Rhode Island Fishing Report- December 29, 2022

Black sea bass and cod bless the boats running to Block Island, while tautog fishing holds steady and freshwater fishing picks up.

sea bass

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith has continued to run blackfish trips whenever they have been able to, and results have continued to be solid, with multiple limit catches. They have also been targeting black sea bass and cod with mixed results. Looking ahead, they will be running trips for black sea bass and cod through the end of the year and likely sailing for cod early in 2023 when the weather cooperates. In the winter months, it’s best to call the office to inquire on when they plan on fishing as plans can change quickly based on the weather. 

Captain Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters reports that his 2022 season is slowly coming to a close. The seemingly non-stop December wind has just about made sure of that. When they were able to sneak out, they ran about 20 miles offshore to find slightly warmer water with active tog. They’ve had to move around a lot to find the right pieces holding quality tog. White crabs on rigs are the ticket this time of year if you specifically want blackfish. There’s been a nice bycatch of cod and seabass mixed in. Your odds for cod will increase with clams, no doubt. They’ve had success fishing some of the larger wrecks and high points in the deeper water from 90-130 ft.  If the weather allows, Connor plans to fish through December, so there’s just enough time for one more shot! 

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs said that a few people are still getting a few tautog, but that fishery is starting to wind down locally. Holdover striped bass activity has picked up a bit and will keep anglers busy through the winter months, and with the upcoming warm spell, we should be seeing some solid holdover bass action. Store hours for the coming weeks will be Wednesday through Friday from 9 to 6 and Saturday from 9 until 3.  

Matt, from Snug Harbor Marina reports that a few anglers are still catching striped bass from the local beaches, rivers, and salt ponds, with the latter two having the most activity. There aren’t many people still targeting these fish but those putting in their time are still catching a few fish, and that fishery will likely see more angling interest during the upcoming warm spell. Tautog fishing is all but done for the year but there are still boats doing pretty well for black sea bass and cod south of Block Island. The shop will remain open with normal business hours through the end of the year for all of your holiday shopping needs. 

Breachway Bait and Tackle reported that the striped bass fishing had tapered off during the cold spell, with only a few reports here and there. The upcoming warm-up should clear the ponds and rivers of any ice and should start to increase the activity levels of the holdover fish. Black sea bass and cod fishing should also see an uptick in angler attention, with the next week or two likely providing more weather windows. Freshwater fishing had been good for anglers targeting largemouth and pickerel on any bodies or water that were devoid of ice. Just about everything should be ice free by the end of the weekend, so open water angling opportunities will be plentiful.  

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

A prolonged warming trend may shatter the dreams of local ice fishermen, but should help to extend/increase open water opportunities.  

The weather hasn’t been helping Rhode Island anglers extend their saltwater season too much, that should start to change for anglers looking to get out for cod after the New Year. Big tog are still being reported around the state, and you have a couple more days to try before focusing saltwater attention on cod. Those looking for some light tackle action should have no shortage of mixed-sized holdover striped bass to play with, especially as the salt ponds and bays warm up this week. The largemouth bass and pickerel bite should also benefit from the warm-up, and many of the larger lakes and ponds will be devoid of water.  

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