The Seven Fishes illustration (above) by Peter Nilsen was inspired by a No Fluke column on the significance of the Christmas Eve seven fishes meal. More fish and fishing cartoons by Peter are available in his book, "Fish Foolishness" http://www.whitefishpress.com/bookdetail.asp?book=110 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This makes a great gift for fishermen or your fishing buddy.
OK, this column was supposed to be all about cod and cod fishing. However, I have to share with you that I spoke with one of my fishing idols this weekend, George Poveromo, and he was a true gentleman. George will be in New England next month with his salt water fishing seminar which I have attended three times and will do so again this year (tickets would make a great holiday gift for any angler). The Salt Water Sportsman’s National Seminar Series is one of the nation’s premier educational seminars on recreational marine fishing tactics. It will take place Saturday, January 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Casino’s Grand Ballroom (1 Mohegan Sun Blvd. Uncasville, CT). The presentation will be hosted by George Poveromo, host of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing on VERSUS, and Editor-At-Large for Salt Water Sportsman magazine, and Tom Richardson, noted authority on fishing the coastal waters of New England and a prominent fishing writer and editor. George and Tom will share the stage with nine local charter captains and expert anglers including Captain John Rainone, past president of the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association and a distinguished Point Judith, Rhode Island based charter captain of the vessel “L’il Toot.” For more information or to order tickets visit www.nationalseminarseries.com or call 1-800-448-7360.
Cod fishing is fun
The striped bass will all be gone soon… on their way south except for a few fish that decide to winter here, tautog fishing is over too… the season ended December 15 in Rhode Island. So how about targeting cod fish. I spoke with three captains that can take you to the cod. But first, here is some information about cod. Cod is an ideal species to target if fishing with children, because all they have to do is drop their line to the bottom. And, it is one of the most popular eating fish in New England. Cod are bottom fish that are basically lazy. They are not aggressively hunting, they pretty much stay on the bottom, often near structure (underwater wrecks, rock piles, holes, humps and drop offs), waiting for prey to come by. So you have to go to where the cod are to catch them. They are not likely going to come to you.
Cod rigs and bait
A hook, sinker weight that holds the bottom and sea clams are often used as bait to catch cod. Jigs of various sizes, color and weight depending on conditions are used too. Cod will generally eat anything that is in front of them, they are not picky, but you have to get their attention and jigs usually do a good job of this. A common rig used is a diamond jig with a colored teaser buck tail tied about 12 inches above the jig. Anglers often tip the jig and buck tail with live bait (a piece of sea clam). Most anglers use a traditional boat rod and reel to catch cod. A short, sturdy 30 to 40 pound test rod of five to six feet is common with a traditional real of similar weight capacity. A fifty pound test line (both braid and monofilament) are used.
Captains that can take you to the cod
Christine Blount of the Francis Fleet from Point Judith, RI, said Saturday, “We have had a couple of great seasons the past couple of years and this year promises to be good too. I know Captain Cory Blount called in today and said they were hitting a lot of sea bass too.” When Captain Cory returned he called and said, “Once the water cools and the black sea bass leave so will the dogfish and the cod fishing will improve. A real good sign this year is that anglers have been catching keeper cod close to shore.” The Francis Fleet runs cod fishing trips from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The cod fishing trip rate is $85 per person until 12.31.11. Rates after January 1 are to be determined. Visit www.francesfleet.com or call 1.800.662.2824.
Captain Charlie Donilon of Snappa Charters, Point Judith, Rhode Island has been getting some great fishing in on Snappa. This past week Adam Durant wrote, “We had the pleasure of heading out with Capt. Charlie Donilon on Tuesday. The weather was perfect, calm sea, light breeze & mostly sunny. Started on the East Grounds and landed six keeper cod with a least three times as many shorts. Another five black sea bass and a couple good scup. All caught on crabs & clam, jigs accounted for two cod. Best part was ZERO doggies!! … All in all a great day of fishing with an outstanding Captain. Charlie runs a very clean comfortable boat and this trip will no doubt become an annual outing."
Saturday afternoon Captain Donilon said, “We will keep fishing throughout December as long as the weather holds and people are interested in fishing. We are going out this week and hope to the week after Christmas too.” Captain Donilon said, “The cod fishing has been OK, a lot of fish that are just short by a half inch or an inch. Now that the tautog season is over we will likely fish Cox’s Ledge. Up until this point we have been fishing at the East Fishing grounds. Visit Snappa Charters at www.snappacharters.com or call Captain Charlie Donilon at 401.487.9044.
Captain Russ Benn’s Seven B’s vessel is a party boat with a capacity of 120 people and is also out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. The boat has a gallery but you can also bring your lunch. Cod fishing trips started December 17 from 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The rate is $85/adult. They sail Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Captain Russ Benn is an outstanding captain, I fished on his vessel this summer during a West Bay Anglers/Seven B’s Take a Kid Fishing trip and he and his crew did an outstanding job of putting the kids (and adults) over fish. Visit www.sevenbs.com or call 1.800.371.FISH for reservations.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license, a charter fishing license, and is a member of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council. Your fishing photos in JPEG from, stories, comments and questions are welcome… there’s more than one way to catch a fish. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com ; his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at email@example.com.