Fishing in Rhode Island


Though Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, it has plenty of fishing sites. Visitors who come to the state are amazed at the various opportunities they see to relax and have a great time. Angling in the state occurs all along its coastline and into the upper reaches of the hills beyond. Stream and lake fishing are some of the favorite sporting activities that anglers enjoy. The coastline is a mix of locations, some which have crashing waves and others where the shoreline is protected, such as Narragansett Bay. Anyone fishing in Rhode Island waters must have a valid angling license whether they are fishing freshwater or saltwater. However, Rhode Island considers angling licenses from New York, Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts as valid.

The sun rises and turns the water by a wooden pier golden. Several people stand, fishing, at the edge of the pier.

Fishing Spots in Rhode Island

Watchaug Pond

Watchaug Pond is a 573-acre lake surrounded by 3,100-acre Burlingame State Park. Located near Charlestown, RI—about 41 miles south of Providence—the park is one of the largest in the state, providing 700 primitive campsites. Though RV fishing camping in the park does not include any hookups, there are restrooms with flush toilets, bathhouses with hot water, a playground, a freshwater beach, hiking trails, an arcade, and canoe rentals. Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and chain pickerel are the species most often caught in Watchaug Pond. However, other species like smallmouth bass, northern pike, black bullhead, and yellow perch are also landed.

Beavertail State Park

Beavertail State Park is a day-use area on the point protecting Narragansett Bay. The nearest campground is Fort Getty Park, located four miles north, offering 83 seasonal RV sites with full hookups. Because of the sharp drop-off along the Beavertail shoreline, striped bass fishing is excellent from the rocky shore. Angling from boats expands the species available to include bluefish, blackfish, bonito, and false albacore. 

Colt State Park

The central feature at Colt State Park is Mill Gut, a body of water linking Narragansett Bay and Bristol Bay. The Gut includes an ADA-accessible fishing pier and several miles of shoreline. Fishing along the shores of the Gut is permitted. Boats, kayaks, and canoes are allowed in the Gut. Anglers fish for stripers, bluefish, and scup. When fishing from the bank, look for areas with offshore boulders where scup like to hide and feed. The nearest RV park is Melville Ponds, which is six miles south. The campground includes 101 RV sites, some of which offer full hookups.

Olney Pond

Olney Pond is a 128-acre reservoir located five miles north of Providence. Much of the shoreline is accessible from Lincoln Woods State Park, a 627-acre day-use area. The nearest RV campground is Holiday Acres Campground, located eight miles west of the park. Providing over 100 RV campsites, Holiday Acres offers a choice between full hookups and electric and water hookups. Lincoln Woods State Park is extremely popular because of its proximity to Providence and the swimming beach on Olney Pond. Anglers fish for trout either from the bank or a boat, so there are a ton of good fishing spots here. The trout of Olney Pond appear to prefer flies over bait.

Brenton Cove

Brenton Cove is that section of Narragansett Bay just off Fort Adams State Park. Fort Adams was constructed on a point jutting out at the mouth of Narragansett Bay in 1820 to protect Newport, RI, from invasion by sea. Though there are no campsites at Fort Adams, Fort Getty is only 10 miles away with 83 RV campsites. The cove is protected from heavy surf by the jutting peninsula, making it the perfect spot to fish from boats, canoes, or kayaks. Striped bass, black seabass, and scup are the main fish species caught in this cove. However, other fish species such as bluefish, tautog, striped searobin, summer flounder, and tub gurnard are sometimes landed in these calm waters. 

Where to Fish in Rhode Island

Fishing Rhode Island is a year-round event. Anglers do not need to look far for where to fish in Rhode Island. Although the state is rich with angling opportunities, Narragansett Bay and estuary provide a continuous fishing industry that never fails. Cities like Newport, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Charlestown lie alongside the bay, making resupply easy. Several rivers run into the waterway, and 20 islands sit inside its waters. These physical factors combine to create a mix of winds and tides that influence where to fish in the bay. Each species has its preferences on water temperatures, environments such as reefs or wide ocean floors, and preferred foods. In the end, the mad mix of fish habitats in the bay means a fishing area filled with various species and a range of opportunities. 

Camping and Fishing in Rhode Island

Great angling locations do not always have an RV campground immediately at hand in Rhode Island, but there is always one within a reasonable distance, making fishing and camping a desirable proposition. Look up information on the state’s website for each campground near where you plan to fish. Make a reservation for the dates you plan to attend to ensure that a campsite is available for you. Keep your camp clean so that the next angler will enjoy it as much as you.

As elsewhere in the northeast, weather changes quickly in Rhode Island. Make sure to pack apparel for all weather conditions. Pack up your pots and pans, organize your tackle box, and look for bait shops to ensure that your baits are fresh. Before you head out on your trip, always check out our blog for all you need to know about RV fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.