Janet Coit a collaborative leader

Posted 6/23/21

It was nine years ago when I had my first opportunity to speak in depth with Janet Coit, former director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

She spoke about her …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Janet Coit a collaborative leader


It was nine years ago when I had my first opportunity to speak in depth with Janet Coit, former director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

She spoke about her commitment to conservation, her Department’s duel role of environmental regulation and proactive conservation, and stewardship of our natural resources here in Rhode Island.

We spoke about climate change impacts on the coast, climate impacts on fish and her commitment to brand Rhode Island’s seafood to help fishers get the price they deserve for their catch.

In my world of fishing, she always seemed to make decisions with the best interest of the fish, habitat and the environment in mind, keeping the politics out the decision making process as much as possible. But, this was the first time I got insight into the type of collaborative leader and person she is.

So it is with great pride we as Rhode Islanders get to wish her well on her new job as the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). If she does half the job she did here in Rhode Island our oceans, the fish, climate ready fisheries, shared use of our oceans and all the people of this country are going to be big winners.

Janet Coit, we wish you well on your new assignment.

Black sea bass season is now open

Black sea bass season in Rhode Island opened Thursday, June 24 and runs through August 31 with a three fish/person/day limit and a 15-inch minimum size. The bag limit increases to seven fish/person/ day from September 1 to December 31.

Rigs often used to catch black sea bass have two hooks set-up about 12 inches apart with a bank sinker to hold bottom. Squid, small crabs and sea clams are often used as bait.

When targeting black sea bass I use small pieces of bait as they are master bait stealers and large pieces of bait enable them to take your bait without getting hooked. However, I have found that when fishing the bottom for fluke, larger hooks with larger baits tend to catch larger black sea bass.

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “My favorite sea bass rig is a bucktail jig tipped with squid with a small teaser above tipped with Berkley Gulp. Anglers should remember you have to find the bottom to catch these fish. Best colors are white and pink.”

Any underwater structure including ledges, rocks, wrecks, piers and jetties will attract black sea bass.

Block Island Inshore Fishing
Tournament, July 24 and 25

“The Block Island Inshore Fishing Tournament is back again this year after a short hiatus,” said Capt. Chris Willi of Block Island Fish Works, a bait & tackle shop and charter fishing business located on Block Island, Rhode Island.

The tournament will start at 5:33 a.m., Saturday, July 24 and end Sunday, July 25, 12 noon. There will be an ‘After Party’ at Capt. Nick’s Rock & Roll Bar, Block Island from 2-4 p.m. with a brief Tournament awards ceremony.

Anglers can enter online at and then pick up their participant bags on Friday, July 23 at one of five co-sponsor locations including Block Island Fish Works, Block Island; Ocean State Tackle, Providence; The Saltwater Edge, Middletown; Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown; and Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly.

“This is a length only tournament. When registering online participants download our tournament app on their smartphone. When they want to make a tournament entry they take a photo of their catch up against the tournament supplied ruler and send their entry into the tournament electronically. Thanks to a sponsorship from the Block Island Wind Farm and Ørsted, all tournament entry fees are being donated to the Block Island Fire Department and Rescue,” said Willi.

The tournament will offer cash cards/swag/and sponsor prizes totally $10,000 with fluke, black sea bass, striped bass and bluefish as well as boat, shore, youth, team and photo divisions.

Help plan a healthier Bay

Every 10 years, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP), a conservation nonprofit, brings together folks across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut to create a new ten-year plan for the region.

Michael Gerel, NBEP program director, said, “If you live, work, or play in the Narragansett Bay region, fill out a brief online survey and your input will be used to help develop our next plan, Vision 2032.” Surveys are needed from those in the 113 cities and towns that lie in the Narragansett Bay region.

Visit the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program for a listing of towns in the program area. Vision 2032 is a shared vision for water, wildlife and habitat, and quality of life in the Narragansett Bay region over the next decade. Visit and take the survey at

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass and bluefish. “We had 30 to 40 boats fishing in the upper Providence River this weekend but customers said no one seemed to be catching. Albert Bettencourt, his son and grandson caught multiple slot-sized fish between 28 to less than 35 inches off Bristol along the shipping channel live liming Atlantic menhaden or using menhaden chucks,”said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside. “The bluefish were so thick off Barrington Beach, you couldn’t catch a striped bass as the bluefish keep stealing your bait.”

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Some anglers were still catching 40-inch fish from India Point Park. The bite was good too along the channel edges.” Expert fly guide and fisherman Ed Lombardo said, “We had positive striped bass results fishing in the Narrow River, Narragansett on Sunday. Multiple school bass and a keeper.”

Black sea bass, scup and summer flounder (fluke). “Fluke fishing in the Bay was holding up with anglers hooking keeper fluke fishing off Warwick Light this weekend,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle. “The bite off Block Island was mixed too, when conditions were right anglers hooked up.” Optimum conditions for fluke include both the wind and current (or tide) be in line, meaning the boat should be moving the same way as the tide so your bait is dragged over the front of fluke as they set up looking into the current. Henault said, “The scup bite this week was not good at Rocky Point but large scup were caught from shore off Tiverton and other places in the mid and lower Bay.” John Littlefield of Archie’s said, “Anglers where catching 14- inch scup at Haines Park, East Providence and Lavin’s Marina, Barrington.”

Freshwater fishing for largemouth bass is good with pike and trout fishing slowing down as the water heats up. “Customers are doing well fishing for largemouth at Turner Reservoir, East Providence; Only Pond, Lincoln Woods; and Stump Pond, Coventry.” said Dave Henault.

fishing, sports


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here