Boat shows stir my passion for the water and fishing. And that's what happened this weekend at the Rhode Island boat show. I saw more fishing related exhibits this year. Capt. BJ Silvia and Greg Vespe of Flippin' Out Charters were there offering charters and selling BJ's famous summer flounder (fluke) rigs at the show. Greg Vespe said, "The added emphasis on fishing this year was great. We are getting exposure to a new but related audience, boaters that might not be avid fishermen… yet." Capt. Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters who organized the fishing seminars at the show said, "We have had great attendance at the seminars. We added some great door prizes for seminar attendees and this seems to be working." Overall the attendance both Saturday and Sunday at the show was better than I can remember in recent years. Here is what impressed me at the boat show.
I bought a meticulously restored 26' Bonito with a new Volvo Penta diesel engine at the end of last season and it came with a new Simrad NSS7 chart plotter/fish finder. Being Garmin user on my old boat, I am now faced with learning how to use new electronics. So I asked two Simrad/Lowrance pro staff members manning the Navico booth (Navico is the parent company that owns both Simrad and Lowrance) if they had any tips on how to learn new electronics. Capt. Brian Patterson of Patterson Guide Service, Bristol, RI said, "You need to play around with the system in the off season. Hook it up to a battery and experiment with it. I did this often when learning my new system. In fact I would turn the unit on while watching some of the great YouTube instructional videos that Navico had on Lowrance and Simrad products." Other tips that Capt. Patterson shared include calling the manufactures 800 help line number with questions. Also, ask the installer or the person you purchased the equipment from to help teach you how to use the unit. Capt. Jim Auld of Bourne, MA said, "Attend boat and fishing shows where fishing pros like us are present to answer your questions." Well I did just that for about a half hour just asking Capt. Auld questions which he graciously answered.
Now the beauty of Simrad is that they make multifunctional units. You purchase the base unit in 7, 8 or 12 inch screens and you get one of the finest GPS chart plotters/fish finders on the market (its touch screen capability is very intuitive). Then you have the opportunity to buy a variety of plug in units in the including radar, an autopilot, side scan sonar and a video camera (including a night vision camera). The beauty of the unit is that you do not have to buy all this technology at once, but rather add to your system as your budget and skill level allows. For information on Simrad visit www.simrad-yachting.com .
It doesn't get much
better than fishing TV
BoldWater TV is a new advertising medium that combines the flexibility of digital signage with the power and impact of television. Videos on fishing and water related activities like surfing, diving and sailing are broadcast via the internet into your favorite seaside restaurant, marina, ferry, airports, hotels and other water community retailers on flat screens.
This is the perfect advertising venue for water related advertisers or those businesses located close to the shore. I met with Lisa Helm Danforth and her husband Mike Danforth owners of the BoldWater TV franchise in this part of the country. They also own the Rhode Island edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. Lisa Danforth said, "BoldWater TV will blend national, regional and local news into its programming much the same way Coastal Angler Magazine integrates news. Our local video content will be spectacular as noted local angler and fishing show producer Don Coyne will be providing video assets to BoldWater TV. And, as you know Don's content and programs are outstanding."
Some of the local businesses that will come on board when launched include the Muse, Twin Willows and Pancho O'Malley's restaurants.
855 cruising vessel
New this year is the Merry Fisher 855 by French boat builder Jeanneau. And, just like all other Jeanneau boats the fit and finish on the 855 Legende is superb. This boat has an innovative interior design that is not normally seen in a boat this size. The vessel has been designed with fuel efficiency in mind and is powered by two 150 HP Yamaha outboard engines. At 22.3 knots cursing speed, the vessel burns about 12.7 gallons of gas per hour. Unique features include two independent state rooms or sleeping cabins. The main cabin is complete with stove refrigerator, the helm, and a dining table that converts to an additional sleeping area. Complete with sunroof and plenty of exterior windows and views, the 855 offers great visibility inside and out. Locally the boat is represented by Louis Marine, Ltd. From Westbrook, Conn. Visit them at www.louismarine.com.
How to manage
an oyster garden
The Roger Williams University Center for Economic and Environmental Development announced it is presently enrolling students to its non-credit course in Practical Shellfish Farming for the spring 2014 semester. This course will provide interested individuals the technical information needed to confidently undertake a small shellfish farming enterprise in Rhode Island and nearby areas of southern New England. All aspects of shellfish farming, from the broodstock to the market, will be covered over the twelve-week course. Students will learn the basic principles of hatchery, nursery and grow-out operations; as well as risk management, siting and permitting, and business management.
Jan. 28 Introductions and Shellfish Aquaculture Overview
Feb. 4 Shellfish Biology
Feb. 11 Site Selection & Monitoring
Feb. 18 Shellfish Growout Systems I - Oysters
Feb. 25 No class
Mar. 4 Shellfish Growout Systems II - Quahogs & other Clams
Mar. 11 Shellfish Growout Systems III - Scallops & Mussels
Mar. 18 Shellfish Nursery Systems I
Mar. 25 Shellfish Nursery Systems II
Apr. 1 No class
Apr. 8 Risks to Growing Shellfish I - Predators & Pests
Apr. 15 Risks to Growing Shellfish II - Diseases
Apr. 22 Permitting/Regulations
Apr. 29 Shellfish Business Management
May 6 Shellfish Hatchery Techniques (optional)
The classes started last week and will run through April 29, 2014, weather permitting. The fee for the entire twelve-week course, including all handout materials, is $125 per student. Students may attend classes on a drop-in basis at a rate of $10 per evening session. Pre-registration is preferred by contacting Cheryl Francis at (401)254-3110 (email@example.com), or Dale Leavitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where's the bite
Cod fishing is just about the only saltwater fishing game in town. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet reports last week was a good cod fishing week. Saturday was a spectacular day with everyone leaving with nice green cod fish including some bigger fish up to an over 20 pounds. A lot of fish over eight pounds and many anglers had as many as ten nice cod apiece. "Both bait and jigs were producing and on Saturday's run there were lots of double headers." said Capt. Blount of the Frances Fleet. Three party boats continue to sail for cod on a regular basis, usually at 5:00 a.m. weather permitting. Reservations are important so captains can plan their trips. Three boats sailing include the Frances Fleet at www.francesfleet.com, the Seven B's at www.sevenbs.
com, and the Island Current at www.islandcurrent.com.
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. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Monti at email@example.com.