2018-05-17 / Nature

Saltwater Fishing Heats Up

By James Merolla

What a difference a week makes in spring saltwater fishing, whether it’s from a boat or the shore.

Throughout April and through the first week of May, you couldn’t lift a striped bass or bluefish out of Narragansett Bay with a stick of dynamite, but they are arriving in every shoal now.

According to Ted Zlydaszek and Greg Vespe of the Aquidneck Island Striper Team, schoolie-sized striped bass have spread throughout the bay this week and can be caught on a variety of top water and mid-column lures.

“Schoolies, squid and blackfish [tautog] are all being caught right now,” Zlydaszek said. “Even a few cod are being caught off Brenton Reef. I caught my first schoolies last Sunday…”

“A few larger, keeper-size bass have also started to spread into the bay,” Vespe added. “The tautog bite picked up quite a bit this week and should continue to improve. Crabs remain the best choice for bait for ‘tog.’ The squid bite is very spotty right now in Newport, but further north on the Cape, the action is on.

“The local bite should get better and better over the next several weeks,” he said. “Out front, [a quarter mile and more out on Newport Harbor], most of the party boats are in the process of switching over from targeting cod to targeting fluke, as the water continues to warm.

“The black sea bass regulations changed for the better last week,” he said, “but the season still won’t open until June 24. Scup are just beginning to show up and should be here in good numbers by end of month.”

Return to top