Editor’s note: Information for this is provided by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
LARGEMOUTH BASS Fishing has been slow to fair daytime and much better early mornings, nights and evenings in many areas. Places to try include Black Pond (Meriden), Candlewood Lake, East Twin Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc, Pachaug Pond, Ball Pond, Highland Lake, Quaddick Lake and Mudge Pond. Good reports from a number of eastern CT lakes and ponds including Amos Lake, Avery Pond, Gardner Lake, Glasgo Pond, Lake of Isles, Messerschmidt Pond, Pachaug Pond, Lake Quonnipaug and Lake Saltonstall, but little action was reported from Mashapaug Lake, Pattagansett Lake and Powers Lake. In the west Candlewood Lake bass are in the weeds (dusk through dawn is the time to fish, try black spinner baits and Jig & Pigs at night) and anglers are also finding bass at Lake Kenosia. Tournament angler reports are from Pachaug Pond (fair to good for most, with a 6.13 lb lunker), Highland Lake (fair, 3.06 lb lunker) and the CT river (very tough for largemouth for a club launching from Riverside Park).
SMALLMOUTH BASS. Lake and pond smallmouth action is generally slow, but some fish are being caught. At Candlewood Lake fish are still shallow, and anglers targeting the humps have been disappointed while those looking shallow have found more action. Some fish are also being found at Lake Lillinonah and Highland Lake.
The heat wave has warmed up smallie action on the Housatonic River and there‘s good action reported from both the Quinebaug and Shetucket rivers. Tournament angler reports are from the CT River (some smallie action in the Hartford to Windsor area, 2.38 lb lunker), Highland Lake (tough) and Pachaug Pond (the usual a few fish in the bag).
TROUT- RIVERS & STREAMS - Conditions for trout fishing are fair. Water levels have improved greatly and are currently around typical early July levels in most places (see stream flow graphic on page 6) but with the heat wave, water temperatures are getting to be (if not already) too warm in most waters. NOTE key thermal refuges are posted to protect the fish through our hot summer water temperatures. Please do not disturb the fish from these areas it could mean life or death.
Very good reports from the Farmington River (West Branch and mainstem) - especially in faster riffles, the Salmon River still has some great fish, and the action was good on the Housatonic River. Other areas, such as the Hammonasset River and Shetucket River have slowed.
TROUT-LAKES & PONDS - Some good catches of “football browns” out of Squantz Pond last week. Places to try this week include East Twin Lake, Saugatuck Reservoir, West Branch Reservoir, Crystal Lake, Highland Lake and Mount Tom Pond. Anglers are finding some trout at Ball Pond. West Hill Pond reported as slow last week, and a number of the trout lakes in eastern CT were also slow. Fish will be deeper now, seek them out below the thermocline.
CATFISH (CHANNEL AND WHITE). Fair to good fishing reported from a number of waters. The more productive areas including the CT River in the evening, Stillwater Pond, Freshwater Pond, Mohegan Park Pond and Lake Wintergreen. “Stinky Cheese” is a good offering.
CHAIN PICKEREL. Still active in many of the coves and weedlines of our ponds.
COMMON CARP. Good action in all locations. Lake Zoar, the upper Housatonic River, Batterson Park Pond, Aspinook Pond and West Thompson Reservoir are good carp waters.
WALLEYE. Fishing has been generally so-so, but several boats have managed to land limits at Squantz Pond (try late evening with alewives). Nighttime is the right time at Mount Tom Pond and Coventry Lake. Mashapaug Lake has been slow.
NORTHERN PIKE. Some nice fish reported from Hopeville Pond and Ashland Lake. Some action also at Mansfield Hollow Lake and Lake Lillinonah. Some catches also reported from Mansfield Hollow Lake, Lake Lillinonah, the Housatonic River in Sharon (above Falls) and in Kent (above Bulls Bridge) and the Connecticut River.
PANFISH. Perfect time of year to go to your favorite pond and load up on bluegill and perch. While you are at it, bring the family. Panfish are the gateway to all other species. In the east Calico Bass are still providing some action at Long Pond, Avery Pond and Pachaug Pond
DEEP’s Trophy Fish Award Program recognizes angler skill by awarding a bronze pin for your first trophy fish, a silver pin for your fifth trophy fish, and a gold pin for your tenth trophy fish. Angler of the year is awarded at our annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony.
To see if your fish qualifies check out the criteria on page 13 of the Angler’s Guide. If you have caught a trophy fish be sure to fill out the affidavit (or print page 12 of the Angler’s Guide) and submit the required photo(s) and form to us. Good luck!
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the upper 60’s F to 70 F.
STRIPED BASS fishing remains good coming off the full moon. Striped bass fishing is on the east side is rock solid at The Race and Plum Gut in 40’ - 60’ of water. The largest bass this week have been reeled in using Buck tails as well as live-lining Atlantic menhaden (bunker) and American eels. Chumming with menhaden strips is expediting the catch. The great majority of big hits has been happening at night and early dawn.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is on fire throughout Long Island Sound. Middleground, #23 and #24 in New York on the west side in 60’ - 100’ of water, Six-Mile Reef, Stratford Shoals Green can “C,” and Norwalk Islands are fulfilling anglers daily limit (5) in short time. Clams and squid strips tipped on a high-low rig are a necessity to catch black sea bass. Sea bass are often schooling with Scup, so if you catch one of the species, you’ll likely catch the other.
SCUP (porgy) fishing is even hotter than black sea bass this week, with limits (30) being reached rapidly. Scup are gobbling up sand worms, clams and squid on a high-low rig are your winning baits. Scup are attracted to any rock pile or wreck but the hubcap sized CT Trophy Award Program sized fish are waiting for you in deeper waters. CT’s Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing sites are housing A LOT of scup. Calf Pasture Beach Pier, Saint Mary’s by the Sea, Pleasure Beach Family Pier, the Stratford Wall, Silver Sands State Park, Short Beach and Fort Nathan Hale’s brand new pier have proven quite rewarding. Also, Fort Trumbull State Park, Avery Point, Branford Point, Walnut Beach, and West Haven Beach piers have been providing fishers with a beautiful dinner this week.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing is fair in Long Island Sound. Better around Block Island Sound and off Montauk. Not everyone is hitting their daily limit, but there are some real doormats weighing in this Independence Day week. Many are over 24” and we had a 11.6 pounder weighed in this week in Waterford - AND, this big doormat was caught in shallow water. At the Middleground there are a lot of smaller brethren mixed in with some arm benders. The 13.2 pound, 32 inch fluke was also landed with a bucktail in the central sound. Jennings Beach, Cockonoe Island, Six-Mile Reef and Charles Island are good bets this week to haul in keeper fluke.
BLUEFISH fishing is very good. Bluefish (Blues) are sporadic and there are more on the western side of Long Island Sound than the east side. Look for the birds, then look for the menhaden school, then cast just outside the school and you may catch an “Alligator-sized” Bluefish. Juvenile bluefish, also known as Harbor Blues and Taylor Blues have been migrating north and are getting hooked at shore spots from Todd’s Point in Greenwich to Sandy Point Audubon Beach. Most are getting hooked with 1/2oz. to 1oz. Castmasters, on HOTTER DAYS at dawn. My recommendation is to hook up with a Party or Charter Boat and enjoy some of the best FISHING you will ever experience. Harbor Blues (15 - 24 inches) are also very common in lower estuaries. Snappers (juvenile bluefish) have not arrived yet!
BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) fishing season is open in Connecticut waters. The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches. Tautog love eating crabs...try green, Asian and hermit crabs for bait. Look for tautog in shallow water as they begin spawning over shellfish beds. Other prime locations include: pilings with mussel beds and rock (reef) piles (5 to 30 ft).
STRIPED SEAROBIN fishing is always 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 many fish measuring over 20 inches, 3 pounds 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.
HICKORY SHAD fishing is ok in the Black Hall River, Four Mile, Lieutenant and Branford River, lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and in Clinton Harbor. These incredible hard fighting fish are on the move…moving up and down river systems. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with schoolie striped bass and harbor bluefish.
WHITE PERCH fishing remains good. Spend some time relaxing in any coastal estuary with a little piece of bait (shrimp/sandworm), enjoying some jumbo white perch. Wow, they are good eating. Perch are found in estuaries, tidal rivers and coves along the Connecticut shoreline.