Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report #40

INLAND REPORT

TROUT- RIVERS & STREAMS  

– Rivers are at or near record low levels statewide. Fish should be concentrating in pockets of deeper water and deep runs (more typical of late summer). This season’s weather conditions have created excellent river/stream fishing conditions and provided anglers with some superb fishing. Just about all types of gear are working well. Mealworms, night crawlers, live minnows, small castmasters and phoebe goldfish, and many dryflies and nymphs.

Farmington River

Fishing continues to be very good to excellent with the beautiful “survivor browns” providing a thrill (16-20 inches). West Branch flows are clear and moderate (currently 265 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River adding just 17 cfs). Water temperatures are in the low 60’s°F.

Hatches/patterns

include: Isonychia (#12-14), Vitreus [a.k.a. pale evening dun] (#16-18, from 5:00pm to dark), Tan Caddis (#16-18, good all day), Sulfurs, (Invaria #16-18, hatches mid-day and Dorothea #16-18). The fish show a preference for the males (#18). Successful patterns include: Light Cahill (#10-14), March Brown nymphs (#10-12), Gray Fox (#14, afternoon), Blue Wing Olives (#18-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #14-18, all day; green #22-26, evening), Midges (#20-32), Blue Quill (#16-18) and Pale Evening Duns (Epeorus vitreus #16-18, afternoon and early evenings).

Housatonic River

Fishing continues to be very good to excellent and will remain so through the weekend. Water clarity is fairly clear. Water temperatures are currently in the high 60’s with 371 cfs at Falls Village and 447 cfs at Gaylordsville.

Hatches/patterns

Major insect hatches are here and are providing excellent fly fishing. Alder/Zebra Caddis (#8-10) is underway (should last up to 4 weeks) and will produce some great fishing. Alder flies are very active during hot days. Additional bugs include the Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#16-18, cloudy days, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#10-12 late afternoon & evening, just starting), Light Cahill (#12-14, evenings), Adams (#12-16, evening), March Brown (#10-12, afternoon) and Gray Foxes (#14-16). Black Caddis, Green caddis (#16-18, early morning & evening) are on the water. Midges and early golden stoneflies (#6-10) are also being seen at the mouths of tributaries.

Anglers are reminded that the thermal refuge areas on the Housatonic, Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers are now closed to fishing (as of June 15). These areas will reopen on September 15. There is no fishing within 100 feet of signs indicating such closure at or near the mouths of tributaries to these rivers.

TROUT-LAKES & PONDS

– There are big trout around for anglers to catch. Some lakes to try include: East Twin Lake, Mashapaug Lake (riggers @ 20-25’), Colebrook Reservoir (riggers @ 25’+, Mooselook silver/blue) , Lake McDonough (7-8 colors), Valley Falls Park Pond, West Hill Pond, Highland Lake (4 colors), Beach Pond (early @ 20-25’), Long Pond (Kobra 14), Crystal Lake (Ellington; 7-8 colors, troll @ 2mph), Mohawk Pond, Beach Pond, Black Pond (Woodstock) & Bigelow Pond.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

fishing is reported as good to very good. Places to try include Mashapaug Lake, Colebrook Reservoir, Congamond Lakes, Lake Saltonstall, Lake McDonough, Highland Lake, Winchester Lake, Bantam Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc, Batterson Park Pond, Black Pond (Meriden), Lake Lillinonah, Breakneck Pond (great hike in location), Griggs Pond, Lake Waramaug, West Hill Pond, Park Pond, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Gardner Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Still Water Pond, Winchester Lake, Squantz Pond, Maltby Lake 2 & 3, Wood Creek Pond, Pachaug Pond, Ball Pond, Quonnipaug Lake, Silver Lake (Meriden) and Halls Pond.

Tournament angler reports are from Aspinook Pond (slow-fair fishing, “high-pressure weather wise”, 2.31 lb lunker for club, fair to good with a 4.7 lb lunker for another tourny), Gorton Pond (good, 4.72 lb lunker, fish average nearly 2 lbs apiece), Lake of Isles (fair-good, 3.99 lb lunker), Long Pond (tough, a 4.77 lb lunker buth few other fish), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (fair action, 3.12 lb, 3.11 lb & 3.07 lb lunkers), Pickerel Lake (good fishing, but nothing of any size, and a 1.5 lb lunker), Rogers Lake (very good fishing, “…caught fish offand-on most of the day…”, 4.61 lb & 4.23 lb lunkers plus several more 3 lb plus fish), Bantam Lake (fair action, 3.99 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (fair-good, 4.66 lb, 3.1 lb lunkers), and Wononskopomuc Lake (good, 4.3 lb lunker).

SMALLMOUTH BASS

fishing is reported reported as fair (hopefully improving). Try out at Mashapaug Lake, Lake McDonough, Highland Lake, Bantam Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Naugatuck River, Housatonic River and Gardner Lake.

Tournament angler reports are from Bantam Lake (fair fishing for those targeting smallies,) and Candlewood Lake (fair for smallmouth, 3.66 lb lunker).

NORTHERN PIKE

fishing is reported to be good in Winchester Lake, Bantam Lake (fish to 30”), Upper Housatonic River, and Connecticut River Coves.

KOKANEE

are being caught at East Twin Lake (18’+) and West Hill Pond (3 colors). Beads, Mooselook Wobblers, DB Smelt, Flash King lures (blue & silver) are producing. Try fishing corn over lights at nights.

WALLEYE

are being reported from Batterson Park Pond, Squantz Pond and Lake Saltonstall.

PANFISH

are providing excellent summer time action. Any local pond open to fishing near you will give you some action. The kids love this non-stop action and it will keep them occupied for hours. Any type of inexpensive fishing pole or drop line is all you need to catch these fish. Suggested locations include: Tyler Lake, Batterson Park Pond, Amos Pond, Barber Pond, Baummer Pond, Black Rock Lake, Burr Pond, Dooley Pond, Halls Pond, Lake of Isles, Lower Fulton Park Pond and McGrath Park Pond.

CATFISH

are providing solid action on live shiners, chicken livers, and chunk bait from community fishing waters, Connecticut River Hartford to Haddam, and Lower Bolton Lake and Batterson Park Pond.

CONNECTICUT RIVER

Top water catches of STRIPED BASS in the lower river continue with some fish good size coming to net. Multiple catches are occurring for some exciting catches. Anglers in the Middletown area have been catching CATFISH in the holes. CARP including some nice “mirror” and “fantail” have been caught between Middletown and Haddam. SMALLMOUTH BASS are putting on a good show in the northern part of the River. Try top water plugs and 4”, Mr. Twisters, Wacky Style salted worms in motor oil or chartreuse for these feisty jumpers. BOWFIN are starting to be more aggressive towards lures and bait resulting in increased catch and calls to the Inland Fisheries Division. The Bowfin (Amia calva) has ane elongate body, fairly hard (bony plates) head, and long fins on the dorsal and ventral surface. They have some similarity to the infamous “snakehead”. A change in the fishing regulations now allows anglers to harvest bowfin (a very tasty fish) if they desire. There are no size limits, daily limits, and the season is open year round.


MARINE REPORT

Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the 60’s F.

STRIPED BASS

fishing remains excellent. The backside of the full moon has provided phenomenal striped bass fishing. Recently there was a 51 pound striped bass caught from shore in Old Lyme. The big fish keep on rolling in to feed on the abundant bait populations. It’s also impressive to see how many anglers are catching and releasing so many of these trophy striped bass. Dawn and dusk is prime time for large stripers on the reefs, rip areas and lower coastal tidal rivers. Live lining eels, bunker or hickory shad has been the ticket. There is plenty of bunker throughout LIS including the tidal rivers to hold fish. Striper areas include the Watch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River (Great Island), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Westbrook, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Charles Island area, Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef. Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier.

STRIPED BASS ANGLERS FISHING IN RHODE ISLAND WATERS are advised that the state of Rhode Island has adopted the following regulations pertaining to striped bass. These regulations apply to all Rhode Island state lands and waters including the waters around Block Island: “Any person recreationally harvesting a striped bass thirty-four (34) inches or larger shall at the time of harvest have the right pectoral fin removed at a point as close to the body of the fish as possible.”

SUMMER FLOUNDER

fishing is hit or miss for “keepers” in Long Island Sound. The area north of Montauk (40-60 feet) is producing good numbers of fish…fluke up to 13 pounds this week. Mid to western LIS anglers are still reporting good numbers of sub-legal sized fish and a few keepers mixed in, up to 5 pounds. (Norwalk/Stratford/New Haven/Woodmont area). Fluke spots include south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Watch Hill to Napatree Point, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Gardiners Bay over to Greenport, NY, Twotree Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor to West Haven, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Norwalk Islands, and across over to Port Jefferson, NY. Try drifting with a white or pink Bucktail Jig and attach a Berkely 3”- 4” Gulp Mullet in chartreuse, white or pink color. Fresh squid and or silversides (spearing) have also been producing. Minimum size is 18 inches and the daily creel limit is 5 fish per person.

STRIPED SEAROBIN

fishing is good in LIS for this “hardhead fish with spines and large pectoral fins”. These beautiful and strange looking fish are now very common especially when bottom fishing at many of Connecticut’s shore fishing sites. With fish measuring over 23 inches and “barking up a storm” (grunting noise they make when handling them). They love sandworms, squid and any live or dead bait. They are also very good to eat. Please be careful when handling them…be mindful of their spines located on top of their head and gill cover.

WEAKFISH

fishing continues to keep on plugging along with some very nice fish reported in the central and western sound. Good fishing in New Haven Harbor by the breakwaters over to Woodmont/Milford Point and along Stratford shoals. One of the best eating saltwater fish you will ever catch.

SCUP

fishing is very good in Long Island Sound. It is much better on the southeast corner of Montauk in approximately 30 feet of water. There are huge schools of scup in relatively shallow water. Hook up with your local party/charter boat to get into some of the best fishing ever! These scup are very large and delicious to eat! Seriously, try fishing for some “reef slammers” and enjoy some great fishing…there are lots of scup around for all. Porgies measuring 13-18 inches (“hubcap size”) have been caught! Porgy fishing has also been reported at these shore fishing locations: Rocky Neck State Park, Harkness Memorial State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park.

BLACK SEA BASS

fishing continues to keep on getting better, showing no signs of slowing down. Fishing over any deep water structure (gnarly bottom preferred) in 30 to 75 ft around slack tide will produce some trophysized “humpbacks”. Fish shallower and you will catch plenty of keeper-sized sea bass along with fluke and sea robins. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure to find these beautiful and awesome eating fish. Remember, CT black sea bass regulations are as follows: 15 inch min. length, 5 fish daily limit from May 1st to December 31st. Berkely Gulp (swimming mullet), on a jig along with squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”.

BLUEFISH

fishing is improving with more and more bluefish arriving from the Montauk area, after feeding on scup and squid. The Race, Plum Gut, many of the major rocky reefs, rips, and shoal areas in LIS will harbor bluefish. Speed squidding diamond jigs, trolling parachute jigs or umbrella rigs, and using fresh bunker or hickory shad chunks on three-way bottom rigs have all been effective. Other bluefish spots include the Sluiceway, Gardiners Bay, Peconic Bays, and the north shore of Long Island along with the Stratford Shoal area. My recommendation is to hook up with a Party or Charter Boat and enjoy some of the best FISHING you will ever experience. These “Alligator Blues” are one of the hardest fighting fish you will ever reel in. Snappers (juvenile bluefish) have not arrived yet!

HICKORY SHAD

fishing is very good in the Black Hall River, lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and in Clinton Harbor. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with schoolie striped bass. They move up and down the river systems with the tide. Flood or the beginning of the Ebb tide is typically the best and lures of choice are a willow leaf (silver or copper), kastmaster (single hook), small plastic jigs (white, red or chartreuse), and or shad darts in various colors. You will be impressed with these “high flyers”. It’s great shore fishing and you get to meet a lot of anglers and trade fishing stories (“secrets”)

BLUE CRAB

are becoming active in the tidal creeks and rivers. However, fishing is really improving for keepers (7.5 inches). Expect a very good year following a relatively warm winter and good survival of juvenile crabs. There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (7 inches spike to spike). Remember…all egg bearing females must be released with unavoidable harm. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for most updated information (local hot spots), legal crab traps and bait to use for your fun-filled crabbing. Legal gear types include: scoop (dip) net, hand line, star crab trap, circular (topless) trap not exceeding 26 inches in diameter. Maryland Style Crab traps are prohibited. Chicken with the skin on it (along with a long handle net) is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs.


NOTABLE CATCHES
Species Length (in.) Weight (lbs) Name
Summer Flounder 25 6lbs 3oz Steven Kamm
Summer Flounder 27 7lbs 2oz Max Kamm
Summer Flounder 26.5 7lbs 2oz Charles Fogarty
Summer Flounder 26.5 7lbs 6oz Laurie Macha
Porgy 18 2lbs 10oz Michael Rozanski
Striped Bass 51 C&R Juan M.

Courtesy of CTDEEP

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