Opening day big success… DEM’s efforts pay off with plenty of trout
Bill Enright of Cranston, RI said "The fishing has been good this morning. Since sunrise I've caught two nice rainbow trout in thirty minutes using this rooster tail lure." "I've got to hand it to DEM. They did a great job stocking this year." said Sean Hareld, Sr. of Pascoag, RI as he held up four rainbow trout and one brook trout, his limit for the day.
The Department of Environmental Management's (DEM) Division of Fish & Wildlife stocked approximately 80,000 hatchery- raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout with an average individual weight of one and a half pounds prior to opening day in more than 100 ponds and streams. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for a complete listing, several of these ponds will be stocked a second and third time during the spring.
John Wunner of John's Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown said, "With the great weather we had a steady flow of customers with popular baits being rooster tail lures and PowerBaits." "Mike Skowron caught trout at Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods Sunday afternoon. He caught two on shiners and one on PowerBait." said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence.
Hayden Kearney and his grandfather Ed Kearney said they fished the Pawtuxet River in Coventry Saturday morning and did very well (DEM has stocked the River in six different towns). Narragansett resident Kevin Blycker (who likes to fish both fresh and saltwater) said "I caught two rainbow trout on my first and second casts using PowerBait worms."
Where to get a fresh water license and trout stamp
There are still plenty of trout in ponds and lakes. A five fish/angler/day bag limit is in effect until November 30th for trout. A 2014 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older wishing to catch fish. A Trout Conservation Stamp is also required of anyone wishing to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or 'fly-fishing only' area. Fishing licenses and the Trout Conservation Stamp ($5.50) can be obtained at any city or town clerk's office, authorized agent such as bait and tackle shops, and at DEM's Boat Registration and Licensing Office located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence.
License fees remain at $18 for Rhode Island residents and current members of the Armed Forces, $33 for a combination hunting and fishing license, $35 for non-residents, and $16 for a tourist three-consecutive-day license. Anglers over 65 must have a license, which for them is free, but do not need a trout stamp.
Put safety first,
wear a life jacket
With the freshwater fishing season opening this past Saturday and saltwater fishing starting to heat up this month, the Department of Environmental Management reminds anglers - particularly those fishing from a boat - that even on a warm day water temperatures can hover in the low to mid 50s.
According to a U.S. Coast Guard report, a boating accident is five times more likely to be fatal if the water is colder than 60 degrees. The effects of a cold water immersion event can contribute to death well in advance of any drop of body core temperature.
In addition, a U.S. Coast Guard report stated that eight out of 10 boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length. According to recent U.S. Coast Guard Statistics, drowning was the reported cause of death in almost three-fourths of all boating fatalities in 2012. Of those, 85 percent were reported as not wearing life jackets. Coupling cold water with small, unstable vessels like canoes, kayaks, and smaller vessels places anglers in a very dangerous situation.
Lieutenant Steven Criscione, boating safety coordinator for DEM's Division of Law Enforcement, said smart anglers wear a life jacket from the time they enter the boat until they return to shore. "There is no time to put a life jacket on before a boating accident," Criscione noted. "It would be like trying to buckle your seat belt before a car crash."
West Marine store opens with fanfare
Carl Hjerpe, manager of the new West Marine store on Bald Hill Road across for the Warwick Mall, said, "The Grand Opening this weekend was great. Anglers liked our fishing area as we have doubled the space and have a fishing specialist… Bob Neilson. The store is 13,000 square feet, a lot larger than the old store." Customers enjoyed a ribbon cutting Friday, an outdoor boat show, hotdogs in the parking lot and great grand opening specials. Capt. Ralph Wilkins from Natural Geographic's hit series Wicked Tuna was on hand for photos and autographs. Hjerpe said, "We are open and happy to help customers get there boats ready for the season with eighteen associates ready to serve."
Free fly fishing lessons for children at Addieville East Farm
Children ten years and older can learn how to fly fish Saturday, April 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Addieville East Farm, 200 Pheasant Drive, Mapleville, RI. All equipment is proved with lunch and it is free of charge but you must register and space is limited. Children will learn basic entomology, fly tying, knots, fly casting and fishing for trout in a stocked pond. To register contact John Troiano at 401-935-8026 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where's the bite
Fresh water fishing on opening day and after was great this week. Ken Ferrara of Ray's Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, "We still have plenty of fresh water gear and bait available as we stocked up a couple of weeks ago." John Littlefield of Archie's Bait & Tackle, East Providence said, "Willet Avenue Pond in Riverside had action all day with anglers easily catching their limit, but the Brickyard Pond in Barrington is a lot larger and anglers found it more difficult to fish their limit."
Striped bass fishing has started in the Narrow River. Fly fisherman Ed Lombardi said, "We got into some stripers yesterday late afternoon (last Wednesday) at Narrow River." Lombardi said flies that worked included, "Four inch streamers in dark blue and gray on top, and shrimp patterns as well." Fishing holdover striped bass in the Providence River north of the hurricane barrier continues to be good.. "Winter over bass are feeding on chunks and lures in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. Narrow River bass are feeding too." said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle. Noted local shore angler, author and lecturer Steve McKenna said, "I've been fishing two to three times a week at the West Wall at the Harbor of Refuge and as of Sunday morning I have not caught of heard of anyone catching striped bass that are part of the spring run. But it is getting close, conditions are right, any day now. Dave Pickering (another note shore angler) said holdover bass are moving out of the Rivers and those are the ones being caught at Narrow River."
Cod fishing was slow again last week as boats did not get out often due to rough sea conditions.
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. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. 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.