“Wild Bill” Norton of Coventry, RI caught this 66-inch big eye tuna aboard the vessel Mahi Mahi 130 miles south of Point Judith, Narragansett.
While we are appreciative and owe a debt of gratitude to those who serve in our armed forces, we often forget that there are entire families who are on the homefront making huge sacrifices every day. It’s not easy being a member of a military family, particularly a child in a military family when a close family member has been deployed to Iran, Afghanistan or somewhere else that takes them away from home and family.
Fortunately, the National Guard Child & Youth Programs provides emotional, social and academic support for military children, and fortunately there are organizations like the West Bay Anglers fishing club and captains like Russ Benn of the Seven B’s party boat in Point Judith, Narragansett to help them.
Last week (and for eight consecutive Tuesdays in the summer), the West Bay Anglers took about 30 children fishing with funds raised at their weekly “Lobster Raffle” that takes place at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7 in Warwick on Saturdays throughout the fall and winter months. Pam Tameo, president of the West Bay Anglers, said, “We raised about $16,000 this year with our Lobster Raffles, half went to this Take-a-Kid-Fishing initiative and half went to the non-profit Impossible Dream.”
Tameo said, “The Seven B’s really came through with burger lunches for the children and a discounted price that made these take-a-kid fishing days possible. Without their participation, we would end up taking far fewer children fishing. Jeanne Benn [Captain Benn’s wife] does a great job handling logistics for the Seven B’s and their crew, particularly the mates do a great job helping the children fish.”
It’s not only the Seven B’s crew that helps out but volunteers help as well. Dominick Cristello of Ossining, N.Y. said, “I have been volunteering with the Seven B’s on these trips for three years. It’s a great thing; I plan my vacations around them each year.” Joseph and Louis Cirello, members of the West Bay Anglers, volunteer to help the children fish each year with other club members volunteering on other trips.
Military children have been the focus this year, but the children the West Bay Anglers and the Seven B’s take fishing are the neediest from a lot of perspectives. Some children come from orphanages, some from Boys & Girls Clubs and others are from recreational centers in urban and suburban areas from all over the state. They provide 300 to 450 children with a half-day fishing experience each year and have been doing so for a number of years. As one of the military family children said about his fishing trip, “This is the highlight of my summer”.
Congratulations Seven B’s, West Bay Anglers and the National Guard Child & Youth Program for making a difference in the lives of so many children bringing them the joy of fishing.
World record bass
At press time his catch had not been certified by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), however, Greg Myerson of North Branford, Conn. weighed in an 81.8-pound striped bass at a Westbrook, Conn. tackle shop last week. If the weight is certified, it will best the 1982 78.8-pound record held by Al McReynolds of Atlantic City, N.J. Peter Vican from Rhode Island caught a 77.4-pound striped bass earlier this year off Block Island.
Captain Mario Pagano passes
Captain Mario Pagano, formerly of South County, RI, passed away in Hobe Sound, Fla. on Aug. 3. He was a Point Judith charter boat captain, held a commercial RI fishing license and moved to Florida in the early 2000s. Steve Medeiros, president of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA), said, “Captain Pagano started a business called Tackle Crafters that participated in the 2009 RISAA Fishing Show.” Captain Al Anderson of Narragansett said, “Captain Pagano was known for his skills as a giant bluefin tuna fisherman. He and his mate would work as a team, both positioning the boat on fish and rigging baits that the giant bluefin couldn’t resist.” Captain Pagano will be missed by the RI fishing community.
Where’s the bite?
Fluke (summer flounder) fishing continues to be excellent. Good sized keeper fluke being caught off Point Judith, Newport and around the Newport Bridge. Steve and Rayell Smith of Waterbury, Conn. caught 12 fluke, six keepers fishing No Fluke Charters on the east side of the Newport Bridge this past Saturday.
John Partridge reports from the RISAA blog, “…moved to Seal Ledge which I had never been to before. Caught a limit of fluke, most over 20" in about 3+ hours... only a few shorts. Caught four keepers on one drift but couldn't duplicate that!” Tony Lombardo and his fishing partner caught 12 keepers fishing the north side of the Newport Bridge on an incoming tide last Friday.
Striped bass fishing remains very strong on Block Island with fish in the 15- to 20-pound range common at the North Rip and fish in the 30-pound range being caught on the Southwest Ledge.
Anglers report catching mahi-mahi offshore this week. Eric Appolonia, fishing with his brothers David and Flex and friend Brian Hogan, caught mahi-mahi while tuna fishing. Eric said, “We travelled 96 miles to the Fish Tails looking for yellow fin tuna, but once we arrived, there were no tuna but we were happy the mahi-mahi were there.”
Tuna fishing reports mixed this week. Some anglers hitting them and others are not. “Wild Bill” Norton caught a 66-inch big eye tuna last week aboard the vessel Mahi Mahi 130 miles south of Point Judith.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. Your fishing photos in JPEG form, 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 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.