Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reported some slower fishing after the storm, but things have started to turn around. Captain Greg found a nice pile of big sea bass on some structure closer to home, along with enough keeper fluke to keep things interesting. Captain Keith reported similar results this week, with strong sea bass and scup action on the morning trips when the drift conditions were ideal. They will continue to fish daily when the weather permits, and reservations can be made on the website or by calling the office.
Cheri, at C-Devil II Sportfishing in Point Judith reported some stellar fishing after Elsa moved out of the area. An abundance of gator bluefish has made the quest for stripers a bit challenging, but they still found plenty of big bass on eels, including multiple 50-pound plus fish. Seabass are plentiful, and some nicer fluke were found around the wrecks and beaches this week. The schoolie bluefin bite has only improved since the storm, and the fleet has found some giants as close as 20 miles south of the island this week. The fall calendar is booking up fast, so be sure to go to the website to book a trip ASAP!
Captain Rick, at Priority Charters in Narragansett has stayed inshore most of the week due to the strong bluefish and striped bass action in local waters. They have been able to find plenty of slot striped bass on most trips, along with several overs and big bluefish throughout the area. The black sea bass bite has hit its stride, with limits on most trips and good numbers of jumbo scup in the mix. The fluke action remains up and down, but those putting some time in are finding some keepers here and there. The offshore reports remain focused on the local bluefin. Both giants and school fish have continued to hang around close to home, with Hogy spreader bars on the troll remaining the top producer for both.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, had several customers reporting some tougher bluefin and striped bass action following the storm, but both seem to be improving as the water continues to clean-up. The black sea bass fishing was not affected by the weather and has been lights out across the state. The first bonito reports in local waters started to come in this week, with more being spotted each day.
Captain Ben DeMario, at Watch Hill Charters told me that the striped bass and bluefishing remains steady on most days. Elsa did throw them a curve ball, which had them cancelling some trips, but things have picked right back up. They have been getting bass to 41-inches, along with good numbers of mixed sized bluefish on topwater lures and soft plastics. A couple of surprise catches this week included a Bonito and Chub Mackerel that were caught while plugging the rip lines around Watch Hill. Overall, the fishing has been fun, with plenty of action to be had on light tackle.
Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, said that the bluefish have invaded the area from Point Judith to Beavertail Light, giving customers plenty of topwater action. There are still plenty of nice striped bass mixed in as well, if you can get through the bluefish. Block Island continues to hold the best numbers of large striped bass for anglers fishing eels or snapping wire. Jumbo seabass are being caught in good numbers along most of the structure in the state. Fluke fishing is still a grind, but if you’re looking for some keepers look to fish just off the structure where you are finding the sea bass. There have been some Green Bonito and Chub Mackerel around the area, and the numbers should be increasing very soon. Bluefin are still being caught relatively close to home, and a few giants decided to join the mix prior to Elsa.
Nick at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing in Harmony reports some strong striper fishing on the reefs this week, especially for anglers drifting eels at night. The fluke fishing remains up and down, with strong reports one day and disappointing reports the next. Freshwater anglers are cashing in on some ideal water levels for trout fishing, and strong action is being reported on the Wood River. Largemouth bass anglers have found some good topwater action on the overcast days, with Waterman’s Pond being a top producer for many customers.
Dustin, at Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures is still seeing some consistent inshore action on the kayaks. Big striped bass, bluefish, and sea bass are plentiful. The fluke action is a bit tougher, but if you put in enough drifts, you’re likely to find some keepers. There are a few reports of bonito popping up around the state, so Dustin encourages everyone to have their light tackle gear ready for the arrival of the bonito and potentially false albacore. The freshwater bite has been also remained consistent, with anglers reporting good trout action on deep dropped powerbait or worms.
Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather, from Blackhawk Sport Fishing out of Niantic reports that the crew continues to see some strong fishing following the storm. The porgy fishing has been incredible, so much so that they make it difficult to get to the sea bass at times. Despite this, most trips are seeing big numbers of hubcap porgies and plenty of keeper sea bass. The fluke numbers aren’t quite as strong, but the quality of the keepers is seemingly improving each week. The Blackhawk is bringing back their Take a Kid Fishing program, which starts on Sunday July 25th at 1 p.m., and will continue each Saturday afternoon in August. These are shorter trips specifically created for families and children, and each adult must be accompanied by a child. Reservations are required for these trips and the rest of their trips, including the private charters, so be sure to contact Heather to book before it’s too late!
Andrew, at Fishin Factory 3 in Middletown, told me that the river has been blown out since Else moved through, but anglers are finding plenty of alternative fishing options. The striped bass fishing was strong in the lower river prior to the rain, so it’s a safe bet that the nearby reefs are probably picking up with the river being blown out. The bass bite at Block Island has shown no signs of stopping, despite the weather, and remains the safest bet for bit fish. Shore anglers are reporting a strong porgy bite on all the rockpiles from central CT to Watch Hill. Squid and small jigs have been working, but fresh sandworms remain the best bet for hubcap porgies. There have been some decent sea bass reports from Black Point and points east, while the action in Rhode Island has become rock steady. Fluke anglers willing to put in some time and move around are finding keepers around New London and off the Rhode Island beaches. Blue crabbing was strong before the storm and should be going strong as the water cleans up.
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters out of Old Saybrook told me that the storm dirtied things up in the river, but it also helped to push some fish out onto their usual summer haunts. They are getting quality bass on topwaters and live bait, and another push of gator bluefish has moved into the area and is eating just about anything. The sea bass fishing improved once again for those looking to fill the coolers.
Captain Chris Elser told me things have remained consistent out west with strong striped bass and bluefish action on live bait and topwater offerings in the mornings. He was also happy to report that the action remains just as steady in the afternoons when he has transitioned to the tube and worm.
Max at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reported a push of big bass before the storm and it now seems to be picking up where it left off. Bass to 55-inches have been taken on the troll and the overall action has been steady from Norwalk to Stratford. The waters around the Norwalk Islands are producing bass of all sizes on lures and live bait. As is the case most summers, the low light tides in the mornings, evenings and well after dark provide the best shot at a trophy bass. The fluke action remains stronger out west than it is out east, with keeper fish to 9-pounds coming from roughly 30 feet of water around cans 24 and 26. The sea bass fishing is as steady as ever in roughly 60 feet of water around the local wrecks and humps. Shore and boat anglers are finding plenty of porgies on local structure, with strong shore reports coming from Sherwood Island and the Norwalk pier. Offshore anglers heading out to the West Atlantis canyon reported strong fishing for bluefin, yellowfin and bigeye. The bigeye bite has been especially strong, with fish around the 150-pound mark showing up this week. Freshwater anglers are reporting a consistent largemouth and smallmouth bite at the Saugatuck Reservoir in the mornings and evenings, while walleye anglers reported better action from the southern end of the res this week on live shiners.
Rhode Island Forecast
We are in our typical and productive summer pattern, with a few added bonuses for mid-July. Big striped bass and bluefish can be found across our range and continue to feed voraciously at Block Island. The fluke fishing has been a bit of a struggle, but bottom fishermen are finding plenty of big sea bass and scup to keep the coolers full. The incredible bluefin bite that we have been blessed with this year has continued to improve, with reports of giants joining party in the waters off Block Island this week. The smaller tunoids are starting to make an appearance as well, with the first reports of green bonito joining the chub mackerel across Rhode Island.