The most minor componets can make big differences on the water.

Fish hard, stay comfortable.

This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Image caption appears here

Add your deal, information or promotional text

Fishing Forecast - May Full Moon

Fishing Forecast – May Full Moon



May is well underway and it’s a fun time to be a saltwater fisherman in Rhode Island. The past two weeks the fishing has been a little spotty, but generally good here in the bay. The weather has been similar – touch and go, but more good than bad. There’s been plenty of good windows to get out, but we’ve been stuck in an early spring pattern with cold nights and warm, windy afternoons. The extended forecast looks much more promising and consistent with calm nights/mornings and no crazy wind in the afternoons. It will also help to have lows in the 50s rather than dipping to the low-40s. The water temps stalled out in the low-50s for a little while there, but we’re finally seeing some mid to high 50s in the bay and up to high 60s on some flats and salt ponds.

Striped Bass - Getting Bigger, Getting Better

So far this month, the bass fishing in the bay has been pretty hit-or-miss. When you can find the fish, it's fast and furious. When you can't, it seems like a desert. If you’re struggling to find bass, be sure to check the shipping channels all over the bay. They have been running the channels like clockwork, pushing bait both down deep and up to the surface. Following the trend from late April, the bass seem to be on a mixed bag of bait. A combination of squid, bunker, herring, and small snot bait have all been fueling impressive feeds. They have the bass moving constantly and quickly. Some of the blitz-chasing has been more reminiscent of fall fishing than your typical spring-time bite. When they’re staying deep, make sure to drop some Ben Parkers Flutter Spoonsor Bucktails.The flutter spoons have undoubtedly been the hot ticket so far this spring. You can also try large paddle tails, such as the NLBN 8" Paddletail or Fishlab Mack Attack. You may have to vary the retrieve - sometimes a straight vertical jig will get bit where other times they want a more steady retrieve back up from the depths. When the bass are pushing bait up to the surface, spooks from 5” up to 9” have all been getting it done. The Rebel Jumpin Minnow, Game On! X-Walk 4.5”, Heddon Saltwater Spook,and MirrOlure Top Dogare all great options for smaller spooks. As far as big spooks, The Doc is certainly king of this category. Other options like the Game On! X-Walk 6”,and the Lil Docare great choices in the 6-7” range. In addition to the deep shipping channels, try checking on the opposite end of the spectrum. With our cold water temps, a lot of bass are taking to the shallow, muddy habitats in salt ponds and estuaries. You may be surprised at the size of some of the bass laying up in just inches of water. All of the spooks mentioned previously are a good bet. If they won’t commit to a topwater, try throwing weightless soft plastics, like the Lunker City Sluggo, Hogy Original, or Gravity Tackle Eel. When they’re swirling or slapping at the spook but not committing to it, soft plastic is the way to go. They can also be tempted by a slowly-crawled minnow plug, like the SP Minnow, Nomad Shikari, or Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow. Keep switching up your retrieves and profiles until the fish tell you what they want.

A very healthy stack of bass feeding in a deep channel. From last week.

 Tautog - The Spawn is On

The tog fishing is going strong as they continue to move up into shallows. There’s still some time to take advantage of sight fishing big tog in shallow, clear water. But that window is closing, so if it’s on your spring to do list, get after it! If you’re looking to fool them on artificial, check out our Crab Fliesselection for the ultimate challenge, or the Savage Gear Crab for some light spin gear fun. You may notice that almost all of the legal sized females are egg-bearing right now. It’s extra easy to tell the females from the males when it appears their bellies are about to pop. Although it’s perfectly legal to keep three egg-bearing females over 16”, I really encourage everyone to release the females and allow them to lay their eggs. On the low end of the spectrum, a small female tog will lay tens of thousands of eggs in one spawn. A big one will lay hundreds of thousands. It may take some patience to cull the male white chinners from the group, but they’re there! It’s a bit morbid, but it only takes a handful of big male tog to fertilize millions of eggs, so you don’t have to feel guilty about harvesting them compared to the females during their spawn. In the fall it matters less, but for now, let the big females go lay their eggs. Just my two cents!

A healthy ready-to-pop female tog released to lay her eggs.

 Yellow-Eyed Devils - The Boys are Back!

Love them or hate them, the big bluefish are back in town. Just as of the last few days, we have received a healthy push of big bluefish with several over 30” reported so far. The first wave is generally gators, and then the smaller blues filter in later. These big early blues tend to reside on the flats, say less than about six feet or so. Check the backs of bays and harbors on a sunny, clear afternoon and look closely for dorsal fins and the tips of their tails poking above the surface. Sometimes they’ll be in frenzy mode and attack anything you want to offer them. Most of the time, however, they can be very picky and finicky when on the flats. The same big spooks as discussed earlier are a great place to start. If they won’t touch those, try burning in some of the previously mentioned minnow plugs. If all else fails, they rarely turn down a well-presented weightless soft plastic in their face – as long as you don’t mind sacrificing a handful of plastics for some drag-burning fun. The same soft plastics as discussed for striped bass will get the job done. If you are worried about losing lures some of our favorite bluefish budget lures are the Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers, Hopkins Lures, and Kastmasters.


The Saltwater Edge's very own Coby Goodrich with his first big bluefish of the season, caught on The Doc.

Aside from the bluefish, there are more scup and sea robins being caught every day in the bay. As water temps climb up toward 60 degrees, expect to see these critters more frequently. I haven’t heard too much as far as fluke and weakfish in the bay yet, but both should be around and willing to eat soft plastics on/near bottom. It’s hard to outperform Gulp!products for both fluke and weakfish, as both respond very well to scent. With that said, try using ProCureon any soft plastic of your choice. Grub Tailsare a classic while the Zoom Flukesare just plain productive. As the weather steadies and water temperatures climb, things will only get bigger and better on all fronts. Get out there as much as you can the next two weeks!




1 Response

Jim Glesinger

Jim Glesinger

May 20, 2024

Whoever is doing you forecast is doing a great job, keep it up!

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.