Rhode Island Fishing Report- March 23, 2023

Holdover stripers, white perch and largemouth bass entertain Rhode Island anglers during the first week of spring as herring move into the rivers.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith has had a quiet couple of weeks but is back in the water and taking reservations for what is usually a great late-winter fishery. To check on the schedule for upcoming trips and to make reservations check out their website or call the office. 

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs reports that things have remained relatively quiet on the fishing front, but things should start feeling more like spring after a few more warm days. Most local anglers have been looking for largemouth bass, and they are having some success on large swimbaits and Ned Rigs. Panfish anglers are also finding some strong results for white perch and crappie in the non-trout stocked waters. Trout waters remain closed until opening day, but that will be here before you know it. Holdover striped bass are still in and around the rivers in Rhode Island, although some anglers have been heading to CT for better holdover numbers. 

Elisa, from Snug Harbor Marina reports that the cod fishing was a bit slower this week due to the windy weather and strong moon tides, but there are still some decent fish out there for those that are trying. Some better holdover striped bass reports have been coming in from the ponds this week. Fish to 30-inches have been reported a bit more consistently, likely due to some early herring arrivals. The shop will be holding a used tackle sale on April 28th and 29th, so be sure to check in for some good deals! 

Dustin, at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures, told me that freshwater bass fishing has been consistent, as the temperatures continue to slowly but steadily rise. Slow presentations are still king; with finesse jigs, ned rigs, or slow twitched jerk baits producing well. Dustin also mentioned not to be afraid to throw a big reaction bait or swimbait to try and entice some of the bigger bass in the warming water. He caught this mondo on a recent kayak trip.

Dustin Stevens caught this bruiser of a largemouth on a swimbait during an outing where he also landed a handful of brook trout, yellow perch and a slew of chain pickerel. (@dustingoesfishing / @rikayakfishingadventures)

Dustin also said holdover striped bass fishing has been steady, with fish to just over slot size showing up this week. Anglers looking to scratch the trout itch are heading to CT or MA, as Rhode Island remains closed for a few more weeks. Dustin’s schedule is starting to fill up, so be sure to book a kayak or shore trip soon at rikfa.com. 

Dustin found this quality holdover striper during a kayak outing on St. Patricks Day last week. (@dustingoesfishing / @rikayakfishingadventures)

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

Rhode Island saltwater anglers can continue to take advantage of increasing opportunities as we work through March. Cod fishermen had a tougher time this week due to the winds and tides, but things should steadily improve with better/warmer conditions this week. Holdover striped bass reports have continued to slowly improve, so things portend well for the upcoming weeks, as more herring trickle into the area. White perch reports have also been strong and are providing another nice option in the tidal estuaries, along with largemouth bass, which seem to be waking up in lakes/ponds across the state. Trout stocked waters across the state are now closed until opening day, but there are still plenty of bodies of water that are open for bass, pickerel, pike and panfish. 

2 on “Rhode Island Fishing Report- March 23, 2023

  1. Brian Skorupski

    Lot of guys talking about hold over fish – and the migration map. Last week I skished from Judith lighthouse to north bar and landed a good number of fish in the 30lbs range. Even saw some juvenile blue Marlin blitzes at last night. Things are heating up!!!!

  2. VonMagnet

    right right, the peacock bass bite is lights along the Seekonk river, especially if you sneak onto the dreadging rig and fish off of that to get better reach into the deep holes

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