Steve Brustein of Portland, Maine with a spring tautog he caught last year in Narragansett Bay.
Tautog fishing tips from the experts
The spring tautog season opened April 15 and runs through May 31 with a three fish/person/day limit and a ten fish per boat limit (does not apply to charter boats). Tautog fishing is fun and there’s a certain knack to it as it takes a lot of concentration and a quick hook set.
Here are some of my favorite tautog fishing tips I’ve learned from the experts.
· Keep rig simple to reduce tie ups, I prefer an egg sinker rig with one hook extended below the sinker on a swivel, or a one hook conventional rig with a dropper loop and sinker
· Anchor over or near structure, and fish the entire boat or area, even casting a bit as tautog are territorial, a few feet make a difference, also let anchor line in and out to change position
· Be prepared to chum as needed, I use a mixture of cut-up sea clams and crushed crabs
· I use 40 to 50 pound braid line to enhance a direct connection to the fish and the line does not stretch when the fish tries to run back into structure, my fishing rod is a medium action rod
· Your rig should be on the bottom, be patient, pay attention and be prepared to set hook quickly
· Be prepared to fish different types of rigs and bait presentations depending on conditions and what fish want i.e. jigs with bait, green crabs as bait, Asian crabs, conventional rigs, etc.
Fishermen sought to serve as independent representatives
Deepwater Wind, developer of the Block Island Wind Farm, is looking for at least two Rhode Island fishermen to serve as independent representatives of the local fishing fleet in connection with the development of the South Fork Wind Farm at Cox’s Ledge.
The independent fishing representatives from both the commercial and recreational sectors will help disseminate information to the fishing community and help facilitate communication between fishermen and Deepwater Wind. They will also serve as the primary point of contact for any area fishermen with questions or concerns about the offshore wind farm or transmission cable. This is a great opportunity for those active in commercial or recreational fishing as these representatives will serve as an important link between Deepwater Wind and the fishing community.
Interested fishermen with home ports at Point Judith or elsewhere in Rhode Island should visit www.dwwind.com/fishing-reps for more information.
With this late notice in the Providence Journal I called Aileen Kenney, vice president of permitting & environmental for Deep Water Wind. Ms. Kenney said, “We ask that applicants forward cover letters and resumes as close to the April 21 deadline as possible via mail or email.”
Fishing for a Cause Tournament
The 7th annual Schwartz Center/Meeting Street Fishing for a Cause Tournament to raise money for students with special needs is now registering fishing participants and dinner guests for their June 23rd and 24th fundraiser.
Charter captains are offering their vessels and personal skills as fishing guides to take participants fishing in the recreational tournament
Fishing for a Cause has raised more than $800,000 in its history. “The incredible success of this tournament is due to the increase of corporate groups over the past seven years,” said John M. Kelly, President of Meeting Street.
More than 100 fishermen and women are expected to participate in the two-day catch and release tournament. Upon the culmination of the tournament participants and guests will gather for a catered seaside dinner in New Bedford emceed by comedian Lenny Clarke
For more information about this year’s event or to donate your vessel and services visit http://www.meetingstreet.org/FFAC or contact Beatriz Oliveira at The Schwartz Center 508-742-6425.
Squid fishing and tube & worm seminar
Learn the basics of squid fishing on a party boat from expert angler Tom Wood and then learn the technique of fishing with tube and worm from fishing author and guide Charley Soares on April 24, 7:00 p.m. at the West Warwick Elks Lodge, 60 Clyde Street, West Warwick. “The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association meeting will focus on when to fish deep vs near the top for squid as well as the best squid lures and gear to use.” said Tom Wood. Charles Soares said, “The uniqueness of the tube and worm is that it catches numerous species along with stripers from five to fifty ponds.” Non-members welcome with a $10 donation to the RISAA Scholarship Fund, members attend free. Visit www.risaa.org for details.
Where’s the bite
Freshwater fishing continues to be very strong. “A customer caught a 3.5 pound largemouth bass at Brickyard Pond in Barrington this week.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside. “Anglers are doing very well with largemouth bass, we sold a lot of shiners this weekend.” said Craig Mancini of Continental Bait & Tackle, Cranston. Mancini said, “Trout fishing has been better than it has been in a long time. Mike Cardinal of Cardinal Bait & Tackle, Westerly said, “Trout fishing at Carolina Trout Pond and Meadowbrook Pond (both in Richmond) has been great but the rivers have been a bit too high for anglers.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle said, “Opening Day’s weather discouraged some anglers from fishing so Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside is still holding a lot of fish with anglers limiting out there." “Trout fishing is very good at Melville in Portsmouth. PowerBait is the bait of choice with spoons working good at Lincoln Woods for one customer.” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren. Gil Bell of Charlestown caught a four pound, 25” chain pickerel at Watchaug Pond, Charlestown last week using a Sutton Frisby Spoon.
Tautog fishing season opened up Saturday, April 15. Some anglers target them this weekend with poor results as it was quite windy this weekend. Mike Cardinal of Cardinal Bait & Tackle said, “We did not have many customers target tautog, things should get going later this week.” Many Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, “Customers targeted tautog at Stone Bridge, Wharf Tavern and other places but did not get a bite.” Fishing further up the Bay was not good either, John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle said, “A customer fished the Nayatt Point area for tautog but the wind picked up and he came back, he had a cold of good bites but no fish. Others targeted Wharf Tavern, Jamestown and Newport but we haven’t back from them yet."
Striped bass fishing has not been very active. “Things have not started to percolate yet in the salt ponds. Once the worm hatches start the striped bass will start to come around in mass. We have had a few reports of schoolies being caught but I am not sure they are new bass or just hold-overs from last year.” said Mike Cardinal of Cardinal Bait & tackle. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “Angers are catching fish at the West Wall but it is still spotty. Fish are still being taken in the Narrow River, Narragansett but these fish are likely striped bass hold-overs from last year.” Dave Henault said, “Capt. Billy Silvia (while quahogging) saw about 20 striped bass move though Ohio Ledge on Tuesday. So the bass are in the Bay. Striped bass fishing at the West Wall of the Harbor of Refuge in South Kingstown has been spotty. Tuesday was a good day there by Wednesday morning with a change of wind was not good. Angler Jay Uhlman caught a nice size school bass at the Goat Island Causeway in Newport Tuesday night when squid fishing. He caught seven squid that night.”
Cod fishing is still slow but picking up. The hope is that the volume of bait seen on the fishing grounds will continue to attract fish. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina said, “Cod fishing is hit or miss. One customer fished the south side of Cox’s Ledge with two friends and came back with 30 nice fish, yet other have come back with one or two fish. You just have to be in the right place at the right time.”