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Bass Fishing In Rhode Island

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Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Rhode Island Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Rhode Island is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Rhode Island

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Rhode Island. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Rhode Island. The state record largemouth bass is over 11 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass
Fishing at Watchaug Pond in RI

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Fisheries like Stafford Pond, Johnson's Pond, and Worden Pond are known for producing good-sized largemouth bass. The early spring and late fall are generally the best times to target largemouth bass, as they are more active and easier to catch during these cooler months.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Rhode Island

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 5 pounds.

The Wood River and the Pawcatuck River are particularly well-known for their smallmouth bass fishing. The summer months are typically the prime time for smallmouth bass fishing, as the warmer water temperatures make them more active.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Rhode Island

Most major lakes in Rhode Island contain bass, including Beach Pond, Indian Lake, Johnson Pond (Flat River Reservoir), Pascoag Reservoir (Echo Lake), Stafford Pond, Tiogue Lake, Watchaug Pond, Woonasquatucket Reservoir and Worden Pond. Bass can also be found in ponds, parks and rivers, many of which offer ice fishing for bass in winter.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are aggressive predators, making them fun to catch on a variety of lures and baits. Anglers often use techniques like casting crankbaits, soft plastics, and topwater lures to entice these bass into striking. Whether you're an experienced angler or a novice looking to try bass fishing for the first time, Rhode Island's bass fishing scene has something to offer for everyone.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Rhode Island

Bass In Rhode Island

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 3.2 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 15 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Rhode Island State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from Johnson's Pond.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Wash Pond.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Rhode Island this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

Bass fishing basics video.

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Rhode Island.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Ocean State.


Bass fishing information by state.

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