Everyone needs a calendar, especially one crammed with free space and a few penciled in notes about fishing contests and meetings to talk more about fishing. To o help keep us organized through the rush of this new season, here are a few key events and meetings to mark on your calendar. April 30 and May 1 is Snug Harbor Marina’s Nu-2-U Used Tackle Sale. This is a good day to sell off some dust collecting gear, like rods, reels, gaffs, lures and harnesses, then leave with new shiny gear, like rods, reels, gaffs, lures and harnesses. Give Elisa a call at 783-7766.
May 21 is World Fish Migration Day, a one day global-local event to create awareness on the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. Approximately 400 events with 1000 organizations are planned around the globe to celebrate the fishes whose travels and tribulations are so often disrupted by our hands and boats. As was the case last year, no events are planned here in THE OCEAN STATE, but Connecticut and Massachusetts have parties in the works. Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme are helping create a “multi-state kayak flotilla” to paddle the Connecticut River along the same route used by river herring from Long Island Sound. To the west, the Coonamessett River Trust is inviting the public to help pit-tag returning river herring. Tiny tags are inserted into herring which will trip antennas placed throughout the waterway. Lots of valuable data is collected from their migration through the Town of Falmouth. You can also adopt a herring for a small and reasonable fee, which helps to cover the costs of tagging. With that donation, you get to name the herring and follow his/her progress on the group’s website. You can learn more at their Facebook site.
June 12 starts the Fifth Annual Pabst Blue Ribbon Striped Bass, Bluefish, Fluke Northeast Catch and Release Tournament, which ends on August 20. The entry fee is $35 for adults and $20 for juniors and seniors, which gets you a healthy satchel of goodies. Personally, I think it’s great to see PBR back in the spotlight and what’s more, that fee gets you a limited edition bucket hat. Unless you’re hanging with the Thurston Howell III crowd over at the yacht club, nothing says cool summer fishing style like a PBR bucket hat. The emphasis on catch and release is a welcome change as well.
Saturday, June 18 is the Fluke ‘Til Ya Puke event at Point View Marina on Sherman Road in South Kingstown. This has become a full-blown party now with free t-shirts to the first 1200 entrants, a full on BBQ, live music, raffles and more than $30,000 in cash prizes. Thanks to the efforts of Ocean State Kayak Fishing, a kayak division has been added. Entry fee is $45 or $40 for juniors and you can sign on at www.FlukeTilYaPuke.com
The RI Salt Water Anglers hold their 18th Annual Take-A-Kid-Fishing Days starting at 8am on June 25. Last year 65 member boats and 180 volunteers spent time with kids who don’t normally get a chance to spend any time on the water, teaching them about lures, techniques, fish, our waters and our place in them. Even better, everyone gets back to Brewers for a cookout. They will also offer a two day Youth Fishing Camp on June 28-30 from 8:30am to 3:30pm at Rocky Point. This camp is for their youth members, which makes it a perfect reason to join the group. RISAA members do an amazing job volunteering time gear and patience for lots of causes and you can learn more about them and their full calendar of events at www.rissa.org.
RIDEM and Trout Unlimited have joined forces to run some fun, instructive fishing events. Cheers to both parties for volunteering. June 4 is the Fly-Fishing Express on the historic Old Colony Train, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Aquidneck Island. The train will stop at remote areas you would not normally be able to access and TU instructors will provide help with your cast if needed. Lunch is included and the cost of $15. June 25 is their “Introduction to Freshwater-Fly Fishing” from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. This day is geared towards families with kids ten or older who have an interest in all things fly-fishing. All those weights, inertia ratios, double hauls, knots, leaders and tippets can be intimidating to novice fly fishermen so having a day with some pros, who bring lunches and equipment to the table, is the perfect chance to get your feet wet, literally, at Addieville East Farm in Mapleville.
Not all fishermen are men. Four or five years ago, women accounted for just 15% of fly fishermen but that number certainly has risen sharply recently. July 9 is their “Women’s Fly Fishing Workshop” from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at DEM’s Carolina Trout Hatchery. This day also includes the experience and generosity of the Wood River Fly Fishing group for a women-only program focusing on equipment, fly-tying, fly-casting and fishing areas across Rhode Island. Lunch and equipment will be provided for the same $15. If you want more information or to register for any of these days, can contact Kimberly Sullivan at 401-539-0019 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your group has an event planned or just wants to show off your catch, you can send along information to email@example.com.
Volunteers were back in action at the Palisades Mill this Sunday last, hauling herring on a perfect morning. Last week we were introduced to Richie Clough, who has handled pretty much every net full of fish for the last many years but on that day, pivoting heavy handles from his slippery granite perch, he made almost the ultimate sacrifice, losing his balance before being unceremoniously dunked in a cold and unclean River. Ever the trooper, he wrung out his jeans, netted back his cap, emptied out his boots and got back to work. Nothing like an unplanned Spring baptism. Cheers to you sir.