Fishing show big success, sets table for early season

Posted 3/22/23

The excitement was building outside the New England Saltwater Fishing Show exhibition hall at the RI Convention Center earlier this month as hundreds of anglers waited in line for the show to …

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Fishing show big success, sets table for early season


The excitement was building outside the New England Saltwater Fishing Show exhibition hall at the RI Convention Center earlier this month as hundreds of anglers waited in line for the show to open.

Once the doors opened at 12:30 p.m. the traffic was non-stop for quite a while. I worked the Saltwater Anglers Foundation booth at show opening next to Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures’ booth and the action was nonstop.

Dustin Stevens owner of RI Kayak Fishing Adventures and a Kayak Centre of RI (North Kingstown) pro guide said, “The traffic was pretty good from the start.  Both Kayak Fishing Adventures and the Kayak Centre of RI had great shows. We had a lot of interest at the booth with folks inquiring about booking us and the seminars we gave on kayak fishing were well attended and received.”

Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said Friday, “Traffic has been very good with lots of people in our booth, things are going well.”

Greg Vespe, Tiverton resident, who is Executive Director of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association and show director, said, “What a great start to the fishing season for all. If the Show is any indication it is going to be a great fishing season. We had over 10,000 people attend about 1,000 more than last year, and last year was our first year back after COVID.”

“We were nonstop in the booth and just about sold out of offshore charters from those wanting to target tuna. And, we did really well booking inshore charters too. The seminars we hosted were packed, so it was a very, very good show. We attend shows in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and this Show here in Rhode Island is always the best of them all,” said Capt. Brian Bacon of Big Game Fishing Charters, South Kingstown, RI.

Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, experienced a very busy show too. “We sold a lot of everything we brought. Rods, reels and lures were all selling well,” said Nick Krajewski of Quaker Lane.

“This Show is amazing I cannot believe all the people that came out to support us and all the other venders. It’s the number one Show in New England. So, if you are not here you are losing out,” said Bill Trudell of Feindell Custom Lures.

Al Gags of Al Gags Lures said, “It’s a great organization that puts this together. I am so proud to be a part of it.”

“It was very gradifying to have our old venders back who may have missed a year or two due to COVID.  And, see a host of new venders too. About 35 more booths than last year for a total of over 300 booths. We signed a bunch of venders up for next year too. To me this is a great complement to have venders or those attending the show say I’ll be back next year,” said Greg Vespe.

Doherty to present at CT Fishing Show

East End Eddie Doherty, a Cape Cod Canal fishing expert, will present “Surfcasting the Cape Cod Canal for Striped Bass” at the Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show on Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT. His presentation will feature photos by surfcaster John Doble.

Doherty of Mattapoisett, and a former North Attleboro, MA resident, is a fishing writer and Falmouth Enterprise columnist, and he is author of SEVEN MILES AFTER SUNDOWN which was announced on Amazon as the No. 1 New Release in Fishing and selected as an Award-Winning Finalist for the American Bookfest in the Sports Category at the 2019 International Book Awards in Los Angeles.

Trout Unlimited Annual Fundraiser and Banquet

The Rhode Island Trout Unlimited Chapter (TU#225) will hold its Annual Fundraising Banquet and Auction on Saturday, April 22, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Quonset O Club, North Kingstown, RI.

The key note speaker will be Simon Gaweswork, Education and Engagement Manger for Far Bank, the parent company of Rio Products, Sage, Redington and Fly Water Travel. The title of his talk is “Understanding Fly Lines & How To Choose The Right Line For Maximizing Performance”.

Glenn Place, President of TU#225 said, “The annual banquet is our main fundraiser of the year that allows TU225 to realize our vision to ensure that the habitats for cold water and estuary fish thrive in Rhode Island for future generations.”

The Banquet will feature an early evening dinner buffet with multiple entree choices, served salad, dessert and cash bar. There will be numerous bucket raffles, door prizes, silent auction and live auction items. Contact Susan Estabrook with questions at putting TU#225 in the subject line or to purchase dinner and raffle tickets online visit

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater. Vincent Castaldi of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, said, “A few area ponds are yielding largemouth bass for customers but the bite has been slow most of the week.” 

Bruce Miller of Canal Bait & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “Peter’s Pond and others stocked last week and this week have been producing trout for customers. Spoons seem to be working well for anglers.”

Both Falls Pond and Whiting Ponds in North Attleboro were stocked with trout last week. For licenses and trout/salmon waterway stocking information in Rhode Island visit, and in Massachusetts .

Cod fishing south of Cape Cod is still open. Party boats fishing for cod this winter include the Frances Fleet at  and the Island Current at . 

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit

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