Rhode Island Fishing Report – May 20, 2021

Fluke and scup are improving for bottom anglers, while striped bass, bluefish and weakfish are beating up artificial offerings up and down the coast.

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Squid fishing
Cheri and C-Devil II Sportfishing with a good haul of squid this week.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

Captain Greg, of The Frances Fleet in Point Judith, says that they have been busy fishing around the clock and filling coolers. Fluke fishing has been solid and continues to improve. High hooks have had limit catches or have been close to a limit on most trips. The quality is improving as well, with many fish over 5-pounds and a couple coming in at the 7-8-pound range. The squid fishing has remained steady and there are still some spots left for the upcoming squid trips.

Cheri, at C-Devil II Sportfishing in Narragansett, was happy to report that they started sailing for the 2021 season, and the early results have been strong. They have been sailing out to Coxes for cod, and while there has been some waiting around, there have also been some nice fish to be had. The squid trips have been tremendous, with Yo-Zuri jigs getting it done around Nebraska Shoals. If you don’t mind dealing with some ink, it’s pretty common to see 50-pounds of squid on a trip. Cheri also mentioned that trips need to be booked online, and they are going fast! Anglers are looking to get rid of the Covid cabin fever, so be sure to book asap!

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the striped bass have remained active along the beaches and in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. The bluefish have also started to show up in full force and are all over Greenwich Bay. Tautog fishing remains very steady for the bottom anglers, with limits coming from the bay and along the south facing rocky shoreline. The fluke are also starting to show up in better numbers, but you need to look for deeper structure, while the scup fishing seems to be picking up across the bay and the shallower South County rockpiles.

Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, told me that they did very well on the recent worm hatches in the local salt ponds. They have had plenty of light tackle bass and even found some nice weakfish slurping down worms. There are also plenty of larger striped bass showing up off of Block Island and plenty of smaller fish to play with in the bay.  They also spent some time bottom fishing the Matunuck area last weekend and were able to load up on keeper scup. The fluke bite has been inconsistent throughout inshore waters, but cod remains good of Block Island, and the squid bite is as steady as ever. With full moons and worm hatches happening in the coming weeks, make sure you get a trip scheduled with Captain Jay.

Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters is starting to get after it and had a big week across Rhode Island. There are tons of school to slot-class striped bass feeding on silversides, which has brought some awesome top-water action in the mornings. Some larger fish are showing up each day as well, with some spotty schools of 30-40-pound bass feeding on pogies and squid. The entire bay is now filled with pogies, so finding live bait has not been an issue. With the full moon and warming temperatures, they are expecting some lights out bass fishing in the coming week. When the bass bite slows down, they have been able to find some large scup in the upper bay and have been cashing in on the waning days of the spring tautog season!

Dustin from Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures reports better striped bass and bluefish action throughout Narragansett Bay. The fluke bite seems to be improving as well, with a few more keepers being reported each day. The sea bass season hasn’t opened yet in Rhode Island, but Dustin was able to get up to Buzzards Bay for the MA opener and put together a nice limit of keepers. The largemouth bass have now started to move off their beds and are being caught in slightly deeper water.

Nick at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me that the tautog action has remained steady, while the number of striped bass across the state seems to increase daily. The elusive weakfish bite has also started to intensify throughout the state.  Freshwater anglers are still reporting good trout results on Power Bait, while anglers fishing shiners have found some nice pike and bass on shiners at Waterman’s.

 Connecticut Fishing Report

Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing reported another strong week of fishing, with plenty of quality scup showing up on most trips. Jumbos have started to become common and there have been some nice bluefish and weakfish in the mix as well. The squid fishing has been nothing short of spectacular, with a steady pick from dusk on to the dark night hours. The squid fishing has been some of the best they have ever seen, and they plan to add more trips if the weather cooperates. The trips continue to be by reservation only, with tickets becoming available at 8 P.M. on Mondays.

Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters continues to find plenty of striped bass of mixed sizes on light tackle offerings. He also was happy to report that a large slug of bluefish have moved into the area and are ripping up tackle. There were also some bonus weakfish in the mix, so a true multi-species trip seems to be the norm at this point. Be sure to contact Mike for a spring-run trip or to book into the summer/fall!

Evan from Black Hall Outfitters reports that the weather looks hot this week, and so does the fishing! Some local fluke anglers are finding some keeper fish in deeper water with bucktails and Gulp. Sea bass season opens this week, and every indication is that it should be a strong opener. Some better striped bass have been slowly and steadily showing up, with quality fish being caught 3-waying the reefs with live bait, while school bass can be found on topwaters or soft plastics just about anywhere. Trout fishing has slowed down a bit as the water has warmed, but the larger stocked river systems are still putting up plenty of quality fish.

Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, has continued to pound the lower river over the past few days, and the school bass fishing has been excellent. They have been getting fish on both topwater and jigs, with Yo-zuri Topknock and Joe Baggs Patriot fish doing most of the work. Most of the fish are under the keeper size, but they seem to be getting a little better each day!

Striped Bass Joe Diorio
Joe Diorio and his daughter Jackie found some quality striped bass this week.

Captain Chris Elser told me larger striped bass continue to push into the western sound. This week he found a good pile of 20-pound class fish that were taking 10-inch Occhis around the bunker schools. Strong numbers of bluefish can also be found in CT and NY waters to the west.

Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that there are still plenty of stripers in the shallow waters along the local beaches. Soft plastics, colt snipers and SP Minnows have been taking care of business, but fish have also been willing to rise for a topwater offering. Better numbers of bluefish have entered this mix this week, with some 10-12-pound fish hitting bunker chunks and topwaters across the Western Sound. Bunker and mackerel schools remain common to the west, with anglers trolling bunker spoons, mojos and umbrellas finding some nice bass and bluefish. Fluke anglers are still reporting better results across the sound, in 20 feet of water or less. Teasers, Gulp, spearing, and squid are the top producers, but be ready to week through some shorts. Freshwater anglers continue to find good multi-species action in the Saugatuck Reservoir, with more walleye showing up this week, while trout anglers continue to chip away at quality fish in the local TMA’s.

Rhode Island Forecast

The quick rise in temperatures this week has everyone feeling like summer is knocking on the door, and for CT and RI anglers the same can be said for the summer fishing. Between the rising water temperatures and massive numbers of squid, the slow trickle of better fluke reports should turn into a steadier stream. Bottom anglers can also look to sea bass in CT, tautog for one more week in Rhode Island and scup across the area to provide some meat for the coolers.

Striped bass action is consistent, and this warm-up will undoubtedly bring about a big push of bigger fish. The early bluefish reports have been encouraging, as have the weakfish reports, that seem to get better each year. Freshwater anglers can continue to look to the large rivers for strong trout action, along with a solid post-spawn largemouth bite.

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