Striped bass are here in our bays, coves and along the coastal shore. There are great reports of large keeper fish being caught. On Sunday, May 29, the commercial striped bass season opened, so catching those prized larger fish has become more
Striped bass are here in our bays, coves and along the coastal shore. There are great reports of large keeper fish being caught. On Sunday, May 29, the commercial striped bass season opened, so catching those prized larger fish has become more competitive.
Anglers are working for their fish, employing a number of strategies and tactics until they find out what works for them where and when they are fishing.
Derick Kolodziejczak of Johnston fished the upper Narragansett Bay and rivers Tuesday night with good success. Kolodziejczak said, “We had caught a 28-incher around 5:30 p.m. by the Henderson Bridge in Providence using a Rapala X-Rap lure, casting and retrieving it at various speeds. There was plenty of bait down low, but not much chasing them. It was a rainy evening, but no wind and the water temperature was about 57 degrees. At about 7 p.m., the stripers just turned on for about 20 minutes, chasing the bait to the top. I landed a 22-pound, 38-inch fish at the old rusty bridge at the Gano Street boat launch.”
Many anglers are fishing at night for striped bass already, which is a practice that generally takes place later in the season. However, live lining or fishing with chunks of Atlantic Menhaden, day or night, has been the bait of choice for striped bass.
Angler Ken Blanchard Jr. said, “We caught four nice stripers with Captain Jack Sprengel of Warwick on East Coast Characters in the 20-pound range, and one nearly 30 pounds fishing with my brothers and nephew last Friday. We left Greenwich Marina at 5:30 a.m. and went up the Providence River. We located the bait, snagged Atlantic menhaden and then live lined them. We had our limit by 8:30 a.m.”
Patti Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said, “Striper fishing is very good. This weekend, customers were catching stripers with chucks of Atlantic menhaden off Prudence Island at Providence Point.”
The East Passage of the Bay has been where all the action has been. Additionally, fishing in the Mount Hope Bay has been good. Angler Travis Barao of East Providence said this weekend, “We left the Mount Hope Bay area and saw over 20 boats fishing for striped bass at the Bridge.”
Noted local fly fisherman Ed Lombardo said, “We have been fishing the Barrington River for the last week and a half and there are plenty of striped bass. They are small fish, but they’re a lot of fun on a six-weight or seven-weight fly rod. Dark olive and black flies work very well because of the number of mummichogs in the river. One bass was a nice 19-inch fish, big for what we have been getting at the Narrow River, Barrington, and other rivers. My records show that this month larger fish should be entering these river systems.”
So now is the time to try your luck with striped bass in the upper bay. Grab your gear, fish from shore or boat and be prepared to employ a variety of tactics until one seems to work for you.
Fly fish Aquidneck Island by train
On Saturday, June 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Fly Fishing Express will be taking anglers to fish on Aquidneck Island. The train will leave from 710 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, and head toward Newport, stopping at hard-to-get-to places to fish. The train stops for lunch and then more fly fishing in the afternoon. The cost is $15. Register with Kim Sullivan at 401-539-0037 or email her at Kimberly.email@example.com.
National Seminar Series moves to Taunton
This season’s 30th Annual Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series in New England will be held in Taunton, Massachusetts. The Seminar Series brings decades of experience and expertise to eight of the most active and engaged fishing communities in the country, and this year the Taunton area will be one of them.
As the nation’s longest-running educational program on recreational marine fishing tactics, the series covers the how-tos and where-tos of catching gamefish. Every seminar is hosted by George Poveromo, host of “World of Saltwater Fishing” on NBC Sports, with the help of local fishing experts and captains.
Each seminar is five hours and covers a variety of tailored topics relevant to the regional fishing environment, including weather conditions, controlled-depth fishing, tools and technology and the effects of tides and temperature on fish. The series employs a team-teaching concept, where four experts take the stage for each session.
The first seminar is scheduled for Jan. 7 in Fort Myers, Florida, and the session in our region is scheduled for March 4 in Taunton, Massachusetts.
Where’s the bite
fishing remains strong in the bay, with fish being caught casting lures and trolling, but the bait of choice that continues to land the larger fish is Atlantic menhaden. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, boated a 34-inch fish live lining a pogie north of Conimicut Light. Kolodziejczak of Johnston landed a 22-pound, 38-inch striped bass near the Gano Street boat launch using a Rapala X-Rap lure. Most of the action with larger bass continues to take place north of Conimicut Light, with smaller fish being taken in the Popasquash Point to Bear Point area of the East Passage of the bay. Steve McKenna, noted shore angler of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, said, “The striped bass bite had from shore was early and now the fish are getting larger.” No bass bite reported at press time at Block Island. Fish continue to be landed along the southern coastal shore.
fishing was mixed last week with rough seas and turbid water. As the water clears and warms, the bite is expected to improve and move closer to shore. The Frances Fleet reported a fair fluke bite last week. Captain Frank Blount said, “Fishing is OK for this time of year considering that water temperatures are still not ideal due to the cool spring weather.” Fish being caught are close to shore along the coastal shore where the water is lower and warmer. Patti Ferrara of Ray’s Bait said, “Fluke are being caught in the Jamestown Bridge area this weekend.” I made a test run for fluke off Newport, Jamestown and the Newport Bridge area and did not hook up early this week, but did manage to catch and release some nice black sea bass in the process.
fishing last week was slow with dirty water, but reports over the weekend were expected to improve and they did as the water cleared and warmed up a bit. I fished the Frances Fleet for squid with the RI Saltwater Anglers group Saturday night and caught about 12 squid, which was about the average on the boat, with some anglers catching a lot more and some less.
fishing improved over the weekend at waterways restocked with trout by the Department of Environmental Management. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for a list of ponds that have been restocked. Angler Harold Hemberger said, “I fished the Curran Reservoir off Seven Mile Road in Cranston on Saturday. I caught seven largemouth bass – all on top-water lures. I saw several people fishing from shore doing well, catching some fairly large trout.”
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing 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. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.