Fish'n Tales Adventures, located near Aquidneck Lobster Company's dock on Bowen's Wharf on the Newport waterfront, is in the middle of its second season as the city's first working vessel that serves the dual purpose of taking passengers on 90-minute excursions to haul working lobster traps, as well as regularly scheduled Party Boat fishing trips for individuals and larger groups.
This second season has started off with a bang and a slew of awards and accolades as the new business was named the Number One fishing charter by the RI Commerce Corporation, a 2016 Editors’ Choice for “Best All Ages Boat Trip” by Yankee Magazine and a 2016 Newport Life Magazine’s Editor’s Choice for “Best Kept Secrets”. Tour attendees obviously agree with the high accolades as evidenced by the many five star reviews on social review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp.
The captain and crew are eager to showcase the lobster industry that has been so integral to the city and its identity. The lobster tour boat is run just like the commercial rigs with the same heavy-duty equipment on board. According to Captain O’Brien “We take time on the Fish'n Tales Adventures tours to talk about how much of the old way of life Newport is nearly gone. Not too many people earn their living off the sea around here anymore. Aquidneck Lobster Company, a wholesale and retail market on the dock where the boat is, is truly the last of its kind in this town. Fish'n Tales Adventures wants to be part of preserving that heritage by telling their story."
On the lobster tour, kids of all ages can join the captain and crew aboard the refurbished F/V Northeastern, a U.S.C.G. inspected vessel, for a bit of a tour of the inner harbor as they motor a short distance off either Goat Island or Rose Island to the lobster fishing grounds. The captain and crew haul out six to eight "pots" as they are called, while the passengers aboard can help out banding the lobster claws, sorting the catch, and learn all about lobsters, their unique habitat, as well as the tricks of the trade of being a lobster fisherman.
For the family friendly fishing trips, Fish'n Tales Adventures typically runs three hour trips with early morning departures from Bowen's Wharf. As the only Party Boat operating in Newport since the 1980’s, visitors to Newport now have the opportunity to buy a single ticket to go fishing, offering a budget friendly option versus chartering a whole boat. "We go out close to the coast for whatever is running seasonally, depending on the time of year and the species that are in these waters at different times of the year. I am sure that we'll hook the occasional striped bass and bluefish, which both fight a bit," he said. There are also tautog that are abundant in Rhode Island waters in the autumn months. "We fish 'till it gets too cold," said O'Brien.
In addition to the daily lobster tours and regularly scheduled fishing excursions, Fish'n Tales Adventures is available for private charters as a spectator boat for the regattas and races off Newport, for bird-watching groups, and for the times when there are fireworks and other special events on the water.