I am somewhat of a boat geek. I can remember going to the library as a kid and spending hours in the periodical section looking over boating magazines. I would dream about what it would be like to own one of these vessels.
I still do much the same thing at boat shows, like last weekend’s Newport International Boat Show. Boat shows allow you to see the boats up close and collect information on its features. I now have owed 10 boats in my lifetime; I own two now and like many boat owners I am always looking.
Here are two fishing boats that caught my attention at the Newport show.
Sportsman 282 (28-foot center console)
The boat, an open center console, and its sister Tournament Editor, which has a second half helm station on top of the vessel, are quite the fishing machines. The former owners of Sea Pro and Key West founded Sportsman Boats in 2012. The Tournament Editor has two in-deck fish boxes and a large 104-gallon coffin box, all with macerators. Fresh and salt water wash downs, two live wells and, on the open center console, I counted 14 rod holders and rocket launches. The vessel has a 9-foot-3-inch beam; a 21-degree dead rise; and a 20-inch draft. Complete with electronics the show special price on the open center counsel was $159,900.
Albermarle The Carolina Classic (29-foot express)
The best that Albermarle and Carolina had to offer was put into the 29-foot Express. It features twin Yamaha 300 HP engines with fresh and salt water wash down, a galley, standâ€“up head/shower and a roomy 10-foot-6-inch beam. The boat is very solid and weighs 13,000 pounds, has four sleeping births, two cockpit fish boxes, a live well and door in the transom. The boat with standard equipment is $286,900.
Susan Maffei Plowden receives Anchor Award
Susan Maffei Plowden of Jamestown (known as Suma in the community) was honored Saturday morning at the Rhode Island Marine Trades Associationâ€™s annual Industry Partners Breakfast at the Newport Boat Show. Plowden was a show highlight for me because her accomplishments inside and outside of sailing are remarkable.
Plowden was given the 2018 Anchor Award for her role as stopover director of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race Newport. As you likely know, the race drew over 100,000 people to Newport and its surrounding waters and had a big economic impact on the state.
Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport presented the award highlighting Plowdenâ€™s accomplishments including managing and promoting events in nearly every major sailing arena such as the Americaâ€™s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Olympic Games and others held in locations as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
Rigging for fall fishing
Fall is the arguably best time of year to fish. It is like a smorgasbord in Rhode Island. There are ground fish such as tautog, black sea bass, scup and cod. And the fishing for striped bass, false albacore, bonito and tuna is hot too.
On Monday, you can learn how to rig for fall fishing from Capt. Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters, Warwick, at a RI Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) seminar, West Warwick Elks, 60 Clyde St., West Warwick.
Sprengel is a well-known captain in Southern New England. His presentation will talk about tactics, tackle and how to make the best of opportunities when the weather gets cold.
Nonmembers are welcome and are asked to donate $10 to RISAAâ€™s Scholarship Fund, RISAA members attend free. An optional dinner served by the Elks from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Visit www.risaa.org for details.
Whereâ€™s the bite?
Freshwater. Guy Dolloff of Wakefield said, â€śFishing has been quite good. Up until last week fish were on or near first drop at weed edges. Rain lately, combined with cooler temperatures, has cooled water and as always in the fall the bass are moving to shore. We have success throwing shallow crankbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs at this time of year. Shoreline structure and rock piles are likely holding bass.â€ť John Littlefield of Archieâ€™s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, â€śCustomers have had a good largemouth bite at Bad Luck Pond in Rehoboth with one angler catching five nice fish from one and a half to three pounds this weekend.â€ť Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts will soon be stocking trout in area waterways for information visit www.dem.ri.gov and www.mass.gov/service-details/trout-stocking-report.
Summer flounder (fluke), black sea bass and scup. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet, said, â€śWe managed to get out two days last week. The fluke kept a low profile with the very dirty water. Anglers had no problem catching limits of sea bass to five pounds and filling buckets with scup.â€ť Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, â€śThe scup bite in our Bays and in the Rivers remains very strong.â€ť
Striped bass and bluefish. I continued to find bluefish on the surface off Quonset Point and in the East Passage north of the Newport Bridge and Gould Island. The bluefish were in the mid-20-inch range. AJ Coots of Red Top Bait & Tackle, Buzzards Bay, said, â€śFishing from the Cape beaches has been good with anglers having success using needle fish lures. The Canal fishing is slow, however we weighed in a 27 pound fish from the Canal this week.â€ť Henault said, â€śWe have some keeper bass being taken in the Bay and River. Anglers are catching them using pogies. A wave of false albacore from Pt. Judith and west arrived last week with small bonito still around.â€ť Nellie Valles of Maridee Canvas Bait & Tackle, Narragansett said, â€śFishing from shore has been very slow with all the storms. Some bass and bluefish are being caught from the beaches. But no reports of bonito or false albacore.â€ť
Tautog fishing is just starting to heat up as anglers begin to target them. I found keeper tautog (minimum size 16 inches) at Plum Lighthouse next to the Jamestown Bridge and just shorts in the General Rock area in North Kingstown earlier this week. Some keepers are being taken in the upper Bay but most fish being caught are shorts. With cooling water they should arrive soon.
Offshore. Coots said, â€śWe had a couple of giant bluefin over 1,000 pounds landed with some smaller fish 73 inches and under. One of the 1,000 pound giants was caught at Fishing Ledge just 10 miles from the east end of the Canal.â€ť Donilon, who has had a good shark cage diving and shark tagging season, said, â€śWe tagged about 90 sharks this year with nice clear blue water that facilitated shark cage diving. We implanted a transmitter in one mako as part of a research study. The mako traveled 80 miles to the Canyons in about a day.â€ť
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing for over 40 years. He holds a captainâ€™s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. . Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.