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rhode trip: Family Fishing Trip and First Fish & Chips of the Season

By Katy Killilea

CastingBlount's Shady Table

When expert fisher-friends invited us to join them at one of their hot family fishing spots this weekend, we were ready. We had just acquired fine rods and reels from a tag sale, the sun was shining, and we had half a box of peanut butter crackers already tucked into our beach bag–we were ready to go! And so we went on our way, for the very first time, to fish at Sabin Point Park in East Providence.

The kids’ ages were (a strapping, fearless) three years to (a patient, nurturing) seven-and-a-half, and casting off the tiny beach at Sabin Point suited them perfectly. The bait was clams. The expert family provided this bait, as well as hooks and bobbins. There were a few brief, harrowing moments when the inexperienced children waggled their rods and hooks a little too close to their mom’s face. Many lines got tangled in many Crocs. But the good times far outweighed the bad. And we didn’t even catch a fish!

The children stood so patiently in the water, casting over and over and reeling in seaweed. The knowledgeable parents instructed the rest of us on the art of casting, maintaining a line-unsnagging posture, and everything else we needed to know. Sabin Point is a beautiful part of Rhode Island. We spent most of our time on the beach fishing, but there is also a playground with tons of swings, little slides, and even those low basketball hoops with real backboards that are so hard to find. Ducks and minnows were easy to spot, as were jolly men smoking cigars. Lovely sea glass as well as ordinary sharp shards of glass are plentiful (so use caution where you walk or sit) . There are big rocks perfect for balancing and clambering and there’s even a two-hundred-meter track paved for tricycle and beginning bicycle riders.Gummy Worm Yogurt

Overcome with hunger for fish after two hours spent fishing at the beach, our group headed to Blount’s Clam Shack on Water Street in Warren. The Clam Shack is open for the 2008 season and is as brilliant as last year with a new trailer that serves Wildberry Frozen Yogurt and Gelato. On a sunny day, there is no better place to be. Many diners arrive by boat, so there is plenty to watch on the water. The sun feels more intensely bright there–the crushed white shell ground cover and the proximity to water are unbearable without sunglasses– so every table has an umbrella, and there are big white tents set up for extra shade.

Lunch at Blount’s is so good–the fried-yet-high-quality kind of good. Fish sandwiches ($8 with french fries) are big enough to share. Kid’s meals, such as fish and chips, hot dog, or grilled cheese ($6) include a small bottle of water and fresh fruit or fries. Individual crab cakes ($3.50) are crispy and yummy, accompanied by a sauce that was both delicious and mysterious and may have been orange mayonnaise. Other than the great food and an awesome location, Blount’s is pretty spartan: drinks are provided by vending machines, and the hand-washing facilities are a container of Purell nailed to a post.

After lunch, we tried the new Wildberry Frozen Yogurt and Gelato. Choose between soft, tangy yogurt in two flavors: plain or wildberry. Add whatever topping you like: mangoes, almonds, granola, gummy worms. Delicious! The small size ($2.50 plus 65 cents per topping) is indeed small, which is all you could possibly want after lunch at Blount’s. Gelato in twelve or so flavors is also available if you prefer butterfat in your frozen treats. This is a very welcome addition to the clam shack lot–now you can go for a small, cool treat and enjoy the view, even when you don’t want a big piece of fried fish.

Details about getting a fishing license:

Jason McNamee at the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) tells us:

Currently there is no license required for salt-water fishing like Sabin Point mentioned above in RI (Although this is subject to change in 2009). Fresh-water fishing does require a license but not until your kids are over fourteen. Fresh-water licenses can be purchased at almost any bait and tackle shop in the state.

Regulations and an application for fishing licenses available at the DEM website.

“Free Fishing Days” = no license needed anywhere in Rhode Island on June 7 and 8, 2008.

Have a favorite fishing spot? A favorite fish and chips spot? Please share it with the kidoinfo community by posting a comment.

Photo Credit: Katy Killilea

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  • I love the clam shack!!! And Christine, I think you’ll find that Blount’s (although not corn-mealed), is the lightest, tastiest fried fish around–seriously!! They use Soy-Oil to fry which helps lighten that fried-load. Also, that WildBerry is amazing!!! I love grabbing ice cream for dinner once and awhile–what a treat make it frozen yogurt with fresh fruit (I watched them cut it!!!). So tasty!
    Go Warren!!!!

  • Went to the Clam Shack last night and Wildberry was giving away free yumminess. The workers were so friendly…the ingredients so fresh. I’ll go back just for that and skip the fried stuff. I wish they would open up a Salad trailer and then maybe a Wine trailer, a tofu trailer…a beer garden…an open air Food Court, for lack of a better term. Oh yes! My life would be so much better with all those things!

  • Hi,

    I was so pleasantly surprised to find Wildberry along with the Clam Shack. My wife loves fried clams. I was not in the mood for a big dinner so I went over to Wildberry and got a 12 ounce (which was huge) Wildberry with almonds, blueberries and raspberries. I felt like it was a meal with protein all the benefits of yogut… O FAt! My wife loved her meal and then had some Gelato at Wildberry. Which by the way has very little butter fat (3-4%) another advantage over ice cream. Anyway we really thought Wildberry is a great addition to the area and the owner was so nice and friendly We wil go back.

  • Hi Christine, I think Blount’s batter is the kind you don’t like, although it’s not vile like on bad Chinese chicken. The fish & chips at Aidan’s in Bristol is really good–but maybe still not the batter you are looking for. I hope more fish & chips people will chime in–I’d love some new places to go!

  • Can anyone tell me where to find fried fish with a light cornmeal batter, and not that thick beer batter that I have only found here in RI? I miss Charlie’s seafood up in Lynn. MA. The best haddock sandwich I’ve found anywhere. I just don’t like the thick batter- reminds me of what comes on chinese chicken fingers. Thanks!

  • Sounds like such a fun day.

    I’ve driven by Blount’s so many times but never stopped to try it out. I think I’ll add it to my summer to-do list!