Rhode Island Fishing Report- December 7, 2023

Tautog, cod and sea bass transition to deeper structure, holdover stripers are active in the backwaters, and sweetwater anglers enjoy good fishing for largemouth bass and trout.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reports that the tautog, cod, and sea bass action has remained steady. The fleet has started to transition to deeper water in hopes of finding some bigger fish and are starting to be rewarded. Last years biggest blackfish came in December, so should there be plenty of time to score another great catch. You can view the full schedule and make reservations on their website.  

Ralph at Crafty One Customs reports that the guys heading out of Newport are still doing well with tautog, even though they keep transitioning to deeper water. The best reports this week have been from 70+ feet of water, but they’re still chewing. Keeper fish are still relatively easy to come by and there are still some nice double-digit fish in the mix. Cod are starting to mix in more often, while the sea bass bite has transitioned to deeper water offshore. There are still some stripers hanging around as well, but they remain mostly holdovers, and haven’t been as active during the recent colder days. Local anglers have been looking to freshwater and are reporting good catches of largemouth, trout and salmon. Their regular winter hours are Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the shop will be closed Sunday through Tuesday. 

Eric at The Saltwater Edge told me that the fishing has slowed down in the ocean state, but some anglers are still reporting decent numbers of striped bass, especially on the warmer days. These fish are generally smaller holdovers but provide good light tackle action. Tautog fishing remains a bright spot, with anglers still reporting plenty of keepers, as the fish transition to deeper water. The shop is now shifting to fly-tying mode, with the first and third Thursdays of the month being open fly-tying nights. They hope to see you there soon! 

Connor at Tail Tailz Charters provided the following report:

“The inshore tautog fishing has wound down, but the offshore deeper reefs and wrecks are producing when we’ve been able to get out there. When we’ve had the weather to be able to shoot just offshore a bit the fishing has been good. Plenty of quality tog with a few double-digit fish in the mix. As usual, when fishing deep this time of year we’re getting a nice by catch of big sea bass and cod. Whites and Jonah’s have been producing best offshore. The inshore bite may still rebound, but for now we’re fishing the deeper wreck and reefs. The season is winding down, but when the weather allows there is plenty of good fishing to be had.”

Rob at Newport Sportfishing Charters has still been putting together some very successful late fall trips whenever the weather has allowed. He has been able to find plenty of quality tautog without having to travel too far from home. On the nicer days, he has been able to steam a bit further out and cash in on a solid cod and sea bass bite. 

Dustin of Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures shared the following report:

“Anglers have been transitioning to deeper water to find tautog, but catches have still been strong when they have been able to get out there. Black sea bass are also still very reliable, although they are starting to transition to deeper water. With the temperature dropping, we should have more opportunities for inshore cod throughout the rest of the year. There are still opportunities to find some decent schools of striped bass, but now is the time to start working the holdover areas. Freshwater fishing has also trended in a positive direction with a decent amount of largemouth being caught recently. As a result of the last stocking, trout fishing has been pretty lights out. Reach out to us to book your kayak or shore fishing trip for this year or get an early start on a date for next year!”

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

As it starts to feel more like winter in the saltwater scene, anglers are still taking advantage of some good bottom fishing whenever a weather window opens up.  The fish have started to transition deeper, with the best reports from 50 to 90 feet of water, but they are still chewing. This bite should last right through December, as long as the weather holds up. Besides the tautog, sea bass and some keeper cod are around as by-catch, and numbers seem to be increasing as the anglers are working deeper structure. Holdover striped bass are still plentiful enough to play with, especially on the warmer days. Freshwater anglers are finding a more consistent largemouth bite, with the water temperatures normalizing, while trout anglers are cashing in on the recent rounds of stocking. 

2 on “Rhode Island Fishing Report- December 7, 2023

  1. Bob mierzwinski

    Not a comment on reports but saw recently a story about Dave Henault a frequent contributor who is facing a personal medical challenge. Wanted to wish him well and socialize on this forum. Maybe someone could assist him in his journey. Happy and healthy holidays to all wishing Dave H the brst

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