Fishing Opportunities In Newport
Why is Newport is considered a sport fishing destination? In a word: variety. Newport and surrounding waters host a variety of fish and bait species in its temperate waters, and angler access to this water is in many cases readily and easily available. Use this guide to make the most of your time on the water in and around Newport, Rhode Island
From April through November a variety of fish species call Aquidneck Island water home and there is always a fish to chase and catch. It all starts with the arrival of Striped Bass and Tautog in mid-April. Add Bluefish, Scup, Black Sea Bass, and Summer Flounder (Fluke) in May, June, and July. Then add False Albacore and Atlantic Bonito to the mix in August, September, and October. November is the tail end of our season but can also provide hot action when all the above species are migrating to their winter retreats. Check out our blog for the latest Fishing Forecast
Where to Fish
What makes Aquidneck Island special for shore bound anglers is its readily accessible public parks that provide shoreline access to open ocean locations as well as protected bay areas. Newport and Middletown have state and federal land that is very fisherman friendly. Some of the more popular areas in Newport are Fort Adams State Park, Brenton Point State Park, and the world-famous Cliff Walk National Recreation Trail. Middletown has the expansive Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge which offers all sorts of rugged surfcasting opportunities.
For those looking to trailer their boats the city of Newport has a public ramp at Fort Adams State Park; and for federal employees/military members with access there is a launch ramp located at Coasters Harbor Island on the Newport Naval Base. The town of Middletown has a launch ramp at Third Beach.
Aquidneck Island has a storied history at the forefront of modern saltwater fly fishing for Striped Bass. The shoreline accesses mentioned above provide fly casters with an abundance of challenges in various structure types giving you the new challenge of fishing the whitewater, sight fishing a calm sandy shoreline or casting to bonito and false albacore. There is something for everyone.
- 8-11 foot rod with matching saltwater grade reel.
- Reel spool loaded with 15-20lb mono line / 30-50lb braid.
- Terminal gear and 30-60lb leaders.
- Range of lures such as topwater baits ( Rebel Jumpin Minnow) , minnow swimmers ( Daiwa SP Minnow ), needlefish plugs ( Super Strike N Fish), darters ( Super Strike Zig Zag ), metal lip swimmers, bucktail jigs, soft plastics ( Albie Snax), metal lures (locally made Point Jude or Kastmaster )
- 8-10 weight 9 foot fast action fly rod.
- SW grade fly reel with intermediate line.
- 15-30lb mono leaders/tippets.
- Assortment of flies on hook sizes 6 to 4/0 (call The Saltwater Edge for the latest hot fly patterns which change depending on season/bait presence).
- 7-8 foot spinning or casting rod with quality SW grade reel. (we are here to help)
- 10-15lb mono line or 20-30lb braid
- Clips and leader material 20-40lb
- Same range of lures as mentioned for surf casting
Additional Gear for Wading AnglersSurfcasters and flyrodders fishing from the rocky shores of Aquidneck Island will need additional gear. The area offers excellent access to the water so bring your chest waders, wet suits and rain parkas. Headlights are a must for for fishing prime time at first and last light and of course night fishing.
Prevalent Forage Species
Note – the species and seasons are listed here as a general guide. Some species may appear earlier, later, or not at all. It behooves anglers to adjust lure offerings based on what they observe or hear from trusted sources.
- Squid – April, May, June, October, November
- Adult Menhaden – April through November
- Juvenile Menhaden aka Peanut Bunker – July through November
- Atlantic Silverside – April through November
- Sand Eels – May, June, July
- Bay Anchovy – August through October
- Crab Hatches – late July and August
- Crabs and Lobsters – May through November
- Young of the year species Tautog, Scup, Sea Bass, Snapper Blues etc. – August, September
- Butterfish – August through October
- Mullet – September, October
- Mackerel – May, September through November
Don’t forget to purchase a fishing license! For license requirements, purchase, and information check here Also, RI has reciprocity with MA, CT, ME and NH so your saltwater license from any of those states is valid here.
Pro Tip: Your Spouse is Going to Love Newport
Lots of couples make Newport a long weekend getaway. Here is a resource for what else you can do in our slice of the Ocean State.
Ideal Lodging for the SurfcasterLooking for lodging? Aquidneck Island has a plethora of places to stay from traditional Hotels/Motels to local Bed and Breakfast Inns. If you are a surfcaster that would like to stay in Newport with a local that has been fishing the island for over 50 years you should consider contacting noted surf caster and author, Dennis Zambrotta. DZ is the author of Surfcasting Around The Block and has written numerous other articles. Here's the link to Dennis’s Airbnb:https://www.airbnb.com/h/comfy-bedrooms-in-newport Make sure to mention The Saltwater Edge sent you for an extra “fishermen’s discount”.
Lots of Fishing Opportunities and OptionsNewport and the rest of Aquidneck Island offer numerous fishing options for the surf, fly and inshore angler. Check out our blog for the latest Fishing Forecast. Let the Saltwater Edge help you make the most of your time on the water.
August 11, 2021
Great article. You can always count on SWE for the best and up to date data available.
My go to shop for 25+ years. Now in Texas, I only get there once a year.
See you in September.