Saltwater fishing is a leading sport in Rhode Island, with giant bluefin tuna, marlin and swordfish the prized catches. Striped bass a local favorite. The Ocean State offers in-shore surf and rock casting, bottom fishing in protected bay and shoreline areas, in addition to exciting off-shore game fishing.
Bluefish and Striped Bass are the most common sport fish, both inshore and offshore. The bluefish, considered by many to be the finest fighting fish in the Atlantic, can be caught May through November. These voracious feeders average 4 to 6 pounds, with 11 to 15 pounders not uncommon, especially in the fall. Equally revered is the striped bass. Found all along our shores, particularly in rocky areas and in estuaries, salt ponds and rivers, this fighter can reach up to 65 pounds, with many 40+ pounders caught annually.
For offshore action, anglers can pursue several species of tuna, shark, and cod. Also, prized billfish such as white and blue marlin and swordfish are caught annually. What makes Rhode Island offshore fishing so good is its relative closeness to the canyon fishing on the fertile Continental Shelf, allowing more time for fishing and less time spent traveling.
Anglers seeking freshwater fishing action don't have to look far while in Rhode Island. Our many rivers, lakes, and ponds provide a wide variety of freshwater game fish such as Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Crappie. Trout and Landlocked Salmon are stocked in waters throughout the state. Scenic rivers such as the Wood, Pawcatuck, Moosup, and Falls located in Southern Rhode Island, offer premier trout fishing throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Fresh water fishing in natural and stocked areas can be found throughout the state. The scenic Wood and Pawcatuck Rivers offer premier trout fishing throughout spring, summer and autumn. Other fresh water species such as large mouth bass, northern pike and perch are abundant in Rhode Island's many ponds and lakes. Trout season opens annually on the second Saturday of April at sunrise.
For additional information regading locations to fish, please visit Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Fish and Wildlife
SALTWATER FISHING LAWS & LICENSING
No license is necessary for saltwater fishing in Rhode Island. However, if an angler wishes to sell his catch, a commercial license to sell fin fish caught by rod or reel or a multipurpose license is necessary and may be obtained from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Boat Registration and Licensing, 401-222-3576.
Federal regulations regarding all tuna, swordfish and shark species can be obtained from the National Marine Fisheries Service, 1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, (978) 281-9300.
For regulations on other species and a complete abstract on rules and regulations pertaining to saltwater fishing contact, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879, 401-789-3094 or 401-222-3075.
Out-of-state residents are forbidden to take lobster and also must have a license to shellfish in Rhode Island waters. Quahogs less than 1" width (thickness) may not be kept.
Vehicles driven on Rhode Island beaches must have a special beach vehicle permit from RIDEM. Driver and vehicles must appear at the Division of Boat Registration and Licenses, 235 Promenade St., Providence, RI.
FRESHWATER FISHING LAWS & LICENSING
Resident (required of all persons between 15-65) $ 9.50
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