How does the moon impact fishing?


“I want to offer some insights regarding how and why I break the season down into moon periods,” said Peter Jenkins, chair of the board of the American Saltwater Guides Association and owner of The Saltwater Edge tackle shop in Middletown, RI.

Jenkins looks at each period as 15 days which is, roughly, half of a month — it is the seven days before, the day of the new or full moon and the seven days following.

The moon has influence on the ocean and the fish. They drive the tide timings and the strength of the current, they also drive the measurable height of the tide and how dark the night will be if there is no cloud cover.

“My own observations over 20-plus years fishing for striped bass from the surf, tell me that there is no denying the fact that these periods of stronger currents are usually the times when bodies of fish make a move, into or out of a bay, from one region to another or even just a few miles down the beach,” said Jenkins.

With stronger currents, bait and fish movement are greater so the odds of catching fish are greater.  For information on fishing strategies, tactics, tackle and gear visit

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass and bluefish. Capt. Ray Stachelek of Cast-a-Fly Charters said, “Last Thursday anglers Dave Pollack and Mario Renzi of South Carolina hooked up with multiple striped bass to 25 pounds on a fly rod and bluefish to 12 pounds with fish chasing sand eels from Pr. Judith to Hazard Avenue, Narragansett.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Bait & Tackle, Providence, said, “The striped bass and bluefish bite slowed a bit this week with most of the action moving to the lower East Passage with Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport doing well.  The bite out in front of Newport is good too.” 

“The striped bass and bluefish bite diminished in Providence, yet the bite at Colt State Park and Bristol Harbor remained strong with pogies and trolling with tube & work and umbrella rings working well for customers,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside.

 Joe Castaldi of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown said, “Although things slowed in the Bay this week the bite out in front off Newport and Pt. Judith remain very strong for large bass.”

East End Eddie Doherty Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author said, “The action had come to a screeching halt on the Canal last week until Tuesday morning when the breaking tide brought a good size school of striped bass in from Buzzards Bay… High hook goes to ‘Paulie the Painter’ Gravina of Sandwich who was throwing his Hog Island Canal Pencil that fooled an energetic striper weighing 31 pounds!” 

Angler Curt Shumway reports a strong weekend striped bass bite on the Southwest Ledge of Block Island where he hooked up with four nice striped bass to 45 pounds. Angler Greg Spier said on the RI Saltwater Anglers blog, “Trolled a bit to start off two hours after low tide on the lower Sakonnet River. Plenty of boats fishing, think with live pogies. Did not see many fish being boarded. We were using tube and worm, nothing. Fished the incoming tide till high tide on a reef off Newport and it yielded a 35-inch striper.” 

Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “Striped bass fishing is becoming more consistent with the bass aggressively feeding on sand eels and squid on the south shore and bunker up in the bay. There are also quite a few bass being caught back in the salt ponds on live bait and artificials. Big bluefish are still around mixed in with the bass.”

Scup, black sea bass and summer flounder. “We had a customer catch a 6.25-pound black sea bass at the Newport Bridge this weekend along with three nice keeper flukes.  Scup is moving up the bay to Colt State part with anglers a Sabin Pont catching a few too,” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle. 

Castaldi of Quaker Lane said, “The scup and black sea bass bite is very good in the Bay off southern southern coastal shores.”

Henault of Ocean Stale Tackle, said, “The scup, black sea bass and summer flounder bite is goo on the East Passage channel pads, in front of Warwick Light and at Prudence Island with areas out in front off Newport producing for anglers too.” 

“The best fluke bite seems to be out in deeper water so you might want to start looking in depths of 40 feet or more. Block Island has been more consistent than the south shore. Scup reports are improving with mostly large scup and there are a few black sea bass being caught. Bigger ones in deeper water and shorts in shallow water,” said O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle.  

Freshwater fishing remains strong for both largemouth bass and trout in ponds that have been stocked including Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside which was restocked last week.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s.  Castaldi of Quaker Lane said, “The largemouth bass bite remains very strong for customers with many having positive results with shiners.  And the trout bite in stocked ponds remains strong.” 

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master 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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