Matunuck, RI - The Fisherman

Matunuck, RI

Chart courtesy of Navionics.
Chart courtesy of Navionics.

With options from both shore and boat, this stretch of Rhody’s South Shore offers it all from spring through fall.

Matunuck, Rhode Island is a great location to fish whether it’s from shore or by boat. For boaters, it’s very close to the harbor at Point Judith offering many opportunities and a very short run. For those looking to troll, it can provide good action anytime from May through November with both striped bass and bluefish. In addition, bottom fishermen can be rewarded with good fishing for fluke, black sea bass, scup, and even the occasional blackfish.

The area itself has many great features for attracting fish. There are several large mussel bars that come out from the beach that help create some natural drop-offs. There’s also a deep spot on the eastern edge located between a sand bar and a rocky shoreline. There are some rocks and boulders that attract plenty of crabs and shellfish as bait, and there’s some sandy bottom just to the west that often attracts large schools of sand eels to the area.

When trolling, I will usually start around 41-22-05/71-32-22 and work my west towards the mussel bars. I make sure to look over 41 -22-04.1/71-32-42.6 and 41-22-05.0/71-32-37.3 really well as these spots have produced a good number of fish for me. This is in 24 to 25 feet of water and will jump up to 17 to 19 feet as you head north and go over the edge of the bar. You’ll often find bass willing to hit your rig as you pull it from the lower depths into the deeper ones, or vice versa. I would say that 95 percent of my trolling here is in 30 feet of water or less and fishing umbrellas on 100 feet of wire with a 10-foot mono leader seems to work perfectly at a speed of 2 to 3 knots. While you are going to catch a fair share of short bass from this spot, you are also going to find some keepers and an occasional trophy-sized fish. Around 41-22-08.5/71-32-19.4 there’s a boulder or rock that I’ve often found lots of schoolies holding tight to it at times, especially in the late fall.

On the western edge of this ground, where it’s more sand than rock you can drift for fluke, especially earlier in the season. The edge around 41-22-11.0/71-32-43.3 leading up the rocky areas is a prime transition area to find fluke. Flooding tides will take you to the west while ebbing tides here will run to the east. If looking for fluke or sea bass, also check out further offshore around 41-21-30.5/71-32-37.2.

Further to the east around 41-21-58/71-32-14 is an underwater point that sticks out in the contour line of the bottom. While I’ve found stripers feeding around it on some mornings, I’ve also found some large fluke and scup taking up summer residence here. Set up your drift to take you over the bar from one side to the other (From 33 to 25 feet deep and back to 33). Even further to the east there’s another underwater point that holds sea bass. It’s located at 41-21-57.5/71-31-51.8.

The ‘Deep Hole’ surf fishing area is right on the eastern edge and offers opportunities to surf fishermen. You can get in and troll the deeper section with your outboard; however, there’s not really room enough for multiple boats to troll. Speaking of surf fishing, both the deep area, as well as out in front by the mussel bars, can produce some nice bass in the suds or a few blackfish from shore.

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