Rhode Island Fishing Report – June 25, 2020

Peter Turcotte striper
Peter Turcotte of Aquidneck Island Striper Club holds a Narragansett Bay bass caught on topwater this past Saturday.

Striped bass action remains strong, especially if you can find some lesser-fished pieces of structure. The same can be said for fluke fishing, which is still difficult but is showing signs of improvement on some smaller pieces of structure.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

Captain Connor MacLeod of Tall Tailz Charters out of Newport reported that there are some decent schools of striped bass in Narragansett Bay hanging with all the bait, but in general the bass are moving out of the ay and beginning to fill the ledges off Newport, Jamestown and Sakonnet. There are big numbers of striped bass in the 20-25 lb class, with a few larger stripers and a few bluefish in the mix. Sea bass and scup fishing has been lights out in 50-70 feet of water, and there are plenty of fluke around but he’s had to weed through a ton of shorts to get a few keepers.

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that for some of his customers, the fishing has been strong in the Cape Cod Canal since the new moon. The Block Island bass fishing has also improved quite a bit, with the bulk of the fish being well over the slot limit. Block Island has also been good for sea bass and scup, and the same can be said for those steaming out to Buzzards Bay.

Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing in Point Judith, told me that the bass continue to be plentiful and getting larger by the day. They were able to catch and release several fish over 30 pounds this week and a few into the 40s. The bass are eager to hit jigs, and so are the bluefish. The fluke seem to be biting better in deeper water, while the sea bass have been abundant and hungry since the season opened. The calendar is filling fast, be sure to check the live calendar on the website for remaining dates.

Weekapaug Bait and Tackle reported another week of improved fishing from the breachways and local beaches. The scup have arrived in full force, with good numbers being taken from the boat and shore. The fluke fishing is still difficult, but a few more keepers seem to be trickling in every day. Sea bass numbers are good, and only improving, just in time for the opener this past week. Striped bass and bluefish are moving around the beaches and breachways consistently, but you may have to look to the reefs for some larger specimens.

Mike, at Watch Hill Outfitters in Westerly, reports that the fishing has improved quite a bit following the last new moon cycle and the increase in water temperatures. Bigger bass have shown up on the local reefs and at the island, with a few customers reporting fish in the 40- to 50-pound range. Fluke fishing has picked up a bit as well, with a few more keepers showing up along side the mass of short fish. The local beaches, Fishers, and the southside of Block have all improved a bit this week in terms of fluke action. The sea bass have shown up in full force around inshore waters, with anglers starting to report easy limits. Scup fishing has been excellent for both shore and boat anglers, while the offshore guys are reporting a strong bluefin bite of fish to 100 pounds or so.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Rhode Island.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Andrew, at Fishin Factory III in Middletown, told me that the fluke fishing remains rather difficult, despite a nice 11.65-pound fish getting weighed in for the shop tournament last week. Montauk and Block Island have been popular locations for those looking for a doormat, but the action has been changing daily. The local fluke hotspots have been similar, with short fish greatly outnumbering keepers, so no matter where you go be prepared to work for them, or hope you get lucky. Sea bass catches have picked up in the eastern sound, and with the Rhode Island season opening, the biscuits are providing a nice haul for those who may strike out on the fluke. The same can be said for scup action, which took a big turn in the right direction this week. Despite the warming water, the lower Connecticut River is still producing some nice striped bass on topwater plugs and bunker but expect crowds. If you want to avoid the crowds, the inshore reefs are starting to see more quality fish and haven’t been pounded as hard just yet.

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters, told me that the summer striper fishing has picked up, and so has the fishing pressure. You may have to cover a little ground to avoid the crowds, but the good news is that the fish now seem to be widespread, with quality fish being caught throughout the state. Fish are still actively taking topwater baits, while the anglers fishing the reefs are reporting good catches on 3-wayed bucktails or eels. The number of blues in the area continues to thin out, but there are at least a few still around to rip up your eels or soft plastics. Light-tackle enthusiasts are still reporting an abundance of small bass and blues that will readily take a fly or soft plastic. Limits of black sea bass have been a bit tougher to find in CT, as the fish seem to have spread out. With the sea bass season opening in Rhode Island though, you can likely cover some ground and score some nice sea bass for the cooler. The fluking is slowly but surely picking up. If you can weed through the short fish, you can likely find a couple doormats. Don’t be afraid to move quickly from spot to spot and vary your fishing depths.

Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me he is still finding a steady pick of quality bass, both in the river and on the reefs. The crowds continue to get larger, but with the fish spreading out you can certainly move around, avoid the crowds, and still find some nice fish. Sea bass fishing has picked up quite a bit in eastern CT, and the hubcap scup have started to show up as well!

Mike, at Light Bite Charters in Norwalk, told me that bigger bass and blues are showing in good numbers, especially around the bunker schools. Some larger fish have moved in closer to home and are settling down on the inshore structure. The evening bite into the dark, along with the daybreak bite have been best, and small bass and blues are plentiful on light tackle for most of the day.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Connecticut>.

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

Striped bass and bluefish action has been consistent for a few weeks now, and they seem to be spreading out. Moving around and fishing some less-fished areas should result in better bass and bluefish catches. Moving around may be the name of the game this week; besides the bass and blues, you’re best shot at good fluking seems to include bouncing around pieces of structure until you find some better fish that aren’t constantly under pressure. The sea bass seem to be spreading out in Connecticut, and the local hotspots are producing nice limits in Rhode Island. Scup action has also been very good this week, so our bottom-fishing options seem to be improving daily.

1 thought on “Rhode Island Fishing Report – June 25, 2020

  1. Bernie Cataloni

    Dear On The Water crew,
    I want to share my opinion on the Striped bass slot rule. Yesterday while traveling through the Cape Cod canal, I saw a bass around 40 inches floating in the water . This fisherman was following the law as it is currently written. This law encourages fisherman to throw back fish that are too large, or not in the slot, in doing so, the fish becomes stressed and often dies anyway. I understand that the breeders need to be protected and using the circle hooks is a must,but I feel strongly that if the law was “One fish per day per person” would reduce the release killing. The angler that caught that fish could have just kept it, and he would have been finished for the day. The bass do need our help,but targeting a slot size may not be the solution. The real fisherman understand this and feel one problem is with poachers, the punishments are too lean. The other problem is over commercial fishing with nets or draggers. I don’t usually speak out, but I was really saddened to see that beautiful fish floating.in the water. Thank you for providing a forum for me to express my opinion. Thank you On The Water.

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