BI Inshore Fishing Tournament Returns

by | Jul 6, 2023 | 2023 Fishing Season, Block Island, Salt Water Fishing

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The BI Inshore Fishing Tournament Returns

One sure sign of summer is the return of the BI Inshore Fishing Tournament. This year, the tourney is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23. With $10,000 in prizes through four divisions, there will be something for anyone who loves fishing, being around the island and catching before releasing.

Block Island Fishworks is the tournament host. Captain Chris Willi owns the tackle store in New Harbor and runs charters for a variety of sport fishes. The tourney is also supported by several generous businesses, including Snug Harbor Marine in South Kingstown, The Saltwater Edge in Portsmouth and Watch Hill Outfitters in, well, Watch Hill. Dave Henault, who owns Providence’s Ocean State Tackle, has strong island family connections and is a one stop for rods, reels and live bait, is also a sponsor. Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle in North Kingstown is a supporter, along with Whalers Brewing Company and Ørsted, owners of the Block Island Wind Farm.

The rules are straightforward. Lines in at 5:30a.m. on the Saturday. You must fish within the three mile limit to ensure you stay in Rhode Island state waters. Fishing for striped bass outside that line, which puts you in the Exclusive Economic Zone, is illegal; a complimentary and thorough boarding in federal waters might sour your tournament experience. Entry fees are $150.00 for a boat with up to four anglers. Additional anglers or those wishing to fish from shore, which can be extraordinary, will pay $35.00 each. That entry fee includes $10,000 worth of swag, gift cards and sponsor donated prizes. Not in each bag, of course. Capt. Willi said, “Thanks to the Block Island Wind Farm and Ørsted as well as Whalers Brewing Company, a new supporting sponsor,  we are able to donate 100% of Tournament entry fees to the Block Island Fire Department and Rescue.”

Target species are fluke, black sea bass, striped bass and bluefish. Divisions include boat, shore, fly fishing, youth, team and photo. If you take a photograph that includes the Block Island Wind Farm, hopefully with a giant bass or black sea bass, you can enter up to three images for each division for best fish photo, most scenic picture and best team photo.

For those who appreciate conservation and understand striped bass populations are under some serious pressure, the BI Inshore Fishing Tournament also respects releasing fish as a way to rebuild their abundance. “This is a length only tournament. When registering online, participants download our Tournament app on their smartphone.  When they want to make a Tournament entry, they take a photo of their catch up against the Tournament supplied ruler and send their entry into the Tournament electronically,” said Capt. Willi. Cheers to the that decision.

“Winners will be posted online. Limited dockage may be available after the Tournament for four to five hours in Old Harbor at the Town Dock. Contact the dock master on Channel 12,” Capt. Willi said. After all the fun, you can have more fun at the after party at Capt. Nick’s Rock & Roll Bar at Bridgegate Square on Sunday from 2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m. What’s more, anglers who party at the after party have a chance to win one of 25 $100 tackle store gift cards. Do the math here: your entry fees go to support  BI Fire and Rescue, you get cool swag, spend a weekend fishing around the island, see the country’s first operating wind farm, go to a party, drink good local beer, maybe win more stuff and if you can’t make the party and awards ceremony, you still get to be a winner.

For the BI Inshore Fishing Tournament, Block Island is a small town with lots of locally-owned cabs, so there’s no reason to have a few Whalers American Pale Ales then drive. Call Chris “Tip” O’Neil, captain of Tip Top Taxi, for a ride, at 401.477.3393. Definitely ask him for some intel about the bite. When not behind the wheel, Tip is on a pond or casting from a beach.

You can enter the tournament at or by visiting any of the sponsors, with the exception of Whalers, which you should visit anyway, and pick up your swag bag. Then maybe visit Whalers on the way home. Questions? Call Captain Willi at 401.742.3992.



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