The New England Saltwater Fishing Show from March 11-13, will feature over 300 booths and a full agenda of ‘How to’ fishing seminars.

Let the New England Saltwater Fishing Show, being held March 11-13 at the Rhode Island Convention Center, help you gear-up for the fishing season. The show is back as the largest saltwater fishing show of its type in the Northeast with tackle, rods, reels, lures, electronics, charter guides, boats, motors, accessories, clothes and much more.

“We are about two months out and have sold 260 booths,” said Greg Vespe, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, the show’s sponsor. “Our 12 large spaces for boats and large displays against the back wall of the exhibition hall are all taken. However, we still have booths available. Many of our exhibitors are offering exclusive Show Specials so anglers should take advance of these specials.”

“Our seminar committee has refocused on ‘How to’ seminars keying on strategies and tactics to target species we as anglers love to catch, eat or release… striped bass, summer flounder, tautog and a host of others,” Vespe added. “We have a special focus on species that are in abundance in our area due to warming water. Species like black sea bass and we hope to key on new abundant species like false albacore and bluefin tuna as they are closer to shore than ever before and anglers who have not targeted them before are starting to fish for them.”

Seminar topics will include everything from offshore Canyon tactics to inshore tips and tricks for black sea bass. Speakers will cover locations from Boston Harbor to the Connecticut River and everything in between. Accomplished charter captains, authors and local sharpies all pitching in to cover topics of interest.

Visit RISAA’s Facebook page for updates on seminar topics and speakers as the schedule gets fleshed out. By taking a little time to plan your show visit you can make sure you are at the show for the presentations you want to see and visit the booths that have products you want to check out and buy.

The New England Saltwater Fishing Show will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Friday, March 11, from noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Children under 12 will be admitted free and March 12 will be Family Day with all women admitted free. Visit the Kids Casting Area on Saturday and Sunday.

All adults who enter the show can register to win a Free Fishing Charter Trip with Capt. B.J. Silvia of Flippin’ Out Charters. Additionally, you can purchase a limited entry ticket to win a second fishing charter with Booked Off Charters as well as a custom Crafty One fishing rod (one rod for each show day).

Tickets at the door are $12. Friday is Military Appreciation Day. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the first 250 Veterans and active duty military personnel that arrive on Friday will be admitted free.

Fishing licenses online

Anglers are reminded to renew their fresh and saltwater fishing licenses. In Massachusetts to purchased licenses online visit Mass.gov. In Rhode Island, the Department of Environmental Management reminds anglers that the freshwater fishing season begins March 1. Regardless of when they were purchased. To purchased licenses online in Rhode Island visit RI.gov.

NOAA workshop on recreational fishing data

NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program will host its third data user seminar on Tuesday from 1-2:30 p.m. The training session will provide an overview of how the MRIP Query Tool can be used to filter NOAA Fisheries’ recreational catch and effort statistics by time series, geographic area, species, mode, and other characteristics. It will walk participants through several different queries, and explain how the Query Tool will change following the full implementation of the agency’s Recreational Fishing Survey and Data Standards.

To register for the MRIP workshops visit fisheries.noaa.gov. To dial into the Tuesday meeting, call 1-415-527-5035 and enter access code 2760 242 8757. The event password is noaa.

Fifty years of ocean, coastal conservation

Fifty years ago, Congress took action to protect the nation’s oceans and coasts, when it passed a set of powerful laws that helped form the foundation for the nation’s coastal and marine stewardship. These important laws include the Clean Water Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

In a press advisory this week NOAA said, “These historic laws make a tremendous difference in the lives of Americans… But even greater challenges lie ahead as we face the challenges of climate change and its impacts on the ocean, coasts and wildlife.”

NOAA is asking all to browse their 50 Years of Ocean and Coastal Conservation website to view 50 Ways to Love Your Coast and Ocean, a new video, that summaries all the four acts, and resources for NOAA partners.

Where’s the bite?

“The weather has been working against us and we have not been out for cod since December,” said Cod. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet party boat, Pt. Judith. “A few boats have tried and have caught very few fish.” Party boats fishing for cod south of Cape Cod and off Rhode Island weather permitting include the Frances Fleet at francesfleet.com, the Seven B’s at www.sevenbs.com, and the Island Current at islandcurrent.com.

Freshwater: As temperatures rise and fall this week check safe ice conditions with cities and towns.

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 and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to dmontifish@verison.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com.