Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Robotic bait lands 340 pound bluefin tuna

 Alex Petrucci Sr (center standing), Alex Jr (kneeling to left) and their crew caught a 340 bluefin tuna using a robotic Zombait.
 Zombait, the first robotic bait of its type, is stuck into the mouth of a dead bait fish larger than 8" to make it wiggle like a live bait.
 Eric Schenk with the 45” pike he caught this weekend while fishing the Blackstone River in Cumberland.
 Kelly Urban from Miami with Connor Sears, Seekonk with the black sea bass and other fish they caught Monday off Block Island when fishing with Conner’s father Steve Sears and Jack Leyden.
 Seven year old Michael Simpson of Narragansett (right) with the 30 pound striped bass he caught in Salt Pond fishing with eels.  Brother Gabe (five) on left.
Brothers Jonah and Neil Ellis (on either end), grandfather Sy Janaowsky and Joe Kaufman of North Kingstown fished for fluke, black sea bass and scup this week on the Bay.

Robotic lure lands 340 pound bluefin

“I’ve caught some pretty big bluefin in my day using all types of baits.  I’ve fished with bluefish, maceral, even a large live skate behind a scallop boat with success.” said Alex Petrucci of the sport fishing vessel Duck Soup out of Pt. Judith, RI.  He was talking about the 340 pound bluefin tuna he,  his son Alex Jr and his crew caught at the 6th Annual Bluefin Blowout in Gloucester, MA.

The Petrucci’s catching a large bluefin or other large tournament fish is not uncommon.  They have been doing it for years.  Alex and his family are fishing legends in Rhode Island.  Two years ago they took first place in the Bluefin Blowout Tournament.  But what was unusual this year, they caught a fish using a robotic bait called Zombait.  To my knowledge Zombait it is the first robotic fishing lure on the market.

Petrucci said, “It’s a lot better than using dead bait.  These fish come through and are hungry.  They do not stop and analyze things.  If it is moving that attracts them.  I had faith in this bait or I wouldn’t have been using it.  It gave the maceral we were using a nice look on deck and in the water.  It was one of six baits we had out at the same time.”

Zombait creates a realistic, injured swimming fish to attract your prey.  You simply insert this electric toothbrush looking bait into the mouth of a dead bait eight inches or larger; attach a hook and the dead bait wiggles around in the water. 

Zombait lasts about three hours on a battery charge and is good in water up to 200 feet. Visit www.zombait.com for a demonstration video on how the lure works and information about online sales. Individual units cost about $69 with a charger; a three pack with charger is $159.

The Bluefin Blowout is sponsored by the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group with all proceeds from the Bluefin Blowout Auction going to the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Great Outdoors Pursuit finale with vintage baseball games

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will hold its Great Outdoors Pursuit finale this Saturday at Rocky Point State Park starting with a vintage baseball game at 10:30 a.m.  Family activities will run from 12 noon until 3:30 p.m. 

The event includes a Rocky Point-themed scavenger hunt, rock wall, lawn games, and food trucks. Educational activities, including a clamming demonstration, marine touch tank, and gymnastic demonstrations, along with informational exhibits will also be offered. This event is free and open to the public. Only registered families are eligible for prizes and give-a-ways.

In addition, a double-header vintage baseball game between the Providence Grays and the New York Mutuals will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Historically, professional baseball games were held on the grounds of Rocky Point.  The most famous exhibition game took place on September 27, 1914, when the Providence Greys played the Chicago Cubs.  Slugger Babe Ruth pitched for Providence and also hit a triple in that game. 

ASMFC approves Atlantic menhaden amendment 3 for public comment

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Menhaden for public comment.

The Draft Amendment seeks to manage the menhaden resource in a way that balances menhaden’s ecological role as a prey species with the needs of all user groups. To this end, the Draft Amendment considers the use of ecosystem reference points (ERPs) to manage the resource and changes to the allocation method.

The amendment also presents a suite of management options for quota transfers, quota rollovers, incidental catch, the episodic events set aside program, and the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery cap.

States from Maine to Florida will likely hold public hearings on the draft amendment.  Details on hearings are not yet available.  Visit www.asmfc.org  for a copy of amendment 3 and details on the hearings when they become available.  Public comment on the amendment is open until October 20, 2017.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater. Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown said, “Last weekend we weighted in a 6.5 pound largemouth bass that the customer is going to have mounted last week.” “Erick Schenck an associated at Ocean State Tackle, Providence caught a 45” pike this weekend on the Blackstone River in Cumberland.” said Dave Henault of Ocean State. The trout bite continues to be slow with warm water and stocked ponds that have been fished out.  However, the largemouth bass bite is fairly strong.

Striped bass. “Bass at the Block Island’s Southwest Ledge is either hot or cold.  Eels continue to work along with umbrella rigs.  And the bite from shore is fair.” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown.  Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “The best bet for fishing for stripers in the Bay right now is either tube and worm or umbrella rigs as the fish are dispersed.  From the surf, along the southern coastal shore anglers are doing fairly well.” Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane said, “We have had a good bite with eels off Jamestown and Newport and a great bite with large fish at Block Island.  Customers are also trolling umbrella rigs and tube & worm with success.”

Summer flounder (fluke) and black sea bass.  I fished the Newport and Jamestown Bridge areas a couple of times this weekend and the fluke bite was slow.  Matt Conti of Snug Harbor said, “Fluke fishing is good at the Hooter Buoy along the south shore and on Block Island.  Some days the windmill area is hot and other days East Fishing Grounds.  The West Wall of the Harbor of Refuge is yielding fluke for those fishing from shore along with scup and black sea bass.” “Fishing off Newport and Jamestown has been good for anglers, fish are in deep water (80 feet).  However, I’d like to remind anglers that fluke can be caught in very low water this time of year too (15 to 20 feet).”, said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle.  Angler Jack Leyden said, “Monday Steve Sears and I took friends and family fishing off Block Island and netted over nine black sea bass, a fluke, scup and bluefish in two hours on a drift from the Southwest Ledge to the wind farm area in 60 to 80 feet of water.”  Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Limits of sea bass were common this week with some limits of fluke. A lack of good drift on a number of outings put buck tail jigs and gulp products in the lead for top producers. As always these things change from day to day.”

“Offshore fishing exploded this week with a great bluefin tuna bite (the best this year so far). Customers have landed 35” to 45” bluefin from Tuna Ridge to the Northwest comer of the Dump.  Most are taking them on the troll now hooking up with white Marlin as well as mahi mahi.” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina. “We have reports of bluefin as large as 90” to 110” being taken on 18” and 24” spreader bars with green machines working well.  Fish are being landed from the Claw to the Dump.” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle.