MONTI: Learn to cast with a spinning rod, reel | local sports

Learning to cast a spinning rod and reel takes practice. The more you do it, the better you get. But knowing the basics can go a long way.

Captain Ken Cooper, a fellow fishing writer and active member of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, enjoys taking his grandchildren fishing. And, when it came time for them to transition from bottom scup fishing to casting lures for stripers and blues, he wanted to help them become proficient casters.

Captain Cooper developed a seven-step methodology for throwing a spin tackle that was easy for them to master and produced beautiful throws in a relatively short amount of time. He was training on a quiet beach and counting out loud with every step. Here are the steps he suggested:

  1. Grasp the rod with your index finger in front of the reel seat. Position the rod slightly away from your body, not tight against your body.
  2. Make sure the lure overhangs the tip of the rod about two feet and the bail is properly positioned in vertical alignment.
  3. Open the bail with your free hand.
  4. Grab the line with your index finger or rod hand.
  5. With your free hand, grasp the rod near the end of the rod handle. Now look behind you to make sure there are no people or obstacles you could possibly come into contact with.
  6. . Bring the rod over your shoulder and throw it forward in one quick, continuous motion, back and then immediately forward, with a snap of your wrist, releasing the line of your index finger when the rod is about 10 hours on its front move. The power comes from pulling down and fast with the hand gripping the heel of the rod, not pushing forward with the hand gripping the rod at the reel seat.
  7. Remove your free hand from the butt of the cane, use it to close the handle, then begin winding.

“Over the years,” said Captain Ken, “when my grandchildren’s friends or other novice children and adults have come fishing with me, I’ve found it’s often even better to start with just a rod, no reel, and focus primarily on the rod and hand movements described in count 6. Once this is mastered, we would add the reel and begin the full seven-count workout.

“The key to success seems to be breaking the cast down into their parts and counting each step together and out loud until a smooth rhythm develops.”

New England Saltwater Fishing Show next weekend

The New England Saltwater Fishing Show takes place next weekend at the Rhode Island Convention Center. If you like salt fishing, you are in for a treat. The show is the largest saltwater fishing show of its kind in the Northeast. The show features tackle, rods, reels, lures, electronics, charter guides, boats, motors, accessories, apparel and more. More than 300 fishing-related manufacturers will be represented at the show.

“You won’t want to miss the Show Special offered by the exhibitors and the excellent ‘how to’ seminars offered by some of the best anglers in our area.” said Greg Vespe, executive director of the show’s sponsors, the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association. “Learn strategies and tactics for targeting the species we all love to catch, eat or release…striped bass, summer flounder, tautog and a host of others.”

The New England Saltwater Fishing Show will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Friday, March 11, from noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children under 12 will be admitted free and March 13 is Family Day with all women admitted free.

The RI Marine Fisheries Council will meet on Monday

The Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at URI Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI. You can also join the meeting online via Zoom at

Agenda to include 2022 management regulations for recreational and commercial tautog, commercial tautog tagging program, commercial aggregate program for winter flounder and black bass, and certificate of exemption program for winter flounder. Other recreation management regulations will be reviewed at an upcoming RIMFC meeting.

Recreational anglers in Rhode Island have advocated for new tautog regulations to protect this slow-growing species. Although the stock assessment data is good, anglers are concerned that we are harming this fishery by catching many large females with great reproductive potential.

Anglers and charter captains present at the meeting expressed concern about the high numbers of fish caught and killed which do not reflect the data, in part due to the high volume of charter vessels out of the State fishing in our waters.

At the February public hearing, the RI Saltwater Anglers Association proposed limiting each angler to no more than one fish over 21 inches and reducing the fall “bonus” season from one bag of five to a bag of four fish per person. This was Proposal No. 1 at the hearing.

Many charter captains, members of RISAA, the Island Current party boat and the Freedom Boat Club have come out in favor of this proposal saying how important it is to protect this fishery.

For details on the meeting agenda and general information, visit

Where’s the bite?

Fresh water: Tom Giddings of Tackle Box, Warwick, said: ‘We sold minnows for ice fishing to customers when we had ice. Now things are moving. As it warms up, fishing will resume.

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