The Saltwater Edge

Bonito Photo Contest – Win a Quantum Smoke

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Bonito Photo Contest – Win a Quantum Smoke

Give us your best shot!

Post your best photo of an Atlantic Bonito and win a Quantum Smoke!

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The Quantum Smoke is a great light tackle reel. It’s lightweight, smooth and tough while delivering bonito stopping drag pressure. It is one of our favorites light tackle reels for spring schoolies, bones and albies and the southern light tackle apps like redfish and bonefish. A great reel if you are going to be throwing lighter artificials.

To enter post send your photo to peter@saltwateredge.com. We have committee of three judges including two folks who have had their images purchased by magazines and manufacturers. They know their stuff and then there’s me.

Here’s the legal mumbojumbo. You enter the image we have the right to use it.

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SWE Staff Profile – Captain Ryan Gluek

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Capt. Ryan Gluek joined the Saltwater Edge Team during the middle of the 2013 season.   He brings an array of talent and knowledge gained as a result of his time spent on local waters while growing up in Barrington, RI. His pursuits took him to the Sweetwater Guide program in Montana where he was schooled as a professional guide at the age of 18. Ryan worked in Alaska at Valhalla Lodge fishing the remote western Alaska streams and then managed a fly fishing shop in Boulder, Colorado while working with Black Canyon Anglers for 6 years. He guided 3-day wilderness float trips for fly fishing through the famed Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. He also spent winters in Patagonia, Chile guiding trips for trophy trout.

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He currently owns and operates Double Haul Anglers  chasing everything from stripers to tuna on light tackle and fly rods from a beautiful 2007 23 ft. Contender Open (one of the best boats on the market for this style of fishing).

 He also keeps New England anglers current on the area fishing forecast as a monthly columnist to On The Water magazine.

Ryan had an opportunity to entertain some of his fellow SWE Staff recently,

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Rise of the Fly?

We’ve noticed a significant upswing in enthusiasm  for saltwater fishing with the fly rod over the past year or so.  From our overflowing open fly tying nights throughout the winter to our bustling ORVIS FF101 and 102 CLASSES on the SWE grounds this spring, there seems to be a renewed interest in the journey that surrounds this exciting method used to pursue our local species and it appears to encompass all ages and gender.

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A recent example that we truly enjoyed was a visit to our shop by a young woman newly stationed at the Navy Base in Newport, she arrived in uniform asking to see our saltwater fly selection.  After some discussion of the local patterns and suggested places to fish she explained that she was anxious for her vise and gear to arrive with the movers and noted that she was expecting a child and was hoping to get some new waders for her postnatal present.  We’ve also found more frequently, traditionally surf fishing types are intrigued by the challenge and thrill of landing the fish that they target on a fly rod.

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Fly fishing lends itself to many of the latest improvements in angler transportation.  More and more, kayak designs provide the ability to stand and fish. Stand up paddle boards are more than stable enough to accommodate a fly caster creating a great platform to work from.  The latest rod technology, sealed drag reels and line advancements are making fishing in wind and surf more managable and enjoyable than ever before.

There is, of course, a slightly larger learning curve in terms of delivering your offering effectively under the conditions that an angler is often presented with when saltwater fly fishing and the accompanying issues of line management.  But this is just one part of the journey and process and the Saltwater Edge Staff is always available and willing to help with advice and instruction to further the process.

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NEW THIS WEEK: 7.17.2014

Many new products are beginning to make their debut here at The SWE. Getting our emails and checking in on our FB page are great ways to stay up-to-date on all the latest changes. Of course, if you live nearby you can always just stop in to get a feel for the recent additions.

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In addition, we’re going to try and write blog posts more often about the new products. This will give us the chance to enter into a little more detail, including additional info and details about what’s already here and what’s soon to come. So let’s get right into it.

Block Island Green Gibbs Needlefish

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During Gibbs recent revamp the idea was kicked around to ask about bringing back one of the ALL TIME GREATS: The Gibbs Block Island Green Needlefish. Thankfully, Matt from Gibbs obliged and we’re now proud to offer this Needlefish once again. The rich history of needlefish lures and this color in particular has been well documented by our own Dennis “DZ” Zambrotta in his work “Surfcasting Around The Block”. How great is it that today’s generation of surfcasters can get their hands on lures like these and fish the same areas where some of the best nights ever went down, We hope many will be able to make a little of their own surfcasting history.

New Hansom Gear

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Hansom pliers are widely known as a great value for surfcasters. More recently, Hansom has been releasing a bunch of new products targeted at providing anglers with quality, functional gear at a fair price. First came 6″ pliers and new split ring pliers. Then came the new necklight. Now we’re excited with the release of a hook file as well as a collapsing kayak net with rubber mesh. The growing lineup of quality, functional gear has us excited about future releases from Hansom.

Tactical Anglers Crossover Series and Hot Mullet Color

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While the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “Tactical Anglers” is probably their 125# clips, this week you might want to check out their growing lineup of lures. First up, the new “CrossOver Series”. There are two new lures in this series: a popper, and a walk-the-dog style topwater spook. The finishes on these lures are really beautiful changing and flashing at times brilliant colors in the light.

TA has also released a new color, “Hot Mullet” that will be featured on some models of their other lures. A quick google images search for “Hot Mullet” will bring up classic mullets such as those of AC Slater, Macgyver, Joe Dirt and David Bowie from his role in Labyrinth and Uncle Jesse from Full House. So it seems that this new color from Tactical Anglers really has it’s work cut out for it.

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Ultimately, the bass will decide.

Joe Shute Skirts

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We’re REALLY excited to finally have Joe Shute skirts at The Edge. Somewhere, Dylan Schmitz is smiling. It was Dylan’s idea, probably over a year ago now to get these skirts in the shop. Basically EVERYBODY we talk to about these skirts tell us how great they are so we’re really happy to be able to offer them.

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Currently, we have the popular colors in the 3 oz, 5.75 oz and 8 oz versions. In addition, we have two colors in the 3 oz Glow-In-The Dark model, which we hear has been popular on Big Eye. Hopefully this will signal just the beginning of an expanded selection of quality offshore gear available here at The SWE.ale to our customers.

Rockhopper XL Clip and Contoured Bag Strap

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Rockhopper products are beloved by many for their EXTREMELY high build quality coupled with really well thought out and functional design. While it’s true that these attributes come at a premium price, to those who want to have the right gear to fit their needs, the one-time expense is well worth the years of functional use.

Following that model are two new products from Rockhopper we’re excited to be able to offer. First off is an XL version of their Rock Solid Belt Clip. These clips are quite a bit larger than the standard belt clip (3-1/8″ long) – this makes it perfect for hanging your boga grip or other tools off of.

The other new product is a contoured shoulder strap aptly named the “Protect-Your-Neck” Shoulder Strap. If you’ve ever had the experience of having your shoulder strap continuing to ride up and chafe your neck while your casting/fishing you will really appreciate that Rockhopper took the time to solve this problem with this high quality strap.

A few New Star Rods

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We have nothing but good things to say about the star rods we’ve carried here at the shop. The Stellar Lite Series of Surf and Boat Rods, for example, have left the building with many a happy customer and have RARELY made their way back. We’re not sure what it is about these rods that make them so bullet proof, but as a tackle shop we’re thrilled with how they’ve been received by our clients.

It was only natural therefore for us to take a closer look at some of the newer lines of Star Rods like the new Paraflex Surf Rods as well as their Seagis line of Inshore Rods. We’re bringing in 3 new models of each series that we think you will find to be very useful on our local Surf and Inshore/Kayak/SUP fisheries.

Scott has been putting his new Paraflex Surf through the paces and has been thrilled with the results. He also just picked up a new Seagis for use on the SUP that he feels will take his Scup game to the next level.

Jackson SUPerFISHal

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The Jackson SUP is in – and it’s a thing of beauty. When you stop to think about the possibilities that this uber-stable, stealthy fishing platform can open up, we think you’ll agree it merits consideration. How would you use your SUPerFISHal? Stalking striped bass on the flats? The higher vantage point aids in spotting fish. How about cruising the harbor in and around the docks at night while casting worm and squid flies? Because the fish are often right up against the docks/boats you could come at them from a new angle. What about silently approaching schools of Albies and Bonito this fall with no motor noise to put them down? These are just a few of the applications we’ve been daydreaming about, what about you? How would you use one of these?

We think this subject has legs and we’re going to leave that for another day and a full blog post.

Thanks as always to all of you our clients for your patronage.

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Gear Review: Jackson Fishing Kayaks

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Gear Review: Jackson Fishing Kayaks

As anglers we are always seeking the next adventure be it a new species, new water or a new technique. The evolution of the fishing kayak has provided greater access to those wishing to expand their range and enjoy some less pressured water. Water unreachable on foot and unnavigable by larger watercraft. In addition, the perspective gained by maintaining a perch which has you only inches above the water adds to the enjoyment.   As Kayak fishing has gained popularity the choices in boat and gear have expanded as well. An angler can now tailor and outfit a fishing kayak to meet their specific needs on the water for almost any situation.  We chose to stock Jackson Fishing Kayaks because they offer a diverse family of kayaks and stand up paddle boards. All the JK boats offer all-day comfort, unprecedented “standability”. thoroughly thought out deck designs and loads of options to easily accessorize. All proudly made in the USA.

A fine example of their focus and innovation for the benefit of the angler is the Elite Seat developed by Jackson about five years ago – the first of it’s kind.

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The Elite Seat is designed more like a lawn chair and there is not one customer who doesn’t sit down and immediately comment “Wow. This seat is comfortable”. More comfort means more time on the water. You will have to sit in it to believe it. For 2014 Jackson takes it up a notch by adding a really nice lumbar support to all Elite Seats as a standard feature. The best just got better.

Here’s is the Jackson Fishing Kayak line up:

Cuda 12 and Cuda 14 – A great choice for our inshore waters. The Cuda 12 is especially efficient and fast for getting around the bay and the longer 14 footer is stable in the swells. Both boats are stable enough to stand and sight fish in the right sea condition. The Cuda 12 is our most popular kayak. Both come loaded with fishing friendly features such as rod tip protectors, molded-in spin and fly rod stagers, multiple vertical rod holders that can be relocated or removed in seconds and a sizable center hatch for easy internal rod storage.

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Big Rig – New for 2014 the Big Rig is designed to create the ultimate all-water, all fishing style, fishing machine. The Big Rig has incredible stability making it the ultimate stand-up fishing kayak. Built to do it all a battle wagon.

SUPerFishal - This SUP was designed with fishing in mind! The SUPerFishal is stable, straight-tracking and set up for the angler. Featuring screw-in mounts for RAM equipment and accessories, there is a removable deck organizer for paddle, tackle, water bottle and gear storage. The bow and stern are equipped with webbing straps to support any extra equipment (like the Jackson JKrate) you may want to take with you. A unique fishing craft. Tons of fun.

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Jackson Kayak offers a complete line of angling kayaks, designed by kayak anglers. We have demo yaks available and can easily arrange a test paddle. Bring your rod and give it a go!

 

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Testing…Testing

how do you measure performance ?…

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We’re talking about the new long cast rods and reels from Shimano as well as the other standouts in the field(no pun intended) which are designed to help provide an angler a relatively light rod and reel combination that achieves added distance using minimal effort and maximizes the advantages of braided lines.  *Note the distance from the casters in the background and the shirt marking the average landing area of the casts.  This may have impressed us more than anything when you consider the amount of water that could easily be covered with casts of this length.

Successful delivery of these features can provide an angler a more enjoyable overall experience on the water and the ability to reach fish in places that may not have been attainable for them otherwise.  There are a few products on the market that, in combination, do this quite well.

After several opportunities to cast the new SHIMANO system we’ve found that it will perform as advertised, often with applaudable results.  Through side by side casting comparisons with a Van Staal mounted on a CTS Vapor Trail as well as Zee Baas mounted on a St Croix Legend, the  Shimano System, which was comprised of the Ultegra CI4 mounted on the 10’6″ Tiralejo, delivered long and efficient casts that kept it consistently in the range of what the other “top dogs” delivered.  While not a scientific endeavor and with no account for line difference or the technique of the various casters, the results showed that all could provide more than adequate power and casting distance.   

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Our favorite anecdote which defined the argument for fishing a combination that happily marries rod, reel and line occurred when a customer by the name of Ed was standing at our counter discussing the new offerings.  We suggested a ride to the beach for a little first hand experience.  The conditions were not optimal with a stiff head on breeze and a heavily weeded shoreline but It took only a few casts for Ed to get a feel for the proper loading of the Tiralejo. He sailed a respectable cast out over the clutter to cleaner waters and quickly hooked up with a striper.  He continued to hook up on subsequent casts.  We can only hope that all product demos turnout this successfully.  A step back and a critique of the conditions revealed that Ed could not have fished this situation as effectively with his current set up.  Reaching the fish would have required a wade into the water or a walk along and out the rocks lining the edge of the beach rather than enjoying the comfort of the ankle deep water that he was working from.

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Ultimately, as Chris at the SWE likes to say, “we’re in a golden age of fishing gear”.  The technology available can really increase your enjoyment of the sport if it is properly applied to your situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sachuest Point

 

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge             sach

is located on the eastern side of Aquidneck Island occupying 242 acres and providing a tremendous stretch of intriguing “fishy” coastline.  The long sandy stretch of Sachuest Beach transitions to a rugged shore as you drive toward the entrance to the park.  Anglers will immediately recognize features that promise to hold a variety of local fish and this but a glimpse of what awaits as you make your way around the perimeter.   Parking is plentiful and there are no entrance fees, there is however, a sticker required for any overnight parking by fishermen.  Sachuest Point is one of our favorite places to send visiting surfcasters, fly rodders and bait fishermen.  The easy parking, accessible shoreline and spectacular views make any excursion to try your luck a memorable experience.

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The corner where beach quickly transitions to gravel and then to larger stones is the first landing spot for the earliest migrating “schoolies” each season.

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Fishing here during the month of April is better described as a social event than a serious mission, where anglers reacquaint themselves with their gear and each other shaking off the vestiges of winter.  There is a sandbar extending from the beach that can provide a comfortable approach for surf and fly anglers.  The entire length of the west(beach) facing side of the point boasts structure and weed that hold a variety of sea life.  Noticeable at low tide and during a heavy swell is a sizable reef perhaps 100 yards out.  Approaching the southern tip the water deepens and the surf can increase depending on wind and tide.  This is a rocky, jagged face abutting water that can hold larger fish but it is also an area where caution is required as a moderate swell can create more difficult situations.

The back or east side of the point is also the mouth of the Sakonnet River. Changing tides of the river combined with the push of water from the Atlantic can provide good movement and healthy mix at times when the calm elsewhere on the island is lamentable.  Casting here provides a picturesque view of Little Compton and Sakonnet Point.

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This east facing shoreline contains more pronounced points and cuts with considerable structure in between to hold fish.

Approaching the northern reaches the water becomes shallow and home to an extensive bubbleweed field that is difficult to work at low tide but provides a magnet for cruising fish at the higher stages.  The northern most tip is popular with anglers as it intercepts the outflow from the sandy stretch known as Third Beach.

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The water here is relatively shallow and loaded with eel grass.  The cove that continues to the boat ramp is a favorite wade for folks slinging the long wand.  Kayakers will want to park at Third Beach to quickly access Sachuest Point and it’s neighboring waters.

Parking is plentiful and free early in the morning and after 5, during the beach season you will need to pay a parking fee if you are without a beach sticker but prime fishing hours will be late in the day as the sun sets and at first light.

 

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On The Water: Kayak Fishing 5.29 @ 3rd Beach

 

On The Water Customer Appreciation Events

Saltwater Edge On The Water Customer Appreciation Events are our way of saying thank you for your patronage and support over the years. During the season we will host “on the water” surf casting, kayak fishing and fly fishing events much like we do with Surf Night, Knot Night and weekly fly tying in the store in the winter. While these are not intended to be instructional we would as always be happy to answer any questions and share any relevant tips. Please email the shop at support@saltwateredge.zendesk.com as some logistics may be required for a given event and that way we can be in communication.

Kayak Fishing at Third Beach 5/29

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Join us at 3rd Beach this Thursday at 530 for the seasons first “On The Water” session to kayak fish Sachuest Point. We would be happy to try and answer any tackle, rigging or kayak questions you may have.

We will also have demo boats if you want a demo paddle in either the Jackson Kayak Cuda 12 or The Big Rig. We also have a complete line of fishing kayak accessories for Yak Gear, Railbalza, Yak Attack and Calcutta available in-store.

There is an overview on “How to Select a Northeast Fishing Kayak” on the Saltwater Edge blog.

 

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Tackle and Tactics: Getting Started in Northeast Saltwater Fly Fishing

Captain Corey 34 lb

Seems more and more people are interested in getting started in northeast saltwater fly fishing. We get questions from surfcasters who see the benefits when the bait is close or small, trout fisherman recognize the northeast is the “Montana” of saltwater fly fishing and as a result of the large Navy presence in Newport we see many anglers familiar with the fly rodding the salt in Norfolk, Jacksonville and San Diego; but curious where to start with striped bass and bluefish.  And are still other folks are looking for a new challenge to help them enjoy the out-of-doors.

Fly Tackle for the Northeast Salt

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Selecting tackle for saltwater fly fishing in the northeast does not have to be complicated. If asked to use one rod most anglers chose a 9 foot 9 weight rod as it is reasonably well suited for the surf, boat or kayak. You maybe be over gunned in the estuaries and perhaps wishing you had length to mend your line and in a boat you will be wanting more backbone to throw larger flies and to fight fish in inshore rips. The intermediate line will settle below the surf and that is helpful assuming the water is not skinny or fast-moving. An aggressive saltwater taper is helpful to turn over bulkier flies and the subtlety of trout fishing is rarely required. Saltwater fly reels have come a long way and they need to be a bit over built to hold up in the saltwater environment over time. Unlike freshwater reels they need to hold more line and are often used to fight the fish.

Northeast Saltwater Fly Selection

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Selecting flies is a matter of being aware of the habitat and what baitfish inhabit that environment. Thoughtful observation would confirm that the bait generally matches the bottom color with lighter shade on the belly, sparse flies suggest life as opposed to trying to replicate it and the bait tends to get bigger as the season progresses. A handful of flies will get you started. There are thousands of flies that work; but it if the angler that gives them life. There are two classic books on presenting flies to striped bass. Both written by Rhode Islanders. Striper Moon by Kenney Abrames and Stripers and Streamers by Ray Bondorew. Both authors are surf fisherman with a deep understanding of how tides effect the movement of striped bass. In addition, their background in trout and salmon fishing enables them to share the best use of a fly rod to present flies in current. Both books are highly recommended.

Lots of Resources Available

We have had a number of students participate in our free Saltwater Fly Fishing 101 Class which provides a basic introduction to the concepts of casting, rigging and fly selection. This exposure is followed by an in-depth Introduction to Saltwater Fly Fishing 102 class that revisits the casting instruction, introduces the double haul, a variety of retrieves and goes deeper into rigging and fly selection. Those interested go on to our 201 On the Water class that brings the skills developed to the water for practical application. Please refer to the blog or call the shop at 401-842-0062 to reserve your spot for any of these educational events.

What follows is a recap of the resources and tools we provide in the 101 class.

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Orvis How To Fly Fish Leaning Center – this great resource includes Saltwater Video Lessons, a super selection of podcasts and a very slick animated knot tutorial. As company nobody does a better job of minimizing the fly fishing learning curve that the Orvis Company. Good stuff. Check it out.

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The Ocean State is home to the oldest saltwater fly fishing club in the country; the Rhody Fly Rodders. They have monthly meetings in the winter and on the water meetings during the fishing season. Learn more here.

The One Thing…

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If there is one thing a new or experienced saltwater fly rodder can do everyday to improve their success rate it is to practice casting before you get to the water. Leave a rod strung up and cast a couple of times each week. The wind a is common condition along the shore so you need to prepare for it. While you are out there work on accuracy as well as distance as different scenario’s require different skills. It’s a good idea to cut the hook of a common sized fly and utilize that during your casting practice.

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Earl Evans with a fine flats fish.

Saltwater fly fishing in the northeast is a challenge with rich rewards. It is certainly the case that the anglers around you with bait and plugs will likely catch more fish; but there is a lot of satisfaction when it all come together. And there are occasions where the fly rod may be the best tool for the job on a given night in the suds.

Have fun and we are here if you have questions info@saltwateredge.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saltwater Edge Fishing Report: 5.22.14 Finally…

fishing reportFinally keeper bass are here

All along the striper coast fingers have been crossed and folks have been wondering when…The squid and bunker have been here for weeks; but the bigger bass have been slow to arrive. Under their breath everyone fears the day of reckoning for year after year of poor spawns, over harvesting by all constituent groups and most obviously the lack of fortitude from fisheries managers to even tap the brakes in the face of declining catch rates year over year. While we certainly are not out of the woods it was heartening to see bigger bass fill in behind the schoolies of the past few weeks.

All the rivers and coves in the upper bay have been fishing very well and make for great areas to escape the brutal wind we have had for more than a few days this past week.  The amount of bunker in the upper bay is the best we have seen in the past few years and now that the bigger bass have arrived things should get interesting around the river mouths. Swim Shads and plus 3 oz Fixed Hook Bucktail with a pork rind are proven producers.

The early season is great time for the long rod wading the rivers in the upper bay.

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Rhody Flatwing

Throw Ray’s Fly and shrimp patterns along the banks and in the current seams and larger flatwing patterns at the river mouth.

The worm hatch is gaining momentum across the Ocean State. The popular South County ponds as well as location in East Greenwich, Barrington and Warren have been active. Sometimes bass feeding on cinder worms can be fussy, for the fly guy it’s important to slow down your retrieve and go with a lighter tippet of around ten pound test. Also if the hatch is heavy try to find a less concentrated scenario in another cove. If you are stuck with a spin rod at a worm hatch try a casting egg and worm flies or small pink Sluggo’s. Here’s an in depth article from John McMurray at Saltwater Sportsman on worm hatch tactics.

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Out front of Newport schools of larger migrating bass that are just showing up along the reefs.  3/4 oz-1 1/2 oz bucktail jigs have been a go to along with Cocahoe Minnows with a 1/2 oz jig head.  SP Minnows and Savage Gear Manic Prey Minnows have also been producing.  Squid are still calling Newport Harbor home and catches have been impressive.

Switching gears to the bottom fish, the scup and sea bass bite has been steadily improving over the past two weeks.  Vertical jigging with Crippled Herrings or high lows rigs tipped with clams has been the ticket.   With less than two weeks left in the spring season for tautog it’s time to get out.  Green and Asain crabs tipped on the Tidal Tail Jig or on a bottom rig will do the trick around any rock piles or pilings.

There are plenty of options to keep you on the water this upcoming weekend.