Rhode Island Fishing Report- August 31, 2023

Albies arrive in Rhody, bluefish and striped bass eat topwater plugs around sunrise, and tautog fishing improves while the fluke bite bundles.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reported continued strong fluke fishing this week. Captain Cole has been at the helm on the full day trips, and working the fluke grounds hard, and he has been rewarded with near full boat limits. The sea bass bite has picked up a bit this week and there are still some nice ling in the mix. The half-day trips have bounced back nicely as well, with a nice mix of sea bass and fluke. Check out fracesfleet.com for an updated schedule and to make reservations.  

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence told me that the fall fishing patterns seem to be taking over. Anglers are starting to find more hardtails, both albies and bonito, sporadically throughout the state. The bite seemed to be improving daily, and it would make sense to see even more fish following this hurricane swell. The striped bass and bluefish bait remains red hot inside the bay, and at all hours of the day. Big bluefish and mixed sized bass are willing to hit artificials, as they are voraciously feeding on peanut bunker. Big bass can be found in the same areas and will hit live pogies after dark. The tautog fishing is also starting to feel more like spring, with better numbers across depths from 10-feet to 40+. Fluke fishing is starting to slow a bit, but the sea bass and scup fishing is as consistent as ever.  

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs reports strong striped bass fishing on the local reefs, especially in the early mornings and late evenings. There are still plenty of big bass, along with a good amount in the slot range for those looking to take one home. Gator bluefish are also prevalent and are usually feeding right alongside the bass. There have been some false albacore and bonito reports in and around the Bay, and those should only increase after this hurricane swell moves out. Tuna fishing was also good before the swell, with plenty of bluefin and yellowfin being caught trolling, popping, and jigging.  

Connor, at Tail Tailz Charters reports that the fishing has remained as steady as ever, with a plethora of available species in his home waters. The striped bass bite remains strong, with plenty of local bass in the 40-pound plus class. Sea bass can still be taken by vertical jigging the drop offs, while fluke fishing has improved quite a bit. The offshore trips have been insane when the weather allows. Each trip has resulted in a full box of bluefin and yellowfin, with most coming on the jig. Topwater offerings and trolling the squid bars has also produced at first light. They are also seeing a ton of big buffalo albies offshore, so it shouldn’t be long for the inshore bite to bust wide open yet. Connor had some fall tautog trips open up on the calendar, so reach out soon, they won’t be available for long! 

Jay, at Pamela May Charters told me that the false albacore have finally arrived in his neck of the woods, and he has had good luck finding a few that are willing to eat on most trips. There are also plenty of striped bass and bluefish crushing topwater offerings, and plenty of bait in the area, so it appears the fall run is upon us! 

Dustin at, Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures reports that the much-anticipated arrival of albies has started, and he has been getting them from both the kayak and shore! Bonito and Spanish Mackerel can be found in decent numbers as well. Striped bass activity has been lights out and includes some excellent topwater action during the morning hours. Don’t sleep on the gator bluefish either; there are plenty of them around and they are super aggressive. Bottom fishing is at a bit of a crossroads, as the fluke fishing has started to slow down, but the tautog and sea bass fishing is picking up. Freshwater fishing is also going strong and should only improve as the water cools. September is prime early fall run/false albacore time, and Dustin still has some dates available, so be sure to reach out ASAP!

Dustin of RI Kayak Fishing Adventures with an early-season kayak albie.

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

The time has come for Rhode Island light tackle anglers. The long-awaited arrival of false albacore in Rhode Island waters is happening a bit early this year, with reliable reports from a few different locales throughout the Ocean State. The fish certainly aren’t around in full force just yet, but there’s enough to make it worth a look, and the recent swells should have brought even more inshore. If you can’t find the hardtails, you should have plenty of striped bass and bluefish to play with locally. Bass and blues of mixed sizes can be found blitzing on the plethora of small bait in the area, and big bass have also started to move back into the Bay on the bunker schools. Fluke fishing is starting to slow down, but sea bass and tautog fishing continues to improve, as we transition into fall. The tuna bite relatively close to home was going strong before the swell, and there’s no reason to believe we don’t have at least a few weeks of that left when the weather settles.  

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