A Surfcaster’s Tour of Block Island’s Southeast Corner

A detailed look at one of the best stretches of Block Island shoreline for fishing the surf, or just getting away from the crowds.   Be sure and check out the video in High Definition by changing the quality setting button.

Fish Feeding Frenzy in the Fog

Fish Feeding Frenzy in the Fog

What’s better than a microburst of birds, bait and bass materializing right before your eyes? Your boat is drifting with the current through a fog covered rip line and you hear the high pitch squawking of terns just a few yards away. Could they be working over a school of fish? There they are! Is [...]

Diving the East Matunuck Breakwater

Set the quality for HD 1080P for the full experience
and consider viewing full screen

A feeding frenzy showing bay anchovies being ambushed underwater by cigar minnows and a fish-eye view of the perils baitfish face when schooling up against a breakwater.  Striped bass, triggerfish, stingray, tautog, black sea bass, rudderfish are also highlighted in order to provide fishermen with a highly detailed anglers-eye view of bait.


a large school of bay anchovies

Bay anchovies packed like sardines in a can


This dive on the last day of July was simply extraordinary.  I entered the water at the base of the breakwater near East Matunuck state beach and proceeded to dive the entire length of the wall, up and back.  Along the way I stopped to film the “trials of life” that the hapless bay anchovies were experiencing.  

I hope the video gives you a feel for what it must be like to be under constant attack from all sides.  The cigar minnows are not a common sight in our waters and a lot of bathers have no idea that giant stingrays weighing several hundred pounds could be cruising right off the beach.  

Each year more and more triggerfish show up and the same can be said for jacks and banded rudderfish.  The tautog were along the bottom where the sand reaches the stone wall, while the bass cruised  the mid-water zone looking for a quick meal.  I saw flounder, lots of sea bass, cunners, snapper blues, baby peanut bunker, silversides, scup, and a host of other marine life.  It was a fantastic dive, in so much as there was always something going on; it’s always nice to see a healthy ocean with lots of biodiversity.  

Dazzling Dorados, Magnificent Mahi-Mahi and Brilliant Bull Dolphins

Dazzling Dorados, Magnificent Mahi-Mahi and Brilliant Bull Dolphins

Call them mahi-mahi, dolphinfish, dolphin, dorado, bulls, chickens, or peanuts, but tie into them on light tackle and you’ll call them one amazing gamefish.  Mahi are among the fastest growing fish in the sea with a short lifespan of only four or five years. They don’t match the strength of a tuna, wahoo, amberjack, Cubera, [...]

False Albacore -

False Albacore – “The Green Angles”

Call them false albacore, little tunny, fat albert, albies, funny fish, or as New Englanders refer to them, “Apple Knockers.” But don’t confuse them with bonito and bring them home to eat. These amazing game fish are members of the tuna clan and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.  This slide [...]

Shooting Assignment - Fishers Island & The Race

Shooting Assignment – Fishers Island & The Race

Hunt for Game Fish – Above & Below Water Thursday, July 12, 2012 I met up with Captain Wayne Wood at Barn Island, Stonington, CT After transferring my equipment to the “4-ME”,  a 27′ Conch center console, we shoved off with high hopes for a productive day of filming, diving and fishing around Fishers Island [...]

“The Underwater World of Rhode Island Game Fish”

Free Seminar

striped bass lurking in the waves

Striped Bass Lurking in the Waves

Wednesday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m.

North Kingstown Free Library, 100 Boone St.

Underwater photographer and videographer Mike Laptew will present a high definition, multi-media presentation highlighting the saltwater game fish of Rhode Island, as well as techniques for catching them. Laptew has been diving the Ocean State for over 50 years and his unique, fish-eye perspective seminars have delighted audiences for over two decades. The show will feature breathtaking close-ups of striped bass, bluefish, tautog, fluke, false albacore, and many different species of bait fish. This is a presentation the whole family will enjoy.

Free, but space is limited. Please reserve your seat by contacting Tracy Kennedy at
(401) 874-6800 or e-mailing

This lecture is part of the annual Community Lecture Series sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant, the URI Nutrition and Food Sciences Program, the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council. This lecture is also sponsored by the North Kingstown Free Library.



Life Abounds Along Rhode Island’s Rivers and Coves

Laptew Chronicles
Rhode Island’s Web of Life

Part 1

River Otter

River otters can live 10 to 20 years.  These three and half to four foot long mammals depend on clean water and a healthy supply of fish, frogs, snakes, mice, birds, crayfish and mussels. 

otter swims along surface of the pond
The river otter is a long, sleek, muscular animal

North Kingstown otter in Annaquatucket River
When otters dive their ears and nose close

River otters digest and metabolize food so quickly that food passes through their intestines within an hour.

The web feet and slim profile allow otters to fly through the water

The web feet and slim profile allow otters to fly through the water

Click to enlarge any of these images

Snowy Egret

The snowy egret stalks the marshes, coves and rivers for small bait fish such as mummichog, spearing, sand eel or sand lance

egret charges mummichog

Snowy egret charges a school of mummichogs

egret strikes

The egret strikes with lightning speed

egret strikes at mummichog

The snowy seizes the mummi behind the gills

snowy egret squeezes a mummichog with its powerful bill

A good squeeze and a shake and the mummi is about to be eaten


Snowy egret gulps down a fat little mummichog

Snowy egret gulps down a fat little mummichog


These semi-aquatic rodents feed primarily on aquatic plants and they can be found in slow-moving-streams, coastal and freshwater marshes, lakes, ponds and swamps.

muskrat swimming to shore

A muskrat swims toward the shoreline

A muskrat heads to a feeding station with a mouthful of weeds
With a mouthful of weeds the muskrat heads for its den

They are prodigious and can  produce up to 3 litters per year, each with 6 to 7 young.  Breeding takes place from late March through July.


Osprey – The Fish Hawk

When the ospreys return to Rhode Island they start tidying up their nests with sticks and grass.  Osprey mate for life and return to the same nest year after year.

An osprey bringing marsh grass to nest

Osprey building nest with marsh grass and twigs

An osprey carries a load of nesting material

A full load of nesting material


An osprey hold a herring in its talons

Osprey grasps herring in its talons

River Herring

Alewives and blueback herring  have an enormous impact on the environment and they are a vital component to the food chain.

A group of volunteers help the Rhode Island Dept. of Fish of Wildlife scoop out and transport herring to an aerated truck.  These herring will be transferred to the Pawcatuck watershed where they will fortify 1300 acres and 8 stream miles.
A group of volunteers help fish and wildlife scoop herring

Herring Heroes scoop and transport fish

River herring stack up in a shallow pool

River herring stack up in a shallow pool

Herring transport truck

Worker dumps herring into transport truck

Check back for Rhode Island’s Web of Life – Part 2

Opening Day – RI Trout Season 2012

Trout Fishing Action – Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown

Silver Spring Lake was packed with eager anglers

The parking lots were full at Silver Spring Lake

The 2012 RI trout season started at the crack of dawn on Saturday, April 14 and this popular North Kingstown fishing hole was loaded with anglers and fish.

The action was fast and furious as the sun started to climb above the trees.  Every stretch of open shoreline was lined with kids and adults eager to catch their limit of trout.

It was estimated that 20,000 anglers would participate in the annual ritual known simply as “Opening Day.”

Silver Spring is stocked with trout from the nearby Lafayette hatchery where over 120,000 pounds of trout are raised each year.

Within minutes of the start of the 2012 season trout were being hauled in right and left.

The quality and size of the fish had everyone smiling.

Boats jockey for position as the shore is lined with anglers, trucks, tents and RVs

Boats jockey for position and the shoreline is crammed with anglers

Click on any image to enlarge

a young angler with a fist full of rainbow trout

A fist full of rainbow trout

A true RI Veteran Angler

A true RI Veteran Angler

father and son fishing fun

Father and son fishing fun

Boy examines rainbow trout

A young angler's rainbow is worth a second look

another fine fish for the stringer

Another fine fish for the stringer

Father steadies the net for another trout

Another trout comes to the net

There was no generation “gap” here

Anglers line up to catch trout

Anglers young and old fish side by side

A rainbow trout jumps out of the water

A rainbow gets air

A rainbow jumps next to a small boat with two anglers

We don't need a larger boat — just larger trout

Berkeley Power Bait Proved Highly Effective

Jars of Berkely Power Bait

Chartreuse colored power bait was very effective

I didn’t see one kid texting, or on a cell phone, they were actually in the real world and not engulfed in virtual realty.  We just might be able to reel in the younger generation with what we always though was  great fun. 

A wood fire and boxes of pop tarts

Even pop tarts taste better on a wood fire

 Get out there and fish.  Take a kid with you.  Better yet, take an old fart fishing too!  When’s was the last time you took your Dad fishing!

Herring Gull Lives Up To Its Name

Not all herring gulls are at the landfill

It’s nice to see a herring gull actually eating a river herring and not a french fry.

herring gull grabs an alewife

A herring gull grabs an alewife in the Narrow River

With an expandable throat, these most common of all the “seagulls” in our area, are quite capable of wolfing down an entire river herring.

herring gull swallows an alewife in one gulp

herring gull swallows an alewife in one gulp