By Capt. Dave Monti
Outdoor pursuits provide family fun in July
Want something special to do with the family when on vacation in July? I mean something really special that gets the family outdoors and appreciating nature while being physically active. How would you like to learn how to quahog at Rocky Point State Park, or how to navigate in the woods with a compass and map? How about a guided hike on Yawgoo Trail, South Kingstown or better still visit the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket for a walking tour along the Blackstone River and Main Street or do them all?
The Great Outdoors Pursuit, sponsored by the RI Department of Environmental Management, challenges families to visit state parks and other outdoor areas throughout the summer and participate in activities, ranging from birding to fly-fishing and archery. Participants register online and self-print a Pursuit Passport. At each event attended, “stamps” are earned for the Passport. Registration is free, and participating children are eligible for prizes. Last year, more than 850 people joined the Pursuit.
For a complete list of events and to sign up for the Pursuit, visit www.dem.ri.gov/Pursuit. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RIGreatOutdoors for more information on recreational opportunities in Rhode Island as well as other timely updates.
Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council
The Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council (RIMFC) met Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at the URI Bay Campus to address a number of commercial and recreational fishing issues.
The council thanked William (Bill) Mackintosh, III, for his service to the council as this was his last meeting. Bill, a commercial fisherman (who also fishes recreationally), provided the council with his expertise, always weighing in on issues putting himself in the shoes of the fisherman to understand what the impact of Council regulation recommendations might be. Thanks for your service Bill.
At the same meeting Jason Jarvis was welcomed as a new Council member. Jarvis is a native of Westerly and has a broad range of experience working as a deck hand on commercial vessels, a mate on party and charter boats as well as having his own commercial fishing license. Governor Raimondo appointed Jarvis to the council on June 16 and his appointment was approved by the Rhode Island Senate on June 19.
Agenda highlights included a review of plans for the Bay-wide quahaug stock assessment and Providence River water quality review. DEM staff related that conditional area B’s status had been changed to an open area early this year and that new Providence River shellfishing areas were being explored at this time. No immediate plans were in place to open additional areas until input is obtained and proposals are developed.
A second highlight was review of a new aggregate program for commercial black sea bass and summer flounder… the council recommended to start an experimental aggregate program that is carefully monitored with triggers to help prevent season closures that could be created by the program. An increase in minimum size for recreational shortfin mako sharks to a fork length of 83 inches was approved to dovetail with federal regulations.
Visit DEM’s website at http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/marine-fisheries/rimfc for minutes of the meeting.
“The fish was a little hard to reel in”
The third annual Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) Rocky Point fishing camp held last week was a big hit with participants. Norah Blasi (age 10) of Warwick said, “The fish was a little hard to reel in, but it was not the first fluke I’ve caught.” Norah was talking about the 22” fluke he caught Wednesday when fishing on the Seven B’s Party Boat out of Pt. Judith.
Fifty-three children attended the three day camp with 35 RISAA volunteers and DEM staff members working to make it a success. On the first day campers learned fishing gear and tackle basics, fish identification, how to use spinning and conventional reels, casting and fishing from shore, knot tying, boating safety and how to tag and release fish. The second day was a trip on the Seven B’s party boat and the third day (Thursday) was cancelled due to thunder storms.
The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) sponsor the youth fishing camp for 7 to 12 year olds with funding from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.
RISAA also conducted its annual Take-a-Kid Fishing Day last Saturday, June 23rd, taking 81 children fishing in Greenwich Bay who are from mostly urban areas. 125 volunteers and 41 boats made the day possible.
Where’s the bite
Striped bass/bluefish. Striped bass fishing in the Bay continues to be spotty. Bass fishing on the North Rip and Southwest Ledge has been off too with anglers hooking up some days and on other days they are not catching anything. However, this week eels are working and are bait of choice on the Southwest Ledge. Eric Appolonia of North Kingstown said, “My son Alex and I fished the Southwest Ledge area a few times last weekend and this week with good results using live eels.” Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “Striped bass action of the Southwest Ledge is just starting with eels. It’s not red hot but things are picking up. We weighed in a 50 pound fish this week and heard of a 56 and a 59 pound fish being caught. Umbrella rigs mimicking sand eels are working in the day with eels at night and early morning.”
Summer Flounder (fluke)/black sea bass/scup/cod. Fishing for scup in Narragansett Bay has been good around the Mt. Hope Bridge, Ohio Ledge and anywhere there is structure and water movement. The summer flounder bite at the Sakonnet, off Narragansett and the beaches continues to be slow. The south side of Block Island has been on and off too. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina said, “Ten pound fish are still being caught on the south side of Block Island, however, anglers are working for them. The bite on the East Grounds has been pretty good with a good cod bite at Cox Ledge.”
Offshore fishing is picking up and this weekend is the Snug Harbor Shark Tournament being held July 7 and 8, 2018. Anglers can register online at www.snugharbormarina.com. There is a 75 boat limit with proceeds going to the RI Saltwater Anglers Association and the Recreational Fishing Alliance. Registration is $200 for one to three anglers. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor said, “The Atlantis Canyon is holding big eye and yellowfin tuna but bluefin are not around anywhere. We have reports of some mako and a lot of blue sharks 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 and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. . Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.