Marine and Army Guard combat veteran Chris Boutin, left, and his service dog, Freya, join Capt. Dave Monti while fishing Project Healing Waters as a team last week. Boutin’s fly-hooked multiple bluefish.

As usual at this time of year, Whiting Pond in North Attleboro is the place to be for area anglers.

“Things are a bit warm for trout as they move deeper in the water column to cooler water this time of year,” Craig Baenziger of Northeast Trading Company in North Attleboro said.

“What we do have is a good largemouth bass and catfish bite in the area. Whiting Pond in North Attleboro seems to be producing for customers.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Miller of Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore notes that the action in Cape Cod Canal is heating up as well.

“This week and last, we had an outstanding striped bass bite on the canal right at sunrise, with anglers landing bass to 40 pounds,” Miller said. “Lures that are working include the Canal Sand Eel and Sebile’s Magic Swimmer … the maceral color is working really well.”

The bass have been in the middle of the water column or lower.

“The black sea bass bite has been outstanding, with boat anglers traveling to Cleveland Ledge in Buzzards Bay, where the bite is very good,” Miller said.

Fibromyalgia Striped Bass Tournament

The 2019 Fishing for Fibromyalgia Striped Bass Tournament will be held from 6 p.m. next Wednesday to noon on July 21 at Snug Harbor Marina in South Kingstown, RI. The waterway boundaries for the tournament extend from the Westport River to Watch Hill Lighthouse, including Block Island.

The $10 donation/entry fee goes directly to researching the safe and effective treatment of fibromyalgia/chronic pain by the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Rheumatology.

“We have four tournament divisions: shore, boat, kayak and a 12-and-under division,” tournament organizer Richard Geldard said. Trophies for the heaviest fish in each division will be awarded, with ties decided by length and/or girth. Second- and third-place finishers will receive gift subscriptions and/or a special-edition almanac from On The Water magazine.

For information, visit www.fishingforfibro.com or contact Richard Geldard at geldard.richard@gmail.com and 774.930.7098.

URI puts ocean wind on front burner

The University of Rhode Island reached out to 88 ocean wind stakeholders last week at their “Preparing for Offshore Renewable Energy” workshop held at the Coastal Institute at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography in Narragansett.

“This is not a prioritizing exercise, but rather an effort to identify information needs, technology questions and workforce gaps created by offshore renewable-energy growth,” said Jennifer McCann, workshop facilitator and director of US Coastal Programs for the Coastal Institute/Sea Grant.

The goal of the workshop was to identify how URI can fulfill needs contributing to the appropriate growth of offshore renewable energy.

URI offers a broad range of multidisciplinary expertise to understand the impacts of renewable energy siting, construction and implementation. David Bidwell, assistant professor of URI’s Department of Marine Affairs said, “To date, URI has received about $20 million in grants in regard to ocean wind farm industry research.” The idea would be to engage a variety of URI departments moving forward.

Among the highlights of the workshop were:

— Fred Mattera, president, RI Commercial Fisheries Center: “I see safety as a big concern,” Mattera said. “Our experience with the sinking of the Mistress off the Block Island Wind Farm was that Coast Guard helicopters had to call off the air search due to high winds, fearing that they would come too close to wind turbines. We also see safety as an issue within planned wind farm transit zones. The planned two-mile wind transit zone is simply not wide enough. We are advocating for a four-mile-wide zone.”

— Grover Fugate, executive director, RI Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC): “All data and science needs to be shared,” Fugate said. “Who better than the university to provide an independent, non-biased voice on the impacts of ocean wind farm development?”

— Andrew Gill, principle scientist, Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (in the United Kingdom): “The inclusive philosophy of your Ocean SAMP program worked well,” Gill said. “I would suggest building the spirit of this program into the development of ocean wind. For example, in Belgium (the gold standard for ocean wind development), all stakeholders have a voice at the table, and collectively, stakeholders come up with the best solutions to challenges.”

“In Belgium,” Gill added, “they have one central source to decide how research funds are spent, key learnings from the past year are used to set the research agenda for the following year.”

There were also key recommendations made at the closing session on how URI should contribute to appropriate growth of offshore wind. Among those were URI as a consensus builder/facilitator, like the SAMP program prior to the development of the Block Island Wind Farm; URI serving as a Center for Offshore Wind that engages all stakeholders; and the Center would aim to educate, communicate and serve as a funnel for all research.

Additional recommendations included the coordination of all research by one entity, which would allow research money to be pooled and apply research findings immediately; explore benefits of tower foundations and anti-scour pads to develop habitat for recreational fishing; develop research protocols for all wind farms; and the need to educate the public about renewable energy to help build understanding and a “pipeline” of qualified work force.

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass fishing was good on the Cape Cod Canal but mixed just about everywhere else this week. Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box in Warwick said, “Some larger fish in the 30-pound range have been caught in Mt. Hope Bay.” Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle in Warren said, “The large fish were in Mt. Hope Bay, in the Somerset and Bristol Street Bridge areas. Last week we had an east passage bite.”

Fluke fishing: Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait said, “Anglers are catching keeper-size fish in front of Warwick Country Club.” Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box said, “Some nice fish are being caught at the 12-foot/32-foot depth break in front of the Warwick Neck golf course.” Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Fluke fishing had its peaks and valleys last week. The bite that we had earlier at the island seemed to have thinned out. Hope it picks up this week.”

Scup fishing has improved throughout Narragansett Bay. “Customers are catching scup to 14 inches at Colt State Park, the Narrows and under the Mt. Hope Bridge,”said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait. Tom Giddings said, “Scup are moving into the bay as well as sea bass. Customers are catching some nice black sea bass, but are having to throw them back, as the season does not start until June 24.”

Freshwater fishing for largemouth bass is hot. Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box said, “The largemouth bite has been outstanding at Tioque Lake, Coventry, Stump Pond and at Warwick Pond. Some pickerel are being caught too. The bass are now post-spawn; the fish are nice large fish, but they don’t have those sagging bellies as they did a couple of weeks ago that were loaded with eggs.”

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Follow Capt. Dave on twitter @CaptDaveMonti. He’ll be tweeting about “Where’s the bite,” fishing regulations, national fishing policy, and issues that impact the fish. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at dmontifish@verizon.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com.

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