Rhode Island Fishing Report- September 14, 2023

Yellowfin tuna take jigs and poppers south of Block, mahi push into inshore waters, and sea bass and tautog bite on bottom when albies are uncooperative.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith is still doing well on both their full and half day trips. Most trips are seeing full boat limits of black sea bass, loads of scup, a couple late-season fluke, and even some bonus tautog and cod. Customers are seeing plenty of action and leaving with a nice pile of fish for the table. Reservations can be made online or by calling the office.  

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence told me that the fall fishing patterns continue to settle in, and the fishing remains good whenever the weather allows. Anglers are doing well with false albacore and bonito, however they’ve spread out, so results vary from day to day. The striped bass and bluefish bait continues to improve inside the bay, and there have been good reports as far north as Providence. The tautog fishing is improving by the day as we approach the fall, while the sea bass and scup bite remains as consistent as ever. Offshore anglers are still finding a strong tuna bite, and the mahi bite has improved quite a bit. Not only are there good numbers of mahi, but they also seem to be showing up closer to home.  

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs reported that the striped bass fishing has continued to produce some nice catches on the local reefs and in the bay. Bass and bluefish are willing to take live bait, soft plastics, and the occasional topwater offerings. There are also good numbers of false albacore around, and while they’re finicky at times, most anglers are able to find some fish on most trips. Fluke fishing has held up well with some nice sized fluke being caught in shallow water around large schools of baitfish. The tautog bite is picking up, although you still need to pick through short fish and scup to find some keepers. 

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Eric, at The Saltwater Edge in Newport told me that the recent warm water changed the pre-fall trend a bit, but for the most part nothing has changed besides the ambient temperature. The bass bite off Newport and the surrounding area has continued to fire back up, with some plenty of big fish after dark, and increased daytime action for big bass. The night bite is still the best in terms of fooling a big bass, but there are some big (albeit picky) bass around during the daylight hours. Early fall tautog fishing has been all the rage this week for bottom fishermen, as the activity in shallow water ticked up quite a bit over the past few days. The majority of local inshore anglers have albie fever, and there’s no shortage of feeds, however they haven’t settled in just yet. Most anglers are finding the funny fish, but they’re moving quick and can often be finicky. On that note, the reports seem to be improving daily, so things should be more consistent if they aren’t adversely affected by Hurricane Lee.  

Connor, at Tail Tailz Charters told me that fishing has remained hot for them this week. With some better weather this week, most of their trips have been offshore for jig and pop tuna. They’re still seeing water temperatures to 75 degrees around the 30-fathom line, so the jig and chunk bite continues to produce. They continue to see a nice mix of big yellowfin and mainly over bluefin. Daiwa SK and SL jigs are still getting the job done. The weed patches and pots are also loaded with mahi, so they’ve had no trouble filling coolers on their way back in. The inshore giant bluefin fishing is red hot as well for anglers looking for the big boys. The fall run is already in peak form with reports of albies and bones out front as well as in the bay. There are still plenty of big bass and blues in the mix as well.  With all the bait around it’s shaping to be another epic fall season.

Another nice yellowfin tuna caught in the slop by this happy angler aboard Tall Tailz Charters.

Jay, at Pamela May Charters is immersed in the early fall run, with improved false albacore and bonito fishing this week. The feeds can be hard to find at times, but when you find them, it’s generally lock and load. The fish are feeding heavily on bay anchovies and can be quite aggressive. Solid bluefish and striped bass fishing is helping to fill in the gaps, when you’re searching for hardtails unsuccessfully. Word is that the big striped bass bite is still going strong off Block Island. The tuna bite is still going strong offshore and there are mahi all over the highflyers and gear just east of Block Island. There are also some reports of mahi closer to home, feeding with the albies, although Jay hasn’t seen that just yet. There are some large bluefin tuna and some strong shark fishing close to home. Jay went out for sharks Sunday of off Point Judith and landed two nice dusky sharks and lost something even bigger. The hurricane swell has hit, and hopefully it doesn’t prematurely push out albies or bonito; as of right now things are quite pelagic! 

Dustin at, Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures reports that this past week has been very good for him, in terms of albies and bonito. There has been enough consistency and sustained feeds to provide success on most of his trips. Mahi has also started to push inshore and is providing another great, and different, species to target on light tackle. The striped bass bite has picked up quite a bit, with better numbers and larger fish that are willing to take a light tackle offering. Gator blues are still doing their thing giving some of the most memorable fights from the kayaks that anglers can experience. On the days that the albies aren’t showing up, bottom fishing has been a great option to pivot to. Tautog and sea bass fishing has improved and it’s looking like we’ll have a stellar October of bottom fishing ahead of us. Some of the cool nights have really fired up the largemouth bite, giving freshwater anglers hope for a great fall run as well. Dustin’s September dates are pretty much filled up, but he still has a few October dates available for those interested in kayak fishing and/or shore fishing trips. Check out his website to book an adventure asap! 

Mike Dalfonso with a kayak albie he caught while on the water with RI Kayak Fishing Adventures. (@rikayakfishingadventures)

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

Light tackle anglers in Rhode Island are approaching their peak season, as on any given trip you’re likely to encounter false albacore, bonito, stripers and/or bluefish. The long-awaited arrival of false albacore is upon us, and while they’re moving around quite a bit, when you locate a feed, it tends to be a good one. 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 and can be found as far north as Providence. A few big fluke are still around, but that bite continues to slow down as we approach fall. Sea bass and tautog fishing is holding down the bottom fishing, as the bite for both continues to improve. There is also no shortage of big scup on any of the local rockpiles. The tuna bite relatively close to home is still fruitful, and the mahi bite really took off this week. Not only are there reports of huge numbers of mahi on the highflyers, but there are also some mahi mixed in with the other blitzing fish inshore. The hurricane swell is going to slow things down this weekend but shouldn’t be bad enough to negatively affect the fishing afterwards

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