East Providence’s Barao appointed to Marine Fisheries Council

Photo courtesy of DAVE MONTIRich Hittinger and his fishing partner Bob Murray caught a mix of black sea bass, fluke and bluefish when fishing south of Newport recently.

Photo courtesy of DAVE MONTIRich Hittinger and his fishing partner Bob Murray caught a mix of black sea bass, fluke and bluefish when fishing south of Newport recently.

Travis E. Barao of East Providence has been appointed to the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council. He is one of three recreational representatives on the council and replaces Richard Hittinger, who reached his two-term limit. Three commercial fishing representatives and two scientists also serve on the council.

The RIMFC makes commercial and recreational fishing regulation recommendations to Janet Coit, executive director of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management. The RIMFC solicits input from fishermen and community input on proposed fishing regulations and then makes recommendations to the DEM director.

Barao also serves on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Black Sea Bass, Fluke and Scup advisory panel, which provides regional regulation recommendations for these and other species. He is a life member of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association, where he has served on their board for three years.

Barao was confirmed by the Rhode Island Senate on June 16 with a term that expires on April 1, 2020.

Where’s the bite

Fresh water fishing has slowed with the heat and warming water.

“Low water levels at the Wood River reduced fishing activity on the River,” said Kim Petti of Fin & Feather Outfitters, North Kingstown. “Bass fishing for customers has been slow. When they have been able to catch them they have been down in deeper cooler water as the water is warming up quite a bit,” said Sam Busenbark of Bucko Bait & Tackle, Fall River.

Striped bass fishing remained very strong at Block Island last week with reports of 50-plus-pound fish being caught at the southwest ledge.

Capt. Rob Roach of Kettlebottom Outfitters said, “Bunker in Providence River are becoming scattered and hard to locate and game fish are moving out of the Bay and onto South Shore and Bay reefs. Many inlets are still producing a lot of school to small keeper-sized fish as are the associated salt ponds. Eels at Block Island are showing good results with many 40 lb+ fish caught lately.”

Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Last week’s Wednesday Night bass trip had a full boat limit of bass to 35 pounds by 9:30 p.m. and anglers practiced catch and release fishing thereafter and the boat was still tied up at the dock by midnight… at least a half dozen other bass around 30 pounds that night and many others in the 20 & 30s.” I fished Block Island last week with Josh and Ron Barnes and friends where they caught bass to 46 pounds.

Umbrella rigs and eels seem to be the bait of choice with other methods working too. Capt. Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters said, “Striped bass fishing this week switched more to a night time bite on Block Island where anglers are using eels. Parachute jigs are working well in the day, too.”


Kim Petti of Fin & Feather Outfitters, North Kingstown, said, “I was in Jamestown this weekend and small bluefish (and stripers) were being caught by fly fishermen. Others are doing well in the Quonochontaug area with a decent bluefish bite off Prudence Island in the Bay as well.”

Angler Steve Hamilton and his son Devin caught a 28-inch bluefish while fluke fishing in the West Passage off the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett. This fish took a small fluke rig tipped with squid and a silverside.”

Sam Busenbark of Bucko Bait Tackle, said, “The bass have moved out of the Sakonnet River due to the heat but some nice bluefish have moved in.”

Summer flounder (fluke)

Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “A big body of fish set up along the south side of Block Island and there were numerous angler limits and many fishers who boxed several nice fluke apiece on trips this week. Whole squid, buck tails and regular bait rigs all worked this past week. Best advice is to be prepared for two or three of these fishing strategies and adjust accordingly as the tide/wind conditions dictate.”

“Fluke fishing south of Block Island is hot … some days it looks like there are 100 boats there,” said Rick Bellavance of Priority Too charters. “I bottom fished three times this week off Jamestown and Newport and had trouble hooking up with summer flounder as they do not seem to be in the area yet, hope is that they arrive this week or next.

Black sea bass and scup fishing is very strong just about everywhere. Nelson Valles of Maridee Canvas Bait, Narragansett, said, “Scup and black sea bass fishing is very strong from shore off just about every dock, jetty and even from the beaches with a good bluefish bite from shore, too.”


Tuna fishing offshore locally has been slow.

Mike Schreffler said, “There have been no bluefin in close. Guys are catching them at the Canyons, a 120-mile run, but we are waiting for them to get a bit closer, at least to the Fish Tales which is about 70 miles offshore. So things have been slow off Rhode Island and Cape Cod with some fish being caught up north. We have heard that some are catching mahi mahi in the Shipping Lanes, which is about 50 miles offshore.”

Courtesy of Providence Journal by Dave Monti on July 22, 2016

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