Sport Fishing Seminars

Sport Fishing Coordinator Captain Jack Sprengel is returning to the Providence Boat Show with another fantastic lineup of seminars. This year’s experts are hand-picked by Captain Jack—and many of them, and the unique subjects they are covering, cannot be found at other events. This year’s seminars are a huge opportunity for both Rhode Islanders and those visiting the Ocean State to absorb solid information and valuable experience from local experts.

“Here in the Northeast, we have some of the most exciting sport fishing opportunities on the planet--not to mention some of the best captains and guided fishing operations to help put anglers in the right to experience them,” says Captain Jack. On The Water Magazine has helped put together this year’s program.

The seminars also offer the chance of great raffle prizes! In addition to leaving the boat show with a whole new game plan for next season (and maybe a new boat?), you could also be heading home with merchandise from Seminar Series Sponsors such as Stormr, Costa Del Mar, Xtratuf, Jay Jigs Custom Tackle, Crafty One Customs, RonZ Lures, and many more.

And don't forget to test your new skills on the SIMFISH! Hook the big one on our fishing simulator, brought to you by

Seminar Schedule

Friday Schedule
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Fishing New England Sea Trout Captain Jack Sprengel, East Coast Charters RI

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Big Game Block Island Bass Fishing Captains Brian and Peter Bacon and Shamus Mara, Big Game Sportfishing RI

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Hot or Cold? Fishing for New England’s Favorite Ground Fish Species by the Seasons Captain Wade Baker, Booked Off Charters

4:45 pm – 5:45 pm Close to Shore Tug of War: Vessel Perspective Captain Eric Thomas, Teezer Sportfishing)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Close to Shore Tug of War: Surf Fishing Perspective Jimmy Fee, On the Water Magazine
Saturday Schedule
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Big Game Block Island Bass Fishing Captains Brian and Peter Bacon and Shamus Mara, Big Game Sportfishing RI

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm East vs. West: West Bay Approach Captain Brandon Lake, Venator Sportfishing RI and East Coast Charters RI

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm East vs. West: East Bay Approach Captain BJ Silvia, Flippin Out Charters

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Close to Shore Tug of War: Vessel Perspective Captain Eric Thomas, Teezer Sportfishing

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Light Tackle and Fly Fishing from a Kayak and Stand-Up Paddleboard Joe Gugino, Why Knot Fishing

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm Jaws! Shark Fishing in New England Captains Joe and Ryan Pagano, Stuff It Charters

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Hot or Cold? Fishing for New England’s Favorite Ground Fish Species by the Seasons Captain Wade Baker, Booked Off Charters
Sunday Schedule
11:00 am – 12:00 pm East vs. West: East Bay Approach Captain BJ Silvia, Flippin Out Charters

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm East vs. West: West Bay Approach Captain Brandon Lake, Venator Sportfishing RI and East Coast Charters RI

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Big Game Block Island RI Tuna Captains Brian and Peter Bacon and Shamus Mara, Big Game Sportfishing RI

Seminar Topics

East Versus West (Two Part Seminar)

Captain BJ Silvia - Flippin’ Out Charters & Captain Brandon Lake - Venator Sport Fishing/East Coast Charters

Rhode Island’s coastal geography, both above and below the surface, has created unique environmental factors that can vary--depending on which half of the state you target game fish from. Come to the boat show to learn from two of the most prolific charter captains who are specialized in their respective halves of the state. Captain Brandon Lake of Venator Sport Fishing and East Coast Charters will cover the “West Bay Approach” and targeting sportfish in Rhode Island’s West Bay and southwest waters; Captain BJ Silvia of Flippin’ Out Charters will cover the “East Bay Approach” and targeting game fish from Rhode Island’s East Bay and southeastern waters. So whether you target fish in the warmer soft bottom flats, shallow back bay and along the sides of the isolated shipping channels of the West Bay, or you fish the deeper, cooler, rocky island–peppered waters of the East Bay, we’ll have you ready to adapt to the change in conditions and stay on the fish.

Hot or Cold? Fishing for New England’s Favorite Ground Fish Species by the Seasons

Captain Wade Baker - Booked Off Charters

No, we’re not addressing whether the fishing opportunities are good or bad here in the Northeast. When you know which species to target and when, you can fish the Ocean State year-round for many exciting ground fish species. Join Captain Wade Baker of Booked Off Charters--one of the region’s busiest and most productive captains and guided fishing operations--to learn about an in-depth approach to targeting two of the state’s most exciting ground fish. You’ll learn about targeting fluke/summer flounder during the warmer months, and then transition to Rhode Island’s steadily improving cold-water cod fishery. If you like the idea of bent rods and full freezers 365 days a year, you won’t want to miss this exciting speaker.

Fishing New England Sea Trout

Captain Jack Sprengel - East Coast Charters R.I.

Yes, you can target sea trout, also known as squeteague or weakfish (of which they are anything but!) here in Rhode Island. If you know what to look for, when to look, and how to target them, anglers can expect to find and catch this fish intentionally and in good numbers. Join our very own Providence Boat Show Sport Fishing Coordinator Captain Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters Sportfishing and RonZ Lures while he shares the signs he uses to locate them and the strategies he has employed to connect with these exciting “tide turners,” as they are commonly referred to.

Jaws! Sharking Fishing in New England

Captains Joe and Ryan Pagano - Stuff It Charters

Sharks are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet--not to mention excellent gamefish. With over 38 years of professional experience, Captain Joe Pagano knows where the region’s fishing hot spots are, and in 1991, he caught the second largest fish in the world ever landed by rod and reel: a 2,909-pound, 15 1/2-foot long great white shark. After that achievement, the media coverage was more like a feeding frenzy; many publications featured him and hundreds of anglers have traveled to Rhode Island to fish with him. Today, great white sharks are a protected species; while Captains Joe and Ryan from Stuff It Charters still take anglers out to enjoy reeling in many of the Northeast’s exciting shark, tuna and other big game species, much of their time is also spent traveling to schools to promote conservation education. If you’re interested in big game fishing here in Rhode Island (or you want a few tips to step up your inshore game), don’t miss this exciting guest speaker.

Close to Shore Tug of War (Two-Part Seminar)

Jimmy Fee - On The Water Magazine & Captain Eric Thomas - Teezer 77 Guiding Service

Whether you’re fishing from a boat or wading into the water, close to shore can be one of the most productive and challenging areas to target. To help you streamline the process and improve your overall efficiency in the “white water,” we have enlisted New England outdoor writer/photographer and shore fishing expert James “Jimmy” Fee of the popular On The Water Magazine. In this two-part series he will teach the “Surf Fishing Perspective” and share his experience and expertise targeting New England game fish from close to shore. Providence Boat Show Sport Fishing Coordinator Captain Jack Sprengel urges show-goers of all ages and skill levels to come to this presentation and sponge from this sharp angler. As Captain Jack says, “Talking to Jimmy will add to anyone’s game!” In Part II of this seminar, take a look at the same fishery from the other side of the cast! Captain Eric of Teezer 77 Guiding Service will teach the “Vessel Perspective.” He is an inshore light-tackle specialist who prefers to stick close to shore when targeting striped bass, as it allows anglers to cast a variety of both artificial and live baits for exciting and aggressive shallow water takes. Captain Eric’s approach will cover not only how to target game fish in this white-water zone but also how to read shore structure and the best ways to position your vessel for optimum presentation and safety. Don’t miss this two-part presentation!

Big Game Block Island (Two-Part Seminar)

Captains Brian Bacon, Peter Bacon, Shamus Mara - Big Game Sportfishing

Join Captains Brian, Pete and Shamus of Big Game Sportfishing out Point Judith, one of Rhode Island’s premier multi-vessel charter fishing operations. Their presentation will encompass two separate subjects, focusing first on targeting big Block Island Striped Bass, in terms of what to look for, when to focus your efforts, and how to produce the best action. Then join the captains for an all-encompassing overview of the many different and exciting Tuna Fishing opportunities available to resident anglers and those planning to visit the Ocean State. They will cover the area from Rhody’s near-coastal waters out to the exciting Northeast Canyons. The captains from Big Game make up some of the most active professionals on the water here in Rhode Island today. Be sure to take advantage of their wealth of contemporary and hard-earned experience!

Light Tackle and Fly Fishing from a Kayak and Stand-Up Paddleboard

Joe Gugino - Why Knot Fishing

Learn successful tips and tactics from a New England angler about successfully targeting our region’s inshore saltwater species. This session will cover light tackle and fly fishing strategies, and how to execute both from a kayak and a stand-up paddleboard. Seminar leader Joe Gugino will include photos, videos, and interactive demonstrations to help you get excited about fishing from a paddle-powered craft this coming season.

Seminar Presenters

Jack Sprengel

Captain Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters, who coordinates the Providence Boat Show Sport Fishing Seminars, is known for his edgy style and unique approach to the sport. An active writer and photographer, his work has been featured in publications such as Saltwater Sportsman, Field and Stream, Coastal Angler and others; he has also appeared on major network television series for the National Geographic and Animal Planet channels. Captain Jack has traveled the world in search of trophy game fish, landing species from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico as well as numerous freshwater lakes, rivers and streams in the United States, Central & South America, and Europe. He has been a two-time Rhode Island Saltwater Angler “Angler of the Year,” has five RISAA Hall of Fame catches, and in 2011 co-set the new Rhode Island state record for Broad Bill Swordfish with teammate Captain Lou Defusco. In 2015, he and Captain Lou set a new Rhode Island state record for Wahoo. Captain Jack has given hundreds of cutting-edge audio/video lectures, and in 2016 he will be an instructor at the National Saltwater Seminar Series for George Poveromo.

Brandon Lake

Captain Brandon Lake of the AFTCO (American Fishing Tackle Company) pro team was raised in the sport-fishing lifestyle and has participated in it actively since the age of two. Although he has placed at the top in several regional tournament series, he's a sportsman who normally avoids the limelight. Captain Lake gets on the water in the North East just about every day and his passion, personal character and notable skill sets have made him an essential player for the East Coast Charters team. Lake specializes in using spinning tackle for big game species and has a knack for targeting large striped bass in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.

Landon Cohen

Born in Rhode Island and raised in Maine, Landon Cohen began fishing in a small stream behind his house at age seven. Growing up in Maine gave him the opportunity to fish in ponds, streams, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. He later expanded his reach into the waters of Cape Cod. On a quest to explore more water, he purchased a kayak and fished rock piles and ledges with both conventional and fly gear. With his kayak, he has gained access to waters that are difficult to reach by land and has come to know the flats and salt ponds of New England while honing his skill of sight fishing for huge bass. He has most recently begun targeting large gamefish in New England waters.

Brian Bacon, Peter Bacon & Shamus Mara

Big Game Sport Fishing was established in Snug Harbor, Rhode Island, by US Coast Guard–licensed captains Brian Bacon, Peter Bacon and Shamus Mara—who together have a combined experience of over 70 years fishing in southern Rhode Island waters. The Big Game crew has a true passion for the thrill of the hunt and putting fish in the box. Whether fishing inshore or at the Canyons, the Big Game team uses proven tactics to target the variety of species that inhabit Rhode Island waters. Big Game has either won or placed in many inshore and offshore fishing tournaments over the years, and the team also participates in the NMFS Shark tagging program and the Billfish tagging program. At Big Game Sport Fishing, these three captains provide each of their charter customers with a memorable experience and the fishing trip of a lifetime.

B.J. Silvia

Captain B.J. Silvia of Rhode Island’s Flippin’ Out Fishing Charters has been fishing Newport, Block Island and Narragansett Bay his whole life. A lifelong Aquidneck Island resident, he has extensive knowledge of the local waters and prides himself on finding fish and ensuring his charter customers have a lot of fun! He has been featured on TV shows such as Fishing the Ocean State with Don Coyne and On The Water TV. Captain B.J. has been commercial and charter fishing for over 20 years and practices catch and release whenever he can. He is a member of RISAA, Newport County Fishing Club, and the Aquidneck Island Striper Team. Although he is busy charter fishing, a lot of times you’ll still find him throwing plugs in the surf.

Eric Thomas

Captain Eric Thomas, owner of Teezer 77 Guiding Service, has been fishing the waters in and around Newport for his entire adult life. But he also has a passion for teaching others how to fish. At Teezer 77 Guiding Service, he offers guided fishing trips in the waters off Newport and southern New England.

Joe & Ryan Pagano

From the smallest streams of rural New England to the rich waters off Rhode Island’s coast, the father-and-son team of Joe and Ryan Pagano have together chased anything that swims! Captain Joe started offshore fishing for big game at age 10, began guiding at 18, and has made his living on the water for some 40 years. He put a rod in his son Ryan’s hands as soon as Ryan could walk. After catching a striper as early as age 2 and a shark a few years later, Ryan soon became a seasoned junior angler winning local and national bass tournaments. This father-and-son duo have thousands of trophy fish under their belts, and through Stuff It Charters in Narragansett they give other anglers the opportunity to catch their own fish of a lifetime.

Jimmy Fee

Jimmy Fee is the editor of On The Water Magazine. He fishes throughout the Northeast for everything from small-pond panfish to offshore tuna, but his favorite pursuit is hunting down striped bass in the surf.

Wade Baker

From Booked Off Charters in Narragansett, Captain Wade Baker offers inshore and offshore charters to target many species—from inshore fluke, tautog, striped bass and cod to offshore tuna and billfish. As holder of a US Coast Guard 100-ton Masters license, Captain Wade brings 20 years of commercial fishing experience to his customers. Wins at the Tri-State Canyon Shootout include a first-place for being part of the team to catch a 278-pound tuna, the largest Bigeye ever weighed in the Tri-State to date, and a first-place for a yellowfin at 72.5 pounds.

Joe Gugino

Originally from Connecticut, where he grew up freshwater fishing, Joe Gugino relocated to the area just north of Boston for college—and he stayed there and fell in love with saltwater fishing. He is co-founder of Why Knot Fishing, a team of passionate anglers focused on promoting the sport and engaging with the community in an exciting way. Together they promote catch and release, take-a-kid fishing, and conservation and run many events, meet-ups, and tournaments. Joe continues to fish primarily along Boston’s North Shore, but he also travels throughout the northeast to fish from shore, a kayak, and a SUP.