Pomatomus saltatrix
Bluefish are an aggressive, migratory game fish. Their veracious, feeding habits make them an ideal fish for the recreational angler to target.

Other names: "blues", "gators", "choppers", and small bluefish are called "snappers"

Rhode Island Bag Limit is here

Best Months- June through October

Best Times- Daybreak/Early morning, Late Afternoon/Evening, Night

Best Tide- Two hours before to two hours after High Tide

Skill level- Supervised Beginner to Experienced Angler

Best Fishing Methods- Use Popping plugs, Metal Lures, Swimming Plugs, or Bait

Best Areas for the Beginner

East Bay: Colt State Park in Bristol, Barrington Beach in Barrington, East Providence Bike Path shoreline, Fort Adams Seawall in Newport, Fogland Point in Tiverton, Warren River in Warren.

West Bay and South Shore: Conimicut Point in Warwick, Goddard State Park in Potowomut, Allen Harbor in North Kingstown, Wickford Harbor and Town Beach in Wickford, Narragansett Town Beach in Narragansett, East Matunuck State Beach in South Kingstown, Charlestown Beach in Charlestown, Misquamicut Beach in Westerly

Best Areas for the Experienced Angler

East Bay: Ocean Drive in Newport, Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, Sachuest Point in Middletown, also Beavertail State Park on Jamestown.

West Bay and South Shore: Narrow River Inlet in Narragansett, Monahan's Dock in Narragansett, Black Point Fishing Area in Narragansett, Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett, Charlestown and Quonochontaug Breachways and Beaches in Charlestown, Watch Hill Lighthouse in Westerly, Napatree Point in Westerly

Bluefish show up in Rhode Island in large numbers starting in June. These predators forage for bait fish in Narragansett Bay as far north as the upper reaches of the Providence River. As Bay waters warm up in the mid-summer, Bluefish spread out along the Lower Bay and South Shorelines. Their average size is two to eight pounds with a good number of ten-pounders mixed in when large bait fish like menhaden, shad, and mullet are present.
Known for their powerful fighting ability, these fish can provide excitement for both young and old. As with striped bass, diving gulls and bait fish boiling up the water may be an indicator that a school of bluefish is feeding below. During these feeding frenzies the most productive way to catch bluefish is to cast a popping plug at the boiled up water. Light colors including white, yellow, blue, and silver usually work well. Cast out the plug to the edge of the boiling water and "pop" it back toward you at a moderate speed. You are trying to imitate a wounded or frantic bait fish breaking out of the school, which is sure to attract the attention of an opportunistic bluefish. Shiny metal lures and jigs that swim a little deeper can also work great in these situations. It is wise to use at least twelve inches of steel leader in front of your plug or lure during a bluefish feeding frenzy, since these fish have powerful jaws and teeth capable of slicing off monofilament lines and fingers.

BE CAREFUL handling bluefish! Always carry long-nosed pliers to remove hooks from their mouths.

Using fresh, chunk bait on the bottom is also a great method for catching bluefish, especially when the presence of large schools is not obvious. The smell of the fresh bait on the bottom will attract bluefish from quite a distance if they are around. Most bait shops can sell you a "fish finder" rig for blues, and advise you on the best bait to use given the time of the season.

Hooks in size 5/0 to 7/0 work well when bait fishing for bluefish and for striped bass. The Bait/Tackle shop can advise you on the best rod and reel combo to use given your level of expertise. The same rod and reel combo will work for bluefish and striped bass fishing.


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