Chris Catucci of Warwick with the largemouth bass he caught on Gordon Pond using crank baits. With the warm weather, both fresh and saltwater fishing seasons have gotten off to a great start this.
So you are interested in buying a boat. No matter if it's your first or twenty-first boat purchase it pays to shop around, look at vessels at boat shows, at boat dealers and check them out online on Craigslist and other boating portals. Most importantly, before you purchase, take your desired boat for a test run on the water under the conditions you intend to use the boat. For example, I like to troll at a slow speed at or below two miles per hour. So, when I test drive a boat I want to see how it runs at two miles an hour, at recommended cruising speeds and how it handles rough seas.
Determine the use of the boat
One of the first steps to buying a boat is determining what you want to use a boat for i.e. what type of fishing, family outings, swimming, overnight or day cruising or a combination of uses. The use of the vessel will dictate the type of boat you should buy. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has a great online tool to help you determine the type of boat you might be interested in. It can be found at www.discoverboating.com. This web site will ask you the intended use and relate the advantages and disadvantages of each boat type recommended.
Should you buy new or used
Another major decision in the boat selection process is whether to buy a new or used boat. Like automobiles, new boats come with warrantees. If something goes wrong (and with boats something often goes wrong) you want a warrantee behind you. New boats and warrantees are important, particularly if you do not want to spend your time repairing and restoring a boat yourself. Often times old boats need more time to prepare for the season and will have a greater frequency of repair due to their age. A higher frequency of repair means more time off the water.
However, used boats cost less and are an option for those who are uncertain about boat use. A used boat is also a good option for those who cannot afford to purchase new. Make sure you add the cost of repairs to the purchase price of used boats. A helpful way to determine repair cost and insure you are not buying a lemon is to commission a boat survey. A boat survey is similar to a home inspection. Surveys are conducted by certified surveyors who closely examine the vessels hull, structure, electrical system and engine(s). Engine tests are conducted and running time hours are verified. Surveys will not only tell you what is wrong (and right) about the boat but can give you estimates on repairs which you can use to further negotiate the sale price.
Marine survey seminar
The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association's (RISAA) May seminar will focus on marine surveys. So if you are thinking about a used boat consider attending this Monday, May 21, 2012 seminar at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick, RI. Visit www.risaa.org for details.
Custom rod and squid fishing seminar
The RISAA seminar Monday, April 30, 7:00 p.m. will feature Robert Jenkins, owner of Local Hooker Rods and three local squid fishermen Dave Fewster, Bob LeBlanc and Chuck Dore.
Where's the bite
Fresh water. Maridee Bait & Tackle, Narragansett, RI, reports good fishing for customers at Barber, Warden and Tucker Ponds in South Kingstown, RI with night crawlers being the most popular bait for trout anglers. Angler Justin Fisette of Coventry, RI landed a 19, 18,17 and 12 pound carp at lake Tiogue. He also netted five catfish and one bullhead, all fish were caught in a span of 45 minutes. Chris Catucci of Warwick has been hammering largemouth bass at local ponds. Chris said, "Fished Gorton pond and slayed the largemouth… I got two really nice bass and also broke one off about the same size at the boat. I was rotating between different brands of chrome and black lipless crankbaits in an attempt to "match the hatch" of the alewives that migrate into Gorton Pond ." Ponds, lakes and rivers stocked with rainbow and brown trout continue to provide a lot of fishing fun for anglers too. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for a list of over a hundred ponds that have been stocked with trout.
Striped bass. Anglers continue to land fish at the West Wall at the Harbor of Refuge. Mary Dangelo of Maridee Canvas-Bait & Tackle in Narragansett, RI said, "Customer Tom McGuire caught over 100 fish last week on the wall with several keepers to 30" mixed in. All fish including the keepers were released. A popular bait for shore anglers continues to be Cocohoe lures with ½ once jig heads." Angler Tom Pelto reports fishing the particularly large herring runs at rivers. Tom said, "I used a pink and purple Dawia Slider plug and landed three bass by dusk. They were between 28 to 30 inches. Each fish was fat and deceptively heavy." Bob Olberg said, "I fished the upper bay (Friday) in my kayak… (with) tube and worm to search for fish, with soft plastics in reserve if I found a honeyhole. Caught three bass, one just over 28 inches, one just under, and one around 20 inches…caught one 28 incher last week in same area, the earliest I have caught a keeper in RI. All strong, healthy fish."
Squeteague have already made their presence known this year with two caught in Greenwich Bay said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence. This dark olive green fish was once very popular in Rhode Island waters then almost disappeared for several years. For the past few years more and more are being caught. Squeteague is a great eating fish, know as salt water trout. Legal size in RI is 16" with a limit of one fish/person/day.
Squid are in according the Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle. "Customers have found them in Jamestown, Newport and Little Compton.", said Dave. Squid and striped bass often arrive together so if you find one, your find the other.
Cod fishing remains soft said Captain Drew Dangelo of Maridee Charters, Narragansett.
Tautog fishing is good with keepers caught this week at Conimicut Light, Plum Light House, Coddington Cove, General Rock, Hope Island and other favorite places. Ken Landry of Ray's Bait & Tackle said, "They have not moved to low water yet, they are still in deep water." I saw Ken Thursday as he was clearing three nice keepers in the 20 plus inch range. He said, "We caught them with clam worms." This is the bait of choice for many tautog anglers this time of year. Jeff Barker of Warwick and avid angler and member of the West Bay Anglers said, "We fished in the lower bay last week and had great luck. We keep ten fish but released all the females." Asian crabs are present in the Warwick Neck area as anglers search the beaches turning over rocks for this favorite tautog bait.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.