Cod and haddock regulations unchanged for the moment
By CAPT. DAVE MONTI
The recreational measures for cod and haddock will remain unchanged for the start of the 2022 fishing year. The New England Fishery Management Council has recommended changes to the recreational measures for cod and haddock in the Gulf of Maine, and has included changes to recreational measures for Georges Bank cod (cod caught off Rhode Island) in Box 63; however, regulatory action reflecting these changes is still pending.
Therefore, the 2021 Leisure and Rental Regulations for Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Stocks will remain in effect. The changes recommended by the Council could be implemented later in the 2022 fishing year.
A summary of the current regulations for recreational and for-hire vessels fishing for groundfish is available online at Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) | NOAA Fisheries. However, the highlights for cod in the Gulf of Maine (north of Cape Cod) are a minimum size of 21 inches, one fish/person/day, September 15-30 and April 1-14 for private vessels. Charter and Party boats still have the limit of one fish/person/day at 21 inches minimum, however, the season runs from September 8th to October 7th and from April 1st to April 14th. Outside the Gulf of Maine (south of Cape Cod and off Rhode Island) the possession limit for now is still 10 fish/person/day, minimum size 21 inches with a year-round open season .
The minimum size for haddock in the Gulf of Maine is 17 inches, with a limit of 15 fish/person/day, May 1 through February 28/29 and April 1 through April 30. Outside the Gulf of Maine there is no catch limit, the season is open year round but the minimum size is 18 inches.
Bluefin tuna retention limit adjusted
The bite of schools of bluefin tuna and giants was exceptional last year. The fish were close to shore, many fishing just a mile or two off Narragansett, and they were here in great abundance. With the increase in the biting of bluefin tuna (many believe this is due to warming water bringing in bait), the number of anglers targeting them has increased. Anglers must have a Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit to fish bluefin tuna and report their catch within 24 hours.
NOAA Fisheries is adjusting daily retention limits for Atlantic bluefin tuna for recreational anglers. The adjusted limits are in effect from May 6, 2022 to December 31, 2022, unless amended later.
The important thing to note is “unless changed” as bluefin tuna and other HMS cleared species often have retention limit changes during the season as catch data is good due to reporting requirement 24 hours. This allows fish managers to adjust harvest limits accordingly.
The new adjusted retention limit for private vessels allowed per day/trip is two schools of bluefin tuna between 27 and
To obtain an HMS permit and report catches, visit the HMS Permit Shop or call 888-872-8862.
Where’s the bite?
Fresh water. John Dionne of Smithfield, RI caught a 7.6 pound bigmouth while fishing Bowdish Lake Chepachet, RI. John said: “I caught the fish using talker bait with a swimbait trailer last Friday.” Tom Giddings of Tackle Box, Warwick said: “The fish are in pre-spawn mode gravitating towards low water which is warm so the largemouth bass is still very good and this week the pike fishing and pike has also really picked up.”
“Anglers are still catching trout in stocked ponds, and the largemouth pre-spawn bite is very good.” said Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren.
“Fishing Tautog in the bay and India Point Park, Providence remains very strong.” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence. Captain Mike Littlefield of Archangel Charters, Newport, said: ‘The bite of the tautog has been exceptional this spring. Anglers catch fish on mussel beds in the 20 to 30 foot range using green crabs. Almost everyone seems to reach their limit. Declan O’Donnell of Misquamicut Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said: “Customers catch the tautog keeper off the gaps and along the Narragansett shoreline.” Tom Giddings of Tackle Box, Warwick said: “Customers fishing from the Rocky Point fishing pier and along the coast are catching beautiful 18-20 inch tautogs.”
Striped Bass. Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “The striped bass bite is good with nice fish caught when schools of Atlantic herring and menhaden are on the surface. Areas off Newport and Pt. Judith Light are producing. “Bass bite in the bay is excellent with Greenwich Bay now producing as well as the Western Passage. Mainly school basses with keepers in the 30 inch range mixed in,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box. Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, said: “The cinderworm hatch stared in some salt ponds in southern county with the bass bite there pretty good. The fishing is also good with slot fish from the west wall, local breaches, beaches and ponds. The falling tide seems to produce more fish than the rising tide. East End Eddie Doherty said, “Some brave little bass endure the cool water temperatures and enter the Cape Cod Canal from the west end.” “Anglers are catching school striped bass with mixed guardians on the Seekonk River as well as the lower Providence River and upper and middle areas of Narragansett Bay. Mt. Hope Bay also produces bass for anglers. said Ocean State’s Henault.
“The squid fishing has been crazy. Top bets this week included the Sakonnet and Newport areas with a strong bite in Hyannis, MA as well,” said Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle. Captain Mike Littlefield of Archangel Charters, Newport said: “Squid fishing has been very good on the Sakonnet River off Newport and at Jamestown. Last week I fished with Greg Vespe, ‘The Squid Whisperer’, and we filled five full buckets (five gallons) in about five hours.
“Scup fishing resumes in Narragansett Bay with big 14-15 inch sups caught at Rocky Point.” said Tom Giddings.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and a charter fishing licence. He sits on various boards and commissions and has an advisory practice focused on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries issues and clients. Send fishing news and photos to [email protected] or visit www.noflukefishing.com .