Opening day for the trout and general freshwater fishing season is this Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 6:00 a.m. However, the ritual of "Opening Day" will start well before this time. Often it starts before sunrise with fresh coffee on the banks of a Rhode Island pond or lake, a camping trip the night before, or an early morning breakfast at home or at a local diner. Rhode Island lakes and ponds such as Silver Spring Lake in North Kingstown, Stafford Pond in Tiverton and others will take on a festival atmosphere with tents, campers, outdoor eating and lots of anglers of all ages. If you should have the desire to participate in the ritual, it does not take a lot of effort and it creates some nice memories for both children and adults
Ponds being stocked
The Department of Environmental Management's (DEM) Division of Fish & Wildlife announced that more than 20,000 anglers are expected to turn out at dawn on opening day. 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). 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, Tiverton. 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 13 at Cass Pond in Woonsocket, Tri-City Elks Lodge/Warwick Elks Lodge at 1414 West Shore Road in Warwick, and Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland.
Where to get a fresh water license and trout stamp
A 2013 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, www.dem.ri.gov. Licenses may also be purchase 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.
Rhody Fly Rodders presentation on Great fly waters of RI, MA and CT
The Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. meeting of Rhody Fly Rodders, will feature angler Ed Lombardo speaking about "Great fly waters of RI, MA and CT". Ed will address the best areas to fly fish (both fresh and saltwater spots) in addition to addressing important tackle topics such as leader material, fly lines and flies. Rivers addressed will include the Wood and Blackstone Rivers in RI, the Swift River in MA and the Farmington River in CT.
The seminar start with "Tying Time" at 6:30 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. meeting. Meetings are held at the Riverside Sportsman's Club, East Providence. Visit www.rhodyflyrodders.
com for details.
Where's the bite
Freshwater season officially starts this Saturday, opening day, at 6:00 a.m. Craig Castro of Erickson Brothers Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, "We are ready for opening day with minnows, worms, meal worms, Gulp baits and anything you need to fish on opening day." Bait shop owners all over the state are ready to open before and though opening day, in fact some stay open all night long to serve customers.
Crating Castro added that river herring have been in Little Gorton's Pond in Warwick behind his shop for about two weeks. Hopefully this bodes well for striped bass fishing this fall too.
Cod fishing was off this weekend but captains hope it improves as dirty water clears and settles down. Crowds are expected to be small and the weather is getting warmer, so now may be the time to give it try. Good bets for cod fishing include the Seven B's at www.sevenbs.com and the Francis Fleet at www.francesfleet.com both out of Galilee Rhode Island.
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 email@example.com.