Rhode Island Fishing Report- March 28, 2024

Holdover schoolie and slot stripers are active in the rivers and salt ponds, tog season is around the corner, and largemouth and smallmouth bass take jigs along deep shorelines.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith is eagerly waiting for the return of nicer weather, and they have plans to start fishing for tautog and cod around mid-April. They will also start to add in squid trips as soon as the bite starts to come together. Fishing for fluke and black sea bass will start up in May as the seasons open for both species. Their full schedule can be viewed on their website where you can also make reservations for upcoming trips. 

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence is gearing up to open the shop for the season, which will happen on April 12th. This will be just in time for the start of the Rhode Island trout season and early season tautog fishing. Currently, anglers could look to most of the inland bodies of water that do not hold trout for solid bass fishing, along with a decent calico bite.  

Elisa, at Snug Harbor Marina reports that a few local anglers have been trying for winter flounder in the salt ponds and have found decent success compared to years past. Fishing for holdover striped bass is also keeping local salt anglers busy, with decent reports of schoolies to over-slot fish in the rivers and salt ponds. The shop doesn’t have sandworms available yet, but is hoping to have them soon, along with green crabs for the April 1st tautog opener. The shop will be opening full time in early to mid-April, so until then just give them a call to check on availability.  

Chris Catucci, with Hobie Pro Team told me that he has been focusing on freshwater largemouth bass fishing, with some pretty solid results. Prior to the last round of rain, water temperatures were about as warm as ever for mid-March, but they have dropped back down into the 40s over the past week. Most of his success has come by working jigs along the deeper shorelines, especially if you can find some wood or other structure along these deep shorelines. He also noted that some of the herring run ponds are starting to see more largemouth activity, and in those instances look for the fish to be holding in current looking to ambush their prey.  

Ralph, at Crafty One Customs, reports that him and his crew have been busy filling orders for the upcoming season. The shop is now open 7-days a week, from 9-5 on weekdays and 9-3 on the weekends. The shop is fully stocked with just about everything you will need for a successful 2024 season. Fishing activity has been pretty light, besides some anglers targeting late-winter largemouth at some of the smaller ponds, but things should pick up soon with the tautog opener on April 1st and opening day of trout season on April 13th 

Dustin at, Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures is fresh off show season, and while he is waiting for things to really heat up, he told me that he is finding some strong largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing right from shore. Lakes and ponds with some relatively easy access to deeper water close to shore, along with slowly worked jigs has been the ticket. Dustin is also booking kayak and/or shore trips for the season, so be sure to contact him soon to get on the calendar! 

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

Some cold rain and some cooler nights have sent water temperatures back closer to normal, after what was gearing up to be a very warm spring. Despite this, freshwater anglers are still finding success for largemouth and smallmouth bass, along with some decent panfishing across Rhode Island. We’re still a few weeks away from the opener of trout season, but in the meantime look for some good bass fishing along the deeper shorelines and structure. Saltwater anglers are reporting some better-than-usual winter flounder action across the state, and we’re less than a week away from another tautog season. Holdover striped bass can be found in ok numbers in most of the salt ponds and tidal estuaries, and those numbers should only increase with the arrival of river herring.  

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