Jenna Lombardo and Brandon Hagopian, both of Cranston, R.I., stand next to the 1,000-pound bluefin tuna that they caught off Cape Cod last Sunday.

Brandon Hagopian and his girlfriend Jenna Lombardo, both of Cranston, R.I., caught a 1,000-pound, 124-inch bluefin tuna last Sunday fishing off Cape Cod.

They caught the tuna not on a large sport fishing boat, but on Brandon’s 24-foot Cobia center console. The fish took seven hours to land.

“The bluefin stayed deep and they chased it around most of the time (so the line did not break),” Brandon’s father Jack Hagopian said.”They also had to navigate it out of a lobster pot at one point. They were able to harpoon it approximately 15 feet from the boat.”

Congratulations Brandon and Jenna, this is a very nice fish.

Slow Zone South of Nantucket to Protect Right Whales

NOAA Fisheries announced an extension on a voluntary right whale Slow Zone last Friday that the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s vessel survey team observed the presence of right whales South of Nantucket Island. The right whale Slow Zone (DMA) is in effect and expires on Oct. 30.

Mariners are requested to avoid or transit at 10 knots or less inside the following areas where persistent aggregations of right whales have been detected. Please visit www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike for more information.

Give Right Whales Room. North Atlantic right whales are on the move along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. NOAA is cautioning boaters and fishermen to give these endangered whales plenty of room. We are also asking all fishermen to be vigilant when maneuvering to avoid accidental collisions with whales and remove unused gear from the ocean to help avoid entanglements. Commercial fishermen should use vertical lines with required markings, weak links, and breaking strengths.

Right Whales in Trouble. North Atlantic right whales are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Scientists estimate there are only about 400 remaining, making them one of the rarest marine mammals in the world.

Ice fishing seminar

Tired of spending the winter sharpening hooks and dreaming of expensive fishing vacations in Florida? Don’t think these are your only fishing options this winter. Learn about ice fishing Monday at 7 p.m. on an RI Saltwater Anglers Association online seminar.

Guest speakers will be local captain, frequent seminar speaker, and RISAA member, Capt. B.J. Sylvia with assistance from expert salt and freshwater angler Greg Vespe.

New technologies, coupled with improved winter clothing, have combined to allow even more comfort and success with ice fishing. New England offers plenty of locations within a few hours drive and even locally here within Rhode Island. During the seminar BJ and Greg will cover the different species most likely to be encountered, including northern pike, lake trout, brook trout, crappie, bass and a mix of other fish.

Safety, light tackle, jigging, tip-ups and more will be described, in addition to the use of fish-finders. Also, the locations of lodges that cater to ice fishing will be covered. If you have never considered ice fishing, it’s time to take a look.

RISAA members attend free. Non-members are welcome with a $10 donation to the RISAA Scholarship Fund. Membership is $50/person/year. For information, visit www.risaa.org or call 401-826-2121.

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass, bluefish, false albacore: The bite has been mixed along the southern coastal shore from Westerly to the Sakonnet River with anglers catching bass and blues with some false albacore mixed in as the fish feed on large schools of bait everywhere. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, said, “The striped bass bite along the southern coastal beaches and jetties is very good. Customers are catching fish in the 40-inch range so the fall migration has started. The striper fishing off Block Island is not as good. We are also experiences a good false albacore bite. Customers Sue and Roger Lema caught eight nice false albacore this weekend.” Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick said, “The bluefish and striped bass are on the surface in the Bay, just watch for the birds on the surface. Anglers are catching school bass, but you never know. There are some schools with 20-pound bass in them too.” East End Eddie Doherty said, “ Most striped bass swim around Provincetown during the fall migration, but this year many decided to use the Cape Cod Canal shortcut for their journey south. The altered route combined with a continued presence of baitfish as well as higher than usual water temperatures have made this the best fall striper season in my memory. Action has slowed down now, but should pick up again soon.”

Tautog and cod: Tautog fishing remains very strong and is getting better every day as the weather starts to cool things down as the water has been very warm. I fished off Newport this weekend and did well. Ken Landry of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “In the bay and out in front the story is pretty much the same. One day customers are catching shorts and the next day all nice keepers. This happened to a customer who fishing Rocky Point on a regular basis.” Angler Charlie Prisco of Warwick and his partner caught four nice keepers with the largest in the low 20-inch range at General Rock in North Kingstown.

Freshwater fishing continued to be good this week in ponds and waterways stocked with trout by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues. Forward fishing news and photos to dmontifish@verison.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com.

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