We Are Getting Closer- Early Spring Hotspots!by Captain Jim Barr on 02/27/18
We Are Getting Closer- Early Spring Hotspots!
By Capt. Jim Barr- 2/11/18
By my calculations from mid-February, we should be seeing the first wave of migrating schools of striped bass in Rhode Island waters in about seven weeks. Those first fish typically show in the Pawcatuck River near Westerly, RI so if you feel like braving what will still be very cool waters and air temperatures, boat and shore anglers should be catching by the second week in April. (For the Pawcatuck River a good place to get access is the cemetery off Beach St (RT1A) between Watch Hill and Westerly).
Where else should you explore? Man, the list goes on but the second most likely spot to hit early stripers is on the West Wall near East Matunuck State Beach. Be prepared to share the jetty with everybody and their brother, but if you can get to the end of the jetty, it is without question the optimal spot. If the West Wall is packed with early (or late) birds, then try the East Wall which is accessed from the Narragansett side of the Pt. Judith Pond breachway. If you know how to get to the Pt. Judith lighthouse, on your way there look for a sign marking Camp Cronin. Not as great a place as the West Wall, but definitely less crowded and the bass should be within reach. (Bring a spinning rod in case they are beyond fly casting range). Two other reliable spots to check out are the east and west corners of Sachuest Beach aka Second Beach in Middletown.
The best times to go are typically the early morning and late afternoon. Be prepared to be cold and of course wet if there is any kind of shore break. Use small patterns on Intermediate lines (also bring a spinner to make life easier if you are facing a head-wind.) For any of these early season striper spots I would suggest Clouser Minnows and Lefty's Deceivers... no magic here, the fish will be small but after this prolonged and cold weather...a good tug on the end of your line will be welcomed.
That's nice Jim, but where are your other secret spring spots? Well, here 'ya go Mate- but they really aren't so secret, after all, native Americans fished many of them hundreds of years ago!
Newport-- The ledge at Collins Beach casting towards Butterball Rock/ The jetty at Brenton Point State Park
Middletown-- Easton Point-Sachuest Point and east along the walking path/shoreline to the observation platform
Jamestown-- Beavertail Point shoreline/ Taylor Point/ Hull Cove at Short Point
Narragansett-- Bonnet Point at east end of Bonnet Shore Beach, Narrow River from the mouth of the ocean all the way to Gilbert Stuart brook
North Kingstown-- Greene Point toward the Old Sargeant just up from the west end of the Jamestown Bridge/ Rome Point towards the seal rocks and back inside in the narrows of Bissell Cove (on the drop)- Sauga Point- north towards sewer entrance/ Calf Pasture Point at high tide just north of Allen Harbor- the entire beach/ Tibbetts Creek outflow in front of Quidnessett Country Club in East Greenwich- on the drop
East Greenwich-- Marsh Point and just inside the Green or Potowomut River, near pond outflow- high tide dropping
Warwick ~ Sally Rock Point- access thru Goddard Park/ Long Point just north of Greenwich Cove- access thru Goddard/ Shoreline from Long Point to the boat ramp at Goddard/ Conimicut Point bar- be careful of dropping tide/ Greene Island structure- access via kayak from bad ramp at Occupessatuxet Cove/ Gaspee Point on moving water- either tide. The Greene Islands are HOT!
East Providence-- Sabin Point- but lock and alarm your car/ Bullock Point on the drop
Barrington-- entire Barrington River and Hundred Acre estuary via kayak/ Little Island at the junction of the Barrington River and the Palmer River moving water/ Grinnel Point in the Palmer River on the drop
Bristol-- Mill Gut inside Colt State Park- fish on the drop. At the high tide explore the pond on the inside/ Bristol Narrows on the drop/ Cole River where it squeezes through the narrows near Ocean Grove- on the drop and at the Rt 103 bridge
Swansea-- Lee River where is passes beneath the Rt 103 bridge and the narrows- South Swansea
Portsmouth--Common Fence Point- catch the drop of the small pond as you face Roger Williams College/ McCorrie and Sandy Points
Tiverton-- Sapowet Marsh and Sapowet Point- also Jack's Island