Rhode Island Striper Fishing

Rhode Island striper fishing is a dream! Although it's a small state, there are over 300 miles of coast and I want to fish it all! If I had to pick one state to start over in, it would be a toss up between Rhode Island and Florida, and Florida isn't exactly a striper hot spot. Shore access is reasonable, unlike neighboring Connecticut where most of the shore is private and inaccessible by land and places to launch a boat aren't plentiful either. Also you can catch stripers most months of the year in RI - a looong fishing season.

Rhode Island has lots of sandy beaches and rocks, but with a much smaller tide than points north,  averaging around 3 to 4 feet, not as much structure develops on the beaches. A lot of fishing is done from rocks, often 20 feet or so ABOVE the surf! Yes, you can fly fish these cliffs, primarily by timing your casts so your fly gets dragged out by the wash like a helpless baitfish or Crustacean. It can be deadly! Be careful too as fisherman sometimes literally die. Cliffs are dangerous, and think about how you might safely land that cow you hook.

We can consider Rhode Island striper fishing as composed roughly of three parts: sizeable Narragansett Bay in the north which includes lots of rocky coastline around Newport, the sandy beaches and salt ponds in the south, and Block Island which deserves it's own mention as a striped bass fishing mecca.

The first stripers arrive in early to mid April in the South, and the fishing in the Salt Ponds and breachways that connect them to the ocean can be hot. By mid May the first larger stripers have shown up and taken residence and the cows become more plentiful into June, although no one will ever claim they are easy to catch, especially fly fishing! October and November are traditional hot fishing months, and some fish can linger into late December. Wow, a 9 month striper season -- I'm very jealous! Then again, I'm only a few hours away and once the kids get a bit older . . .

I've only fished Rhode Island a few times but was impressed by the striper terrain and ease of access, at least compared to most areas I fish, as well as the variety. It's on the list to fish more heavily in the future, especially in the fall after my local NH and Maine striped bass are pretty much gone.

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