Capt.Castafly

State of the State 2022 RI Fisheries Report

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The State of the State, Rhode Island Annual Fisheries Report by Ardent Anglers like us.

Hate to admit it, but the stage curtain is finally closing on this year’s 2022 Fishing Season.

There were lots of high and lows along the way. It’s been quite the ride. Here’s the low down.

 

HIGH LIGHTS

 

Gas prices were the lowest in a while at the beginning of the season, soon to escalate with the war situation in Ukraine. By fall, the price of gas was back up or higher than previous years. The one good thing about the Covid epidemic, gas prices were so, so low for more than a year. Never see that again?

 

People were out and about using the environment again with freedom and no restrictions. Yes it was crowed in most place, tougher to fish, less parking, but it was good for all of us to get away from being cooped up in the house for such a prolong time.

 

It lasted longer than a month during parts of June and July, excellent fishing for slot and larger stripers off Newport, only if you had a boat.

 

LOW LIGHTS

 

The weather this summer was dry and so hot for such a prolong stretch. Boat fishing completed stopped for us during the month of August. Why punish clients in such extreme heat when they are paying you for enjoyment.

 

Much of the same complains this year, where’s the smaller bait like silversides? Where’s the small bass? What happen to the bluefish?  Why is there bait but no fish? Where all this mung coming from?

 

Block Island was a total bust for anyone fishing the shore or anyone fishing close to shore with a boat. The seals have really taken up residence including pups. The herd now numbers near 200 gray seals. Those are the large seals. Sand eels explosions were few and far between. We only did three trips out there in early June for stripers; all were a bust in close to the island.   

 

REPORT CARD… FINAL GRADES !

 

Striped bass, much better fishing this season for larger sizes, missing were juveniles. The bay was OK in the spring. Most of the time was on and off most days. Best fishing was along the ocean front in Newport June and July.  I give it an “A” for sizes, grade of “B” for the season.

 

Bluefish, helter shelter, caught more monsters than smaller fish, maybe 12 all season. Failing grade: “D” only because there should be thousands around.

 

False albacore, bonito, started out good the first two weeks with fish dispersed in many more areas. The storms quickly evaporated a good start. First year I’ve seen spin fishermen with lures out fish flies. Grade of “B-”    

 

Seabass, chub mackerel, Grade: “A” Plenty of seabass but so many undersize.

Scup, grade “C” not a lot of small bait around.

Tautog, grade “A” great fall fishery.

Fluke, legal sizes hard to come by, grade “C”     

 

 

 

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Captain Ray, agree with your observations. Young of the year reports down south resemble statistics before the striped bass crash 40 years ago. 

The sides of the large striper in the last photo looks like it was injured. Any thoughts?

 

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I have had several discussions with other excellent, knowledgeable  fishermen, (not scientist) about this same problem. It seems to have shown up several times during the season. Maybe it's related and activated to more warmer water?

   

It's not mycobacteriosis. I agree with that  reasoning looking at infected pictures with that disease. 

 

I've looked at "Ick" too, which looks like power puff substance on fish scales. It's not that either.

 

Most of us agree it's the type of skin infections you'd have in close quarters like aquariums and densely packed fish. Maybe it's some kind of fungus that spreads easily within a tightly dense community.    

2 hours ago, teddispahgetti said:

The sides of the large striper in the last photo looks like it was injured. Any thoughts?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

You pretty much nailed this summary Captain Ray.  I fished probably 40 days on the bay.  Did find lots of good fluke, but seemed to be in the minority here.  Plenty of larger schoolies and slots, but worrisome lack of rats.  The NE'r we had in September produced some of the best bass fishing I've ever seen from shore in the upper estuaries.   Sea bass were thick but not a lot of keepers for us.  Tog very good, nice to see how healthy that fishery is.  Albies spotty, they showed for 4 days thick around Wickford, only a few of us on em, they were eating peanuts and not picky.....then gone.  Narry a single greenie, but plenty of those funny mackerel of various species.  

 

One exotic from the PNW in July,  hen chinook!IMG_5448.jpeg.6d6557f2280ff696ab56f8ca7de1d889.jpeg637e58f68728f_IMG_3440(1).jpeg.d8bb54f4199ef68e78eb6fd3f80a0a20.jpeg637e58fb3b3d7_IMG_3368(1).jpeg.ea37dd63ac19ced2b93da504b7b6d466.jpegIMG_3350.jpeg.ecf11525d46b046588af489ba6361938.jpeg637e590003b86_IMG_3273(1).jpeg.a606dec01127721402e8ca412a837c7c.jpegIMG_3139.jpeg.325581bb4775fe5507d25d6c74d603c7.jpeg 

 

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Edited by bifish99
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Highlights - Myself and son each catching our first albies from shore.  Learning more about the where's and how's of fishing from boat.

 

Low Lights - The crowds (it gets tougher to deal with every year) , the headlamps, poaching, etc

 

Bass - the overall size was MUCH better this year, but the lack of schoolies left pockets and tides without any fish around.  It was feast or famine, the top heavy bass population is a little concerning but is certainly fun.

 

Blues - strange year for blues, got some really large blues up in the bay and lots of them till they vacated early in the fall.  Blues fishing from shore was a bust, i am not really sure i caught any.  That fishery is off.

 

Bottom fishing - i am learning the ropes of bottom fishing from boat, but i did much better last year.  I could keep the kids entertained with large scup last year and it was a struggle this year ( millions of 3-4" seabass though).  When staying on beach, we usually catch constantly but again this year was a few fish here and there.

 

Albies - i dont fish for them much but had a good run along a beach while i was staying there for a few days.  Also saw them way up the bay, but dont target enough to grade them.

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Last day of the fish reports today, closing the book on the '22 Fishing Season.

December starts tomorrow. Still time to fish, not sure when the Francis Fleet or the Islander quit. 

Always hold-over stripers in a few select locations.

 

It's been a pleasure reading all your stories, comments, and pictures.

Time to release all the tension on the drag washers of reels and put them to sleep for another winter.

Stay safe and healthy over the winter months. See ya in the Spring when we all look forward to being on the water again.

Signing off ..... Over & Out! That's a Big 10-4!

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