While we are in the final weekend of October, NOAA’s celebration of National Seafood Month would not be complete without highlighting a special source of seafood — the fish we catch ourselves!
In 2019, recreational and non-commercial saltwater anglers took 187 million fishing trips and caught 950 million fish.
Catch-and-release angling plays an important role in U.S. fish conservation—more than half the fish caught are released. But there are plenty of opportunities around the nation for anglers to keep the fish they hook. Plus, a dinner featuring seafood you caught yourself adds a delicious capstone to an exciting day on the water.
Visit NOAA Fisheries for an east coast haddock recipe that can use just about any other white fish like cod, as well as recipes for fish caught in other regions. Visit or Google Fishing for Sport and Seafood | NOAA Fisheries .
Underwater tautog fishing video
Angler Eric Duda of Tiverton is a very good fisherman. He out-fishes most with precision, always with the highest regard for the fishery resource.
Last weekend, he fished in 25 feet of water in the Sakonnet River for tautog. He caught his limit and then settled down to another pastime of his, underwater photography, capturing what goes on at the bottom once you lower your bait.
“We lowered the camera and shot a video titled ‘Video of Tog Fishing’ which is now posted on YouTube,’ ” Duda said. “Amazing how many scup attack the bait even on the way down. No wonder why we lose our bait so quickly. The video includes a segment on caching and reeling up a 17-inch tautog.”
Saltwater Anglers select new executive director
Greg Vespe of Tiverton, R.I., has been appointed executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association by the board of directors. He replaces Steve Medeiros who passed away suddenly on Sept. 12.
RISAA represents over 7,500 recreational anglers and 28 affiliate clubs in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Vespe is a longtime fisherman and RISAA member who chaired the Education Committee, responsible for the organization’s monthly seminars. He served in the US Navy prior to holding the general management position for RI Rehab and most recently worked for the VNS of Newport and Bristol County. He will start his new position at RISAA on Nov. 15.
“We are very happy to have selected Greg for the job,” said acting RISAA board president Rich Hittinger. “Through our discussions, it is obvious he has a great love for this organization and he will help lead RISAA to become even a greater force to benefit recreational fishing interests in Southern New England.“
“No doubt this is a life-changing time for me,” Vespe said. “To be able to serve RISAA and the recreational fishing community as executive director is a chance of a lifetime. Rhode Island has such an extraordinary saltwater fishery and this opportunity to share my passion with RISAA members and the community at large is something I can’t wait to get started on.”
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass, bluefish and false albacore: John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “We had some decent size school bass to 24 inches in the Warren River near the old American Tourister plant. Squid was working well for anglers as we have a lot of it in the water. The best bass bite seems to be right around 6-7 p.m.” East End Eddie Doherty said, “Terrific Canal fishing continues as Jack Barton of Berkley landed a 48-inch, 40-pound striper with a handmade four ounce jig on an early fast moving east tide and Fred Creager of Plymouth caught a 43-inch on a white FishLab. The heavy presence of bait fish continues to draw predators into the ditch.” “There are bass scattered throughout Narragansett Bay but there is so much bait around they are difficult to catch. However, the bite has been good off southern coastal breachways. There are a few false albacore and bonito around too but not heavy concentrations of them.” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence.
Tautog fishing: Last weekend, we limited out with 10 fish per boat a couple of times when fishing recreationaly off Newport. Allan Peters, on the RISAA blog, said, “Fished General Rock with my brother Saturday. Only two other boats there. One anchor drop and on the fish from high to low tide then left for home. Many fish over five pounds.” Pattie Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle said, “Customers are catching their limit of tautog off Newport, this weekend was pretty good.” Henault said, “The tautog bite is excellent in the lower Bay off Newport, Jamestown and Pt. Judith. Tautog are being caught on rock piles in the upper Bay too.” Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box said, “Customers are catching tautog at Rocky Point and doing pretty good.” Littlefield noted, “Tautog fishing out in front of Newport is on fire. Customers are reaching their limit there with a lot fewer shorts mixed in. The bite in the Bay at such places like Rocky Point, Connecticut, Sabin’s Point and Colt State Park is good for tautog too. We had a customer catch a 23-inch, 5.5-pound tautog at Kettle Point, East Providence this week. However there are a lot of shorts mixed in in. The ratio is at about seven short to one keeper tautog.”
Freshwater fishing has been fair. “High winds this week kept angler off the water a bit,” Littlefield said. Henault noted, “Customers are using Power Baits to catch trout at stocked ponds, like Only Pond at Lincoln Woods.” Giddings said, “The freshwater bass bite has been good for anglers with both natural baits like shiners and top water lures.”