Spring has sprung!!!

It has been to long since my last post. Things have been happening fast. I have been filling the bait freezer with sea herring. The sibiki rigs are a pain but when you catch 2 or 3 fish at a time is fun. We have been waiting for the squid to show and as of now they are very spotty. The herring fishing is slowing down and to be truthful I don’t need any more.

bucket of sea herring 2013

On May 5th I had my first charter with Bryan and Cheri. It was cold and windy. I decided to take the boat out of Narragansett Bay and fish Newport’s 1st and Middletown’s 2nd beach. These are the places where the striped bass usually show up first. On the 3rd cast with a jumpin minnow Bryan got a strike. He missed it but that was enough for me to know that the bass were in. He got a couple of more strikes but did not connect. We moved around a bit and had one other strike, I missed that one. At one spot we were in about 6-8 feet of water and were able to see several blackfish swimming around. I moved the boat back to our first spot and we started catching bass right away. The lure that the bass wanted was a small swimmer. We ended up catching several bass with the biggest being 27.5 inches, almost a keeper.

bryan with frist striper of 2013


Capt. Eric Thomas

Fishing the waters of Newport RI, Narragansett Bay, RI Sound, and the Sakonett River

Busy Weekend Leadfest and Barrington Angler Club

Leadfest 2013 & Barrington Anglers Club

What I busy weekend I had. It started Friday night when a small group of AI club members meet to melt the scarp lead we had collected throughout the year into manageable ingots. This was to get ready for LeadFest on Saturday.

Saturday at 11am guys started gathering for the main event. The Aquidneck Island Striper Team has held this event for the past 4 years. The event has gone beyond just pouring sinkers. We now pour sinkers, snagging hooks, and jigs. We also pour plastics lures like slug-go and hoggies. Club members bring food and drinks and we all have a great time. This year was the most productive year. As I said we poured jigs but the process did not stop there. After the jigs cooled, they went to power coating, after that they went into an oven to cure and harden. Once they came out of the oven and cooled, they were dressed with feathers and bucktail. This was the stage I helped out the most. As a former commercial fly tier, I had the tools and know how to help teach others how to do this. The jigs, of all sizes and shapes, were dressed to custom orders from club members who either tied their own or had the “guy at the vise” do it for them. If you are tying jigs with extra-large hooks you need a vise that can handle them. The Saltwater Edge has a vise especially designed for tying jigs and large flies.

Guided fishing trips Newport ri

Capt. Eric at leadfest


I had not participated in the plastic production last year and really wanted to this year. Again these were custom pours. We poured colors we wanted and inserted jig head we had just poured. We inserted jig hooks into some of the molds. Saturday was truly a day where anything you have ever imaged you could have made.

Guided fishing Newport RI

Cam and friend pouring plastic, rubber lures

Guided fishing in Newport RI

fruits of our labor at leadfest


Sunday I was invited by the Barrington Anglers Club to come and speak on the topic of fishing the different seasons of Rhode Island. I gave a PowerPoint presentation to small but well-organized group of guys, about 20 guys. This presentation was different from the ones I have done in the past. This one was more entertaining than how to. When I do presentations I tailor the show to my audience and take into account the type of show that organization wants. I enjoy doing these presentations, if you have a club and would like me to present for you call or email me. I have presentations for Hardtail fishing RI, Season on the Bay, and I am working on several others.



Capt. Eric Thomas

Guided fishing the waters of Newport RI, Narragansett Bay, RI Sound, and the Sakonett River

Testimonial of the “Sniper” rod

Hi Eric,

Just got back.  Had a great week.  We stayed at Les Trois Jours, a house on Long Bay between Gunners Point and the La Samanna Resort on the west / south west French section of the Island. Everything was great.

Fished every morning on the beach in front of the house. There is a cove where the beach ends at the rocky peninsula that a part of the resort “La Samanna” sits on.

On Saturday morning there was a school of bait in that corner with pelicans diving in, etc. at first light. It was a 10 yard across bait ball of 4″-5″ baby tarpon that the 20- 25 pound tarpons were hitting. Got hooked into four fish with the longest battle being about 2-3 minutes and got that fish to about 15 feet from me before he busted off. Was using small Point Judith (PJ) tins on 20 lb. fluorocarbon and they worked well. The big tarpon left after about 45 minutes and bait moved west along the beach during the day as the original cove section got busy with people and water craft.  Later in the day they were in front of where we stayed and I tried again. Snagged some of the bait with a treble on a very small PJ lure and caught eight, 3-4 lb. jacks with the live bait. Was throwing the fish I caught into a tidal pool behind me to take back to grill and they became an attraction to some of the topless women bathers walking the beach (Like walking a puppy on a busy street). Great day all the way around. (The jacks were good eating from the grill on Sunday night)

The rest of week was not as good. The large bait ball was gone on Sunday morning and so were the big tarpon. Some small pockets of bait here and there that produced more jacks, but most were small. Got shut out two of the seven mornings. With other matters including a wife and friends to enjoy, I did not try any other fishing spots or charter.

Had a great time, especially using for the first time a the new spinning rod that you built . It was sensational in all aspects and achieved all our design hopes. It had no problem with the big tarpon, shot 1 oz. to 2 oz. tins 80 plus yards and was sending the below 1 oz. lures out 50 yards.  Due to the size of the bait I did not throw anything over 2 oz. and was mostly throwing 1 oz. and lower.  Was able to throw the tins and soft baits on a straight shot to the target with a quick snap. I was throwing lures along the face of this rock cliff and did not lose one all week. The rod has good sensitivity for I could feel the small fish when I was trying to snag some live bait with a treble on a tin. The eye placement seems good for it does appear to impair the casting and handled the big fish easily.  Great rod, and it travels well.


Thanks again,


Sniper rod with Micro-wave guides

Sniper rods 3/22/13

I have been working on building several rods for friends. These are rods are built on a special blank that enables the caster to cast every far and accurate. I have upgraded the guides to the newest, latest, greatest guide concept. The Mirco-wave guides, see picture.

Micro-wave 1             micro-wave 2          Micro-wave 3

I have built two rods for a friend in Whaler blue to match the color of his boat. If you have not had a custom rod built you should. When you have a custom rod built you get to choose everything about the rod. You get to choose what type of components you put on your rod. You choose the reel seat, the type of grip (cork or foam or flex wrap), guides, hook keeper, rod butt cap, length of the fore grip and rear grip, and color of the thread. All of these things are choices you can make. Then you can customize where you want each of these components. Do you like a long handle or short? Do you want diamond wraps or just thread bands.

There are several things that I have done with rods that make them my own. One of the things is to put a small thread band on the rod blank 28″ up from the butt cap. This way I can measure a fish without fumbling for a tape measure to check if the striped bass is a keeper. Another thing I do is to put a metallic wrap at the tip of the rod. I do this so I know where the tip is when I am landing a fish. “High Sticking”, my term, meaning holding the rod low and pulling up and backward while bending the tip into a dangerous curve. (This is what breaks a lot of rods.) With the tip wrapped in a bright color I am more aware of what is going on. Yet another reason to have a custom rod is that mass produced rods are not splined. Did you know every rod has a spine? The spine should be properly placed and aligned while you are building a rod. Different rods require different spline placement. A spinning rod, casting rod, or fly rod should all have a different placement of the spline. I will show a video on spline finding when I get that part of my website figured out.

Bottom line- have a custom built or build it yourself!!!!

I have a couple of friends who can build you anything yo can image. Contact me if you would like have a rod built.


Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association Fishing Show

Rhode Island Saltwater Angler Association show a complete success 3/9/13

The RISAA show held this past weekend at the Providence Civic center was a complete success. I was manning the PowerPro booth Saturday and Sunday. I was there as a new member of the Shimano Pro Staff. I must have spoken to a hundred people about the advantages of PowerPro braid. The number one question on everyone mind was how do you connect PowerPro to regular mono. The answer, I use a back to back uni knot. Once I figure out how to attach and upload videos to my new website I will post a video on how I tie the knot.


I also got to see, feel, and play with the Shimano rods and reels. Now I have been a long time fan and user of Shimano reels, but I had not had a chance to check out their rods. If you have not seen or felt these rods you need to. For the money, I don’t think you can beat them. Specifically look at the Teramar rods. They have rods that will cast plugs up to 3oz and rods light enough to cast ¼ oz soft plastic. Match this with a Spheros 4000 or 6000 reel and you are ready for any striper or bluefish. Check out the Saltwater Edge for these rod and reel combo.

AI committee meeting last night

The entertainment committee for the A.I. (Aquidenck Island Striper Team) club meet last night at West Main Pizza in Portsmouth RI. We are working on planning the next meeting and the 1st annual AI yard sale. The yard sale will be held on February 23 at the VFW hall in Portsmouth. The sale will start at 11 am and end at 3 pm. There will be a couple of seminars given by current and former local charter captains. I will be one of them doing my fishing for Hardtails off of Newport presentation. There will be lots of gear for sale including one retiring charter captains selling off his gear.

Our next meeting will be February

Building custom rod for AI club member

After my Fishing for Hardtails off of Newport presentation, one of my fellow Aquidneck Island Striper Team members ask me to build him my special light tackle rod. These rods are perfect for casting light lures a long way. I am naming it the “Sniper” rod. With this rod, you can cast distance, quickly and accurately. You truly need to cast them to believe it. I was test casting one the other day and I was consistently reaching 75-85 yards with a lure that weighted 1 oz. I will post pictures later.

RISAA Show March 8-10

This is a great show. It marks the beginning of the 2013 fishing season for me. There is so much to see and so many people to talk to at these shows. If you have the time you should try and go.Go to the RISAA website for details.

Rod Repair

Make sure you look over your gear during the winter. This is the time to make repairs. This is a picture of me repairing one of my rods. The guide was chipped. This is an easy repair but if you can not do it yourself and you are in the Newport RI area bring it into the Saltwater Edge and ask for Steve. He can fix anything for you!


rod repair

Providence Boat show appearence

I did two presentations at this past months’ Providence Boat Show.

eric at Prov boat show 1


The speaking engagements are a chance for me to share my knowledge. I integrate my teaching experience into these presentations.  The “students” I have at these shows pay more attention to me than my 6th grade math students!!!

cam helping at Prov boat showeric at Prov boat show 2

The presentation was titled Fishing Hardtails. In this presentations, I discussed the different types of hardtails found in our waters in Newport RI and Southern New England. I show differences between Bonito and False Albacore. I spoke about spin and fly fishing gear to catch to these speedsters and the techniques  you will need to hook up on board Teezer.

Contact me if you would like to speak to your club