Industry News

Fishing On Hold…Oh, I don’t think so!

January 17th, 2012  |  Published in Fishing Stories, Fishing Tips, Industry News by allison

This is the time of year we all dread here in New England. In fact, I saw a picture of the Helen H party boat the other day docking up in Montauk and it looked like an ice sculpture of a boat that someone created. So far, this winter has been mild. So mild, that we have kicked ourselves a number of times and questioned whether we should “un-wrap” our beloved and re-launch it. Last night was the first real sign of winter we’ve had in Boston. I looked outside to see the city lights and saw an odd white dusting on the ground. I can say that I was actually taken back, like it was an “odd” sighting. Is global warming escalating that much, that we are appalled when it snows in mid-January? As the winter depression sets in and the year-long projects await attention, we begin to look for some connection to fishing. We plunk down on the couch and watch all the fishing shows we taped because we were actually OUT FISHING while they were airing. We begin to disassemble our gear, polish it, and relive the action we had while using it.     

Oh the humanity. Just last week, I scrubbed the refrigerator, packed away summer attire, organized my closet, gave the cat a bath and determined there has got to be something better than this!

Winter Stinks

 That’s when the laptop came out and the Google search for “Fishing Shows” was frantically typed. I have been an advocate my entire fishing career about the benefits of seminars. I guarantee you will learn and take away something from each and every seminar you attend. It may not be what you expected to learn, but I would be amazed if you didn’t walk away with a piece of knowledge you didn’t previously possess or a desire to try something you hadn’t even considered before.

I felt like a “junkie” that just needed a quick fix. If there were no shows, we would head to Bass Pro to view the stripers in the tank and fondle fishing gear in at least 20 aisles. We found the Providence, RI boat show underway which included fishing seminars. And just like our impromptu fishing excursions, we were dressed and in the car within minutes on our way to a fishing “fix”.  

Because the trip wasn’t planned, we were on a very tight schedule. Upon arrival, we headed to our first seminar room. After attending each and every seminar available in the winter, you get to a point where you’ve seen every speaker, or the same speaker do the same presentation multiple times. It was our lucky day. First up: Bill Brown of Billfish Sport Fishing.  I’m so glad we saw him speak. There are some fishermen who could compose an encyclopedia full of fishing knowledge, but have a difficult time translating that to the more inexperienced angler. Not so with Bill. He used to be a teacher and it showed. Captain Bill has been on ESPN, NESN and his RI state record Thresher Tail is on permanent display at the IGFA Hall of Fame.

In the off-season, he ventures off to Florida and Cuba to do what he loves for himself. The sparkle and passion exuded from him during his presentation and transferred to the audience. You could see the anticipation and excitement for the sport begin to show in all of us. What I loved most about Bill’s seminar was his carefree attitude in sharing tips with us. Some fishermen don’t want to share tips that would actually improve your fishing game and just give you generalizations of fishing in your area. Bill sincerely wanted to share and help us improve and catch more fish. He stated “I want you to walk away with 1% here, 1% there. Trust me, you will catch more fish, but if you fish right next to me, I will still out-catch you”. I can say that I did walk away with 2 new tricks that I will apply this year and be sure to email him my thanks when I see the results!

We then headed to New England Big Game Fishing Strategies with Capt. Jack Sprengel at East Coast Charters. His seminar went over specialized techniques for catching Shark, Tuna and Swordfish. I have seen Jack speak before and he is on the Esca Pro-Staff team with me. When I hear the name “Jack Sprengel”, the word that comes to mind is Respect. I have the utmost respect for this fishing expert. He is a genuine guy full of heart, determination and the results to back it up. If you have ever wanted to fish for Tuna, Shark or Swords, this is your teacher. The only complaint I had on this seminar was the time. I could have listened to him for hours and still felt like it wasn’t enough. He and Capt. Lou DeFusco of Hot Reels Fishing Charters broke the Rhode Island State Swordfish record in 2011 with a 434 pound monster.,,

After the seminar, we visited Jack and Lou at their booth and flipped through their photo book of trophy catches and listened to the stories behind them. It jump started my imagination and dreams of being in a 3 hour fight with a magnificent sword and landing a once in a lifetime like theirs. Again, the fact that Jack has had so many “once in a lifetimes” was truly inspirational. That’s the great thing about the winter in New England. You have time to dream about the unknown that will be your next fishing season. You never know, it could turn into your best story yet.   

Dare to Dream

Dare to Dream

Federal Registry Required for MA Saltwater-Recreational Anglers as of January 1, 2010

February 28th, 2010  |  Published in Industry News by allison

fishing license

License required in 2011

In 2010, all Massachusetts Recreational Anglers, 16 years or older, must register with the National Marine Fisheries Service for a permit. This can be done online at: or by calling 888-674-7411. There is no federal fee for registering. In 2011 and beyond, all anglers will be required to apply for a recreational fishing permit issued by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. These permits will be available online or through selected retail outlets, bait and tackle stores, by mail, or in person at any Marine Fisheries office location in MA. The proposed state permit fee for 2011 is $10 for residents and non-residents alike. If you are planning a trip on a charter boat, only the charter company or head-boat operator will be required to register in 2010 and purchase a permit in 2011.

What about anglers that possess a federal permit or a Commercial license? The new regulations state: if you land fish in Massachusetts recreationally, regardless of where the fish was caught or the commercial license you hold, you’ll need the permit. The registry of active, recreational anglers will allow the Department of Marine Fisheries to collect better data and make decisions on bag limits, seasons and sizes. This new law will be enforced by the Environmental Police and the US Coast Guard, so make sure you register before going out on your first fishing trip. If you are visiting Massachusetts or are unsure if you require a permit, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries ( for full regulations, information and updates.

Commercial Landing of Certain Shark Species prohibited until further notice

February 28th, 2010  |  Published in Industry News by allison



The National Marine Fisheries Service will not open the 2010 fishery for Small Coastal Sharks (SCS) until further notice.  SCS species include: Atlantic Sharpnose, Finetooth, Blacknose, and Bonnethead sharks. They are rarely found in Massachusetts waters and are found primarily in waters off the southern U.S., especially in the winter. This action is taken to support the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Coastal Shark Management Plan’s objectives to prevent unlawful landing and sale. For further information please visit

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