“When it comes to the fabled lands of the moat, no place has garnered more attention than Nantucket Shoals,” said Greg Vespe, executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association. “Deep water, strong currents and long drives are the norm, but if you want a shot at a double-digit personal best, this is the place to fish.”
RISAA will sponsor a 7-hour seminar on “Fishing Nantucket Shoals” on Monday at the Rhode Island Elks Lodge in West Warwick.
Captain TJ Harris, Nantucket Shoals fluke expert, will be the guest speaker. Captain Harris will explain how to plan your trip, how big of a chance to expect, what gear to bring, and the strategies and tactics to use to catch those big fish.
You can order food from the Elks Lodge kitchen menu beginning at 5:30 p.m. Non-members are asked to donate $10 to the RISAA Foundation. RISAA members are admitted free of charge. The Elks Lodge is located at 60 Clyde Street, West Warwick, RI.
The striped bass now has a rebound plan
The striped bass is in big trouble. They are overexploited, which means that the number of striped stripes in the population is below the established targets. Overfishing is happening, which means anglers and commercial fishers all over the coast are taking too many scratches in the water.
If we don’t start rebuilding the fishery, we will fish them to extinction. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission instituted Amendment 7 to the Striped Bass Management Plan to correct the situation. ASMFC managers fish for stocks coast-wide in state waters, from shore to the three-mile limit.
Earlier this month, the ASMFC Striped Bass Board of Directors met to review Amendment 7 initiatives after a lengthy public comment period on the proposed changes.
Significant progress has been made to stabilize the stock. Here are highlights of the initiatives approved by the Board of Directors with comments from Tony Friedrich, Vice President/National Policy Director, for the American Saltwater Guides Association. Visit saltwaterguidesassociation.com for detailed informational articles.
Management triggers: The management triggers for fishing mortality and spawning stock biomass (how we measure the health of a stock) have been kept strong rather than weakened, while adding a new requirement to have a plan in place. recovery within two years of determining that the stock is overfished.
Mortality of recreational releases: Gaffs will now be illegal to use on striped bass. Stripers caught by unapproved methods should be released safely, and it is recommended that States conduct awareness activities on best catch and release practices and educate anglers .
Reconstruction plans: Striped Bass can now begin to rebuild in a low recruitment scenario. Additionally, if the October stock valuation indicates we are in serious trouble, the board can move quickly to rebuild (still providing opportunities for public comment) rather than launch a lengthy addendum process.
Conservation equivalence: Many ASMFC commissioners felt that conservation equivalence (CE) reform was the most important – and most controversial – action needed to help striped bass under this amendment. Conservation equivalence allows states to use different measures (regulations) to achieve desired harvest limits if a state could scientifically prove and have the measure approved. The board felt that EC should not be used in the short term with striped bass. The EC has been systematically abused by some states in the past, leading to increased overfishing. The EC can no longer be used if the stock is overfished (below the SSB threshold). We are currently in a state of severe overfishing. Once we exceed the threshold, EC proposals cannot use Marine Recreation Information Program (MRIP) estimates with a percentage standard error (PSE) greater than 40.
ASGA believes that the Commission’s system is broken and that it needs to act more responsibly in managing the fisheries. “We should have taken the appropriate action in 2014 when we discovered that the stock would be overfished in a few years. But, with the flexibility of ASMFC, we ignored it. said Tony Friedrich of the American Saltwater Guides Association. “Managing striped bass is only one symptom of the problem. Reforming the commission is the remedy.
Where’s the bite?
Fresh water: Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, said: “Big mouth biting took place early in the morning or at sunset using swimbaits as the fish are still in pre-spawn mode.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said “The trout bite is still good for anglers in stocked ponds like Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside, however, Brickyard Pond, Barrington was cloudy and not producing.”
Tautog: Before high winds and seas last week, fisherman Karlis Kaugars from West Warwick landed a 10-pound tautog at Bonnet Shores. “We fished the Ohio Ledge area and had no luck, then we cruised the bay to the Bonnet Shores area and caught a bite, a plump 10-pound tautog,” Karlis said. . According to Littlefield, “Customer Albert Bettencourt fished in the Warren River area, catching 22 fish and keeping six, releasing all the females”. “Now that all that wind has slowed down, the tautog bite should get better this week,” Sullivan said.
Striped bass / bluefish: “A huge school of striped bass from the school broke at 2am last Sunday, but did not stop to eat on their eastward journey, refusing an assortment of lures at each stage of the column of water,” said East End Eddy Doherty. “Most lungers, and some fish over 20 pounds, were caught at first light on surface plugs like the Guppy JoBo.” “The striped bass fishery has slowed with the wind in Narragansett and Mt. Hope bays, but things are expected to pick up dramatically,” Sullivan said. “The slot-sized bass are caught with small, soft plastic baits. The best chance for a big bass is in the upper part of the bay using poggies (Atlantic menhaden) if you can catch any. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “Guests are catching bluefish in the bay.” “Striped bass fishing was halted last weekend, but earlier in the week anglers were doing well using soft plastics like Slug-Go lures and Storm Shades,” Littlefield said. “Some anglers were catching fish at Sabin Point and others at Barrington Beach (where they used whole squigs as bait).”
“The flounder (summer flounder) and squeteague fishery is resuming along the coast, much earlier than usual,” Sullivan said. “The squeteague bites in Greenwich Bay and in the Barrington River where a fisherman caught a pretty fish from the bridge.” said Henault.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and a charter fishing licence. He sits on various boards and commissions and has an advisory practice focused on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries issues and clients. Send fishing news and photos to [email protected] or visit noflukefishing.com.