Orsted, owner of the Block Island Wind Farm and five other wind farms off the east coast, held its first free Fishinar Series on ground fishing for summer flounder, cod, tautog and black sea bass in the near offshore. Ninety-one anglers participated in
Ørsted, owner of the Block Island Wind Farm and five other wind farms off the east coast, held its first free Fishinar Series on ground fishing for summer flounder, cod, tautog and black sea bass in the near offshore. Ninety-one anglers participated in the event which was live streamed on Zoom through District Hall Providence.
The aim of the Ørsted Fishinar Series is to encourage angler input into offshore wind farm plans while relating strategies and tactics on how to catch the fish we love to eat through expert charter captains and private angles. You can see the Fishinar in its entirety here on YouTube at https://youtu.be/wlcmH2XhVXU .
Panelist Capt. BJ Silvia of Flippin Out Charters, Portsmouth, said, “I looked at an underwater video at the Block Island Wind Farm, saw all the mussel growth and fish feeding at the base of the pylon, then I saw a tautog feeding half way up the vertical pylon and thought, I have to figure out a way to catching these suspended fish.”
Capt. Chris Willi of Block Island Fish Works, who lives and runs his charter business and tackle shop from Block Island, said, “We have a lot of natural structure around Block Island and the ground fishing is good, but the wind farm added a new dimension to our fishing, each pylon is a 90 foot vertical artificial reef with enhanced structure, habitat and fish. We expect the same from other wind farms.”
Expert angler Rich Hittinger, 1st vice president of the RI Saltwater Angers Association and Fishinar panelist, said, “I like to fish with light gear and tackle for fluke, 20-pound test line most of the time without bait, just a jig and second stinger hook above the jig on a three foot leader. Recreational anglers like the structure at the base of pylons, if fact, we have made a proposal to explore scour protection and structure to the monopole pylons that will likely be used to build many of the future wind farms.”
The second Fishinar, "Angling for pelagic fish" will be held Wednesday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m. via Zoom. Panelists include Capt. John McMurray of New York, charter captain, write, president of the American Saltwater Guides Association and member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; Capt. Charlie Donilon, Snappa Charters, shark fishing and shark cage diving expert; and Richard Pastore, RISAA member and near offshore fishing expert. Species discussed will include tuna, sharks, mahi and others. Visit https://districthallprovidence.org/calendar/ for event listing for additional information and to register for free tickets.
Ross Pearsall, Ørsted Fisheries Relations Manager, encouraged Fishinar participants to take their ocean user survey. The survey aims to identify angler attitudes toward offshore wind, who fishes and what they fish for in the wind farm areas. To take the survey visit here, https://bit.ly/3dIyAsM.
If you ever wanted to learn how to fish one of the greatest striped bass fisheries in the nation, the Cape Cod Canal, now is your chance. East End Eddie Doherty is a Cape Cod Canal fishing expert. He also happens to be an excellent fishing author, fish advocate, speaker and Attleboro native. On Monday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. he will be the speaker at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association seminar conducted on Zoom.
Visit the Nov. 30 event calendar at www.risaa.org to pre-register for the event, once you register you will receive an email with your special pass code. RISAA members attend free, non-members will be asked to make a $10 donation to the RISAA scholarship fund in advance of the seminar by calling the RISAA office at 401.826.2121.
Tautog fishing is still very good. I worked on decommissioning the boat this past weekend but managed to fish for three hours in the General Rock, North Kingstown area. Caught seven keepers to 19 inches and eight short fish, all fish were released. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait, Warren said, “Customers fishing off Jamestown, at Elbow Ledge and Newport had difficulty catching their limit this weekend as the bite seemed to have slowed down a bit.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Tautog fishing has been the best it has been in 20 years. Customers have caught quantities of fish and big ones too in the 10 and 11-pound range.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “When we were able to get out fishing this past week fishing was rather good. Blackfishing has continued to see limit catches or a few fish shy every day. Pool fish on the week have been right around 10 pounds. Both jigs and the bait rigs have been producing with more fish going to the bait rigs. When you can get a light tide and wind day the jigs really shine. Biggest fish on the week was taken by long time regular Sean from CT with a solid 11-pound brute.”
Bluefin tuna have been spotted close to our coastal shore. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “We heard several reports of bluefin tuna sightings. 150 to 200 pound fish were seen off Newport and a 300 to 400 pound bluefin off Pt. Judith. Both sightings came from commercial fishermen who were fishing in the area.”
Freshwater fishing for trout has been good with anglers starting to turn their eye toward pike and carp as the water cools. Manny Macedo of Lucky bait said, “The Kickemuit River is quiet cold already. Anglers are fishing there as well as ponds in Middletown.” Dave Henault of Ocean Tackle said, “The pike fishing has been ok at Stump Pond Coventry with carp being caught in Lincoln ponds and at the Turner Reservoir.” Trout fishing has cooled as most anglers are not targeting them now.
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, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com