The hardtails seem to have made a second appearance in select areas since the storm and I think we’re all hoping they continue to spread out. In the meantime, there is plenty of fall run action including bass, blues, tautog, sea bass and scup.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reported up and down fishing on the cod grounds, but they have been able to pick off some good ones. Last Sunday’s trip was the best, with high hooks catching 5 fish each and there were some bomber sea bass from 4-6-pounds in the mix, along with some big scup. The action slowed down as the weather changed later in the week, but they are still picking some off at each spot they’ve hit. The weather looks to be improving this weekend, so it should be a productive one!
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the false albacore came back with a vengeance this week around Narragansett and Newport. They seem to be spread out through the area well, with both shore and boat anglers cashing in. The striped bass activity has picked up out front, with a good bite of slot limit and larger fish reported around Brenton Reef. The Seekonk and Providence rivers are also still holding a good slug of bass and bluefish that are hitting soft plastics and swimming plugs. The tautog fishing has been as good as ever throughout the state and should only keep improving. The scup and sea bass haven’t left the area just yet as well, with strong reports coming in from Narragansett and Buzzards Bay.
Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, told me that the big blow last night pushed a lot of bait out, but the bait balls and hardtails seem to have come back in full force the last few days. He’s still finding some quality albies and bonito from Sakonnet to Point Judith, with the Williamson Goname Jig being a top producer. While looking for schoolies they’re seeing tons of school bass inside the mouth of the bay. They are mainly on the small side, but there are some slot fish mixed in. Tautog fishing has been phenomenal with easy limits every trip and a few fish around the 10-pound mark. Bookings are filling quick, be sure to try and book while you still can!
Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing, reports that mother nature continued to mess up their offshore plans this week, but they were able to make a few inshore trips. The striped bass continue to bite fairly well, with a good number of 40-50-pound fish and quite a few slot fish in the mix. There are still some monster bluefish around and the false albacore action remains entertaining. Seabass are still filling the coolers, and the tautog bite continues to improve each week. Visit the live calendar on the website to book your fall dates!
Connecticut Fishing Report
Andrew, at Fishin Factory III in Middletown, told me that the Waterford/New London area still has a good bass bite, with loads of school-sized fish and fish to 30-pounds hitting topwater plugs. The false albacore remain scarce in the sound, but a few have started to show up. Rhode Island is still holding a larger mass of albies, but hopefully they are on their way in soon! There are still plenty of Spanish mackerel to take on light tackle, along with school bass and tailor bluefish. All three species can be found just about anywhere from the Connecticut River to the Thames River. Sea bassing remains pretty good, but you need to start looking to less commonly fished areas to find keepers. Andrew also mentioned that the Connecticut River has filled up with hickory shad, with some solid reports from up and down the banks of the river.
Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, said that the recent cool snap has finally dropped the water temperatures, and the fall run seems to be upon us. The topwater action for stripers and bluefish has been phenomenal, and there have been a few bonito and Spanish Mackerel in the mix as well. There are still plenty of sea bass on the bottom structure, but you have to work a bit to avoid shorts. Mike still has some open dates, so be sure to book asap before they fill!
Heather, from Black Hawk Sportfishing, told me that they lost a few days early in the week due to high winds and dirty conditions, but things have started to tick back up as the water has cleaned. They have seen limits of sea bass and jumbo scup, along with a nice mix of trigger fish. There has also been some more codfish in the mix, which is a good sign for things to come! They will continue to post trips on their website and hope to add a few more night bass trips, so book soon!
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, told me that the fall run is in full swing. He is finding good numbers of bass locally, despite the wind. Most of these fish have been willing to hit topwater plugs and will take live bunker if all else fails. There are still plenty of large bluefish in the mix as well! He also saw a few more albies and bonito this week, although he’s had to travel a bit for them. Hopefully a nice push is still to come in the sound!
Captain Chris, of Elser Guide Service, has been able to sneak out whenever the weather has allowed (which hasn’t been much lately). He found some false albacore in his neck of the woods this week, and while they were sparse, he has some hope that a nice push will come through in the next few days. Some big bluefish are still in the area and are actively hitting Exo Jigs and 7-inch Occhis. Some quality striped bass are still in the mix as well, and based on the amount of bunker in the area, they shouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.
Max at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the few albie schools that were in the area seem to have left and every western sound angler is hoping that it is not over just yet. There is still a very strong diamond jig bite around 11B, with big bluefish and some nice bass. There is also a nice mix of weakfish in the western sound, which is always a bonus for this time of year. The Saugatuck Reservoir walleye bite continues, with some good fish coming from the deeper water on the south end. The bass fishing also remains steady throughout the impoundment, wherever you can find some good structure.
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Rhode Island Fishing Forecast
The constant strong winds have continued to keep reports to a minimum, but things finally seem to be improving a bit for the weekend. False albacore reports remain good in Rhode Island, and a few random reports in the sound have CT anglers hopeful that they are about to make a real appearance. The striped bass have started their pre-migration feed, and good numbers of mixed sized fish can be taken on topwaters throughout both states. The stripers, some gator bluefish and plenty of Spanish Mackerel will ensure some light tackle action, even if you can’t locate the false albacore. Sea bass and scup catches remain strong on deeper structure, and the fall tautog bite is starting to hit full stride in Rhode Island.