The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has spotted 42 right whales in Massachusetts coastal waters, including four mother/calf pairs.
On May 5, 2022, the aerial surveillance team detected the whales. Aerial and acoustic surveillance has been conducted, identifying high densities of right wales in Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay and the North Shore.
Mariners are reminded that the 10-knot speed limit for small vessels less than 65 feet overall in Cape Cod Bay south of 42°08’ north latitude has been extended through Sunday and may be extended further depending on whale movement. This speed limit is designed to protect right whales from the threat of ship strikes.
In a press advisory, the DMF said, “During the late winter and early spring, right whales migrate into and aggregate in Cape Cod Bay where they feed on zooplankton. As we move into spring, these whales begin to feed closer to the surface and become more susceptible to ship strikes.”
The lethality of ship strikes is greatly reduced when vessels are operating at less than 10 knots.
For more information visit www.mass.gov/marinefisheries .
AnglerCatch app a good catch for anglers
Ever wonder how many striped bass you caught last June, or when the summer flounder (fluke) bite kicked in for you the past few years?
Or better still, what the weather, seas and winds are like at your favorite fishing spot in the Bay, around Cape Cod or offshore? Maybe if you had this information in advance, you would plan your trips differently, and plan them better.
Now you can get your historical fishing information (like a log book) complete with photos of the fish you caught. You can also find out tides, wind, and sea conditions anywhere through buoy weather with your smartphone or tablet in one simple app called AnglerCatch.
At the same time, you will be providing fish managers at the Department of Environmental Management or the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries with important recreational fishing data to supplement what is already collected while participating in a pilot project for science.
You will not be giving your fishing spots away, as the data is used in aggregate. If you chose not to share specific location information that is OK too.
As a charter captain, I have been recording my catch electronically for over 10 years. It provides me with helpful log information and makes me feel good, as I am contributing to better fisheries data and fish conservation.
Download AnglerCatch for free at your favorite app store. The company that designed the software, Harbor Light Software, has an outstanding help line if you should run into any difficulties. All of this is free as AnglerCatch is a pilot project developed by the RI Saltwater Anglers Associaton, DEM, and Harbor Light Software. Visit Marine Reporting Software at anglercatch, harborlightsoftware.com.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater: John Dionne of Smithfield, RI., caught a 7.6-pound largemouth when fishing Bowdish Lake Chepachet, RI. John said, “I caught the fish using a chatterbait with a swimbait trailer last Friday.” Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick, said, “Fish are in the pre-spawn mode gravitating to low water that is warm so the largemouth bass fishing is still very good and this week pickerel and pike fishing really picked up too.” “Anglers are catching trout in stocked ponds and the largemouth pre-spawn bite is very good.” said Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren.
“Tautog fishing in the Bay and at India Point Park in Providence remains very strong.” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence. Capt. Mike Littlefield of Archangel Charters, Newport said, “The tautog bite has been outstanding this spring. Anglers are catching fish on mussel beds in the 20- to 30-foot range using green crabs. Most everyone seems to be catching their limit.” Declan O’Donnell of Misquamicut Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said. “Customers are catching keeper tautog off the breachways and along the Narragansett shoreline.” Giddings said, “Customers fishing the Rocky Point Fishing Pier and along the coast there are catching some nice tautog in the 18- to 20-inch range.”
Striped bass: “The striped bass bite is good with some nice fish being caught when feeding schools of herring and Atlantic menhaden are on the surface,” Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle said. “Areas off Newport and Pt. Judith Light are producing.” “The bass bite in the Bay is excellent with Greenwich Bay producing now too as well as the West Passage,” said Giddings. “Mostly school bass with keepers in the 30-inch range mixed in.” “The cinder worm hatch has stared in some South County salt ponds with the bass bite there pretty good,” O’Donnell said. “Fishing is also good with slot fish being taking from the West Wall, local breachways, beaches and ponds. The outgoing tide seems to be producing more fish than the incoming tide.” East End Eddie Doherty said, “Jack Barton caught his first slot of the season last week just before dawn near the railroad bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. The satisfied Canal Rat said it was so nice to feel a real tug on his rod after a five month hiatus. There was an unconfirmed report of a 40-inch striped bass caught in the west end so hopefully this fish will be leading the parade of other plus slot fish into the Canal.” “Anglers are catching school striped bass with keepers mixed in on the Seekonk River as well as the lower Providence River and upper and mid Narragansett Bay areas. Mt. Hope Bay is producing bass for anglers too,” said Henault.
“Squid fishing has been insane. Best bets this week included the Sakonnet and Newport areas with a strong bite in Hyannis as well,” Sullivan said. Added Littlefield, “Squid fishing has been very good at the Sakonnet River, off Newport and at Jamestown. Last week, I fished with Greg Vespe, ‘The Squid Whisperer’, and we filled five full (five-gallon) buckets in about five hours.”
“Scup fishing is picking up in Narragansett Bay with large scup in the 14- to 15-inch range being caught at Rocky Point,” said Giddings.