Examine a fishing guide list for Rhode Island, and you will find a lot of saltwater guides. But you won’t find many guides that fish for bass in the State’s inland waters. We found one, and he’s a good one. Curt owns and operates Night Owl Charters and fishes for bass in not only Rhode Island but also Connecticut. We had a chance to ask Curt a few questions, and he was grateful to give us some input on fishing his area waters.
There aren’t a ton of Rhode Island freshwater fishing guides, when did you start guiding and why Rhode Island?
You’re right. Most of the guides in RI are for saltwater. I actually started guiding way back in the late 1990s. I didn’t put much time into promoting it back then, but I did get a trip or two every now and then.
Which of the Rhode Island and Connecticut lakes that you fish are your favorites?
In RI, I would have to say that Indian Lake is my favorite. It has a healthy population of bass, supported by a large population of Alewives.
In CT, Amos Lake is my absolute favorite. Amos Lake is a small lake, but offers a diverse range of places to catch bass. And it has a lot of big fish. As with Indian Lake, Amos Lake also has a huge population of baitfish that help keep the bass growing big.
You fish primarily for Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. What have been the biggest Connecticut or Rhode Island bass of each type that have come into your boat?
In RI, my biggest Largemouth was 9 lbs. 2 oz. My biggest RI Smallmouth Bass was a bit under 4 lbs.
In CT, I have had several Largemouth Bass over 7 lbs. And I have had two very big Smallmouth Bass, weighing 5 lbs. 8 oz. and 5 lbs. 10 oz.
What other species of fish might folks happen to catch when fishing with you?
Probably the most likely species would be Chain Pickerel. They live in most RI & CT lakes and will hit many of the same lures that we use for bass.
If you could only guide using one technique on your waters, what would that be for each season, Spring, Summer and Fall?
Spring – Spinnerbaits
Summer – Daytime would be Soft plastics and night time would be spinnerbaits
Fall – spinnerbaits
But keep in mind that every day is different and conditions at hand will dictate the “best” technique!
You do night fishing. How would you describe a trip on the water at night for those who haven’t fished in the dark?
Fishing after dark is incredibly peaceful and enjoyable. You get to hear things that you won’t hear during the day. Big bullfrogs, whippoorwills, owls, coyotes and fisher cats. And you get to see the stars like you’ve never seen them before.
And fishing at night offers you the opportunity to catch the bass of a lifetime.
What is your favorite part about guiding?
I have two “favorite parts” of guiding. The first would be seeing the smiles on the faces of my clients when they catch a big fish, especially the kids. But I also love taking the things that I’ve learned over the years and teaching them to other people. I’m really a teacher at heart, so my goal is to give people knowledge that they can take with them after the guide trip and use on their local waters.
What should clients come expecting out of you as a guide for the day?
They should expect a friendly, courteous and knowledgeable guide who will work hard to help them catch fish and learn new techniques. They will also be treated to free cold drinks and snacks, so they won’t be thirsty or hungry.
Where is the favorite place you have ever fished outside of your home waters and why?
I would have to say that the California Delta is my favorite place other than here in Rhode Island and Connecticut. It’s a vast, very diverse fishery with some huge bass to be caught. I’ve fished there twice. The first time I fished there I landed a 9 lb. 14 oz. Largemouth bass.
For more about Curt and Night Owl Charters, please visit RIBassFishingGuide.com.