Attendance and sales at the New England Saltwater Fishing Show were excellent this weekend with over 10,000 people attending. Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, "Sales have been very good with anglers buying just about everything". Capt. Mel True who was selling branded fishing rods with his name on them and custom "Wicked Coolers" said, "I brought thirty rods with me ($150 each) and only have four left." Capt. Rick Mola of Fisherman's World Bait & Tackle, Clinton, CT said, "This show has been outstanding. We are selling more merchandise than we have ever sold before.”
The education seminars and workshops received great reviews too as my booth was outside the main stage and could hear and see the reaction to speakers. Anglers seem to particularly enjoy the fishing for "Night Stripers" seminar by Capt. Greg Dubrule, the "Wicked Tuna" captains seminar drew a lot of angler attention and I know I had just about a full house when I ran the "How and Where to Catch Big Fluke" session.
Two new products worth nothing at the show include "Swivits" environmentally friendly sinkers and Al Gag's new "Whip-It-Fish" lure.
Swivits are lead free sinkers made of hydraulic cement and crushed stone with color added for camouflage. Sonia Garofalo, who was working the Swivits booth and her friend Sophia Kuip, said, "My father and uncle started the business. After three years we have a patent on the product and are just now going to market… this is our second show and the product has been a big hit."
Swivits provide a leadless, eco friendly fishing sinker for fresh or saltwater that costs less than lead or metal sinkers. I bought six five once sinkers for $11. All three sinker types are porous to absorb fish attractants including a design for casting (shaped like the space shuttle), one for drifting that is round and a deepwater sinker that has a rectangular/cylinder design. They come in various weights from 1 to 12 ounces with a built in barrel or snap swivel. The swivels and sinkers are designed to facilitate tangle less and snag free fishing. Visit Swivits at www.swivits.com.
a whole lot of shaking going on
Al Gag's Custom Lures has come out with a new lure… the Whip-It-Fish. Like its predecessor the Whip-It-Eel, the new lure is PVC rubber, can be used in fresh or saltwater, comes in various sizes and colors and uses the same weighted heads and hooks. Inventor Al Gag said, "The Whip-It-Fish has a unique design paddle tail that allows the lure to roll from side to side as it travels though the water." You can see a demonstration video on YouTube. The lure mimics a variety of bait fish including shad and silversides and is available in 3" to 6" sizes. Visit www.algagsfishinglures
Ponds being stocked for Opening Day, April 12
The Department of Environmental Management's (DEM) Division of Fish & Wildlife announced that the majority of freshwater anglers are expected to turn out at dawn to fish on Opening Day, Saturday, April 12th . Approximately 80,000 hatchery- raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout with an average individual weight of one and a half pounds are being stocked by Division staff in more than 100 ponds and streams for opening day (visit www.dem.ri.gov for a complete listing). Several of these ponds will be stocked a second and third time as well during the spring.
Popular ponds that have been stocked by DEM prior to opening day include: Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Chickasheen Brook, South Kingstown; Frenchtown Park Pond, East Greenwich; Hunt River, East Greenwich and No. Kingstown; Meshanticut Brook, Cranston; Moosup River, Coventry; Pawcatuck River in several towns; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Tiogue Lake, Coventry; Eight Rod Farm Pond, Tiverton; and Saint Mary's Pond, Portsmouth. Other popular trout ponds include Willett Pond, East Providence and Simmons Mill Pond in Little Compton.
During the first two days of the fishing season, Cass Pond in Woonsocket, Slater Park Pond in Pawtucket, and Ponderosa Park Pond in Little Compton will be open for children-only. These locations are in addition to the six ponds that are restricted to children 14 years of age and younger. Also, special "Opening Day" fishing derbies will be held for children on Saturday, April 12th at Cass Pond in Woonsocket, Slater Park Pond in Pawtucket and Ponderosa Pond in Little Compton.
Where to get a fresh
and trout stamp
A 2014 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older wishing to catch fish. A Trout Conservation Stamp is also required of anyone wishing to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or 'fly-fishing only' area. Fishing licenses and the Trout Conservation Stamp ($5.50) can be obtained at any city or town clerk's office or authorized agent such as bait and tackle shops, Wal-Mart and Benny's. A current list of license vendors is available on the DEM website. Licenses may also be purchased on line or obtained at DEM's Boat Registration and Licensing Office located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence.
License fees remain at $18 for Rhode Island residents and current members of the Armed Forces, $33 for a combination hunting and fishing license, $35 for non-residents, and $16 for a tourist three-consecutive-day license. Anglers over 65 must have a license, which for them is free, but do not need a trout stamp.
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. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Visit Captain Dave's No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com; his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at dmontif