Rhode Island Fishing Report- November 17, 2022

Tautog fishing yields double-digit catches, albies pop up sporadically, and anglers limit out while bottom fishing for cod and sea bass.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Saltwater Edge in Middletown reports:

“Cold weather and stormy conditions haven’t stopped anglers from getting out and taking part in our Novemeber to Remember contest. Plenty of bass from schoolie size all the way up to trophy class fish being taken along coastal New England. The Tactical Angler’s Darter has been a successful lure with its ability to dig deep in stormy seas. If you are fishing from shore, suit up in your warmest and head out at night.
For fly anglers the shad bite in RI is the best action going. We have a large class of shad this year so get out there and take advantage of some of the most fun fly action happening right now.
Tautog fishing here in RI continues to be the best thing going. Anglers are finding double digit tog on deep water jigs. The support of a healthy tog fishery here in RI cannot be understated. Watching and hearing about anglers releasing their big fish to continue a healthy population is a testament to the people taking part in the fishery.  Don’t be afraid to throw the cod jig in the water this time of year as well.”

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith has continued to make trips for tautog, as well as cod/sea bass whenever the weather has allowed. The tautog trips have been seeing quite a few limit catches, including fish up to around 10 pounds. Some sea bass and scup are still mixed in with the tautog, so coolers are filling up pretty well. The cod and sea bass trips are seeing many boat limits of black sea bass, some big scup, and improved numbers of quality cod.  Reservations for both trips can be made on their website or by calling the office. 

When I spoke to Jay, at Pamela May Charters, he told me that he lost some time last weekend and the later part of this week to wind, but whenever he’s able to get out the tautog fishing has been steady. Limit catches are still easily attainable on most trips, with some big fish in the mix. There are still plenty of small migrating striped bass along the South County beaches that are blitzing on peanut bunker just about everywhere. Most of the fish were in the 24- to 32-inch range, however there were some bigger fish mixed in, and they were all willing to hit topwater offerings. We should still have a couple good weeks of saltwater fishing ahead of us if the weather cooperates! 

Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters told me that fishing has been off the charts this week! The water temperatures have creeped down near 60 degrees, and that has the fish chewing hard. Last weekends storm churned things up and slowed down the fishing for a bit, but the water is cleaning up and the fishing fired right back up. They are catching quality tautog across various depths from 30 to 120 feet. The jig bite has been killer on most trips, especially on the Tall Tailz Jigs in crushed crab and super glow. Just this week they have seen over a dozen double-digit fish up to 14 pounds! They’re also still seeing some jumbo sea bass and a few nice cod in the mix. There are still a few blitzes popping up here and there, along with a big push of squid all around the mouth of Narragansett Bay. It’s late fall fishing at its finest! 

Big blackfish are coming over the rail regularly on Tall Tailz Charters.

Dustin, at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures, told me that fall tautog fishing has been going strong from both the kayak and shore, whenever the weather has been settled enough to get out. The fish are still biting across a wide range of depths, so bouncing around and covering some ground is usually a strong tactic. There are still strong numbers of black sea bass in the mix as well, so full coolers have been commonplace! Striped bass fishing has also solid, although the regularity of blitzes seems to be starting to slow down just a bit. Fall freshwater fishing is strong, with bass, trout, and panfish starting to put on the pre-winter feed bag. The weather looks pretty good around the Thanksgiving holiday, and there is still plenty of time to book your kayak and/or shore fishing adventure before it’s too late! 

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs reports that the tautog fishing continues to produce well in terms of both numbers and size of fish, for those that are still pounding the grounds. The bite in the upper bay has slowed down a bit, but the structure around Newport and Jamestown is still fishing well. As the water temperatures continue to drop, the fish will continue to transition to deeper water outside of the bay. There are still some stripers to be found inside the bay, but most of the local focus remains on tautog. A few boats have found weather windows to get out to Coxes and have been rewarded with some cod and big sea bass.  

Captain Rob, at Newport Sportfishing Charters, told me that the tautog fishing continues to go strong in his neck of the woods. His trips continue to see full boat limits, along with some giant fish to 14 pounds falling to jigs this week. The fishing should only get better from here, as the cooler water seems to have really gotten the larger fish moving. Rob has been focusing most of his attention on tog, but for those looking for striped bass, there has been no shortage of mixed size fish across the area. The false albacore pods have popped back up this week, which has made it one of the latest seasons in recent memory.

Captain Rob Taylor hoists a “beautiful” 14-pound, white-chinner tautog caught earlier this week.

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

The days are shorter, and the temperatures are dropping, so fishing options certainly feel like they are starting to dwindle, however we should still have a few strong weeks of saltwater fishing ahead of us, along with some great freshwater options.

Despite some strong winds that have made things difficult at times, Rhode Island anglers are finding great success on the tautog grounds. The cooler temperatures seem to have woken up the big tautog this week, with big numbers of fish over 10 pounds being reported this week. Those looking for some light tackle action should have no shortage of mixed-sized striped bass to play with, along with some reports of late season false albacore still hanging around! Sea bass and cod action has been decent around Block Island, so fall options remain abundant.  

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