Rhode Island Fishing Report – March 4, 2021

Trout season doesn't begin until the second Saturday in April, but you can still fish non-stocked waters for a variety of species.

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Trout Fishing
Trout season doesn’t begin until the second Saturday in April, but you can still fish non-stocked waters for a variety of species.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, says people are coming in and buying stuff to get ready for the striper migration. Trout season is closed, but you can still fish non-stocked waters for trout, white perch, crappie, pickerel, and bass. The shop is open Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday morning.

Nick, at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing in Chepachet, says a few customers are buying shiners and gear for northern pike and largemouth bass before the last of the ice melts. Some people have been picking away at holdover stripers, but other than that, it has been quiet.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Evan, at Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme, says fishing is picking up, coinciding with the warmer temps. The most popular option has been trout, including large 16-inch brown trout at Trout Management Areas and Trout Management Lakes. Evan says there are days when he’s catching over 100 trout – he recommends pheasant tail and mercury midge flies, trout magnets, and Tsunami Cocktail In-Line Spinners. ‘Quality’ holdover stripers have been caught at night on 5-inch swimbaits paired with a 3/8-ounce jighead. Although the Westbrook store is closed, BHO is shipping online orders, or they can be picked up at the shop.

Connecticut Brown Trout
Evan Kamoen holding a big brown trout from a recent trip.

Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, says trout fishing has been good at the Farmington and Hammonasset rivers with fish ranging from 17 to 21 inches. He also mentioned the holdover striper bite at the Housatonic River has picked up.

Farmington River Trout
Jackie Diorio and her father, Joe, are enjoying their time together catching trout.

Ted, at Three Belles Outfitters in Niantic, says the ponds are beginning to open up, and there is moving water on the Connecticut River. Water temps are still in the 30s and winter presentations are still working the best; Ned Rigs and Hair Jigs. The Norwich area is producing solid brook and brown trout at a TMA and TML. Holdover striper fishing at the Housatonic River will continue to improve as the water temps increase and the bass become more active.

CT Trout Season Opens Early

Trout Parks: 2 trout per day (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)

Trout Management Areas (Rivers/Streams): Catch and Release until April 10, 2021. Please refer to the respective TMA for rules effective on April 10, 2021 and beyond.

Trout Management Lakes: One fish per day, 16″ minimum length until March 31, 2021, then 5 fish per day.

Trophy Trout Areas: 2 fish per day (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)

Wild Trout Management Areas:

o Class 2 – 2 trout per day, 12 inch minimum length (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)

o Class 3 – 5 trout per day, 9 inch minimum length (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

The weekend is going to be on the chillier side, with highs in the low to mid-30s. On the bright side, next week’s forecast is calling for temps in the 50s, with several days of sunshine. Even though trout season is closed, you can still fish the non-stocked waters. Hair jigs, Ned Rigs, spoons, Kastmasters, roostertails, worms, flies, and trout magnets are all good options this time of year. Check the DEM website for clarity about where you can fish and what rules apply.

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