Stephen J. Medeiros, founder, president and executive director of Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, passed away on Monday.

Stephen J. Medeiros, founder, president and executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, passed away on Monday.

In an announcement about his passing RISAA said, “It is with heavy heart that the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association announces to you the passing of our founder, leader and friend, Stephen J. Medeiros. Steve was a tireless advocate for recreational fishermen and women in RI and all of southern New England. He founded RISAA In January 1998 and was a steady hand at the helm for over 23 years. Steve built a strong organization that will continue his great work long into the future.”

RISAA has 7,500 affiliated members in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Funeral arrangements were made for today through Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home, West Warwick, RI. Visit carpenterjenks.com.

Slow Zone South of Nantucket to Protect Right Whales

Last week, the Center for Coastal Studies aerial survey team sighted the presence of right whales south of Nantucket. This week, NOAA Fisheries announced a new Slow Zone is in effect immediately through Sept. 26.

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 nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike for more information and actual Slow Zone coordinates.

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.

Seminar: How to catch bonito, false albacore

Learn how to catch bonito and false albacore Monday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at a Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Associaton’s Zoom seminar. Light tackle and fly fishing expert Capt. Eric Thomas of Teezer 77 Guide Service will be the guest speaker. Thomas has been a charter captain for 25 years starting his fishing the shores of Aquidneck Island. Today, he is one of the area’s top expert guides in catching albies (false albacore) and bones (bonito).

RISAA members attend free. Non-members are welcome with a $10 donation to the RISAA Scholarship Fund. Membership is $50/person/year. For additional information visit ‘events’ at risaa.org.

Tightlined Slam Tournament Oct. 1-3

The 2021 Tightlined Slam is a catch-and-release fly and light tackle fishing tournament in the western Long Island Sound taking place on Oct. 1-3.

The tournament is dedicated to raising money and awareness for the conservation of our fisheries and marine resources. This year’s beneficiary include the American Saltwater Guides Association and Keep Fish Wet.

Anglers compete in nine categories on both a team and individual basis, targeting striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and bonito.

“Visit our silent auction page as auction items have been posted and there is still time to register for the tournament,” Tournament founder and director, Taylor Ingraham, said. We look forward to continuing to build the tournament in the support of the conservation of our marine resources and fisheries moving forward.”

Where’s the bite?

Tautog: Minimum tautog size is 16 inches with a three fish/person/day limit and a 10-fish boat limit. Jeff Williams of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, said, “The bite out in front of Newport was better than last week, but still a bit slow. Anglers are catching a lot of shorts off Newport with an occasional keeper.” Tom Giddings of The Tackle Box, Warwick, said, “Customers are catching keeper tautog at Rocky Point. One angler who fishes there often said a tautog bent her rod in half before it broke off her braid line in structure.” Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, said, “Customers are tautog fishing but the bite is still not great. It was better this weekend. I believe the water is still a little warm.”

Striped bass, blue fish and false albacore: “Customers are catching fish to about 26 inches in the Conimicut Point area from shore,” Giddings said. Jeff Williams of Lucky Bait said striped bass, bluefish and false albacore were mixed in at the mouth of the Sakonnet River this weekend. “There is plenty of bait in the water (sand eels, spearing, and peanut bunker) and the water quality has been very good,” said Williams. Hayes noted that, “Anglers are keying in on the bass, bluefish and false albacore. Staging at the mouth of rivers and outlets as the tide turns to outgoing. The false albacore bite has been a little off since the storm last week.” East End Eddie Doherty said, “ The Cape Cod Canal is giving up striped bass from schools of mixed sizes at first light on the east tide starting in the west end. Fish in the 25-pound class and larger are travelling close to the bottom as thousands of slots and shorts break on the surface.” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “The striped bass bite is sluggish from the beaches but there is tones of bait around. Customers were jigging for squid in the middle of the day. And, the false albacore bite did come back after the storm, however, they have been up and down.”

Black sea bass, scup and summer flounder: We fished a ledge southeast of Beavertail this week with good results. Plenty of action with short and keeper black seabass and keeper size fish (minimum size is 15 inches) in a 4-to-1 ratio. The scup bite there was good too.

Freshwater: “Sand Pond, Warwick Lake, Gorton Pond and other ponds in the state are producing largemouth bass for anglers,” Giddings said. “We even have a good catfish bite at Sand Pond. Anglers are dangling shiners two feet below the surface with a bobber and the catfish are hitting them.”

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.

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