No Fluke

Record largemouth bass caught in Johnson’s Pond

By Captain Dave Monti
Posted 5/5/16

“This bass hit when I had about 75 percent of my cast retrieved,” said Brandon Migliore of Sterling, Connecticut (formerly of Coventry) about the record 11.2-pound largemouth bass he …

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No Fluke

Record largemouth bass caught in Johnson’s Pond


“This bass hit when I had about 75 percent of my cast retrieved,” said Brandon Migliore of Sterling, Connecticut (formerly of Coventry) about the record 11.2-pound largemouth bass he caught this weekend at Johnson’s Pond, Rhode Island. “I waited a bit before setting the hook as I have been setting it too early. I waited until I felt the weight, the rod bend and then set the hook. I just kept the pressure on the fish because I knew that if I let up the fish would be gone. It took about two minutes to land.” 

Migliore said, “My fishing partner and friend, Mathew Sheldon, and I have been fishing this area for over 15 years in hunt for a record breaking largemouth… week after week, month after month, year after year. It’s hard to believe we did it. I give a lot of credit to Mathew; he is a great fisherman and has taught me a lot. Just minutes before I landed this fish, Mathew caught an eight-pound largemouth. And, when my fish came close to shore the rod was bent in half, Mathew was on his toes and rushed to lip the fish.”

Brandon was using 30-pound braid line and a St. Croix fishing rod. Dave Mooney of Sandy Bottom Bait & Tackle, Coventry, where Migliore weighed in his fish said Sunday, “The fish just left here. We had kept it alive for a while in our tank and then it just rolled on its side and gave up. Brandon was using a Magnum Jitterbug top water lure he bought here.”

“We were surprised to see how large the fish was as it came close to shore. We weighed it and thought it was 10.2 pounds, and found out that the record was 10.6 and we were a little down. We then weighed it on another scale and it came in at 11.6 pounds so we were excited again. When we got the fish to the bait shop and weighed it on an official scale it was officially 11.2 pounds.”  

The 11.2-pound largemouth bass will be a new state record if the catch is certified and approved by the Department of Environmental Management (DEM). The 10.6-pound largemouth bass holding the record was caught in 1991 at Carbuncle Pond.

NOAA releases recreational fishing plans 

On a national level, NOAA’s Fisheries has been increasing efforts to better support saltwater recreational fishing and recreational fisheries issues. In 2015, NOAA Fisheries published a National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy and a National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Implementation Plan. The policy highlighted six key principles intended to guide NOAA in considering the development and promotion of sustainable high quality saltwater recreational fisheries. Each region now has an implementation plan (visit for a link to the Greater Atlantic Regional Implementation Plan as well as national and other regional plans).

The recreational fisheries that NOAA manages include cod, haddock, many flounders, Atlantic bluefish, black sea bass, scup, striped bass, tautog and weakfish. They also are responsible for the management of other recreationally caught and/or forage species such as Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, squid and butterfish. These species provide an important food source for recreationally sought-after fishes such as striped bass, tuna and sharks.

For more information, contact Moira Kelly, Greater Atlantic Regional Coordinator for recreational fisheries, at 978-281-9218 or email her at  

Where’s the bite

“Striped bass are everywhere. Customers are catching school size bass in Warren, Providence, Barrington and Jamestown, all over the Bay. The largest fish so far has been 32,” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren. 

Nellie at Maridee Bait & Canvas, Narragansett, said, “All the action is at the West Wall for stoolies and they have started to catch a few keepers.” 

Noted local shore angler Steve said, “The striped bass bite is very, very good. I have been fishing in Narragansett and there are a lot of school bass around. This is encouraging.” 

John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “We weighed in a 32-inch, 34-inch and a 37-inch striped bass this weekend. All were caught at Sabin Point, East Providence, with anglers using menhaden chunks or clam worms. Customer Albert Bettencourt said he has been catching 20- to 27-inch fish at the Squantum Club, East Providence, and all around the upper portion of the Bay.”  

Freshwater fishing this week was topped-off with Brandon Migliore’s record 11.2-pound largemouth bass caught at Johnson’s Pond. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait said, “The trout bite has been very, very good with night crawlers now the bait of choice. Anglers are catching fish at Melville Pond and Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods.” 

“Freshwater anglers are targeting bass and trout. I have sold about 20 dozen shiners toady and it’s only 10:30 a.m.,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.

Tautog fishing is just starting to heat up with anglers catching shorts with some keepers mixed in. No major reports of people limiting out with their three fish, however, keeper fish are being caught. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait said, “It’s rocks and docks for tautog and customers are catching them at the Stone Bridge, Tiverton, and Ohio Ledge in the East Passage of the Bay.  Anglers are using worms, Asian and green crabs with some old timers using quahogs with success.”  

“It’s hit or miss with tautog. One day the bite was good at Conimicut Light and the next the bite was off. They were catching a lot of small fish at the Wharf Tavern, Warren, but they were at six to eight inches,” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait.

Cod fishing was off this week compared to others. Captain Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet, Narragansett, said, “Cod fish were moving around an awful lot and they are scattered into smaller groups now that spawning is over. Each trip this week produced some fish, but there was no sustained bite. Still it has been several years since we consistently caught cod fish all through the month of April. There were a handful of the cod that came over the rails that tipped the scales in the mid to upper teens this week.” 

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 or visit his website at 


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Until I saw the picture of an actual fish and saw that it was a BASS with a "B", I thought it might have been Ms. Vella-Wilkinson out for a swim...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016