Sport Fishing Seminars

Captains Brian and Peter Bacon and Captain Shamus Mara of Big Game Sport Fishing, the coordinators of the Providence Boat Show’s Reel Island Sport Fishing Seminars, have been fishing the Southern New England waters from Rhode Island to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas for 20+ years.

Best known as owner / operators of Rhode Island’s premiere charter boat fleet, Big Game Sport Fishing and the originators of The Fluke Til Ya Puke Fishing Tournament Brian, Pete and Shamus have a true passion for the thrill of the hunt. They love putting their clients on fish and use a number of techniques targeting all of the inshore and offshore species our world-class fishery has to offer.

The Big Game crew were recently named 2017 Charter Captains of year by Sport Fishing Magazine. They've also been featured in On The Water Magazine, The Fisherman Magazine and Coastal Angler Magazine. Brian, Pete and Shamus are sought after speakers and have presented seminars at fishing shows and clubs throughout New England and New York.

Brian, Pete and Shamus have won and placed top 3 in many inshore and offshore tournaments over the years and use that same competitive spirit to make sure their clients have a memorable fishing experience of a lifetime.

Through out the entire duration of the PBS, during all ours of operation, Captains and Crew from our Reel Island Presentation Team will be on hand to answer your Sportfishing Related questions and will providing hands on demonstrations including everything from Raymarine Electronics, live simulated fish fighting challenges and interaction with all.

Seminar Schedule 2018

Friday Schedule
1:00 pm - 2:00pm Rhode Island Squid Fishing Captain Greg Vespe

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Trolling for Bluefin Tuna 2017 Bluefin tuna recap Capt. Chris Gergely (Double Trouble Sport Fishing)

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm World Class Blackfish/ Tautog Fishing Capt. BJ Silvia and Greg Vespe (Flippin out Charters)

4:45 pm – 5:45 pm Fishing for hard tails (Bonito and False Albacore) Capt. Eric Thomas (Teezer Charters)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Block Islands Trophy Striped Bass Capt. Brian Bacon and Capt. Shamus Mara (Big Game Sport Fishing)

7:15 pm – 8:15 pm Jig and Pop Bluefin Capt. Cohen Babcock and Chris Young (Southcoast Sportfishing)
Saturday Schedule
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Jig and Pop Bluefin Capt. Cohen Babcock and Chris Young (Southcoast Sportfishing)

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm Door mat Domination Fishing for Fluke Capt. Wade "Bergie" Baker (Booked off Charters)

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Block IslandsTrophy Striped Bass Capt. Brian Bacon and Capt. Shamus Mara (Big Game Sport Fishing)

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm World Class Blackfish/ Tautog Fishing Capt. BJ Silvia and Greg Vespe (Flippin out Charters)

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Fishing in the White Water for Striped Bass Capt. Eric Thomas (Teezer Charters)

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm Rhode Island Squid Fishing Captain Greg Vespe

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Trolling for Bluefin Tuna 2017 Bluefin tuna recap Capt. Chris Gergely (Double Trouble Sport Fishing)
Sunday Schedule
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Mahi Mania targeting Mahi Mahi Capt. Peter Bacon (Big Game Sport Fishing RI)

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm World Class Blackfish/ Tautog Fishing Capt. BJ Silvia and Greg Vespe (Flippin out Charters)

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Jig and Pop Bluefin Capt. Cohen Babcock and Chris Young (Southcoast Sportfishing)

Seminar Topics

Strictly Trolling! A review of the Hot 2017 Block Island Bluefin Tuna Bite and the Trolling techniques and gear that caught fish.

Capt. Chris Gergely (Double Trouble Sport Fishing)

In 2017, we experienced some of the most abundant pelagic marine life and with it the most consistent tuna bite in years south of Block Island. There is no denying it. From the many unbelievable top water feeds, to tuna shooting up from 160 feet deep nailing your trolled spread on the surface, this past summer the months of July and August, where some of the best we have experienced for Bluefin tuna in over 15 years, sometimes within eye sight of Block Island! In this seminar Capt. Chris will cover on the theories behind why the near shore tuna bite was so hot, what trolling techniques, lure selections and patterns worked, and what signs to pay attention to while on the water. These techniques and perspectives can be applied to help increase your odds of having a successful day trolling offshore while on your own boat when the bite turns back on next summer!

Targeting Rhode Island Monster Blackfish

Captain BJ Silvia - Flippin’ Out Charters & Captain Greg Vespe

The Rhode Island coastline offers some of the best structure and habitat for one of Southern New England’s most sought after species. Come to the boat show to learn from two of the most prolific charter captains who are specialized in targeting Monster Blackfish. Learn the ins and outs of targeting these fish in deeper, cooler, rocky waters of the East Bay and Southern Coast if RI. BJ and Greg’s method will have you dialed in to ensure you stay on the fish.

(Doormat Domination) Targeting Summer Founder “Fluke”

Captain Wade Baker - Booked Off Charters

It has often been said that Fluke Fishing is the “gateway drug” to salt water fishing and this presentation will definitely get you hooked! 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 one of the state’s most exciting ground fish. You’ll learn about targeting fluke/summer flounder during the spring and into the warmer months, fishing structure and understanding the tides and when the fish feed. If you like the idea of bent rods and full freezers, you won’t want to miss this exciting speaker.

Jig and Pop New England Bluefin Tuna

Captains Cohen Babcock and Captain Christopher Young – Southcoast Sportfishing Charters

Bluefin Tuna are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet--not to mention the ultimate gamefish. Captains Cohen Babcock and Christopher Young know where the region’s fishing hot spots are, and their method of targeting these powerful creatures will give you goosebumps! Cohen and Chris use a run and gun style approach to the tuna fishery. Catching and landing trophy size Bluefin tuna on lighter spinning gear by methods of jigging and casting in to the school of tuna. If you’re interested in big game fishing here in Rhode Island (or you want a few tips to step up your jig and pop game), don’t miss these exciting guest speakers.

White Water Striped Bass and Hard Tails (Two-Part Seminar)

Captain Eric Thomas - Teezer 77 Guiding Service

In this two part 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 Striped Bass to Mahi (Two-Part Seminar)

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

Join Captains Brian, Pete and Shamus of Big Game Sport Fishing out of Point Judith, Rhode Island’s premier multi-vessel charter fishing operation. 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 Mahi Mahi Fishing opportunities available to resident anglers and those planning to visit the Ocean State. They will cover the area from South of Block Island 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!

Squid Fishing in Rhode Island

Captain Greg Vespe

Learn successful tips and tactics from this Rhode Island angler about successfully targeting one of our region’s most popular bait and table fare. This session will cover everything from the most productive times to catch squid, the tides, times of year, using lights, locations and structure. Whether you’re fishing for calamari or bait, seminar leader Greg Vespe will include photos, videos, and interactive demonstrations to help you be more successful and get excited about fishing for squid.

Seminar Presenters

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.

Captain Chris Gergely

Capt. Chris is the owner and operator of Double Trouble Sport Fishing sailing form Watch Hill, RI. He spends most of his time chartering and fishing the waters around and south of Block Island and Montauk NY. His love affair with offshore sport fishing drives him to share the thrill of the hunt with others who are as passionate as he about the sport. Capt. Chris has fished both commercially and recreationally up and down the United States East Coast, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands spending valuable time with and learning from other captains with sport fishing royalty in their blood. When not on the water he is the owner and operator of one of the premier up and coming sport fishing equipment manufacturing companies in the U.S.

Chris Young

Chris has been fishing the New England waters since he was old enough to hold a fishing rod. Growing up in Rhode Island, he spent his childhood summers, nights, and weekends fishing all the local waters for any and all game fish. After honing his skills chasing the smaller inshore species his fascination for the larger offshore pelagic species grew. By the time he was in his early 20’s he was already an accomplished offshore angler fishing on tournament teams and landing giant tuna upwards of 900 lbs. Today Chris runs a 33’ center console out of Rhode Island and is an active member of the New England sport fishing community working with a network including some of the top sport fishing operations in the Northeast. Chris has placed in the money in tournaments and is an extremely well rounded angler with multiple sponsors and pro staff positions supporting him on his angling journey. He fishes New England’s near coastal waters for Striped Bass, Fluke, and Giant Bluefin Tuna as well as offshore waters in search of Swordfish, Big Eye Tuna, and Marlin. When he is not fishing his local waters he enjoys traveling the world searching for big game pelagic species to check off his ever growing “catch list”.

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.

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.

Cohen Babcock

Captain Babcock spent most of his youth targeting New England's diverse inshore saltwater game species in the back waters and bays of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. After honing his skills recreationally from both surf and vessel alike, Cohen then logged over a decade of commercial rod and reel fishing. Eager to spread his passion and knowledge of the sport the Captain established SouthCoast Sportfishing Charters 3 years ago. Since that time he has continued to double his clientle base specializing in both inshore and offshore big game alike. Adding to the Captains list of experience, he has traveled to and fished the waters of the Florida Keys, the Caribbean Sea , Panama's Pacific coast and the Gulf of Mexico. To date Babcock runs inshore and offshore trips sailing out of both RI and Mass aboard his 25 hydrasport powered by twin 175 etecs and is a brand representative for the Crafty One Customs Pro Staff.

Captain Greg Vespe

Greg Vespe has been targeting squid in the waters of Narragansett Bay and RI for 19 years now and will present on how this fishery has evolved from a limited 4 to 6 week spring season featuring a lone guy sitting on a bucket with a dock lamp to one of todays fastest growing family friendly 8 month season that is perfect for the RI boater thanks to advances in electronics/sonar/positioning systems and fishing gear. Most often seen fishing and presenting with "partner in crime" Capt BJ Silvia , Greg Vespe has extensive fishing experience along the majority of the eastern seaboard as well as the Gulf and Pacific North West and often blends his experiences from fishing other regions with local techniques to find ways to consistently keep rods bent and fish of all species coming over the rails. Greg is currently President of the Aquidneck Island Striper Team, RISSA Member; Chair Education Committee.