Kim Bissonnette of South County holds some of the bass he recently caught freshwater fishing as the season improves.
I often ask myself what is it about fishing that drives me (and others) to fish. I always come back to the adventure of it all and the spirit of discovery. I reinvigorated my spirit for fishing this weekend thanks to Blake Dobson and Mike Thao of Leominster, Massachusetts (two fourteen year old boys). I took them and Blake's grandfather Doug fishing Saturday. We worked hard for all bites.
I spoke to Blake three or four times before our trip. He always had questions. He was all about fishing. What are we using for bait? Do you ever use buck tails? Where will we fish? And many, many more questions.
The boys arrived an hour early for the charter. We snagged some menhaden and used others caught the day before as chucks. Several fish expressed an interest in the bait, several took the bait and ran, but we could not hook up. We switched to trolling with tube and worm close to shore with no takers except one nice blue fish that Mike caught. Through the morning the boys did not lose faith. "Captain Dave, is this a fish on the fish finder? Does this look like bait to you on the surface? Can we throw some plastic baits? Where are we tying next?"
Not losing faith… the belief that they were going to catch fish and the spirit of discovery drove them to find the fish. We continued to chuck with menhaden, fish with clams, tube and worm, live line menhaden until finally, through hard work and persistence, their faith paid off. Blake landed a 36" striped bass in 12 feet of water between Seminary Cove and Warwick Neck Light as we trolled the low water close to shore. Blake said, "Thank you for finding the fish, I feel great." And, once again my fishing sprit was renewed... this time by these two fourteen year olds.
West Bay Anglers 2012 William Beaudrey Jr. Memorial Striper Tournament
The West Bay Anglers William Beaudrey Jr. Memorial Striper Tournament will take place from 12:01 a.m. on June 2nd thru 10:00 a.m., June 10th. Cash prizes include $500 for the first place overall largest fish, $200 each for the second place man or woman, $100 each for third place man or woman. Prizes to be awarded at the Warwick FOP at 95 Tanner Avenue, Warwick at 1:00 p.m. on June 10, 2012. Entry fee is $25 per angler; you must register by 5:00 p.m., June 1st. Applications can be picked up at Erickson Brothers, John's Bait, Lucky's Bait and Tackle, Ray's Bait and the Tackle Box.
Atlantic Menhaden in Bay now open to commercial fishermen
On May 15, 2012 the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) opened the commercial bait fishery for Atlantic Menhaden in the Narragansett Bay Menhaden Management Area. Menhaden boats worked the Bay last week for the fists time this season. They may not fish north of Conimicut Light nor are they allowed to fish in western Greenwich Bay. DEM performs aerial surveys by helicopter and airplane each week counting the number of schools to estimate biomass. When the number of fish drops to threshold limits, fishing is suspended. This monitoring program is a model fisheries management program being studied by others throughout the country. We should be very proud of it.
Where's the bite
Freshwater fishing has been good. Kim Bissonnette and his fishing partner Dayton Martin of South County, Rhode Island report, "The freshwater fishing is picking up, after being hampered by the series of cold fronts the past few weeks. There were a fair amount of males in shallow, and some fish are on beds, but there are certainly some healthy females cruising at the mouths of pockets and typical staging areas in preparation for spawning. Swim baits and Rapala type baits work well in slightly deeper water, with soft plastics working well in shallow. Due to the mild winter there is earlier vegetation growth than normal, so working plastics (lizards, creature baits and paddle frogs) rigged weedless on top of the vegetation (towards pockets and holes) will also attract fish on flats and create some exciting strikes."
Trout fishing in ponds stocked by DEM has been good too. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for a complete listing of ponds and lakes that have been stocked.
Striped bass fishing early last week before the rains was excellent. Angler Justin Fisette of Coventry, RI said, "We caught over 20 fish each day last week for four days strait. We fished until 7:30 a.m. when things died down." Paul Smigel said, "I fished many hours last week on East Greenwich Bay. Caught 55 stripers, 11 keepers up to 33" T/W on kayak… I'm hoping it continues after this rain ends." However, the story was different after the rains this weekend as bass fishing activity slowed. Angler Bob Oberg said, "I'd had my best first half of May fishing ever this year, strong numbers of fish and the best fish got bigger with each outing. I was expecting things to bust wide open this weekend, but they slowed down dramatically instead. Fished out of Pawtuxet on Friday and had five small fish. My son, a kayak expert on his first kayak fishing trip, landed a 30" and a 32". Today I fished from Rocky Point to Conimicut Point to Providence Point and Potters Cove for eight hours. Got four undersized bass." Mike Swain of Coventry said, "The fish were very finicky today (Saturday) we snagged bait at Providence Point and couldn't hook up. We cut though Patients and Prudence Islands and ran into menhaden on the west side. Several bass pushed our bait around, then finally one took it and we landed a nice fish in the mid 30 inch range. We just had to put our bait in front of a lot of fish before one took it." Mel True said, "We left Hane's Park at six a.m. to snag some Menhaden... Lots of Menhaden near the white cone just past Sabin Point. Chunked on the drift from Port of Providence to the White Cone with only one striper at 29 inches in three hours. North of the white cone I caught a 35 inch striper drifting chunks two hours into the tide. Some other boats also caught some stripers near us. Tough fishing, slow for the most." Captain John Sheriff had a successful trip to the Southwest side of Block Island Sunday… "As evening approached, (caught) keeper bass to 36 inches approximately every 5 minutes… they were coming by wire line deep jigging 5 ounce parachute rigs ... squid stacked from surface to bottom. Birds everywhere but surface action for catching bass was difficult."
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.