Rhode Island Fishing Report
The captains over at The Frances Fleet in Point Judith, finally found a break from the wind machine this week and were able to put together a couple of quality trips on the cod grounds. Some of the best quality fish they have seen all year have come over the rails this week, with a few cod even eclipsing the 30-pound mark. There were plenty of market-quality fish from 15-20-pounds, along with limits of bomber sea bass to 5-pounds. The fleet will continue to sail daily when the weather allows, but the weekend weather doesn’t look ideal, so be sure to check the website for updated scheduling and to book a trip.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the tautog anglers are starting to get out in full force and the fishing is lights out in the mid-bay, and continuing to improve in the upper bay. The fishing out front is also starting to improve, as the turbid water cleaned up with the mid-week settled weather. There are still plenty of sea bass in the mix as well, along with scup that are continuing to hit squid, clams, and jigs. Striped bass can be found in their usual haunts out front, but as we start to creep into fall anglers are starting to see the yearly pre-migration bite in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. The bass are always willing to hit a live bait offering, but topwaters and large soft plastics have been working just as well this week. Freshwater anglers are equally as pleased with the water quality and recent stockings, as trout reports remain excellent statewide.
Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters has once again found some stellar fall fishing this week. The typical October winds have made most days a bit sporty, but they’re still managing to put together some excellent trips. They’ve spent most of their time targeting tautog and/or false albacore, while still finding time to cast at busting stripers in the 25-35-inch range, along with some slammer bluefish. The false albacore have also made a decent come back, with consistent pods of fish all over the area, but it’s still taking a bit of time and effort to hook up. When they find them, the Daiwa Zakana 20–30-gram jig in silver and blue has been a top producer. The tog fishing has continued to improve as the water temperatures have slowly dropped, with plenty of 5-7-pound fish, along with some slammer double-digit fish. The magic depth for big fish seems to be 35-feet, but they are finding success across the whole water column.
Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, was excited for tautog season opening up to 5 fish per anglers per day on the 14th, as the bite has been tremendous across the local rocky shoreline. The striped bass have also been feeding in full force, as they get ready for their fall migration. The false albacore have thinned out, and are trending towards deeper water, but they can pop up at any given moment, so make sure you’re prepared.
Rick, at Priority Charters in Point Judith, has been able to dodge the wind a bit this week and has found plenty of striped bass of mixed sizes, along with some nice pods of false albacore along the South County beaches. The bigger bass are still holding tight at Block Island, with some true cow fish taking parachute jigs and live bait around SW Ledge this week. The sea bass are still paving the hard bottom, but he’s starting to have to work a bit harder to weed through the shorts and find a limit. When the weather has allowed a trip to Coxes, they have been able to come home with full coolers of quality cod, jumbo sea bass, and hubcap scup. They will start sailing for tautog this weekend and still have some open dates for this fall, so be sure to book soon!
Nick, at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing reported that most of his saltwater anglers are starting to transition to tautog fishing, and for good reason, with a consistent bite being reported from across the state. Striped bass and bluefish can be found blitzing along the South County shoreline, and most days are seeing a few pods of false albacore in the mix. Freshwater anglers are cashing in on the recent trout stockings, with good reports from Round Top, Spring Grove, and Shippee Sawmill.
Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather, from Blackhawk Sport Fishing reports another strong week of fall fishing, with plenty of anglers willing to brave some rough conditions at times to come home with full coolers. The weather and drift conditions have made things challenging at times, but dedicated anglers are getting easy limits of scup and sea bass. A few groups have wanted to do some bluefishing, and that hasn’t disappointed, with plenty of bluefish and some nice stripers coming over the rails. They look forward to some better weather as the fall rolls on and will be adding some more of their popular “tautog/bottom fishing” combo trips, so be sure to check their website for scheduling and to purchase tickets.
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters told me that the striper fishing continues to improve, as the fish are getting ready to move and showing more aggression. The lower CT River and all of the adjacent reefs are holding some big bass and bluefish, and most of those same reefs are still paved with quality sea bass. The last few days have seen a few more local albies pop up as well, and there is plenty of small bait to “hopefully” keep them around. Tautog season has started strong, with full boat limits on all trips, and things should only improve as the water temps drop.
Andrew, at Fishin’ Factory 3 in Middletown, was home from a great vacation and some great fishing on the Vineyard this week when I checked in with him. Word on the local front was that the striped bass fishing in the lower Connecticut River has continued to intensify. Anglers tossing topwater and swimming plugs have been catching some big bass around dawn and dusk, while plenty of school to slot-class fish can be found throughout the day. There are still some gator blues in the mix that are more than willing to rip up a soft plastic offering, while the snapper bluefish have continued to infiltrate the coves and tributaries in the lower river. False albacore reports are spotty from day to day, but things seem to be improving a bit locally, and you’ll probably run into a few pods if you run the Rhode Island or Fishers Island beaches on any given day. Sea bass action remains steady for boat anglers, with scup action remaining red hot for shore and boat anglers. Bottom fishermen targeting tautog have also found solid results during the opening week, and it should only improve from here. Freshwater anglers are reporting good trout results from across the state, especially after the recent stockings, while the CT River fall action is starting to get more consistent for carp and pike.
Captain Chris Elser, of Elser Guide Service, told me that last week was quite memorable, as he continues to find better feeds of false albacore in the Western Sound than his counterparts out east. He hasn’t had a hard time getting his clients on the hardtails, along with plenty of bluefish and striped bass on light tackle offerings. Unfortunately, the weekends continue to be windy, but it doesn’t seem to hurt the bite, so next week should be lock and load once again.
Max, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, confirmed the talks that the false albacore have invaded the area in huge numbers. The inshore bite has improved around the islands over the past few days, but the most consistent action remains on the mid-sound reefs and rips. The diamond jig bite for gator bluefish has continued around 28C and 11B, and there are also hoards of gators pushing bunker to the surface and eating just about anything you throw at them. The striped bass action has also ticked up in the usual fall haunts at dawn and dusk, and we should start seeing steady action throughout the day as the water cools a bit more. The sea bass fishing improved once again on the local wrecks, scup fishing has been as steady as ever, and the early reports from the tautog opener have been strong. Offshore anglers are still finding plenty of yellowfin and mahi whenever the weather has allowed, while freshwater anglers are reporting better action for all species on worms and shiners at the reservoir.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, has seen the fall run go into full swing this week. There has been plenty of stripers in the 30-38-inch range throughout the area that are willing to hit just about everything you throw, especially topwater offerings! Tautog fishing has started off with a bang, with plenty of keeper fish hitting jigs and green crabs on the local rockpiles. The false albacore have also made a nice encore appearance, as Joe was able to find some nice feeds in local waters this week, while he was dunking crabs for tautog. The water temps are still high for mid-October, so let’s hope they decide to hang around for a while this time!
Rhode Island Forecast
After multiple weeks of build-up, the fall run seems to have completely arrived in both Connecticut and Rhode Island. The fall fishing is about as good as it gets, with big striped bass and bluefish in most of their usual fall haunts along the shorelines and tidal rivers. The false albacore continue to keep things interesting, with just enough showing up in Rhode Island to target them daily, along with some epic feeds in western CT and some encouraging reports from eastern CT.
Sea bass and scup continue to pave the bottom across Rhode Island and CT, and while it may not feel like tautog season with the warm days we’ve been having, the bite has been tremendous throughout southern New England. The Rhode Island limit goes up to 5 fish this week and the CT season is fully open, so be sure to cash in on your favorite rockpile before they get picked off! Freshwater anglers should look to take advantage of the recent stockings, while the fall carp, pike, and bass bite seems to be falling into place.