The weather has settled and the blackfishing has become the talk of the town across Southern New England; while blitzing bass, bluefish and some false albacore haven’t quit their decimation of small bait just yet!
Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith finally got a cooperative weather week, so it’s no surprise that the fishing results have improved. The full day cod trips have been seeing drop and reel action for most the day. They’ve been finding strong catches of cod, sea bass, bluefish and all the scup you could want. High hook anglers have been seeing 5-7 codfish on the jigs and sea bass limits. You never know what you’re going to get when you drop your bait down this time of year, and that includes a fat 32-inch fluke that came on a cod trip this week! The tautog trips have been successful as well, despite loads of short fish. It may take a little while to weed through the short fish, but most trips have been close to a full-day limit of tog by days end.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the fishing remains strong in his neck of the woods, with some larger bass moving in the Seekonk and Providence Rivers. Slot fish have been more prevalent, along with some larger bass in the mid to upper 30-inch class. Cesin Curi and Ryan Milton reported some solid surfcasting around Block Island, with big numbers of bass from schoolies to 21-pounds. The tautog fishing has remained tremendous throughout the area, but crabs are getting tougher to find, so be sure to stock up as soon as you know you are going. The false albacore action has been a bit sporadic, but they can still be found across the state most days and there seems to be more bonito in the mix lately.
Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, told me that this week has continued the trend of some of the best fall fishing weeks of the season thus far. Most trips have seen some massive top water feeds of albies, bass, blues, mackerel, and hickory shad. The “fall run fishing” is officially upon us. There are still some large striped bass in the mix as well, with multiple fish in the 30-40-pound class showing up this week. Williamson Gomame and Gomoku jigs continue to be a big producer while small white and pink Ron-z’s are also working well. For the bottom anglers, tautog fishing has been incredible with tons of quality keepers in relatively shallow water. They are also seeing plenty of interesting by-catches as well, with cod, triggers, and a variety of different puffer fish in the mix. Call to book asap, while there’s still some openings and the fishing is red hot!
Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing, reports that bass are still hanging out around the island and across the inshore beaches and have actively been hitting eels and soft plastics. The false albacore action has slowed a bit, but there are still a few around, along with plenty of blitzing mackerel. The water has stayed warm enough for the sea bass to remain plentiful, with limit catches remaining easy. Tautog action has been strong, but results have been up and down. There are quite a few shorts in the mix at the moment, but with a little bit of work they have managed limit catches. There also seems to be a nice mix of cod around, that are helping to stock the freezer.
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Connecticut Fishing Report
Andrew, at Fishin Factory III in Middletown, told me that blackfishing has been the main game in CT this week, as the weather has taken a turn for the better. The water is warm, and the fish are still shallow, with good catches coming anywhere from 8-25 feet of water. A 9-pound fish was weighed in for his tournament this week, and that fish was caught in the shallows from the rocks, so it’s not just the small fish in the skinny water. Some nice sea bass are coming over the rails as blackfish bycatch, so they don’t seem to have left the area just yet. There are some larger striped bass hanging around the bunker schools in the river, while smaller fish can be found moving throughout the sound. Tailor bluefish are also still prevalent and are blitzing with the smaller bass in the eastern sound. Freshwater anglers are cashing in on the recent fall trout stockings at spots like Day Pond and Black Pond, while the rivers finally have enough flow to start getting a fresh stocking as well. The FF3 2020 CT Carp Open just kicked off and early reports have been strong from carp anglers fishing up and down the river.
Ted, at Three Belles Outfitters in Niantic, told me that we are still within the prime fishing season for Niantic Bay. Striped bass and hickory shad can be found in the bay and in the river, with both areas being full of peanut bunker. Blitzes of school bass have been common in the area, and a few hearty bluefish are still in the mix. Blitzing fish are willing to hit most topwater offerings, and if they do not look towards a small soft plastic bait on a jighead. A 3-4-inch minnow style weighted soft plastic has been a top producer for the hickory shad. The bottom fishing is also still strong around the bay, with plenty of sea bass hanging around and some very strong tautog action in relatively shallow water.
Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me that the strong fall run has continued with regular blitzes of bass and some bluefish on most trips. There are large masses of peanut bunker throughout the sound, and the predators haven’t been too far behind. There is still plenty of adult bunker in and around the river mouth as well, which is keeping some of the bigger bass in the area. The false albacore are constantly on the move, but he has found no shortage of them on most trips, and they have been eager to hit flies, plastics and tins. Blackfishing has started off strong and should only improve, and the sea bass haven’t left the area just yet.
Heather, from Black Hawk Sportfishing, reports some great fishing whenever Mother Nature has cooperated. Jumbo sea bass are still prevalent, along with some nice cod, and even a few winter flounder in the mix. They hope the weather improves a bit and plan to get some blackfish trips in soon, so be sure to check their website for updates and scheduling.
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 has also been able to dial in the false albacore bite this week, with good numbers of catches when the weather has allowed.
Captain Chris, at Elser Guide Service, was pleased with the break in the windy weather this week, although the fog has been a bit difficult. He continues to find more false albacore each day in his neck of the woods, and there is still plenty of schoolie to slot-class fish. The bluefish haven’t left the western sound yet either, as he has seen good numbers of gators to 12-pounds or so!
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Rhode Island Fishing Forecast
The weather has started to cooperate and tautog anglers are making the most of it across both Rhode Island and Connecticut. The water has remained warm, and good catches are coming from shallow, jig-worthy water. The black sea bass haven’t left the area just yet, with some great catches coming as tautog by-catch, while some cod and big scup are rounding out the catch for bottom anglers. Light-tackle enthusiasts are still finding plenty of small bass and bluefish, and while the albies have been a bit harder to dial in, they seem to popping up in most of the usual haunts a couple times a day. Freshwater anglers are starting to cash in on some fall trout stocking, along with a strong carp bite and an increase in fall pike activity.