Tautog season opens

Posted 8/4/21

Not many anglers targeted tautog this week as most are focusing on other species including fluke, black sea bass and striped bass. If you do plan to give this great eating fish a try in the near …

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Tautog season opens


Not many anglers targeted tautog this week as most are focusing on other species including fluke, black sea bass and striped bass. If you do plan to give this great eating fish a try in the near future make shore you check the availability of green or Asian carbs at your local bait shop as many are not carrying the yet.

The tautog season opened in Rhode Island this week (Aug. 1) with a three fish/person/day limit. The same limit now applies in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. However, from Oct. 15 through Dec. 31 the limit in both states increases to five fish/person/day. The minimum tautog size in both states in 16 inches.

When the tautog fishery is open, private anglers are subject to 10-fish maximum tautog limit for the vessel. The most restrictive limit of the per angler bag limit or per vessel maximum limit applies in both states.

For saltwater recreations on all species in Massachusetts visit . In Rhode Island saltwater regulations visit

New freshwater fishing regulations

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced new Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing Rules and Regulations will took effect Saturday, July 31.

Two changes pertain to the Beaver River in Richmond. It is now designated as a no kill, “catch-and-release only” area. Beaver River has also been removed from the trout stocking list, it will no longer be stocked with hatchery raised trout.

The aim of designating the Beaver River as catch and release-only area is to further improve the population of brook trout in the Beaver River. Furthermore, this change will provide a unique opportunity for anglers to target wild brook trout and admire them for their natural beauty.

Additionally, Cass Pond, Woonsocket and Geneva Brook and Pond in North Providence have been revised to be restricted to children for the first two days of the trout fishing season.

For a full list of freshwater fishing regulations, visit .

Where’s the bite?

“Striped bass

fishing in Narragansett Bay has dropped off but customers live lining poggies (Atlantic menhaden) are hooking up with keeper striped bass usually when the tide is changing,” said Tom Giddings of The Tackle Box, Warwick. “The bluefish bite is not good but snapper blues have made their presence known in cover and harbors.”  John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Customers have not caught many bluefish at all and the striped bass bite has decreased in the upper Bay. I know we have a good snapper bluefish bite as we have sold a lot of snapper blue rigs this weekend.” Anglers are reminded that snapper blues are bluefish and the bluefish regulation of three fish/person/day applies. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle Warwick, said, “Customers are catching large striped bass off Newport. We had reports of two anglers hooking up with 50-pound striped bass right at Brenton Reef.”

Summer flounder (fluke) and black sea bass.

Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, said, “I don’t know if it is because of all the bait at popular shore fishing locations, like Rocky Point and Conimicut Point, but a couple of customers caught 20-inch fluke (summer flounder) when fishing from shore there.” Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait said, “The bite has slowed in the Bay with few fluke being caught in the upper Bay, most of any action is taking place in the lower Bay.” I fished this weekend both days with charters off Beavertail Point on a piece of structure about a mile east of Beavertail Light and we were able to limit out on keeper black sea bass (three fish/person/day, minimum size is 15 inches). Few keeper fluke were caught, just two, one of them coming from the deep trench just south of Dutch Island off the lighthouse. Capt. Chris Willi of Block Island Fishworks, Block Island, said, “We had some large fluke (to about ten pounds) caught on the southwest side of the Island this week.”  We managed just one keeper fluke with a ton of dog fish on the West Fishing Grounds off Block Island and near the north rip fishing on Sunday morning.


fishing remains strong in area ponds,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box. Trout fishing has slowed at stocked ponds as the water has warmed up.

Dolphins at the mouth of the Bay.

 Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. (on our way to Block Island) we came across a large pod of dolphin (looked to be a couple of hundred or so at least). When bluefin tuna fishing, it’s one of the signs you look for before you put in your bluefin tuna spread (rigs) to catch them. Dolphin and bluefin tuna often eat the same thing and are chasing the same bait. Have to wonder if there were bluefin tuna mixed in with those dolphin, if so it would be incredible, a good bluefin bite off Narragansett? Off Beavertail? Off Newport? But who knows, maybe this pod just lost its way. Anglers are reminded they need a special Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Federal fishing permit to catch bluefin tuna at in Tune. 

Chub mackerel

(fun the catch and eat) have appeared off our southern coastal shores.  If you want to be ready to target these fast movers the Saltwater Edge can help. Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge and president of the American Saltwater Guides Association, said, “Chub Mackerel are becoming regular visitors in mid-Summer in Southern New England. They can be found frothily feeding on the same baits that cause the "bass rafts"; typically bay anchovies or sand eels. Chasing chubs are a fun prelude to the exciting times ahead created by bonito and then (fingers crossed) false albacore.” To find out what to target chub mackerel with visit  Tackle and Tactics: Chub Mackerel.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit

tautog, fishing, sports


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