Rhode Island Fishing Report – December 16, 2021

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Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith is still finding success on both the sea bass and blackfish grounds. Captain Rich has been taking the ride to the land of the sea bass whenever the weather has allowed and is still finding easy limits of fish to 5-pounds. Each trip is starting to see more codfish and a few pollack to round out the catch. Captain Greg is seeing consistent catches on the blackfish grounds, with strong numbers of keeper fish for all anglers to 11-pounds this week. There are still some nice sea bass mixed in with the tog, along with a few cod. Despite being December, you still truly never know what you’re going to catch out there! The fleet will continue to sail whenever the weather allows, so check their website for updates.

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, is officially closed until the spring, but he has heard from local fishermen that the tautog fishing remains excellent for those who are still getting after it. There continues to be a late season push of squid, along with some decent school striped bass action in the salt ponds and tidal rivers. The early winter trout hotspots throughout the state are producing well for freshwater anglers, especially with the recent mild weather.
 

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Connor, from Tall Tailz Charters in Newport wrapped up his 2021 season on a high note, with strong tautog trips right up to the finish. He thinks the bite will continue to be strong up to the end of the year if you still have time to get out. He also wanted to thank all his clients for an excellent, and certainly memorable 2021 season!

Nick, at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me that those putting the time in out front are still reporting some nice tautog catches, and those steaming to the island are finding a nice mix of sea bass and cod. Freshwater anglers are reporting some big largemouth, especially for those that are switching to live shiners as the water temperatures continue to drop. There are also some big bass that are active enough to hit large artificials around dawn and dusk. Trout anglers are also seeing no lack action with the best catches coming from Silver Spring and Carbuncle. The shop will be getting stocked up for ice fishing soon, and hopefully we have some ice to walk on this year.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Heather, from Black Hawk Sportfishing reports that they were able to get out a few days last week when the weather allowed, and they found some excellent sea bass fishing! There were limits of jumbo sea bass all round the boat, with a surprising number of scup still in the mix. The cod fish numbers have been improving a bit on each trip as well. Overall, it has been excellent fishing and relatively mild weather for mid-December. They will continue to fish as much as the weather permits, so be sure to check their Facebook page for daily reports and updates. Trips remain by reservation only, and tickets can still be purchased through their website.

The guys at Hillyers in Waterford said that the school striped bass fishing is the best show in town until it truly gets too cold to get out there. The right days, specifically when some warm sun is beating down on the water, have seen some great school bass fishing at the Millstone discharge, and up in the Niantic River. There have also been a few random large bass caught along the local beaches recently, that haven’t started their migration just yet. Anglers are also still finding some sea bass on the local ledges, but that bite is starting to wind down. Anglers are reporting good trout results at Latimer’s Brook on small soft plastics like trout magnets, or flies with some good old garden hackle. The shop will be closed during the winter months, but they will be back sometime in late March.

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Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters said that the striped bass bite in the CT River continues to be strong, especially on the warmer days. The fish are moving into the coves and tributaries to get ready for the winter, but they are still chewing! Most of the fish are of the schoolie variety, but there are some good numbers of 15-20-pound bass in the mix as well. Mike plans to run trips right up to the new year, so contact him if you want to squeeze in one last trip in 2021!

Max at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that some saltwater anglers are still finding school to slot-class stripers along the beaches from Norwalk to Bridgeport, but most anglers are now focusing on the Housatonic. The mild weather has kept things going well in the river, with solid catches reported from the mouth to Sunnyside. Per usual, a slowly worked soft plastic on a jig head is the top producer, with the better fish chewing on the nighttime ebb tides. The herring continue to slowly trickle into the harbors, but it hasn’t blown open just yet. Trout anglers are turning to the Mianus, Mill and Saugatuck Rivers for trout action, while anglers fishing the Saugatuck Reservoir are reporting good results. This is primetime for the reservoir anglers, with good action for bass, walleye, and trout.

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

We’re entering that in between period across New England where saltwater fishing is winding down for most anglers, while ice fishing enthusiasts start to dust off their gear and hope for a quick freeze. The extended forecast is looking mild, so I think we may be favoring the open water fishing over the ice in the immediate future. Saltwater anglers in Rhode Island still have time to fill the freezer with tautog and sea bass filets, as that bite shows no sign of quitting. Don’t be surprised to find some bonus cod in the mix and we should start seeing a more consistent cod bite materialize over the coming weeks. School striped bass can still be found out front, as well as throughout the salt ponds and tidal rivers across CT and RI. Freshwater opportunities are abundant as well, with trout, bass, walleye, and pike starting to get their pre-winter chew on.

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