Fish managers seek angler input

Posted 12/30/20

Now is the time to express your thoughts on proposed 2021 recreational fishing regulations for Rhode Island. So if you want to start the black sea bass season earlier to fish in Narragansett or Mt. Hope Bay in June, or want to express your thoughts on

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Fish managers seek angler input


Now is the time to express your thoughts on proposed 2021 recreational fishing regulations for Rhode Island. So if you want to start the black sea bass season earlier to fish in Narragansett or Mt. Hope Bay in June, or want to express your thoughts on special area provisions that allow you to take smaller scup and summer flounder from special shore areas… now is the time to engage.

Anglers are urged to attend the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Marine Fisheries’ online public workshop Tuesday, Jan. 5, p.m.

The purpose of the workshop is to allow the Division to present to anglers, members of the recreational and commercial fishing industry and the general public those regulatory proposals currently under consideration by the Division. The workshop provides the opportunity for all to provide feedback to the Division on each of the proposals.

Due to time constraints, not all proposals may reach noticing in this cycle. All proposals not noticed will be placed in the Division’s regulatory queue for further consideration.

Agenda items important to anglers include proposed regulation options for recreational black sea bass, tautog, scup, summer flounder, striped bass, bluefish and Atlantic menhaden.

Rich Hittinger, legislative committee chair and 1st vice president of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association said, “We have two proposals into DEM in regard to the January 5 workshop. First, as we have stated in past years, early season black sea bass (BSB) retention is very important to recreational anglers, especially those who fish in Narragansett Bay because it is in May, June and early July when larger BSB come into shallow water and are caught by recreational anglers. We propose that recreational BSB open at three fish per day on May 28, 2021 even if that requires shortening the fall “bonus” season or lowering the number of fish allowed during the fall “bonus” season to 5 fish per angler per day.”

Hittinger continued, “We would also like to propose a modification to the 2021 tautog regulations. We believe that tautog are one of the best success stories for recreational fishing in RI and we want to do whatever we can to help keep the stock of tautog healthy well into the future. Along these lines we want to propose a limit on the number of large tautog that fishers are allowed to possess. Without changing any current minimum size or bag limit requirements we would like to propose that there be a limit of no more than 1 tautog per angler per day over 21-inch total length no matter what the mode (private or party or charter).”

Now it the time to have your voice heard on these and other important regulation proposals and issues addressed at the workshop. To join the meeting go to, meeting ID# 862 1577 5099; to dial in via telephone the number is 1-929-205-6099. East End Eddie Doherty to speak at Falmouth Fishermen’s Association

Big Ditch Productions in association with Ballyjamesduff Entertainment announced last week that East End Eddie Doherty will be presenting a Cape Cod Canal surfcasting seminar for the Falmouth Fishermen’s Association via Zoom on Jan. 5, 2021 at 7 p.m.

The free event is open to the public, but attendance is limited, so send your name to for registration.

Doherty is a retired Massachusetts District Court Clerk-Magistrate and the author of SEVEN MILES AFTER SUNDOWN which was announced on Amazon as the #1 New Release in Fishing and selected as an Award Winning Finalist for American Bookfest in the Sports Category at the 2019 International Book Awards in Los Angeles.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing in ponds stocked by the Department of Environmental Management has been very good. Joe Castaldi of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle said, “Fishing for trout has been good in stocked ponds. Customers are doing well at Barber Pond, North Kingstown. Power Baits are working, particular in rainbow.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, East Providence said, “Willet Avenue Pond in Riverside has a decent trout bite. It was stocked by DEM and a number of customers have been fishing there. A lot of them are using those very small Kastmaster lures. Stump Pond in Smithfield performing for anglers too.”

Cod fishing boats continue to have trouble leaving the dock last week due to bad weather, however conditions are improving this week. Most vessels on taking online reservations in advance. Cod fishing off Rhode Island and Massachusetts south of Cape Cod is a good bet this holiday week and in January. Party boats fishing for cod this winter include the Frances Fleet at, the Seven B’s at, and the Island Current at

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 or visit 

fish, anglers, sports


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