Getting tough on fishing law breakers

Posted 10/22/20

Ever wonder what to do when you witness an environmental crime. Yes, I say crime because a crime against the fish or environment is no joke. Our natural resources belong to all the people of the United States of America, so a crime against fish or the

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Getting tough on fishing law breakers


Ever wonder what to do when you witness an environmental crime. Yes, I say crime because a crime against the fish or environment is no joke. Our natural resources belong to all the people of the United States of America, so a crime against fish or the environment is crime against us all.

Find out about the duties and mission of the Division of Law Enforcement of the RI Department of Environment Management, how they deal with poachers and what happens when they go to court at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association Zoom seminar on Monday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m. Chief F. Dean Hoxsie of the Division of Law Enforcement will be the guest speaker.

You need to be a RISAA member to participant in the Zoom seminar. Twelve such meetings on various topics are held throughout the year, and now with Zoom seminar capability, additional one of a kind seminars will be offered too. You can attend all seminars and obtain other RISAA membership benefits for $55/year. Join online at NOAA survey to help strengthen angler engagement

Last week National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the results of an angler survey aimed to acquire the information sources that recreational anglers trust most.

In a press advisory the NOAA said, “A new survey of saltwater recreational anglers looked at their sources of information when it comes to fishery management and data collection. It found that their most used and trusted sources were friends, family, bait and tackle shops, and state and federal agency information such as websites and regulation guides.”

NOAA Fisheries conducted the mail survey of 10,000 randomly sampled licensed saltwater recreational anglers on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to Mississippi. NOAA said, “Results will help us better understand how information flows through recreational fishing communities and inform our strategies for engaging with anglers.”

Other top key findings include:

The important role of friends, bait shop employees, and family members suggests that fishery information likely flows through social channels more frequently than it does through other forms of communication. This is critical to understanding how information is shared within the recreational fishing community.

Information sources that likely involve direct interactions (e.g., family, bait and tackle shops, and for-hire captains) were more trusted than online or broadcast sources (e.g., blogs and message boards).

Social networks are important for information sharing and, potentially, opinions about fishery management.

While avid anglers tend to consult friends and bait and tackle stores most frequently for fishing information, they also consult a wider variety of sources, and consult them more frequently than less avid anglers.

More avid anglers have larger angler networks and could serve as information pathways.

For the complete 90 page study in PDF form visit the study at: Where’s the bite?

Tautog fishing is hot. Anglers are catching there five fish limit in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 16-inch minimum size with a 10 fish per boat limit. Xavier Wong and his father Jamie Wong fished on my boat at the Fountain ledge off Newport Sunday and caught their limit in about 3 1/2 hours. Xavier, who caught an eight pound tautog, his largest ever, said, “The fish was fighting powerfully but I could not believe how large it was when it came up. It’s the largest tautog I have ever caught.” Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “We had the start of our blackfish and its very strong right out the gate. Many anglers leaving with limit catches of fine white chinners to 10 pounds. We have been working a mix of rock piles and wrecks and all are producing. Standard bait rigs as well as jigs have been working. Lots of shorts in the mix to keep rods bent between keepers.” Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “The tautog bite has been very good. Anglers are still finding them in relatively shallow water 30 feet or less from Nebraska Shoals to Newport.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Anglers are catching a lot of small tautog in the upper part of the Bay but things are on fire from Colt State Park and south with anglers catching their limit. Plum Light, North Kingstown is performing particularly well for customers.”

Striped bass, false albacore and bluefish. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina said, “The coastal beaches from Charlestown to Watch Hill and the West Wall continue to be hot for school striped bass and false albacore. Anglers are using a variety of lures and all are working. And, the Southwest Ledge is still producing large fish, actually too large for the slot limit with anglers trying to revive the big ones just to have the come up and hour later and not survive.” Angler John Brierley said on the RI Saltwater Anglers blog “In Padanaram Harbor (South Dartmouth), we have seen consistent action of school striped bass and bluefish. Sunday, the water was so clear we could see lots of bait and stripers swimming under the boat. By 11:30 a.m. we were done. Still lots of fish action on the surface in every direction. All fish caught on top water. I was throwing a Yo Zuri lure and the other two guys with me threw a chug Bug and a Tsunami, both top water. I kept two bluefish.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, said, “The striped bass and bluefish bite have been outstanding. Soft plastic lures in green seem to be working particularly well this weekend. Customers are catching slot fish between 28 and less than 35 inches from a variety of places in Providence and south down the Providence River to the Bay. Areas performing include Kettle Point, East Providences well as Hanes Park and Sabin Point.”

Scup, black sea bass and cod. “One customer and his fishing partner caught 30 scup each all over 12 inches in the Washington Bridge area, at the top of the River. They also caught an abundance of 6-inch back sea bass and tautog during the fishing trip but no keepers.” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait. Matt Conti of snug Harbor said, “Anglers are catching large balck sea bass at the East Ground, Sharks ledge and other places fairly close with a good cod bite in those places too.”

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 and his blog at


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