Fishing in the state of Rhode Island is a popular pastime, more so for coastal fishing than freshwater. Though, no matter what you fish for, you are unlikely to be disappointed; The diversity of Rhode Island’s fish will keep you busy all day long!
Undoubtedly the most well distributed species in Rhode Island is bass although saltwater bass fishing is more popular. Some great bass fishing can be found in many of Rhode Island’s smaller ponds. For a fly fishing experience the Connecticut River is not only productive, but it can produce several pound bass. Indian Lake and Tiogue Lake are two of few larger waterbodies for bass fishing in the state.
Trout are sought after in Rhode Island. Tiogue Lake is one of the few lakes with trout. Pawcatuck River offers exquisite trout fishing. Pawcatuck is also the site holding the state rainbow trout record of eleven pounds. Trout require an additional stamp, please be careful of all regulations.
Rhode Island has so much coastline its nickname is the Ocean State, so of course it has excellent saltwater fishing. Bluefish are popular to fish for along Rhode Island’s shores, allowing a thrilling experience without getting into a boat. If you prefer deep water action then your prey is likely to be tuna, cod, or maybe a shark!
Striped bass are the state fish of Rhode Island. Striped bass fishing is excellent in Narragansett Bay, as is bluefin tuna, false albacore, porgy, weakfish, and fluke fishing. For larger boats use the east passage of the Narragansett Bay.
Of the southern shore of the Ocean State, Weekapaug Breachway provides some of its best fishing. Access to this spot is convenient, the east and west shores provide fishing from land, and species are diverse. Albacore, stripers, bluefish, porgy, sea bass, and more are found at Weekapaug Breachway.
The largest island in the state is Block Island, where trophy sized black sea bass, bluefin tuna, and white marlin swim free. It was once home to the state striped bass record too. You can also find sizable fluke, bonito, and the occasional shark there! Some consider Block Island to be one of the premier islands on the east coast.
If you are sixteen years or older you will need a license. However, Rhode Island does honor licenses from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. Rhode Island recreational fishing licenses can be bought online or in person at state agencies. Those bought from the web can be printed for immediate fishing. Social security numbers are required. Licenses are offered for a year or seven days to both residents and non-residents. Non-residents also have a three day freshwater fishing option.
Residency is proven via a Rhode Island driver’s license or other state issued ID card. Members of the Armed Forces, even those who are not residents of Rhode Island, may buy a resident fishing license. Senior residents may be given free recreational fishing licenses. Of course, if you prefer to wait, Rhode Island’s free fishing days are in May!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.