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rhode island fishing
Rhode Island Fishing Report for December 22, 2016

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Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Narragansett was able to leave the docks a couple times last week, and each time the cod action seemed to be in peak winter form. Last Sunday saw big numbers, some of the biggest of the year, with most anglers getting a limit. Those who missed out on a full limit were only a fish or two away. Last Wednesdays’ trip saw similar results numbers wise, and there were some big fish in the mix. Multiple fish were pushing 20-pounds on the scale! There are still plenty of keeper black sea bass to go around, along with some big mackerel. The cod grounds are loaded with bait, and fresh-shucked clams are producing very well. Jigs seem to be producing just as well, so be prepared to fish both. Cod trips will continue to sail daily at 6 AM, but the schedule often changes this time of year. Be sure to check with their website or call ahead before you make the ride.

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, reports that things have been quiet around the shop this week, but those who have got out have found some success for multiple species. Cod and sea bass reports have quieted, but that is due in large part to the weather and the holiday season. Those that have made a trip under decent conditions are still finding good numbers of both species. Dave has a large supply of fresh-shucked clams, which is a rarity this time of year. Dave also mentioned that the carp guys are still finding plenty of fish to bite in most of the usual hotspots. If you don’t mind the cold there are plenty of school bass in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. They have been relatively easy to locate, especially after dark, with white and chartreuse jigs and grubs. Ice anglers had a small window of opportunity before the weekend rain, and reports have been good from most of the smaller ponds. Largemouth bass have been biting well under the ice, and some of the smaller bodies of water may be safe for another day or two.

The Saltwater Edge in Middletown reports that things have been quiet around the shop as the cold weather has kept some indoors. The diehards are still finding decent numbers of school bass in the salt ponds and tidal rivers. The bulk of the saltwater attention is on winter cod and sea bassing. Reports have been excellent whenever the weather has allowed. The upcoming forecast looks fairly promising so cod and sea bass results should remain strong through the holidays.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Andrew, at Fishin Factory 3 in Middletown, reported that the ice fishing enthusiasts had a nice shot at some early ice before the weekend precipitation. No matter where you were located in the state, there was a good chance that you had some decent ice before Sunday, and despite that rain there is still some fish-able ice in the northern half of the state. The extended forecast doesn’t look terribly promising for the ice crew, but the next day or two should still provide a few opportunities on the hard water at some smaller ponds. Once the warm weather settles in look for the Housatonic or lower Connecticut River to provide some good schoolie action, for those trying to wet a line.

Joe, at Rivers End in Old Saybrook, reports that everyone was fired up for some early ice, but most hopes were quickly dashed by Sunday’s rain. Again, some ice can be found in the upper elevations, but most are probably better off waiting a week or two. The rain may have killed the ice but it helped the schoolie striped bass action. The rain and subsequent snow melt brought some fish back to life in the lower Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers.

Ian, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reports that the local herring bite has struggled to really materialize. Fish are being jigged up behind the Maritime Center and the marina docks, but if you are expecting lights out action it hasn’t been there yet. School striped bass have been the most reliable target for those trying to bend a rod. All three of the major tidal rivers in CT are producing in the usual spots, with the Housatonic having the best action, but also the most pressure. Ice came and went pretty quickly in southwest CT, but the smaller places have held a base that will likely grow well whenever the nighttime temps start to drop again.

Torrey, at Upcountry Sportfishing in Pine Meadow in Pine Meadow, reports that results on the Farmington have been highly varied. Some have reported extremely slow days, while others have had 25-30 fish days. Flow is up to 205 cfs in the permanent catch and release area; which is higher than it has been, but still relatively low. The lower-than-usual flow has resulted in more ice, so anglers should look to warmer weather windows when the shelf ice will break up, or fish closer to the dam. Winter caddis (18-24) has been the main hatch in the mornings and early afternoons. Matching that hatch has had good results, but nymphs and slowly fished streamers have also been producing.

Rhode Island Fishing Forecast

Ice anglers may have been able to scratch the itch over the weekend, but we now must be patient or head north. In the meantime, cod and sea bass continue to bite off Block Island, and school bass can be found throughout both states. Hopefully you can find some tight lines over the weekend, but either way have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


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