Life can be tough at times. So I make it a habit to claim even small victories. Small victories like Angel Light, my center console charter boat, getting an Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) examination sticker from the U. S. Coast Guard. David Siesel and Doug Henson from the U.S. Coastguard Auxiliary, North Star Flotilla, Warwick, spent almost two hours reviewing my registrations, licenses and required documentation as well as physically examining the vessel, engine, lights, charts, fire extinguishers, flares and much more (even the expiration date on the life jacket (flashlight) batteries were examined). The examination was very complete.
Now that I have this optional UPV examination sticker, odds are I am not going to be boarded by the US Coast Guard, the RI Department of Environmental Management Law Enforcement Division, harbor masters, etc. for routine checks unless I am obviously breaking the law in some way. This is a great relief for me (and other captains) as it makes for a few anxiety provoking moments being boarded by authorities, particularly if you have charter customers on board. Presently, I am about one of nineteen boats that have passed this examination in Rhode Island and have the sticker (many of them belong to the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association). There are over 200 vessels in RI with charter fishing licenses that could be examined. It is a good program, one that promotes safety, the charter fishing industry as a whole and it is a great consumer benefit.
So as I say… yeah! I am claiming my UPV sticker as a victory.
335 pound thresher takes Snug Harbor Marina Shark Tournament
Talk about drama, big game excitement and the threat of a big shark. It is the stuff the movie "Jaws" was made of. All of it came to a head this weekend at Snug Harbor Marina's 31st Annual Shark Tournament. At 4:55 p.m. this Sunday (five minutes before the weigh in closed) there were still anglers fighting fish said Elisa Martin of Sung Harbor Marina. The grand prize winner, a 335 pound thresher, was caught on the vessel Bilda by John Durand, a 272 pound thresher caught by Shawn DeCastro on Hot Reels was the second place thresher. A 219 pound Mako caught by Derek Ritch was the first place Mako. The Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 tournament had about 70 boats participants. Visit Snug Harbor's website at www.snugharbormarina.com for photos and details. Tournament funds will be donated to the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association and the Recreational Fishing Alliance.
DEM closes Bristol Harbor to shellfishing
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced that in addition to the currently prohibited and seasonal closures in waters within Bristol Harbor and surrounding Hog Island, the remaining waters of Bristol Harbor and in the vicinity of Hog Island will be closed to shellfish harvesting beginning at noon Friday, July 6th until further notice. The closure is being enacted because of information provided to the DEM by the Town of Bristol that an electrical system failure caused a loss of disinfectant of the effluent from the Bristol Wastewater Treatment Facility during the night and morning hours of July 5 and 6. DEM is collecting water samples of the Harbor to test for fecal coliform bacteria levels. DEM will then make a determination on the duration of the closure upon review of those sample results.
Where's the bite
Striped bass fishing remains good in the mid and lower Bay as well as at Block. Angler Eric Appolonia of North Kingstown said he and three passengers caught eight keeper bass in about two hours on the Southwest Ledge using eels Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. Ken Ferrara of Ray's Bait and Tackle, Warwick said, "Bass fishing in the East Passage at Sandy Point, Prudence Island, Gould Island, around Newport and off Jamestown has been outstanding." Captain Kevin Bettencourt of East Providence said, "We are still doing outstanding- catching bass off Jamestown early in the morning using chunks of menhaden." Captain Drew Dangelo reports catching bass in the 30 pound range fairly regularly at Block Island with an occasional fish in the 40 pound range. "Narrow River is holding bass with anglers catching them on the outgoing tide." said Mary Dangelo of Maridee Bait & Canvas, Narragansett.
Fluke (summer flounder) fishing has been good some days and off other days. Spots have been hot and others have not. Angler Mike Swain of Coventry said, "We struggled at Austin's Hollow off Jamestown last week catching one keeper and three shorts". Anglers fishing the mouth of the Sakonnet River continue do well there. I fished off Newport in the Seal Ledge area this weekend with Patrick and Kevin DeSorbo of Clifton Park, NY and had good results, five keeper fluke and two black sea bass in about 90 minutes. Ken Ferrara of Ray's Bait & Tackle said, "Customers are catching fluke around the bridges, at Austin's Hollow, overall fluke fishing is good."
Scup fishing remains strong. "Customers are catching scup on Pier 5 in Galilee and on the East Wall." said Mary Dangelo of Maridee Bait & Canvas. Ken Ferrara of Ray's Bait said, "The scup have been thick at Rocky Point with 16" scup being taken there and at other places in the Bay."
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.