the fish you just caught.
My smallest bass of the night was the most special... reaching a milestone that began many moons ago on the Delaware river when a kid drifted a tinsel jig and mackerel strip intended for channel cats was nailed by my first striped bass and culminated 3:35 a.m. this Sunday morning when an eel drifting just inside the fence at the Southwest Ledge off Block Island got picked up by my 1,000th striped bass.
This was a special moment of what has been a wonderful journey. Lots of memories. So many lessons learned… first keeper, first surf keeper, first eel bass, first trip to Block Island, etc. And, the first time I scared BJ Silvia with my hookset.
None of this could have been accomplished without the help and patience from so many better fishermen than me who have helped me along my path. Members of the Aquidneck Island Striper Team, the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association and all my fishing partners over the years I thank you all.”
Where’s the bite
Striped bass and bluefish. Kim Petti of Fin & Feather Outfitters, North Kingstown said, “Customers were catching both striped bass and bluefish with fly fishing gear at Prudence Island. Some made a trip to Cape Cod and landed blue fin tuna on the southeast corner of Stellwagen Bank.” Angler Mark Pachico of Middletown, RI said, “I caught a 47 pound striped bass at Block Island on Friday on a live eel with captain Eric Chappell fishing for the Aquidneck Island Striper Team. The bite was best on the incoming tide as we didn't do much on the next tide.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “With pogies thick in the upper Bay and rivers we have some bass in the Bay but the water has warmed and have a strong bass bite in cooler water at Block Island.” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “The bass bite on Block Island is very good. We weighed in a 44 pound fish this weekend. They are catching them with eels at night and tube and worm during the day.” Lorraine Danti of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, “The striped bass are really stacked up at Block Island now. We have weighed in fish in the 40 and 50 pound range, most seem to be caught at sunset with eels but others are being caught during the day.” Angler Eric Appolonia of North Kingstown said, “My son Alex and I and his friend Ethan Bowie were out at Block Island and the bass fishing was hot. We got out at 10:00 a.m. and had all caught a fish by 11:00 a.m. on the Southwest Ledge.” Eric was trolling with tube & worm.
Offshore fishing continues to improve. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina said, “Hot Reels captained by Lou DeFusco landed a 90 pond wahoo (possibly a State of RI “notable catch” record) and Big Game Charters landed a 17 and a 24 pound mahi along with yellow fin tuna over 50 pounds. All the action seems to be in the Shipping Lanes.” Avid offshore angler Richard Pastore said on the RISSA blog Saturday, “Went down towards the Fingers looking for 68 to 70 degree temperature break. We spotted whales, bait jumping, shearwaters (birds) and dolphins in 69 degree water. We kept moving south into the Fingers and 70.5 degree water. Double hook up on spreader bars of 55 pound BFT. Followed by another double hook up of 55 pound BFT one in the cooler the rest back in the water. High flyers produced small mahi on smallest blue deadly dicks allowed to sink while free spooling.”
“Fluke fishing is very good at the East Fishing Grounds and in the Green Hill area.” said Elisa Cahill of Sung Harbor Marina. Lary Norin and Rick Sustello report a great fluke bite east of Block Island Saturday in 75 feet of water. Norin said “Green flash spinner jigs were used… I had bluefish, fluke belly and squid. It was the best three consecutive drifts ever. Immediate nonstop action with mostly keeper jumbo fluke. We boated 10 fish over five pounds with the biggest being a 27 inch slab.” Fishing in the Jamestown and Newport area was good this week with reports of fish under the Bridges as well as along the shore. Dave Sweet and his son Jason (12 years old) fished the southern coastal shore this weekend. Dave said, “We went south a mile off the five cottages and hit some nice fishing in about 60 feet of water. Jason had high hook with his personal best, a 22" fluke.”
Snapper blues or skipjacks (referring to juvenile blue fish) are in and there are a lot of them in our coves and estuaries. “We heard 100 Acre Cove has a huge school of skipjacks. They are great fun for kids to catch.” said Lorraine Danti of Lucky Bait & Tackle. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Skipjacks are in with anglers catching them from shore and off docks.”
Scup are everywhere in the Bay. Lorraine Danti of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “Customers are landing 19” and 20” scup at Colt State Park and the bridges in Warren and Barrington.”