Shane Bettencourt (left) of East Providence with the 27 pound striped bass he caught off Prudence Island using live menhaden. His grandfather, Albert Bettencourt (right), landed a 25-pound striped bass that same day.
Striped bass fishing opened up this week after heavy rains. More and more fish being caught and they are getting larger.
At press time Devin White, Captain Jim White's grandson caught a 41.4 oz. striped bass Monday morning when fishing with his father Justin. Justin White caught his fist 40 pound fish when he was ten years old too. Captain White said Devin did a great job "… letting the fish run, tightening down, setting the hook and landing the fish… Good job DJ." (Hope to have photos and details next week.)
Kevin Bettencourt of East Providence fished with his father and son Shane last week with great results landing a 25 and a 27 pound striped bass. Here is Kevin's account of their trip. "We managed to sneak out... conditions were excellent. Pogies are still available in the Providence River. After snagging a dozen we headed South to fish around Prudence Island (Providence Point) where we landed several nice bass in the 32 - 35" inch range. Just before heading home my son Shane landed a beautiful 27 pounder. Shane is no stranger to big bass. He is proudly carrying on the Bettencourt tradition. Three years ago he landed a 42 pounder in Newport and roughly five years ago he won the Striper Marina Tournament (Jr. Division) with a 22 pounder… not too shabby for 11 years old."
Bill Dzilenski of Warwick, his son Kristian (USMC) who was on his first fishing outing after returning from Afghanistan, and his friend Brendan McLaughlin had a good bass bite last week. Bill said, "We found fish in 15' of water on the north side of the islands (Prudence and Patience) that were happy to take a 6" Fin-S-fish on a weighted hook. One schoolie spit up a mess of grass shrimp… it was a great … these guys were having a great time." Last Friday Bill fished the Islands again and found eight bass using his fly rod, four of them were keepers which were released. Bill said, "I continue to find receptive bass (mostly on squid flies) along the islands."
Noted local kayak angler Bob Oberg continues to land striped bass in the upper and mid Bay areas and related this story about landing nice fish and then hooking up with a monster fish that got away. Bob said, "Found lots of fish in the upper bay today (Wednesday). Caught thirteen stripers with nine keepers to 33 inches, with many at 32 inches. Though I live-lined (menhaden) for about 1/3 of the time, all of the fish were caught on tube and worm. Had a couple of nice runs with pogies that were fun, but no sets. I suspect I would do better if I chunked, but I don't enjoy it. Yesterday was similar with 8 fish, 6 keepers to 36 inches, with one fish caught live-lining. While today was a good day on the water, the thing I will remember years from now will be the fish I did not catch vs. the ones I did. A massive striper slammed the tube in seven feet of rocky water, made an immediate angry commotion on the surface, then pulled out drag just about as fast and as hard as a striper can. I managed to go down one notch on the lever drag to give it some room to run. I weathered the first run, got it turned around and was in the steady part of the fight when the line went slack. Based upon the size of the fish and the combination of athleticism and power, I estimate it was between 35 and 40 pounds, maybe a little more. It hurts to lose a fish like this and there is the inevitable soul-searching. Bottom line, all the components of my gear were in pristine shape and I didn't make any bonehead moves. The fish was better. Next time I hope I am better." This Monday Bob caught over 300 pounds of bass in total. Bob said, "From 12:30 - 2 pm, I caught 17 stripers, including 14 keepers and, over the course of the afternoon, I caught 28 stripers and 18 keepers, with the size diminishing as the tide ebbed…"
Merrill True fished the upper Bay in the East Passage using chunks and live menhaden last week. He fished around the white cone off East Providence and the west shore in early afternoon and had a double hoop up of bass while chucking menhaden in low water.
The action on Block Island continues to build with reports of striped bass getting large around the Island. Captain John Sheriff of Captain Sheriff's Fishing Charters said, "Although the bass are small, they are here (for) Memorial Day…!"
You need a saltwater license to fish
With the 2012 saltwater fishing season underway, the Department of Environmental Management reminds anglers and spear fishers that a 2012 saltwater fishing license is needed to fish recreationally in all marine waters.
Obtaining a license is easy. Just go to www.saltwater.ri.gov. Have a driver's license or state identification card handy, as well as your date of birth, address, and phone number. For Rhode Island residents over 65 and for active military personnel stationed in the state, licenses are free, but still required. Children under 16 years old do not need a license. For all others, the $7 fee ($10 for non-residents) is payable using a VISA, MasterCard or Discover card. Once the information is entered, you can immediately print your license and go fishing! Anglers and spear fishers also have the option of purchasing a license at participating bait and tackle shops and sporting good stores, using cash or a credit card. A list of participating vendors may be found on the www.saltwater.ri.gov website.
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.