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Fishing Opportunities In Newport

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.  

Fly Fishing

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. 


    We are fortunate to have a number of excellent local charter services are available.  Contact the shop and we can help you choose the Captain best suited for you needs.

    Recommended Tackle 

    Surf Casting

        Fly Fishing

        • 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).

        Inshore Fishing

        • 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 Anglers

        Surfcasters 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. 
        Most importantly use extreme caution in rocky areas. Spiked footwear like Korkers are highly advised and a necessity for ease of access and SAFETY!!

        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.  

        1. Squid – April, May, June, October, November
        2. Adult Menhaden – April through November
        3. Juvenile Menhaden aka Peanut Bunker – July through November
        4. Atlantic Silverside – April through November
        5. Sand Eels – May, June, July
        6. Bay Anchovy – August through October
        7. Crab Hatches – late July and August
        8. Crabs and Lobsters – May through November
        9. Young of the year species Tautog, Scup, Sea Bass, Snapper Blues etc. – August, September
        10. Butterfish – August through October
        11. Mullet – September, October
        12. 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 Surfcaster

        Looking 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: Make sure to mention The Saltwater Edge sent you for an extra “fishermen’s discount”.

        Lots of Fishing Opportunities and Options

        Newport 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. 
        Tight lines!!

        4 Responses

        Thomas Sparacio

        Thomas Sparacio

        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.

        Peter Jenkins

        Peter Jenkins

        July 27, 2021


        Right? What we have now pales in comparison. More anglers using better tackle and technology. I share your concern. If you haven’t check out the American Saltwater Guides Association. We are a group of guides, shops, and recreational anglers who believe we need sustainable fisheries to have sustainable businesses. Take care of the fish and the fish will take care of us.

        Andrew Connors

        Andrew Connors

        July 27, 2021

        Great guide thank you! But if that old-time picture at the top doesn’t tell us we’ve been overfishing stripers then idk what to say…

        Jack Crance

        Jack Crance

        July 27, 2021

        Thanks for your insights. The reminder is great as it has been more than 20 years since my wife and I lived in Middletown.

        Unfortunately, our summer days are numbered this year as my wife returns to school on 23 August.

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