As summer approaches, the waters along the South County beaches of Rhode Island and the rocky shore of southeastern Connecticut hold a wide variety of game fish. In particular, the tidal ponds behind many of the Rhode Island barrier beaches produce a smorgasbord of opportunities for both shore and boat anglers. Bluefish and striped bass instinctively gather in front of the pond inlets, or breachways, to feast on the bounty of bait being swept out on the ebb tide.
The Weekapaug, Quonochontaug, and Charlestown Breachways are great spots to fish, especially when the falling tide occurs at dawn, dusk or at night. Swimming or popping plugs, bucktails, live eels, and even flies will all produce at the above locations.
On the fluke front, big flatties are available right off Misquamicut Beach. Strips of squid, live mummies or frozen sand eels carefully threaded on small bucktail jigs will produce decent catches.
The late spring/early summer period also means great fishing between Watch Hill and Fishers Island. Target the Watch Hill and Sugar Reef complex, Catumb Rocks, and the ridges and drop-offs near Lord’s and Wicopesset Passages. The rugged bottom and swift tides here attract bass and blues galore, as well as sea bass, scup, and blackfish. Be aware that caution is needed to fish many of the above areas successfully and safely given the swift current and big rocks.
The Race off New London is another area to target, as it produces some of the best bluefish and striped bass fishing in the Northeast. Trolling bucktails or umbrella rigs on wire line, surface plugging, drifting bucktails on 3-way rigs, and live-bait fishing are all very productive techniques between the western end of Fishers Island and Little Gull Island.
When fishing any of the aforementioned spots, be sure to know the regulations for the state waters you plan to fish, as Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island have varying seasons, catch and size limits. Also be sure to have a 2012 saltwater fishing license from at least one of the states (CT, RI and NY have license reciprocity).