Pictured above: One of many quality tautog from Tall Tailz Charters this week.
Striped bass and bluefish can be found blitzing on small bait throughout the region, but increased reports of hardtails has everyone excited. Meanwhile, the bottom fishing remains strong, with a few more good weeks to get after the fluke, sea bass and scup.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reports that they had an up and down week in Rhode Island, due to some weather issues and tough fishing at times, but they were still able to put together some pretty good catches. Early in the week they saw some limits of fluke to 10-pounds; that bite died down as the week went on, but the sea bass picked up the slack! Things improved once again later in the week, with plenty of limits of both species. They will continue to run bottom fishing trips for fluke and sea bass through the third week of September before they transition to cod. They will also start to run one-night tuna trips soon, so be sure to check out their website for reservations.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, reports that the number of hardtails being reported is starting to increase throughout the state, with more bonito and a few false albacore. The striped bass have also taken notice of all the peanut bunker in the area and can be found assaulting them in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. Sea bass are still around in decent numbers, fluke has tailed off, and the scup fishing has been strong at India Point Park. Tautog fishing has been strong across most of Rhode Island, and reports from Buzzards Bay have been very good as well. Dave will be open from 430 am to 730 PM over the weekend, but the hours will be reduced after the holiday, so be sure to check in with him for updated hours.
Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, reports that fall fishing is in full swing across Rhode Island. Small schools of bonito and false albacore are being caught from Point Jude to Sakonnet. Large schools of bluefish and some quality striped bass can be found actively feeding on silversides and bay anchovies throughout Narragansett Bay. The offshore bluefin bite remains on fire, with a bunch of fish from 30-70-inches coming on the jig, along with a few giants in the mix. They have started targeting tautog and it has been lights out, with easy limits most mornings. They only have a few dates left in September and October, so be sure to book asap!
Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing, had another strong week of fishing, with increased slot limits of striped bass, while still releasing a bunch of 40-50-pound fish, and a whole mess of big bluefish. Large sea bass remain plentiful enough to keep the coolers full, and they started to put together a few strong cod trips. Bonito and a few false albacore have started to show up along the beaches, and they have been eager to hit the epoxy jigs. The yellowfins are starting to outnumber the bluefin offshore, but action is good for the tunas. The same can be said for the shark bite, with multiple makos and a 300-pound thresher were landed this week. They are starting to book fall tautog and cod trips, so be sure to check the website to book soon!
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 most of the hardtails seem to be far to the east in Rhode Island, but there are some Spanish and chub mackerel to be had locally around Niantic. School striped bass are all over the place in the eastern sound, and a few stud bass are still popping up after dark around Waterford and around Fishers. Fluking has come on relatively strong, after what has been a weak year, but some nice keepers from 6-10-pounds have popped up in Montauk, and locally at Hatchets and Black Point. Sea bass limits can still be found locally, but be prepared to move around quite a bit, or just steam to Block/Montauk. The bluefish renaissance continues, with 2-5-pound fish all over the place, and some random gators in the mix. Blue crabbing and snapper bluefishing remain great in the CT River tribs, so be sure to cash in before it’s too late.
Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me that he has started to shift his focus to more light tackle casting action for bass and bluefish. There are big schools of peanut bunker and silversides throughout the sound, and they are starting to get worked hard by bass and blues. Water temperatures are starting to drop a bit and the bait amounts are on the rise, so the fish have clearly started to become more aggressive.
Heather, from Black Hawk Sportfishing, reported another strong week of bottom fishing! Limits of scup and sea bass have been a regular occurrence, with some nice triggerfish and a few fluke in the mix. The bonus scup season has started, so now is a great time to truly fill the freezer! They continue to post new trips on Monday evenings, with reservations required for all trips. Get your tickets as soon as possible, they are selling out quick!
Captain Chris, of Elser Guide Service, told me that the weather has been a bit of an issue this week, but he managed to get out a few times this week and found bluefish from snapper size to 10-pounds. The striped bass bite has been a bit more hit or miss, but he is still finding at least a few fish to 30-pounds on the tube and worm. His fly and light-tackle customers have been having a blast chasing bluefish and Spanish Mackerel from New Haven to Norwalk. Chris also expects some bonito to show up in that area this week, and based on reports from out east, the albies shouldn’t be far behind.
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reports that the scup action has been very good again this week, with shore anglers scoring keepers and those fishing the deeper structure have been getting some slammers! There are still plenty of bluefish inshore, but if you truly want to target a gator you should try some diamond jigging around 11b, 28c and the OB. The striped bass fishing has started to pick up again, with a good number of 40-inch class fish being taken on fresh chunks in the usual haunts. Fluking is so-so but if you fish deep with some larger baits you can find some quality flatties.
Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Connecticut.
Rhode Island Fishing Forecast
We continue to inch closer to some tremendous fall fishing throughout New England. Large schools of peanut bunker and silversides have caught the attention of striped bass and bluefish everywhere. The hardtail reports are starting to slowly increase as well, with more bonito showing up and the first substantial numbers of false albacore in eastern Rhode Island. Bottom fishermen can put in one last ditch effort at some fluke, which have been biting ok; while sea bass and scup action remains consistent, and tautog action continues to improve in Rhode Island.