Rhode Island Fishing Report – April 22, 2021

Spring tautog action is starting to pick up in the salt, while trout and largemouth bass action is holding down the fort in the freshwater.

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Rhode Island Tautog
Dustin Stevens holding a Rhode Island tautog.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

Captain Frank, of The Frances Fleet in Point Judith, reports that they’ve been keeping themselves busy getting the boats ready for the upcoming season. They have also been working on the website and their store to make it easier for those trying to book reservations. All trips could be booked online now, including half-day, full-day fluke, squid, and even tuna trips. They have also been able to get out on the cod grounds a couple of times this week, and while fishing has been on the slower side, they found a nice mixed bag of cod, ling, cunners, and a few tautog. They will continue to sail whenever possible, and they are looking forward to fluke season!

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the holdover bass bite has improved across the area, with anglers starting to report fish in the slot range on a regular basis. Tautog anglers are also starting to find more keepers from the shore and boat, with India Point Park putting up some nice keepers for shore anglers. Freshwater action has remained steady, with great trout reports and better largemouth reports coming in every day. The largemouth have been taking rubber worms with consistency and Dave is fully stocked with 45 different types of Senkos and 35 different types of Yum Dingers. Green crabs have been unavailable the last few days, but Dave is hoping that is going to change for the weekend.


Nick at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me that another round of trout restocking has begun, and action has been solid. There have been some nice quill hatches in bigger sizes (12 and 14), while easy limits have also been reported on pheasant tail nymphs. According to most, the tautog bite is starting to improve. Customers have reported better fish and a much steadier bite. Striped bass action seems to be restricted to the holdover game, but as the weather warms/improves we should start seeing some reports of fresh fish.

Chris Catucci told me that the largemouth bite continues to be strong. He spent some time on the road this week at Candlewood in Connecticut, and managed some nice fish, while missing some even larger ones! The largemouth are still in the pre-spawn mode and have been eagerly hitting slowly worked jerk baits. He also mentioned that several smaller ponds throughout Rhode Island are in the same pattern, and it tends to be a bit easier to find the fish up there than in the larger lakes.

Dustin, at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures, reports the tautog bite has remained on the slow side, but anglers that are putting the time in have found a few quality keepers in the Bay. Fishing in 40-55 feet of water on jigs tipped with crabs has been the key. The bite should pick up significantly in the coming weeks as the fish start to make their way into shallower water. Freshwater anglers are still reporting a good pre-spawn largemouth bit in the shallows, while the trout bite remains steady across the state.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Heather from Blackhawk Sportfishing told me that they are anxiously awaiting the start of their season. Their first porgy trip will be on May 1 at 5 am. Tickets will be available to purchase on their website on April 1 at 8 pm. Like last year, they will post tickets for their trips one week at a time, about 2 weeks in advance. All trips remain by reservation only, so be sure to get your tickets asap! They are also starting to book dates for private charters, but they are filling fast, so be sure to contact Heather as soon as possible.

Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters started getting back on the water this week and has found plenty of eager spring school striped bass. The bass have been taking smaller soft plastics and small swimmers, and he witnessed a few excellent topwater herring feeds, and he was able to manage some nice bass on unweighted Sluggos. It should only get better from here!

Joe, at Diorio Guide Service told me that the Farmington has been on fire, with recent stockings creating more competition with the holdover fish, and a whole lot of trout for most anglers. Shad fishing has also been very strong throughout the Connecticut, and the striper bite is starting to get moving. Joe anticipates getting out there for some stripers next week.

Black Hall Outfitters reports that last weeks’ cold front and rain hurt the local fishing a bit, but things are starting to trend back in the right direction. In the salt, anglers are reporting a good schoolie to slot-class bass on the Western CT beaches and in the tidal rivers. Tautog anglers are finding some nice fish in the New Haven area once again, and the bite seems to be starting to trend easterly. Asylum jigs tipped with green crabs seems to be the ticket for most, including Brian Ortell who managed a 4 man limit himself! On the freshwater side, fishermen are doing well on trout at local rivers and ponds. Ryan Kelly reports stellar numbers of trout on PowerBait in most of the local trout parks. The bass fishing is also heating up with reports of big smallmouth and largemouth on the bigger lakes across Connecticut, including Candlewood, Zoar, and Lillinonah.

Captain Chris Elser has been seeing the usual strong school striped bass action in the local estuaries. The herring run has begun, and the early numbers seem very encouraging. There is also some early schoolie activity in the Western Sound. Water temperatures are a bit warmer than the past several years, so we are in pretty good shape for a strong spring fishery. Trout fishing remains good on the Housatonic, Farmington, and Shepaug, and it should only get better with the upcoming mayfly hatches.

Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the local striped bass fishing has improved following a wave of new fish showing up in the area. The beaches have been pretty good both day and night for anyone throwing swimming plugs, topwaters, or soft plastics. The same can be said for the local harbors and estuaries. The bigger fish have remained in the herring runs, with fish to 35-inches taking large swimmers and soft plastics. Blackfish anglers are doing much better in the area, with steady keepers to the 20-inch mark Trout fishing remains phenomenal in the Mill, Mianus, Naugatuck and Norwalk Rivers.

Rhode Island Forecast

Saltwater anglers are starting to find a bit more success with tautog across Rhode Island and CT, while striped bass activity continues to improve in the rivers and is starting to wake up along the beaches. The American Shad bite is starting to get going in the rivers, and the prime activity should be happening over the next two weeks. Trout fishing remains the main game in the freshwater world and is consistent as ever. The same can be said for largemouth bass, that can be taken across all different types of water and by all types of methods.

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