It’s getting fishy out there

Posted 5/3/23

Freshwater and saltwater fishing in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is outstanding. Both trout and salmon fishing in stocked ponds is particularly good with an explosive largemouth bass bite. …

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It’s getting fishy out there


Freshwater and saltwater fishing in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is outstanding. Both trout and salmon fishing in stocked ponds is particularly good with an explosive largemouth bass bite. “The couple of 80 degree days we had kickstarted the pre-spawn bite followed by a full moon. So largemouth bass fishing is great,” said Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, RI.

Thursday the saltwater bite exploded in Rhode Island as larger migrating striped bass entered Narragansett and Mt. Hope Bays with fish starting to be caught on Cape Cod as well. The coastal shore from Westerly to the Sakonnet was good too, maybe not as good as the Bays but much improved from last week.

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “The mid to upper Bay in front of Rocky Point was on fire with bait and striped bass Thursday. Now the fish have moved just north of Conimicut Point. Capt. Rene Letourneau said he left the dock in East Providence at 9 a.m. and by 9:23 a.m. he was hooking up with fish,”  Jeff Grant said, “Fish in the 35-inch range are being caught in the Bay with an abundance of herring and hold over Atlantic menhaden in the Bay.”

To fish the salt or freshwater you need a license in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. See below links for information.

For freshwater and light tackle saltwater fishing a light to medium action rod and reel combination such as an Ugly Stick, Berkley or other rod/reel combination ($39 to $69) can get you started. Ask your local bait & tackle shop for tips on what to use for hooks, lures or bait based on what fish are biting.

Rhode Island stocks over one hundred ponds, rivers, brooks and lakes with a variety of trout and salmon so you might want to check waterways in your area. Massachusetts stocks designated trout waterways with over 500,000 fish each year. Many of them are stocked two or three times a year.

For a complete list of stocked ponds, license information and a copy of the Fishing Regulations and Guides visit . In Massachusetts visit

Freshwater fly-fishing workshop

The DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold its Annual Adult Introduction to Freshwater Fly-Fishing program for ages 17 and older this month. Hosted by the Division’s Aquatic Resource Education (ARE) program, the workshop will be held at Addieville East Farm, Mapleville, RI on Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The workshop is $30.00/person and includes lunch and all fly fishing equipment. The program will cover Basic Entomology, Fly Tying, Fly Casting, Basic Knots, and fish a freshly stocked trout pond after lunch. To register contact Kimberly Sullivan at or call 401.539. 0037. Volunteers to help run the program should call Kimberly to register as well.

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass. Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author, East End Eddie Doherty, said, “Some school bass were caught Wednesday on the mainland side of the railroad bridge and there are reports of school bass in Buzzards Bay with slots right behind.” “I fished with my sons from shore in Warwick near Conimicut Point using Kastmaster lures last week, and they caught multiple school bass, their first ever. My son TJ Giddings is now working in the shop with me. Customers are catching some nice fish using swimmers, soft plastics and surface lures,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick.

Fly expert and guide Ed Lombardo said, “It’s only been the last 10 to 12 days that many of the bass we are now getting have sea lice attached to them. For the most part, the outgoing tide has been fishing a little better than the incoming. Many of us are using old faithful flies such as clouser minnows, all white or olive over white, hot pink or brown Ed’s Fly, Ray’s Fly, and Lefty’s deceiver, 1/0 and 2/0 sizes.” 

Striped bass angler Mark Tracy of Barrington said this weekend, “We found the stripers in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay from Potters Cove (Prudence Island) to the shipping channel. Fish ranged from 24-29-inches. Caught them on Mag Darters and Deadly Dicks. Both on Friday at slack tide and Sunday on the outgoing tide. Birds, bait, and fish on the surface, but plenty of fish down below in 25-35 feet of water as well.” 

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Anglers are hooking up with 30” bass at India Point Park, Providence and Festival Pier, Pawtucket. Soft plastic and shallow diver lures are working best.” Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Fishing for striped bass is picking up with fish being caught in the wash and have started moving into the salt ponds.”

Tautog. “Customers are catching big beautiful tautog in the mid and upper Bay in about ten feet of water. Reports of great fish from Sally Rock, off Godard Park in Warwick; India Point, Providence: to the Stone Bridge in Tiverton,” said Giddings. O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “The tautog bite continues to improve.”

Freshwater. “Customers in South County are doing well targeting trout in local rivers and ponds stocked by Rhode Island DEM,” O’Donnell of Breachway Bait. Giddings said, “The prespawn largemouth bass bite continues to be outstanding at area ponds. Those doing best are using live bait (shiners). Local ponds producing include Gorton Pond and Little Pond behind Warwick Vets. Trout fishing is good too, some ponds have been restocked with Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown producing a variety of trout including golden trout for customers.”

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit

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