No Fluke

New fishing regulations posted for 2024


The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management filed new regulations for the 2024 fishing season last week. Anglers should take note that we have a striped bass filet law in place now that applies to all anglers, from shore, a private vessel or a charter/party boat.

Also, we have a new larger summer flounder (fluke) size, 19”.  See below regulation highlights or visit the Rhode Island Attorney General’s website for details on what has been posted at Finfish - Rhode Island Department of State (

Black sea bass

The regulation for private anglers is 16.5” minimum size, two fish/person/day, May 21 to Aug. 26, and three fish/person/day Aug. 27 to Dec. 31. Party and charter boats would have a 16” minimum size with a season that starts later June 18 to Aug. 31 with two fish/person/day and from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 a six fish/person/day limit.


Regulations are 11” minimum for boats, and all shore fishing having a 9.5” minimum size. Private anglers, including shore fishing from May 1 to Dec. 31, with a 30 fish/person/day limit. The party/charter season would run May 1 to Aug. 31 with a 30 fish/person/day limit and a bonus season from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 with a 40 fish/person/ day, and from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 the limit goes back to 30 fish/person /day.


It’s status quo for bluefish at three fish/person/ day for private anglers, and five fish/angler/day for party and charter boats. No minimum sizes, allows for a snapper blue fishery, however, it is still three fish per angler.


The new ‘trophy fish’ slot limit is still in place as last year. Maximum of ten fish/vessel/day (does not apply to charter boats). Minimum size is 16”, April 1 to May 31, three fish/person/day; June 1 to July 31, closed season during spawning in Rhode Island; Aug. 1 to Oct. 14, three fish/person/day; Oct. 15 to Dec. 31, five fish/person/day. Only one fish may be above 21”.

Striped bass

Status quo regulation for 2024, a slot of one fish/person/day between 28” to less than 31”. Additional provisions recommended include the use of circle hooks when fishing recreationally with bait, striped bass caught on any unapproved method must be returned to the water immediately without unnecessary injury, and gaffs are prohibited when fishing for striped bass recreationally.

New this year is a striped bass recreational filleting law. Here it is in detail:

General: Racks must be retained and must be kept whole, meaning the head, tail, and body remain intact; no striped bass shall be mutilated in a manner that prevents the accurate measurement of the fish; no more than two fillets taken from legal striped bass representing the equivalent of one fish per angler; and no possession of racks or fillets while actively fishing with lines in the water.

Private Recreational Vessels: Racks must be retained until the vessel is secured to a dock or removed from the water and all of the fillets have been offloaded from the vessel.

Party/Charter Vessels: Racks must be retained until the vessel is secured to a dock or removed from the water, all paying passengers have disembarked the vessel, and all fillets have been offloaded from the vessel.

Shore-based Anglers: No filleting of striped bass will be permitted while still actively fishing with fishing lines in the water.

Summer Flounder (fluke) are experiencing overfishing, so coastwide states must reduce their recreational harvest limit by 28 percent. To meet this requirement, Rhode Island has opted to increase the minimum size to 19” for 2024 (from 18”).  So, the summer flounder regulation is a 19” minimum size with a season from April 1 to Dec. 31, however, the possession limit is now six fish per person per day (which in an increase from four fish}.

Once again we have Special Shore Angling Sites for summer flounder, where anglers are allowed to take smaller fish. Special shore angling site locations: India Point Park, Providence; Conimicut Park, Warwick; Rocky Point, Warwick; Stone Bridge, Tiverton; East and West Walls (Harbor of Refuge); Narragansett; Fort Wetherill, Jamestown; and Fort Adams, Newport. Minimum size: Seventeen inches (17”). This applies to only two fish of the allowed total possession limit. The minimum size of two of the six fish may be 17”. The minimum size for the remaining four fish shall be 19”.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing: Anglers are encouraged to get out and fish in Rhode Island and Massachusetts as the seasons is open and many ponds have been stocked in the last week or two. Jeff Miller of Canal Bai & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “The large mouth and trout bite has been good for customers with Spectacle Pond in Sandwich producing well for customers.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “Anglers have been catching largemouth bass and now they are catching trout. Trout waterways producing for customers include Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods; and the upper reaches of the Wood River.”


“Anglers continue to find holdover bass in the Narrow River, Narragansett, and this weekend anglers at the Charlestown Breachway caught striped bass with lice on them, which indicates they are migrating fish and not holdovers,” said Henault of Ocean State Tackle.

Expert fly fishing guide Ed Lombardo said, “We fished Narrow River Monday. Caught a nice mid-20”-inch fish that looked like a holdover fish. I believe once the water warms, some the bite will get better. I caught it on my Hot Pink Ed’s fly. We saw now bait in the water on Monday.”

Expert kayak angler Tom Houde of West Warwick, said, “What a surprise. I had Monday fishing for tautog with green crabs and a jig off Pt. Judith Light, Narragansett, I caught a plump 26” cod.”  Anglers have been catching cod off Newport and Pt. Judith, often for the past two to three years on a fairly regular basis when fishing for tautog in the spring and fall.

Jeff Miller of Canal Bait & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “Customers are fishing for tautog on the West and East ends of the Canal using soft baits such as worms and clams. They are catching fish but they are mostly small fish. This should change in the next week or two. And, the striped bass generally start to show up a couple of days after the Boston Marathon and that is next week so we are patiently waiting for them to arrive.”

Dave Monti holds a master captain’s license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.