In Rhode Island charter boats can fish with in-state resident passengers as long as social distancing and all other orders are followed. However, out-of-state anglers are not allowed to fish here unless quarantined for 14 days.
In a joint letter to Gov. Gina Raimondo, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Party & Charter Boat Association asked the Governor to consider allowing out of state anglers to fish on charter boats as soon as it is safe.
Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge, Middletown and chairman of the board of the American Saltwater Guides Association said, “We propose a number of preventative actions that our industry members are prepared to take.” Actions included assessing the health of passages, wearing approved face covering and gloves, social distancing, cleaning protocol, etc.
In the same letter Capt. Rick Bellavance, president of the RIPCBA said, “About 80 percent of our customers are out of state residents so allowing them to fish here is vitally important to our industry.”
Snug Harbor Marina used tackle sale
Visit www.facebook.com/pg/snug.marina for Saturday’s video from Elisa Cahill. The Snug Harbor Marina annual used tackle sale will take place on June 6 and 7. They are now taking tackle for the sale. Anglers can either get a 100 percent credit toward store purchases from the tackle they sell at the sale, or they can take the cash with Snub Harbor receiving a 20 percent commission. Keep checking the Snug Harbor website or Facebook page for sale details. Some of the items available at the sale are often listed.
MFAC meeting postponed to May 21
The May 14, 2020 Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC) meeting is being postponed to May 21, 2020. The Commission makes commercial and recreational fishing regulations in Massachusetts.
The business meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will be held virtually via a Zoom webinar. The meeting agenda, meeting materials, and webinar login information will be posted to the www.mass.gov/orgs/marine-fisheries-advisory-commission .
Contact Jared Silva via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Keep the haddock and leave overfished cod
In Massachusetts there is a record high haddock population and a record low population of Atlantic cod. In fact recreational cod fishing north of Cape Cod is not allowed in MA except for one week in September (however, south of the Cape including RI, there is a 10-fish limit in place).
So no problem when fishing North Cape Cod fish for haddock and back off the cod. But it’s not that easy as both haddock and cod prefer similar habitat and are commonly caught together. The discarded cod that is caught (or bycatch) from haddock anglers is a leading source of mortality for the cod stock. So the challenge is how do you fish haddock while leaving the cod alone.
State’s solution to haddock fishing
In response to the challenge the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) developed a bycatch avoidance tool using cod and haddock density data from trawl surveys. The maps further incorporated each species habitat preference, including depth, temperature and seafloor complexity.
Recreational Haddock Fishing Guide
The bycatch avoidance tool identifies the time and place where the catch rate for cod is low yet legal sized haddock are abundant. You can view the full guide on the DMF website along with fishing maps you can download to your smartphone to find your location, zoom in, plot a course, track your drifts, and navigate, all within the app. Visit www.mass.gov/doc/haddock-recreational-fishing-guide.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater fishing for largemouth bass has been very good. “Heavy–medium sized shiners are the bait of choice for anglers targeted bass. They are doing well. However, not many anglers are targeting trout they are focusing on bass as well as saltwater fishing,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle Riverside, said, “The wind this weekend was creating whitecaps even on ponds and lakes. Some anglers have been targeting small ponds where they can get out of the wind. Anglers are catching carp in the four to five pound ranger at Slater Park Pond in Pawtucket.”
Striped bass fishing continues to improve as the water warms. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina said, “At one point surfcasters fishing the beach near the Ocean Mist Restaurant, South Kingstown said the water was bubbling with school striped bass. More bass than they ever have seen in one place before.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “Striped bass are spotty but all over the Bay with the bite in the East Passage being best. Keeper fish have been caught all the way up to Providence and East Providence in the Rivers. The squid bite has been good in Massachusetts and Rhode Island too both from shore and boats.”
Tautog fishing remains strong. Keeper fish (16 inches or larger) are being caught all over the Bay and along the coast. Keeper fish are in great abundance, however, they are smaller fish from just keepers to 18 or 19 inches. Not many large fish being taken. Angler Derek Kolodziejczak of Johnston said, “Fished some rock piles Friday north and south of Jamestown Bridge. Fished anywhere from 12-20 feet with green crabs. Fished later in the weekend from shore in Providence and did well too. The spring season has not a disappointment.” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor said “The bite is on all along the coast, customers are doing well with tautog.” Henault from Ocean State said, “Tautog fishing is very, very good. Green crabs and jigs are working well.”
“Bold Point and fishing from the dock at the new orthopedic building off Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, East Providence has been great for tautog.”
Fluke. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor said, “Draggers off the southwest side of Block Island are starting to catch some nice sized fluke. The fish are not close to shore yet but they seem to be in the area.”
Dave Monti 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, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com and his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com. Derek Kolodziejczak Plum PT tautog -