The excitement was building outside the New England Saltwater Fishing Show exhibition hall last weekend at the Rhode Island Convention Center as hundreds of anglers waited in line for the show to open.
Once the doors opened, the traffic was non-stop for quite awhile. I worked the Saltwater Anglers Foundation booth at show opening next to Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures’ booth and the action was nonstop.
“The traffic has been pretty good from the start,” Dustin Stevens of Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures said.
“Traffic has been very good with lots of people in our booth,” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbour Marina, South Kingstown, said. “Things are going well.”
Show director Greg Vespe, executive director of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association, noted, “What a great start to the fishing season for all. If the Show is any indication it is going to be a great fishing season. We had over 10,000 people attend about 1,000 more than last year, which was our first year back after COVID.”
“We were nonstop in the booth and just about sold out of offshore charters from those wanting to target tuna,” said Capt. Brian Bacon of Big Game Fishing Charters, South Kingstown, RI. “And we did really well booking inshore charters too. The seminars we hosted were packed, so it was a very, very good show. We attend shows in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and this Show here in Rhode Island is always the best of them all.”
Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, experienced a very busy show too.
“We sold a lot of everything we brought. Rods, reels and lures were all selling well,” said Nick Krajewski of Quaker Lane.
“This show is amazing I cannot believe all the people that came out to support us and all the other vendors,” said Bill Trudell of Feindell Custom Lures. “It’s the No. 1 show in New England. So, if you are not here, you are losing out.”
Al Gags of Al Gags Lures said, “It’s a great organization that puts this together. I am so proud to be a part of it. It was very gradifying to have our old venders back who may have missed a year or two due to COVID. And, to see a host of new vendors too. About 35 more booths than last year. We signed a bunch of vendors up for next year too. To me this is a great complement to have vendors or those attending the show say I’ll be back next year.”
Doherty to present at Conn. Fishing Show
East End Eddie Doherty, an Attleboro High School graduate and retired clerk-magistrate at Wrentham and Attleboro district courts, as well as a Cape Cod Canal fishing expert, will present “Surfcasting the Cape Cod Canal for Striped Bass” at the Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show on Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT. His presentation will feature photos by surfcaster John Doble.
Doherty, of Mattapoisett, and a former North Attleboro resident, is a fishing writer and Falmouth Enterprise columnist, and he is author of “Seven Miles After Sundown”, which was announced on Amazon as the top new release in fishing books, and selected as an award-winning finalist for the American Bookfest in the Sports Category at the 2019 International Book Awards in Los Angeles.
Trout Unlimited Annual Fundraiser and Banquet
The Rhode Island Trout Unlimited Chapter will hold its Annual Fundraising Banquet and Auction on Saturday, April 22, from 3-7:30 p.m. at the Quonset O Club, North Kingstown, RI.
The keynote speaker will be Simon Gaweswork, Education and Engagement Manger for Far Bank, the parent company of Rio Products, Sage, Redington and Fly Water Travel. The title of his talk is “Understanding Fly Lines & How To Choose The Right Line For Maximizing Performance”.
“The annual banquet is our main fundraiser of the year that allows Trout Unlimited Chapter 225 to realize our vision to ensure that the habitats for cold water and estuary fish thrive in Rhode Island for future generations,” said Glenn Place, president of TU225.
The banquet will feature an early-evening dinner buffet with multiple entree choices, served salad, dessert and cash bar. There will be numerous bucket raffles, door prizes, silent auction and live auction items. Contact Susan Estabrook with questions at email@example.com by putting TU#225 in the subject line. To purchase dinner and raffle tickets online, visit https://secure.etransfer.com/RICTU/dinner.cfm.
Public hearings on American lobster
An in-person Massachusetts public hearing on American Lobster Draft Addendum XXVII has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 29, 10 a.m. at the Sons of Italy, 120 Quarry St., Quincy.
The Atlantic coastal states of Maine through New York have scheduled hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum XXVII to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster, which considers measures to increase protection of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (GOM/GBK) spawning stock.
To register for the Massachusetts online hearing, visit Registration at gotowebinar.com. For Massachusetts hearing information, contact Dan McKiernan at 617-626-1536.
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass: “There has been holdover striper activity in local salt ponds and rivers with alewives beginning their run enhancing activity. Anglers are also finding some white perch. March is often the best month for targeting white perch,” said Declan O’Connell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, RI. “We have seen a ton of bait, small Atlantic menhaden in the Providence River. Birds have been working the past couple of weeks and three dolphins were spotted off Sabin Point by a customer. The water is warm and the bait is plentiful,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside.
Freshwater: Fishing has been good as not many have fished ponds in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that were stocked in fall and early winter. Bruce Miller of Canal Bait & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “Peter’s Pond and others stocked last week and this week have been producing trout customers. Spoons seem to be working well for anglers.” Both, Falls Pond and Whiting Ponds in North Attleboro, were stocked with trout last week. “Customers continue to catch trout in area ponds. It has been a mild winter and fresh water fishing has been great,” said Littlefield. For licenses and trout/salmon waterway stocking information in Rhode Island, visit dem.ri.gov/fishing, and in Massachusetts, mass.gov/service-details/trout-stocking-report.