Share This Article On…

Spring is so close.

Colors are changing, pale green buds are patiently peeking out from riverbank maples. Tucked under bony rhododendron skeletons, tiny yellowed shoots emerging from wet leaves missed by fall’s rake tell us everything about the real calendar. River herring, Nature’s beloved harbinger of Spring, have arrived at Gilbert Stuart, swimming for Carr Pond. Hardy fishermen know their telltale small bites on soft plastics beneath long, winding oily sheens calming choppy waters.

The Natural History Survey’s wonderful Kira Stillwell has announced the arrival of “quacking and peeping frogs and wiggling salamanders,” along with sightings of wood frogs, peepers, spotted and marbled salamanders in South County and north to Cumberland.

Image result for wood frogs

wood frog photo by Animal Spot

So close.

In advance of Spring’s greatest day, DEM has closed fishing for trout in designated trout waters. Keeping with tradition and regulation, trout season opens this year at 6:00 a.m. on April 14. We’ll give you a complete list of stocked lakes ponds and rivers in a few weeks.

Now is the right time to renew hunting and fishing licenses with the state’s new online website portal. Freshwater fishing, recreational saltwater fishing, hunting, and combination freshwater fishing and hunting licenses are all now available online and each sportsman will be issued a Rhode Island Fishing and Hunting ID number to make return visits to the system much easier. Going paperless allows us access to license information twenty-four hours a day so out on the river you can just reach for your smartphone to purchase a trout conservation stamp when a few big rainbows start inhaling your parachute Adams or to extend a visit if you’re from away.

Some retailers will continue to offer licenses and stamps but you’ll pay an extra two dollars per license and fifty cents per permit for the option. This is a welcome technological advancement for RIDEM but I must admit, as someone still lamenting the loss of Benny’s, there’s something really wonderful about waiting in line for a paper license.

It was fun to fill out a new year’s paperwork, to hand over last year’s folded up, worn out license as proof you put your time in, that you could carry a fishing rod or firearm. Those red plastic cases, which usually tore the first time we tried to get our license out when Officer Schipritt came to check, they were part of the ritual.

Buying a new license at our local tackle store on a blustery March day gave us hope again, hope to see some old characters, to whisper about that perfect spot again, to paddle a canoe again, to tie on a fly again, to catch trout again, to take someone very young and very happy fishing on opening day for the very first time, hope for all things to be new again.

Everything changes, I guess.

Another sure sign of spring, The New England Saltwater Fishing Show was a smashing success. A product of 15 years of hard work by the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, the weekend offered everything a fisherman could dream of for getting back on the water. Small inflatables, dories, Hobie and Eddyline kayaks and cloud white center consoles will be on display. The biggest names in electronics were there to help you outfit any size boat. Fishermen shopped for off the rack rods and talked with custom rod builders, like Howard Reed of Narrow River Rods then matched them to a myriad of reels for all situations. Local and federal regulators like RIDEM Enforcement, CRMC, the ASMFC, NOAA and the MA Division of Marine Fisheries had booths so you could ask questions and learn more about what they do and how they support fisheries management.

IMG_1591

Jeff DeBuigne and his wife Mandy are the proud new owners of Al’s Goldfish Lure Company.

The best captains, like Dave Monti from No Fluke Charters were there to offer advice on where and when to have the best day offshore or in the bay. The biggest magazines, sun glass manufacturers and lure makers, like Al’s Goldfish Lure Company, were all on display. Then there were the seminars.

Mike Fotiades

Mike Fotiades helped us through the basics of fly fishing, Dave Morton of Beavertail Rod and Reel advised on how to keep everything in working order while over at The Casting Lane, Matt Bosgraff showed people how to outfit fishing kayaks.

 

And thank you Spring, for reminding us about all we have in store; not just the peepers which we’ll curse in a few weeks for keeping us awake the first nights we could sleep with the windows open or the buckies who arrive in such numbers that it’s almost impossible to catch a striper until they’re safely in freshwater but for the reminder that there’s always hope.

In the words of philosopher Bernard Williams, “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”

0 Comments

RECENT POSTS

FOLLOW ON SOCIAL

VIDEO REPORTS

The Sporting Shoppe at The Preserve is proud to sponsor The Preserve Fishing & Outdoor Report by Todd Corayer. The report is broadcast on WPRO 99.7 FM & 630 AM. Click to watch now.

About The Author

Todd Corayer is a lifelong fisherman and occasional hunter whose writing relies on poor penmanship, sarcasm and other people’s honest fish stories while seeing words as puzzle pieces that occasionally all fit together perfectly.

His work has appeared in The Double Gun Journal, On The Water MagazineThe Fisherman, The Bay Magazine,  So Rhode IslandSporting ClassicsCoastal AnglerNY Lifestyles, The Island Crier, and very often in the wonderful RISAA Newsletter.

You Might Also Enjoy…

Best Spring Striper Lures for 2021

This week we share our top 5 spring striped bass lures as we wait for their migration. And – we get everyone excited for a new season of largemouth bass fishing with the Rhode Island Kayak Bassin’ group going on their sixth season.

feng shui for bait, on worden pond, the sweet sound of guns

Keeping shiners in the bathtub can put a quiet but significant strain on a relationship. While logical for the average New England ice fisherman, some significant others apparently find such live storage to be unusual, unnecessary and kind of gross. The bucket which...

How to catch tautog for a lifetime with Greg Vespe and Capt. Silvia

Greg Vespe and Captain BJ Silvia stood in front of a packed Elks Lodge to talk tautog. As guest speakers for November’s RI Saltwater Anglers Association meeting, lots of antsy fishermen were eagerly awaiting their words of wisdom on how to find, catch and release...

350 miles versus 39 fishermen; a tale of two fishes

Max Appleman shook my hand pretty hard. We hadn’t met previously but both recalled a Fish Wrap piece from last year in which readers were encouraged to contact him regarding a potential change in striper regulations. A similar Fish Wrap piece with his contact...

Albies Rise while Benny’s Sinks

The first schools of albies were seen feeding south of Block Island, now they’re moving inland from the mouth of Narragansett Bay to Watch Hill, bringing a level of excitement equal to Spring’s first stripers. Captain Rene Letourneau of On The Rocks Charters has been...

Consider sharing this article with your fishing buddies!

We appreciate you sharing the Fish Wrap with your fishing community.