Rhode Island Fishing Report- May 25, 2023

Black sea bass season starts strong, big bluefish mix in with stripers on bunker schools, and some keeper fluke trickle into local waters.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith has had solid success on their recent fluke trips and squid trips, whenever the weather allows. The fluke trips are up and down depending on conditions and bait, but all trips are seeing some quality keepers, while some trips are producing limits. The squid trips have also been generally productive with catches ranging from one half to three quarters of a bucket. 

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, reports that anglers have no shortage of late Spring fishing opportunities in his neck of the woods. Bottom fishermen are still finding steady tautog action, so it’s a great time to cash in before the spring season ends. Scup action has been good in the lower Bay and mid-Bay as far north as Bristol. The scup can be had on a number of offerings including clam tongues, sea worms and squid. Striped bass fishing has been good for anglers throughout the area, specifically around the plentiful bait schools. Quality bass have been coming on fresh pogie chunks, flutter spoons, umbrella rigs and the tube and worm. If you can find the bait, you can usually find the bass. A few anglers have found some weakfish as well in Greenwich Bay and Conimicut Point. Squid fishing is up and down, but there seems to be enough around for anglers to report some productive nights. Dave has a huge selection of umbrella rigs, TA lures and Alan’s Custom Lures, and is now open daily from 4:30 a.m to 7 p.m.! 

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Eric, at The Saltwater Edge in Newport, told me that the spectacular spring fishing continues here in Rhode Island. Surf, Boat, Spinning, or Fly, there’s something for everyone right now. From the surf, the night bite is getting better and better. Some popular NE waterways are showing some decent fish but don’t be afraid to take a trip to the oceanfront. Needles and Darters are getting the job done from the surf, with glide baits like the Hell Hound also getting some nice fish. It seems like some bunker has arrived here in the ocean state. Snag, re-hook and drop fishing (don’t forget to put the live bait on a circle hook), along with large artificials like the 5- and 8-inch NLBN paddle tails are the ticket if you find the bunker. This season, rather than be upset about blues taking bait or lures, throw on a steel leader and enjoy the fight! There are some healthy blues around not too far from home. Black sea bass just opened up and it looks like there’s some great fish here already, we are looking forward to seeing how that season develops this year. A go-to BSB lure for us at the shop is the Hogy Sand Eel Jig, always good to keep in your bag this time of year.” 

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs reports that the striped bass fishing remains very consistent, in terms of number and quality. Jigging spoons and soft plastics work well, and sticking with the spoons will help you from not losing an offering to a bluefish. Some keeper fluke are starting to move into to local waters, and there are also some solid sea bass and scup reports close to home. The squid reports aren’t completely lock and load, but anglers are still catching on the right tides. The shop is fully stocked for the upcoming season, and they are open 7 days a week, so be sure to check in! 

Jay, at Pamela May Charters has recently been focused on bluefish and some weakfish on topwaters and on the fly! The upper bay has been producing both species fairly well, and there has been a nice ix of stripers from schoolies/slot class to 40-pounds. The bass have been willing to hit topwater offerings, but bunker is the top producer if you can find some. They have been focusing on the upper bay, but word is that Block is producing nice bass and some fluke, so they’ll likely start working their way out there soon. The tautog fishing has also been good locally, so cash in before the season closes.  

Ian, at Ranger Charters has still been focused on the bay, and he has been rewarded with steady bass action of fish from 30-40-inches. There are also some monster bluefish and a few weakfish in the mix, so there is certainly no shortage of action. Be sure to reach out soon to book a trip! 

A quality striped bass landed during a trip with Ranger Charters this week.

Dustin, at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures, told me that the striper bite is getting better and better, as thicker bunker schools show up. Gator bluefish are also really thick right now and are providing awesome fights on light tackle. Weakfishing has slowed down a little but they’re still out there to be caught. There’s a very short window left for Tautog fishing so take advantage before it’s too late. Fluke and black sea bass should pick up very soon providing great bottom fishing action. Freshwater fishing remains very strong for largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, and carp. The calendar is filling up for guided kayak and shore fishing trips. Head over to rikfa.com to book your kayak and/or shore fishing trip today! 

Dustin Stevens took some time to wet a line himself and ended up landing this hefty striper this week. (@dustingoesfishing / @rikayakfishingadventures)

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

Late spring Rhode Island saltwater fishing is in full bloom, with plentiful options throughout the state. Striped bass have been the main show in town, with fresh fish to 40 pounds showing up in The Bay, at Block Island, along with many hot spots in between. The Bay has put up some of the most consistent action, and bass are starting to get dialed into the plentiful bunker schools in the area. Bluefish reports have become consistent as well, while weakfish numbers are still good enough to make most trips productive. Tautog reports have improved since last week and it’s worth getting out soon before the spring season wraps up. Some very nice scup are mixed in with the tautog and provide strong action for both shore and boat anglers. Fluke reports have improved greatly out by the island, and for the first time this season, we’re hearing a few solid inshore reports. The sea bass season has opened up and is providing another great option for your holiday weekend. Freshwater anglers have no shortage of opportunities either, with strong reports for pre-spawn largemouth, crappie, pike, carp, and trout.

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