Friday, June 19, 2009

DEP Marine Weekly Report #8 6/18/09

Water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are around 60 °F.

STRIPED BASS fishing remains good during the twilight period from dusk to dawn. Fishing methods include drifting live bait (eels, bunker, hickory shad, and scup), trolling the tube and worm combination, casting big soft artificial baits, and trolling parachute jigs on wire line. Bunker (Atlantic menhaden) are
increasing in numbers throughout LIS especially in western LIS and tidal rivers. The usual striper spots include the Pawcatuck River, upper Thames River (Norwich Harbor down to Montville), the Race, Plum Gut, outer Bartlett Reef, Millstone Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River from Hamburg Cove down to the breakwaters, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Bridgeport Harbor by the power plant warm water discharge (Breezy Point/Seaside Park), Housatonic River, Saugatuck River, the Norwalk Islands and the reefs off Stamford and Greenwich.

BLUEFISH fishing has become more consistent in LIS with better fishing being reported west of New Haven. Blues have been ranging in size from 4 lbs. to the lower teens. Bluefish spots include the Race, Millstone Point (warm water outflow), Plum Gut, Milford to New Haven, Bridgeport Harbor, Norwalk Islands, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground area, and the reefs off Greenwich and Stamford.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is good in the tidal rivers.

SCUP are on the local reefs.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) season opened Monday, June 15th.

Reports of BLUE CRABS have been coming in from the Groton to Stonington area.

DEP Freshwater Weekly Report #8 6/18/09

Rivers & streams - The rain and cool weather and should extend the trout season in many areas. However, anglers have been faced with variable and area-specific conditions due to rainfall patterns over the last week, with some areas unfishable and others with comfortable flows. Current weather forecasts indicate that anglers may expect these variable conditions to continue through at least the upcoming weekend. Anglers are reminded that under these conditions, fishing smaller streams and tributaries will often be the safer and more productive option.

With virtually every insect active and many hatching, fishing was good to very good last week in many areas, reports from the West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River, Norwalk River, Pattaconk Brook, Mill River TMA, Naugatuck River, Natchaug River, Blackberry River, Farm River, Hammonasset River, Eightmile River (Lyme) and Latimer Brook.

Farmington River - Trout fishing was excellent last week prior to the rains. West Branch flows are again clear and back at moderate levels, currently 240 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River providing another 220 cfs. Water temperatures are currently in the mid 50’s °F. Depending on rainfall patterns, flows from the Still River may increase again. Hatches include Vitreus [a.k.a. pale evening dun] #14-16, from 5:00pm to dark, Isonychia (#10-12), Tan Caddis (#16-20) good all day, Sulfurs, (Invaria #16-18 hatches mid-day and Dorothea #18-20). Successful patterns include March Brown nymphs (#10), Gray Fox (#14, afternoon), Blue Wing Olives (#16-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening), Midges (#22-32) and Pale Evening Duns (#14-16, afternoon & early evenings).

Housatonic River - Fishing was excellent last week. However, the river is unfishable due to high flows, currently 3,250 cfs at Falls Village and 4,500 at Gaylordsville (anglers should call FirstLight Power at 1-888-417-4837 for updated flow information). Flows on many of the small tributaries such as Macedonia Brook, Furnace Brook and Kent Falls Brook will be much more fishable. Alder/Zebra Caddis (#10-12), Sulphurs (#14-18), Blue Wing Olive (#18-20, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#8-10 evening, just starting), Cahill (#12-14), Adams (#12-14, evening), March Brown (#10-12) & Gray Foxes (#14-16) had been providing excellent flyfishing.

Anglers are reminded that the thermal refuge areas on the Housatonic, Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers are now closed to fishing and will reopen on September 1. There is no fishing within 100 feet of the mouths of posted tributaries to these rivers.
Lakes & Ponds – Places to try include Crystal Lake (Ellington), Mashapaug Lake, Bashan Lake (good reports, recent catches include a 22 inch, 5 lb brown trout), Long Pond, Beach Pond, East Twin Lake, Highland Lake (23” brown), Lake McDonough, Lake Wononskopomuc and West Hill Pond.

LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as good at many areas throughout the state, including Pachaug Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Amos Lake, Quaddick Lake (very good – lots of action), Candlewood Lake (including several 6-lb fish), Beseck Lake, Lake Lillinonah (including a 5 lb largemouth), Bashan Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Pattagansett Lake, Crystal Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Ball Pond, Highland Lake (including a 5.25 lb largemouth), Lake Wononskopomuc, and the Bolton Lakes. Fair reports for Rainbow Reservoir, Beach Pond (catches do include a 7 lb beauty), Aspinook Pond, Highland Lake, East Twin Lake and Lake McDonough.

SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing is generally fair, with reports from Rainbow Reservoir, Colebrook Reservoir, Lake Lillinonah, Highland Lake, Squantz Pond, Beach Pond, Gardner Lake, Mashapaug Lake and West Hill Pond. Good reports from Candlewood Lake and Bashan Lake.

CATFISH fishing is reported to be good in the newly stocked catfish areas. Locations to try include Keney Park (Hartford), Mohegan Park Pond (Norwich), Black Pond (Middlefield/Meriden), Lake Wintergreen (Hamden/New Haven), Lower Bolton Lake, Silver Lake (Berlin/Meriden) and the Maltby Lakes.

NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good in Winchester Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir.

KOKANEE - Try East Twin Lake and West Hill Pond (3 colors of lead line at 20 ft).

WALLEYE are being reported from Lake Saltonstall, Mashapaug Lake and Saugatuck Reservoir.

CONNECTICUT RIVER – Catches of STRIPED BASS at the river mouth declined last week. Anglers in the Haddam area were having good luck with CATFISH. WHITE PERCH catches continue to hold up – good catches in Essex and the Lieutenant River, and also good from the Middletown/Portland area. PANFISH anglers are starting to show up, catching yellow perch and sunfish at various shore spots from Hadlyme to Middletown. NORTHERN PIKE are reported in Wethersfield Cove, White Oaks Cove and downstream from Hartford to Haddam (good reports from the Portland Bridge).

FINDING/ATTRACTING CARP - To maximize your chances of catching a carp, you need to find the fish and then attract them. Look for any jumping or rolling fish. Also look for bubbles that appear to be moving slowly along. Often carp will stir up the bottom and give their presence away with rising bubbles or even clouds of silt. To attract them, try chumming. The best starter chum is plain old sweet corn. Tossing by hand, using a sling shot or lashing a throwing scoop to the end of a broom stick will get the chum to the fishing area. Chumming both attracts the fish and creates a competitive feeding frenzy. Carp competing with each other are less cautious and more easily caught. (Source: Carp Anglers Group)

A New State record common carp (40.5 lb beauty) was recently caught in the lower Connecticut River by Steven Wasilewski of Norwich, CT. Following weighing, the fish was returned to the river alive. Steve is also the holder of the Rhode Island state record for common carp.

Eastern LIS, T. Coleman 6/19/09

Capt. Howard Beers at Hillyers in Waterford said they got mixed reports on the fluke opener with some getting easy limits of three fish at 19.8 inches per person and others that caught almost nothing. People were fishing from Millstone over to Two Tree Channel with more keeper-sized fish in 60 to 70 feet both east and west of the Bartlett's Spindle. Biggest to date were a 4.9-pounder by Joe Sullivan and a 5.6-pounder by Joe Stephano.

Joe Balint up at the Fish Connection told me the fluke results were pretty poor on Monday from Ocean Beach to Vixen Ledge but as the week went on, numbers improved greatly with fish from 20 to 23 inches in the coolers for those in smaller boats fishing closer to shore. One gent snagged a bunker from shore at Brown Park then live-lined it for a 43-inch striper. Others used eels from shore along Scotch Cap Road, catching more bass on a weekly not daily basis.

There was one reliable report on fluke, said Red at Bob's in Uncasville. During the first part of the week three locals fished off Niantic for 30 fluke total, nine keepers. They kept most other details of their catch secret, as most fishermen are wont to do. Shore anglers are catching porgies from the rocks along the lower part of the Thames and on the rockpiles near the river mouth in small boats.

Capt. Allen Fee at Shaffers reported two locals that keep a boat at Gwenmoor Marina fished Misquamicut on Wednesday, landing lots of short fluke and two keepers. Dana Pollard of Mystic stayed closer to home, landing three keepers around buoy 7 on the north end of Ram Island in a few hours, saving some gas to boot. Dave Rossetto of Mystic went over to Southwest Ledge off Block on Sunday, trolling up 12 medium and larger bass on wire line. Another is catching smaller bass in the evenings casting lures around the shoreline on the east end of Fishers and at times around Race Rock.

Capt. Kyle Douton at J&B in Niantic said their charter boat bagged another 50-inch bass, this one on Wednesday night, drifting a dark bucktail with pork rind. Bass fishing out in The Race has been up and down with the flood better right now than the ebb said Kyle. One boat made a run to the West Grounds, catching keeper sea bass and some shorts, than area not far from the trolling spots for stripers at Southwest Ledge.

Hel-Cat in Groton saying the fishing is on a “steady build” for the week with bait producing more fish than in the past weeks. Jigs are still the top producer so bring them along by all means but please keep in mind the fish are still very sensitive to time and tide, normal for this time of year.

River's End down in Old Saybrook fluke from just off Soundview and the Sand Shoal. [Tim Coleman, TheDay]

Weekly Fish Column C. Walsh, ConnPost 6/13/09


Striped Bass -- With sand eels remaining the most common bait in local waters, inshore fish for bass has been good in some area poor in others.

The Milford side of the Housatonic breakwater has produced some very nice fish, including a few keepers for anglers tossing blue-on-white plastics, surface poppers and shallow swimmers. The mouth of the Saugatuck River is yielding schoolie bass and so is Southport Harbor. Striper action has generally slowed around Fairfield, however. Chunkers and pluggers are still doing well at buoy 18 and other deepwater haunts outside Bridgeport harbor and in Black Rock Harbor.

Bluefish ­-- Bunker schools are spotty, a condition some say is caused by the rain, so bluefish are scattered. Casting poppers, particularly in the morning have the highest odds of finding bluefish. The choppers that are being caught tend to be long and skinny. Bottom line: cast a popper at almost any beach from Westport to Milford and sooner or later a bluefish explode behind it.

Fluke -- Anglers drifting clams and squid around Charles Island have been rewarded with three-fish limits of 19.5 inch fluke. St Mary's is also another spot to try. It not a bonanza, but determined anglers with the right tackle and bail can have a successful day on fluke.

Porgies -- Fair is the word for porgie fishing. Sunken Island and Penfield Reef and Charles Island in Milford are yielding enough fish to make a trip worth the effort.


The Department of Environmental Protection report that rain and cool weather and will likely extend the trout season in many areas. Anglers have been faced with variable and area-specific conditions due to rainfall patterns over the last week, with some areas, like the upper Housatonic, unfishable and others with more comfortable flows. Forecasts indicate continued variable conditions through at least the upcoming weekend. Fishing smaller streams and tributaries is the safer and more productive when flows are high. [Charles Walsh, Connecticut Post]

On the Water 6/18/09

Best Bets for the Weekend: The striped bass fishing continues to improve, with large bass being found more regularly on all the reefs and deeper water sites. Squid are in Rhode Island and eastern Long Island Sound waters, while bunker are in the Western Sound. Bluefish are becoming more common and are now showing on the surface regularly. Scup fishing is off to a slow start, but the ones taken are running large, and are being taken deep. Fluke is off to a slow start in eastern Connecticut waters, but the western Sound seems to be producing good numbers of keeper fish. Freshwater fishing remains in good shape, though numbers of trout are thinning since the last stocking.

From The Fish Connection in Preston, Captain Jack Balint reports good fishing to striped bass at Plum Gut and at the west end of the Sluiceway. The area between the Gull Islands is also productive. Bluefish are around at all spots. The Race is seeing best bass taken on chartreuse parachute rigs trolled, with 3-way bucktail rigs producing best as the tide slows. The Watch Hill area is fishy, but the action is sporadic depending upon if and when a school of squid moves through. Though fluke season opened in Connecticut on Monday, no reports for this species have come into the shop yet. Good pike are being taken at the base of the dam on the Pachaug River, and good largemouth bass fishing in Pachaug Pond. All rivers are in excellent condition and are fishing well.

Christian at Hillyer’s Bait & Tackle in Waterford reports good striped bass fishing at Bartlett and Hatchet Reef. Bucktails and Red-and-White Diamond jigs are top producers. The Race, Black Point and Millstone are producing bass, but if you want bluefish, these three spots are yielding good catches of this species. Scup are moving in and angling is improving consistently. Fluke are abundant, and keepers are being taken. The backside of Fisher’s Island, Two Tree Channel and the Millstone area are all producing good catches.

From Rivers End in Old Saybrook, Pat reports that late day and after dark are the times to be fishing for striped bass around the mouth of the Connecticut River. Swimming plugs are the lure of the moment, so stock up before heading out. Action on the local reefs is a bit on the slow side, but the fish are there and need to be coaxed out. Plum Gut is producing good catches of bass, mainly in the 5- to 15-pound range, and bluefish are plentiful. The fluke fishing is off to a slow start in the area, with a keeper coming about every 10 fish on the average. The Niantic and Hammonassett areas are being reported as the most productive.

Captain Jerry Morgan at Captain Morgan’s Bait & Tackle in Madison reports that the quantity of fluke has been good, but the fish are on the smaller side. Striped bass are on the prowl throughout the area, with some surface action taking place here and there. The North Rip and Southwest at Faulkners are both producing excellent angling. Scup angling is slow, but the fish that are being taken are large. Freshwater fishing is slowing as stocked fish are taken, but lakes and ponds continue to produce good catches of largemouth bass, pickerel and panfish.

Nick at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports good fishing to striped bass at 28C and 11B, the Obstruction Buoy and at Greens Ledge. Chunk bunker is the bait to use, but some anglers are having great luck with deep diving Rapalas. Bluefish are providing surface action at mid-Sound. Sand eels are common around the islands and fish are on them. Scup are taking sandworms at 28C, but are in deeper water, around 40 feet. Fluke is off to a great start, with good fishing at Buoy 26. The number of keeper fish has been high.

In freshwater, the Saugatuck Reservoir is producing good catches of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and trout between 3 and 5 pounds are common. Rivers continue to be productive with water levels and temperatures remaining excellent.

Pat at Westport Outfitters in Norwalk reports lots of bunker in the area with bass to 30 pounds taken on live-lined or chunk bunker. Bridgeport Harbor has been hot, while the mouth of the Housatonic has cooled. Middle Ground is also producing good striped bass. Sand eels and silversides are thick throughout the area, and are drawing in the fish. First light provides excellent fishing, pre-dawn even better still; the action tends to slow by 7a.m., so get there early.

From Valley Angler in Danbury, John reports good topwater action on Candlewood Lake for smallmouth bass. Bowstick topwater pencil poppers appear to be the hot lure for this species at the moment on Candlewood. The trout in the lake are still spread out, making them difficult to target. Squantz Pond is producing some good trout action to spoons trolled at 25 feet. The walleye bite has slowed considerably. [Alan Desbonnet, On The Water]

For Rhode Island Fishing report go to On The Water

Rivers End, Old Saybrook, 6/10/09

STRIPED BASS_--- The bass are regrouping to hunt away from the estuaries. While there are still some good hits of large bass in the Connecticut River its at best once every 3 or 4 days. The population on Hatchetts and Bartletts are building with the baitfish. Sandeels, butterfish, juvenile scup and squid are the predominant forage. Watch Hill was slow this morning but had been good earlier in the week. Bunker are not as strong as last year particularly in the Connecticut River. Long Sand Shoal had a few hit of some jumbo bass on chunks and live bait. Tube and worm has been doing good on smaller fish along Great Island and the Old Lyme to Waterford beaches. Theres been sandeels along most of the sand beaches particularly from Waterford to Westerly. This has been bringing school bass in at night to dine and at times ending up in a daybreak blitz. We haven't had a mass of sandeels in the Sound like this in many years and you might want to adjust your tactics.
Word from the Gut and Race has been less than spectacular. They also have a good bait menu thats attracted more blues than bass, if you can get under the teeth you may snag a striper.

_BLUEFISH_--- Blues of all sizes continue to be good. The surface action in the Connecticut River has slowed up some with chunking being more productive. As we said in the striper report the Race and Plum Gut have quite a bunch, but don't overlook Pigeon Rip and Southwest Reef.

_FLUKE_ --- The season in Connecticut got off to a surprising good start. Monday and Tuesday had mostly slow going and shorts, but on Wednesday the pros must have gone out. Reports from Long Sand Shoal and Two Tree Channel were good numbers and short of the size limit. Soundview and Black Point gave up some doormats. Reports from RI have been mixed, most of the larger fluke have been from Connecticut. We have a 10.75 lb. leader in our Flat Out Fluke Contest.

_PORGIES_ --- Haven't heard much good or bad.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Western Sound Noreast R. Calouri 6/13/09

Action in the Western Sound and Western Connecticut regions is just red hot. Striped bass in the 30 lb plus fish are the norm, Bluefish have diminished in size as compared to the last 10 days. Porgies are showing in the shallow water shoals and fluke are present at all of the Points.

At Mr. Sea Charters out of Stamford, Phil Caruso reported that there is no shortage of bass and bluefish in his region and that is what he is targeting right now. Bunker baits are working best and depths of 40-58 feet of water are proving to be the optimum condition for good results. Caruso has been working Stamford waters, as well as Captains Island and this week he had Derris Manus out and they caught an 18-pound bass along with several 6-pound bluefish.

Eric Johnson of Westport Outfitters in Norwalk said that he has not seen the fishing this good in the Western Sound in his entire tenure working this area. The bait situation remains strong with bunker plentiful in most of the harbors and estuaries. In tight, the sand eels are all over the place with silver sides mixed in. This will mean good things for the fluke season which will kick off on June 15.

Jon Nowicki fished Fairfield Island for a total of 12 bass and two bluefish and one giant sea robin. The biggest striper was 27 inches, with all the fish taken on sand eel patterns. George Discala Jr. caught a huge 26-pound fish, and fellow Westport Striped Bass Club member Ben also took a fat bass at 27 pounds.

At Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, Nick Massaro was bubbling over with news of some terrific striped bass action that was taking place in the area of Norwalk Island and the harbors. Anthony Neave did not have to travel far for a trophy fish when he caught a 36-inch, 22-pound bass while dunking bunker chunks right in Norwalk Harbor. Jason Foucher was fishing with his brother Steve at Norwalk Island with bunker chunks. The angling duo both struck paydirt with Jason catching a 35-pound bass, while Steven was the low man with a 25-pound fish. Teddy Zakhar ventured just a little south and fished the Cows in Stamford where he had luck with a 33-pound striper that just inhaled his bunker chunks, while Jan Berman found the mother lode in Mamaroneck. Berman also fished with bunker and caught four bass, with the smallest fish 20 pounds, and the heaviest fish weighing a hefty 40 pounds. Berman did have to wade through the throng of bluefish, but that fight was fun too. Porgy season is now open in Western Connecticut and anglers looking for these little feisty fish can find them in 40 feet of water at Buoy 28C. Sandworms and squid are working best to help pull in limits of fish.

Chris Fulton of Stratford B&T in Stratford had a variety pack of news starting with Ron Golias taking second place in the Stratford Boat Owners Club’s flounder tournament. Golias caught a 2.43-pound flounder on a sandworm while fishing in Milford Harbor and that fish stood up for the second place trophy. Porgies have also made their presence know in the area and Tracy Banks found them in plentiful numbers in Clinton, where he limited out while using sandworms as bait. The fish are big too with Tracy’s heaviest fish weighing 4.02 pounds. Will Kuko hammered the bass and bluefish while working the Middleground area with bunker chunks. Kuko had non-stop action with both species until his arms were too tired to reel in any more fish. Erika Nieves scored one for the female anglers when she hauled in a 37-inch bass that was caught at the West Haven sandbar.

The Fishing Line 6/13/09

Overview: Anglers are catching bass to 38 pounds in some deeper water areas. The fishing has been good though and should remain hot for the next few days.

Westernmost CT: Warming water means bassare moving east. Day and nighttime bass anglers are using Gulp! or Sluggo style lures and fishing them weightless. Stillwater Poppers are also getting the job done, but only during the day shift. Good nighttime action on medium sized bass has been reported in the Housatonic River, but mainly during the night shift. Greenwich is also doing well at night on Bombers and Rapalas.

Bridgeport to Stratford: Fishing in the Bridgeport area has been great with tons of 30 to 35- pound bass for all! The high hook for the week was a nice 34 pounder caught on a live bunker. Most bass in this part of Connecticut are between 32 and 35 inches. Larger bass and blues have been caught farther to the east, but many anglers are having a lot of success near the Bridgeport area. Many bluefish anglers have had success from Gulf Beach down to New Haven. Porgy anglers are having great success over at Charles Island.

New Haven to Madison: Bass to 45 pounds were caught in this area during the busy summer week. Shops across the region are reporting plenty of stripers and harbor blues on all major reefs in this area. It seems they are biting just about anything; mackerel, sandworms, fresh and live bunker. Townsend’s Ledge and the Branford Reef are still holding the most fish on a daily basis. The Southwest Reef off of Clinton will be a sure best bet for the remainder of the weekend.

Eastern CT:
CT River and the Race: The mouth of the Connecticut River has been hot these last few days. Reports of tail splashes and spooked bass are coming from the Great Island area. Lures of choice for this week include a tube and worm combo and for fly anglers any sand eel imposters should work. Loads of sand eels and butterfish have been seined from this area and should be devastating baits. The Southwest Reef and Long Sand Shoal have been more consistent then the Connecticut River on the week. Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip and the Race are now holding medium sized bluefish. Larger bluefish have been caught near Great Island and the Calves Island day marker.

Niantic Bay and Thames River: Eel and bunker are the two top choices for anglers in this area. Most striper action has picked up from last week. The Millstone Discharge is still on fire along with Hatchett’s and Bartlett’s Reef. The Spindle at Bartlett’s has been this week’s hot spot because it’s loaded with tons of bait. The Millstone Power Plant Discharge is also loaded with blues with some anglers landing 30 plus fish in one trip. The Niantic Bay Yacht Club has been a porgy haven since Monday with many keeper fish being caught. [J.R. Warnet, The Fishing Line]

Weekly Fish Column C. Walsh, ConnPost 6/13/09

FLUKE SEASON IS HERE -- Connecticut's fluke season opens on Wednesday, the same day that New York's closes. Anglers bottom fishing for bass off the New Haven breakwater have been catching keeper fluke, and reports coming from the Long Island's north coast tell of 5- to 7-pound fluke being caught regularly. Connecticut has a minimum limit of three fish per angler with a minimum length of 19.5 inches. [Charles Walsh, Connecticut Post]

Eastern LIS, T. Coleman 6/12/09

On that happy note we turn to fishing. Captain Jack Balint at The Fish Connection said the Connecticut fluke season opens on Monday, the last day the New York fluke season is open, giving state anglers one day to legally fish in both waters. New York will reopen its fluke fishery on July 3. Rhode Island will open up fluke on June 17, but do you get the feeling the regulations are getting a little complex for the average person?

Chartreuse parachutes on wire are working at Valiant Shoal when the tide isn't running hard and when it does, chartreuse bucktails on a three-way rig are scoring in the deeper water from the west end of the shoal through the 70-foot drop off on the west end of the Middle Race. There are some bass taking smaller diamond jigs at Race Point but the Watch Hill Reefs were very good one day and very poor the next.

Capt. Kyle Douton at J&B Tackle reported their charter boat catching bass trolling at Valiant Shoal on the flood tide and drifting with live eels or bucktails in the same general area after dark. The night trips along with those out just at sunrise produced some bass from 45 to 50 inches though none broke the 50-pound mark. On Wednesday there were small stripers on top around Race Rock at the end of the ebb into the start of the flood.

Don over at King Cove in Stonington told me about some sea bass catches at Block Island and sporadic catches of stripers from the Watch Hill Reefs.

Capt. Allen Fee at Shaffers Marina said shore anglers continue to catch a smaller number of large porgies from the Cottrell Street Park along the east side of the Mystic River. Out in the boats, Captain Bruce Meyers had good trips this week for stripers, leaving around 5 a.m., usually back before 11 a.m., with limits. Overall, Allen said he's seen a steady supply of bass at the cleaning tables, most from small keepers to some over 10 pounds.

There are some porgies to fish for now, said Red at Bob's Rod & Tackle. His customers are catching a few from shore along the New London side of the lower Thames River and out in small boats on the rockpiles just offshore of the river mouth. Bunkers looked like they've taken off from the river but there are still a few blues to 9 pounds and some bass taking chunks or the tube and worm.

Down at River's End Tackle in Old Saybrook, Mark Lewchik reported off and on results casting for stripers in the lower Connecticut River from Essex down past Great Island. One day the fish bite well, said Mark, the next day almost nothing. There are some porgies around Black Point and small sea bass at Outer Hatchetts. You can catch bass and smaller blues on the outside reefs trolling parachute jigs, drifting with diamond jigs or drifting live bunker on a three-way rig. [Tim Coleman, TheDay]

Captain Morgan, 6/10/09

An east/northeast blow greeted anglers as the fishing weekend approached but eased off just in time. Stiff winds and choppy seas hindered bait gathering and just about drained the tidal rivers as tides affected by the full moon peaked. A new hatch of sealife, however, was flushed downriver where mainly striped bass staged to feed.

As seas calmed and winds reduced to breezes shifting more westerly, anglers hit the reefs and shoals. Offshore structure creating rip lines produced linesiders in excess of 40 pounds while certain harbors acted as magnets for similarly heavy “cows.” Many anglers that fished from shore scored on plugs and soft plastics while on the reefs it was mainly eels and menhaden. Talk seemed to center more around Connecticut’s new marine fishing license than on the catch of the day.

There was steady action throughout with many light tackle and fly rodders enjoying multiple catches. Bluefish in the low- to mid-teens with broad shoulders and substantial girths began shearing lines and offering good mid-day fishing. Along with stripers, the blues worked Six Mile, Inner/Outer Southwest, Kimberly, Faulkner’s Island, Goose, and into the Beacon and New Haven Harbor.

Scup turned on briefly with catches of small- to medium-size fish around Kimberly, Faulkner’s, and Charles. In deeper water, several anglers ran into thick schools of spiny dogfish interrupting their deep-water reef fishing.

Although more anglers are shifting gears from fresh to saltwater, rivers, lakes, and ponds are being fished hard. Largemouth/smallmouth bass are biting, pike are easing but still being caught, panfish are plentiful, and trout are being trolled for in the deeper water—dries and small streamers in the streams. Try the early morning and late evening for a good topwater bass bite!

Rivers End, Old Saybrook, 6/10/09

STRIPED BASS --- The mouth of the Connecticut has been driving
some casters mad. There's been daily reports of big bass along Great
Island being spooked or just leaving wakes. Occasionally they follow a
lure and on rare moments hit the thing. The only consistent method has
been trolling the tube and worm. This morning they were in a feeding
mode and were breaking after bait and hitting lures.

Out on the reefs its been better but not good, Southwest and Six Mile
Reef were on and off so far this week and Long Sand Shoal gave up a few
bass but its a more consistent shot than the River. Bartletts has also
been OK but better at night. The Race, Plum Gut and Pigeon Rip have
some medium bass between the blues.

Watch Hill is probably the best of the reefs with a load of sand eels,
butterfish and a few squid to feed many medium sized bass.

--- Its a good start to the season and you can start right
in the Connecticut River. Its not news but some big choppers have been
roaming the flats off Great Island and near the Calves Island day
marker. Plum Gut and Pigeon are faring better than the Race. Closer to
home you can try Southwest Reef with fewer and smaller blues.

FLUKE--- The season starts in Connecticut on Monday June 15th,
its also the last day of the NY Spring season. Reports from Greenport
and accidental Fishers Island have been encouraging. In RI the draggers
have been making sure the bottom is clean for the opener.

PORGIES--- Only reports are coming in from Niantic still.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On the Water 6/11/09

Best Bets for the Weekend: Water levels in area rivers, streams and ponds are excellent and all species seem eager to please. Striped bass fishing is great throughout the region, with Long Island Sound being most productive, improving as one goes east to west. Bigger bass are on the reefs and other offshore structure, and fresh baits are doing the job. Bluefish are providing good action, including surface blitzes by day.

Captain Jack Balint at The Fish Connection in Preston reports that the fishing is hot one day and cold the next without any apparent reason. Squid are to be found all about the region, but are showing sporadically, including on the reefs off Watch Hill. Tons of bait is showing up in the area from The Race to the Gull Islands, but birds and bait don’t always have fish under them. Some bluefish have been working on the surface at Plum Gut. In freshwater, the Shetucket River is by far the most productive trout water in the area, with reports of good hatches of Blue-wing Olives.

From Hillyer’s Bait & Tackle in Waterford, Mark reports good striped bass action, including more big fish in the past week. Ocean Beach, Harkness Memorial and Black Point have all been very productive. The Race has been productive for bluefish of various sizes by day, with Diamond jigs providing constant action, and some striped bass as well. Scup catches have been slow, but not a lot of people have been out for them so far. Accidental catches of fluke in local waters suggest a good season in the wings when it opens on the 15th of June in Connecticut water.

Pat at Rivers End in Old Saybrook has reports of “so-so” fishing overall. Plum Gut and The Race are producing fish, but sporadically. Watch Hill area has been good as well, particularly to striped bass. There are lots of baitfish around, with plenty of butterfish and sand eels in the mix. Striped bass are prevalent in the Connecticut River, but Pat reports they have “seen it all” and are very picky at the moment, making for challenging fishing. Trolled tube-and-worm rigs are probably your best bet right now.

Captain Jerry Morgan at Captain Morgan’s Bait & Tackle in Madison reports lots of bluefish throughout Long Island Sound, and good numbers of larger striped bass now on the rips, reefs and offshore structure. Anglers are finding bass to 40 pounds on a fairly regular basis. Shore-bound anglers are doing well too with a variety of baits and hardware. Freshwaters continue to fish well throughout the region with good water levels and ideal temperatures.

Art at The Bait Shop in Rowayton reports good fishing to striped bass, with good numbers of keepers coming to anglers using cut baits fished deep. School bass are prevalent near the surface, giving light-tackle anglers plenty of action. The Norwalk Islands and local beaches are both producing as well, with first and last light being the best times, unless you can get out at night. Bluefish are abundant and numbers are still growing, and the best time to target blues is during daylight hours.

From Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, Rick reports very good to great striped bass fishing. The East buoy, Can 28C, 11B and Bud’s Reef are all producing great fishing to stripers, with fresh baits and Diamond jigs taking the most fish. A few bass in the mid-40s have been taken. Bluefish are all over now, producing some exciting surface action during daylight hours. Anglers are doing well mid-Sound as well, trolling with wire and deep-diving plugs. No reports for scup, but a few reports of tuna in the offshore canyons and blue sharks south of Long Island. In freshwater, the Saugatuck Reservoir continues to produce excellent walleye fishing, with good and improving fishing to smallmouth bass.

Cody at Westport Outfitters in Norwalk reports loads of sand eels in the area, and they are drawing in lots of fish. Slug-Gos are the go-to lure at the moment when the sand eels are thick and the fish are on them. One fly-rodder took an 18-pound bass on a little sand eel imitation, the first fish he ever landed on a fly rod! Bluefish are providing fairly consistent surface action by day. Look for working birds to find the blues. Very few scup reports are coming in and those few that are suggest slow going.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Eastern LIS, T. Coleman 6/ 5/09

Captain Jack Balint was pleased to report a nice charge of smaller bass on top chasing a mix of squid, small butterfish and sand eels from Wicopesset over to Sugar Reef off Watch Hill. The Mystic River also had bass that will respond to casting tackle as does Race Point, those fish coming to the surface usually at the end or start of the next tide before the current runs hard.

If you fish in the Thames River, please note you need a freshwater license to fish above the 95 Bridge and now a saltwater license to legally fish south of the span.

Allen Fee at Shaffers Marina told me Scott Trainor from Massachusetts had a great day on Wednesday catching stripers on spinning tackle in Lord's Passage. Others found smaller bass on top at the south end of Mason's Island, a perfect spot at times for those with smaller boats. Shore fishermen are catching a small number of large porgies from the Cottrell Street dock or schoolie stripers from the Mason's Island Causeway.

Red at Bob's Rod & Tackle reported some larger blues in the Thames River, chasing around bunkers with bass from the 95 Bridge up to the Sub Base. A few porgies were caught from the rockpiles just outside the Thames River but the opening of fluke season in state waters is still a few weeks away.

”Holding up” was how Captain Howard Beers at Hillyers Tackle described the striper catches in The Race. Hammered or red and white diamond jigs were very popular and effective. Besides the bass, one boat landed 18 blues in a tide, but overall the blues are now around yet any where close to summer numbers.

Captain Kerry Douton at J&B said the offshore boats should make their first trips this weekend looking for sharks off Montauk. Their charter boats are catching well in The Race and also trolling up stripers at Black Point and Inner Bartletts.

Pat Abate at River's End in Old Saybrook called the striper fishing in the lower Connecticut River from Essex to the flats off Great Island just fair and inconsistent. There is a school of fish in the river along with some big blues but they seem to bite selectively said Pat.

You might catch a larger bass at the Sand Shoal after possibly locating some live bunker in the lower river just at first light. Bass catches from the Rhode Island beaches and salt ponds dropped off considerably from a week prior. Some locals opted instead for a long drive to successful fishing in the Cape Cod Canal or Pleasant Bay, fishing up inside the elbow of the Cape. [Tim Coleman, The Day]

Rivers End, Old Saybrook, 6/4/09

STRIPED BASS--- We're back to mid day outgoing tides in the Connecticut River this weekend with fairly bright days forecast. It might be time to think about swinging over to the night shift or tying on the tube and worm. We are also in a full moon period which also is not the best for casting. The best opportunities might be to leave the River at night and try Long Sand Shoal on the ebb or Hatchetts on the flood tide. Daytime reports from live bait drifters have been fair at those spots, I think night moves will fare better. Some reports are starting to come in from Watch Hill with activity in the rips but still no confirmation of a solid squid run. Reports from the Cape have been better than we've heard in a few Springs.

Word from the Race and Plum Gut has been bass on the smaller side and some more blues than bass on day tides. We have had reports of some larger bass near Millstone.
There are a lot of reports coming in from all over the Northeast of good small baitfish numbers. Theres a load of large sandeels in the Race to Watch Hill area as well as the smaller variety, mixed sizes of the same from Montauk to Stellwagen Bank. Striped anchovies from Montauk to the Elizabeth Islands. Locally there seems to be fewer bunkers, at least we don't have as many as we had two weeks ago. Will there be a change in the summer forage?

BLUEFISH--- The bluefish population seems to be on the upswing based on what we've seen so far. Sizes are very mixed and that may be a good sign for the future, it may be a good time to invest in soft bait companies. The Race, Gut and Southwest Reef have been good. The mouth of the Connecticut River has been good considering that most of the blues are being caught accidentally. Theres been some blues showing up at the Westbrook Town Beach the last few nights.

PORGIES--- The first reports came in this week of some small porgies in the Niantic area.

SALTWATER LICENSE---- I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the license bill has passed both state houses. Effective June 15th this year you will need a license to fish this states marine waters. [Pat Abate, Rivers End Tackle, Old Saybrook]

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Connecticut Post 6/4/09

Stripped bass -- The big cows are now mostly a nighttime pursuit. Live lining and chunking bunker is the top method for pulling the big one up from their deep haunts. Bunker has invaded Black Rock and most of the other harbor along the southeast coast. The midweek action was brisk at Fayerweather Island at daybreak and dusk. The mouth of the Housatonic, while not exactly on fire, still holds a good number of schoolie stripers in the 18- to 24-inch range for those with access to a boat that gets them to the Milford breakwater on the dropping tide. Opaque white, four-inch Slug-Gos and Clouser flies have done well but expect to make many casts per fish in the boat. In Milford, Jason at Bobby J's reports the area between Welch's Point to Anchor beach is fishing better for bass (and blues) than Gulf Beach, although bunker have taken residence Milford Harbor. Top water plugs will still take keeper bass at the Derby Dam but weekends there are still crowded. Top water plugs are producing some exciting action off Penfield Reef.

Bluefish -- The bluefish, rarely go over six pounds, are scattered but plentiful. The main body of choppers has yet to show up inshore. Deep chunkers continue to do very well their share at the outer buoys of Bridgeport Harbor. Swimmers like jointed Rebels and prismatic Yozuris are snaring the tailors Soft plastics work well on the blues but rarely last for more than one fish. Top water action has yet to hit its stride.

Porgies -Reports of decent scup catches are starting to come in with the areas around Charles Island and Welch's Point and Buoy 18 getting the most visits from anglers.


Catfish -- The Department of Environmental Protection's Inland Fisheries Division reports that more than 5,000 adult catfish, most in the 14- to 18-inch range, averaging two pounds apiece, were released into several Urban Fishing Areas. Stocked areas include Bunnell's Pond in Bridgeport; and Lake Wintergreen in Hamden and New Haven. Yearling catfish were stocked into Black Pond in Middlefield), and Maltby Lakes in Orange and West Haven, and Quonnipaug Lake in Guilford.

Trout -- Although the DEP's spring stocking program was completed last week, anglers should still find plenty of trout waiting to be caught. Fishing has been hurt with relatively low, very clear flows for late this period. Ultra light lines and leaders can help under these conditions. Good trout reports came in last week from the West Branch of the Farmington, Farmington, Housatonic, Pequonnock, Pootatuck River and East Aspetuck rivers. The Farmington and Housatonic rivers have been excellent with flows remaining clear and moderate. Trout fishing in lakes and ponds is "feast or famine."

Largemouth bass -- Excellent fishing reported from Candlewood Lake, and Saugatuck Reservoir. Good reports from Bashan Lake, Bantam Lake, Hanover Pond, Great Hollow Pond, and Lake Zoar.

Smallmouth bass -- Candlewood Lake reported excellent smallie action on 2-3 pound smallies. Lilinonah, Lake Zoar, Beach Pond, Bashan Lake, and Bantam Lake have recorded several smallies between 2 and 3 pounds.

Walleye -- Saugatuck Reservoir has produced some nice walleye catches. [Charles Walsh, Connecticut Post]

On the Water 6/4/09

Best Bets for the Weekend: This has been an unusually good year for trout fishing conditions, with water levels and temperatures cooperating to create ideal conditions. Take advantage of this and hit the trout streams. Pressure is less as many anglers head to the coast and there are lots of hungry trout left over from recent stocking activities. Don’t overlook Candlewood Lake when hatching your trout plans.

In the salt, western Long Island Sound is providing the most consistent action for striped bass, and some bigger fish at that. If it’s big fish you’re after, though, targeting reefs offshore where larger fish are setting up on schools of bait might be your best bet for a cow. Scup anglers would be best served to wait another week until things really get going before getting after these delicious fish.

Captain Jack Balint at The Fish Connection in Preston is finding that striped bass action on the reefs off Watch Hill is improving, but still sporadic. More bait is showing up, particularly sand eels and butterfish, with a fair showing of squid. The Mystic River and Pawcatuck River are both fishing well for schoolie bass, and Race Point and Bartletts Reef were providing some good surface action early in the week. Striped bass action in The Race is improving, with diamond jigs taking their share of nice fish on a regular basis. The Thames River is probably your best bet for stripers in the area around Gales Ferry down to the Coast Guard Academy. Bluefish are all over now. Trout fishing continues to be excellent all around the area, with water levels ideal. Largemouth bass fishing is good, but sporadic, depending upon temperatures.

Howard at Hillyer’s Bait & Tackle in Waterford reports good fishing to striped bass in the Niantic and Waterford areas, with some bluefish mixed in, though they are still pretty sparse overall. Fishing on the reefs offshore has improved considerably over the past week, with larger bass being found regularly using chunk bait or whole squid. The few reports for scup that have come into the shop suggest that the season will be a good one for this species.

“Q” at Rivers End in Old Saybrook reports continued good fishing at the mouth of the Connecticut River, with some bigger stripers mixed in among the schoolies. The ebb tide at dusk or dawn is producing the best action for this species. There are still pods of Bunker in the lower Connecticut River, and bass are under them, but you’ll need to seek them out each trip as the bunker are constantly on the move. Action on the reefs offshore has improved considerably, with Southwest and Six Mile reefs producing some of the best action. The Race has been hot, though mainly to school bass with an occasional bigger fish. Good numbers of bluefish are now patrolling The Race.

The near-shore flats have come alive with striped bass over the past week, reports Captain Jerry Morgan at Captain Morgan’s Bait & Tackle in Madison. Surface action is being found, from shore, along the Madison—Guilford beaches, but it is sporadic; the fish are still there and feeding however. Striped bass to 40 inches are coming from the mouths of tidal rivers in the area, while offshore reefs and structure are producing bass upwards of 50 inches. These larger fish are falling for chunk baits. There is a ton of bunker in the area, in the rivers and offshore. Scup fishing is hit or miss. In freshwater, trout fishing continues to be excellent all over, with water levels ideal and lots of bugs coming off, keeping the fly-rodders happy. The largemouth bass action bass cooled with the temperatures.

Rick at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports outstanding fishing for striped bass throughout western Long Island Sound, with fish in the 50-pound range coming to hook at a variety of areas. Angler Joe Gaudet and friends landed a large number of stripers in the 30-pound class, with several into the 40s, including a 44 and a 48 pounder, in the Greenwich area. Buoy 11B is producing some good striped bass fishing as well, with diamond jigs taking fish to 35 pounds. Norwalk Harbor has a ton of bunker in it, and large striped bass know about it. Night time is the right time, from shore, to hit this spot with chunk bait. Bluefish are scattered about, but Smithtown Bay was seeing good surface action for blues mid-week. The Saugatuck Reservoir continues to give up large walleye, brown trout, and good numbers of smallmouth bass to those fishing with live shiners.

Chris at Stratford Bait & Tackle in Stratford reports a mixed bag of striped bass and bluefish in the area. Fishing has been good, though perhaps a bit slower early in the week. Reports indicated that scup season is off to a slow start.

From the Valley Angler in Danbury, James reports the trout fishing in Candlewood Lake to be a bit on the challenging side over the past week or so, but says there are fish biting for those anglers willing to do the work to find them. Brown trout up to seven pounds, have been taken. Reports have it that the trout are beginning to school up in about 20 feet of water. Targeting this specific depth should improve your odds of catching a brown considerably. Action to bass in the lake has been good, with surface poppers seeing good action. The new KeiTech bait is producing incredible action to both smallmouth and largemouth bass. Squantz Pond has seen a slow down in fishing pressure over the past week, but those anglers testing this body of water are seeing good action to walleye, and some nice sized fish are coming in. [Alan Desbonnet, On The Water]

DEP Marine Weekly Report #7 6/3/09

Water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low to mid 50’s °F.

STRIPED BASS fishing remains good with fish in the 40 inch range being common and a couple of 50 pound fish have been reported! Western LIS from Norwalk to Greenwich has been red hot for stripers and blues. Drifting live bait (eels, bunker), trolling the tube and worm combination, and soft artificial baits have been very effective. Also western LIS from New Haven to Stamford is loaded with bunker. Striper spots include the Pawcatuck River, upper Thames River (Norwich Harbor down to Montville), lower Connecticut River from Hamburg Cove down to the breakwaters, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Bridgeport Harbor by the power plant warm water discharge (Breezy Point/Seaside Park), Housatonic River, Saugatuck River and the Norwalk Islands.

BLUEFISH spots include the Race, Millstone Point, Plum Gut, and western LIS. Bluefish range in size from about 2-7 lbs.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is good in the tidal rivers and can be found mixed in with school stripers.

DEP Freshwater Weekly Report #7 6/3/09

Rivers & streams: Although DEP’s spring stocking program was completed last week, anglers should still find plenty of trout waiting to be caught. Trout fishing has been hampered in some areas with relatively low, very clear flows for late May/early June, try light line and leaders under these conditions. Some rain is forecast prior to the weekend, which should enhance flows and fishing in these areas.

Good reports last week from the West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River, Natchaug River, Quinebaug River, Pequonnock River, Pootatuck River and East Aspetuck River.

Farmington River: Fishing has been excellent. Flows remain clear and moderate, currently 325 cfs at Riverton plus an additional 50 cfs from the Still River. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 50’s °F. Patterns/hatches will include Isonychia (#10), March Brown/Grey Fox (#10-14), March Brown nymph (#10), Vitreus (# 16), Sulphurs (#14-20, just starting), Blue Wing Olives (#18-20), and Rusty Spinners (#18-20), Tan Caddis (#16-18, good all day), Midges (#22-32) and Pale Evening Duns (Epeorus vitreus #14-16).

Housatonic River: Trout fishing is just excellent and conditions for the weekend should be great for fishing. Flows are currently moderate and very fishable, 650 cfs at Falls Village and 900 cfs at Gaylordsville. Water temperatures are in the low 60’s °F. Tons of hatches/patterns to work, including Alder/Zebra Caddis (try #10-12 near banks, lots out now), Sulphurs, Isonychia, golden stoneflies, March Browns/Gray Foxes (#10-12), Baetis/Olives (overcast days), and other various caddis (green, tan, brown, black).

Lakes & Ponds: Trout fishing was generally “feast or famine” last week with good to excellent reports from from Crystal Lake (lots of browns at 20’), Highland Lake, Wonoscopomuc Lake (lots of browns, plus a 4-lb rainbow) and West Hill Pond (excellent at 2.5 colors- trolling slow with corn/dodger), and fair to “tough” fishing reported from Mashapaug Lake, East Twin Lake, Beach Pond and Candlewood Lake (not many catches reported, but included in the reports was a 6-lb brown).

LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is variable. Excellent fishing reported from Candlewood Lake and Amos Lake. Good reports from Bashan Lake, Bantam Lake, Hanover Pond, Beseck Lake, Great Hollow Pond, and Lake Zoar, Fair fishing reported from Pickerel Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Quaddick Reservoir, Quonnipaug Lake, and it’s slow at Long Pond, Aspinook Pond and Pachaug Pond.

SMALLMOUTH BASS are reported at Candlewood Lake (excellent action on 2-3 lb smallies continues, some 4-5 lb smallies also among the bags), Lake Lillinonah, Lake Zoar, Beach Pond, Bashan Lake, and Bantam Lake (several smallies in the 2-3 lb range).

NORTHERN PIKE fishing is fair at best, with some catches reported from Bantam Lake, Winchester Lake and Pachaug Pond.

WALLEYE – Limited reports for walleye this past week, some catches reported at Saugatuck Reservoir, Gardner Lake and Beach Pond. Squantz Pond is slow.

CONNECTICUT RIVERSTRIPED BASS can still being found throughout the river, but the best action, and biggest fish can be found chasing bunker in the lower river. Plugs in shallow water are beginning to work well. Some CATFISH (fish to 10 lbs) are being taken, coves and chunk bait are good choices. Good LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing reported, try coves and back areas from below Hartford to Haddam/East Haddam (Keeney Cove, Chapman’s Pond, Salmon River). Limited reports for NORTHERN PIKE, some pike in the low to mid 30’s inch range have been caught. Best action should be in coves (Wethersfield, Crow Point, Keeney, Wrights, Salmon River) and the mainstem from Portland bridge down through the Haddam Meadows area.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Fishing Line 6/3/09

Overview: Fishing Line Message Boards: Striper anglers in Connecticut have to reevaluate their fishing strategies for the upcoming week. A big change has occurred in all parts of Connecticut. Fishermen have to go deep if they are seeking big time bass. Reports from around the state are leaning towards a mid-water column and bottom bite. Most anglers have switched to deep diving plugs or are slowing their retrieves down significantly. Butterfly jigs and diamond jigs are also recommended for the next coming days. Bluefish anglers are finding fish around every river and inlet. Look for the birds and you’ll find a bluefish. Weakfish numbers are still pretty low, but they are available near the Long Island side. Unfortunately anglers are not allowed to bring them back into Connecticut.

Westernmost CT: Bass to 36 pounds were caught this week in the western half of Connecticut. Snag and drop live-lined eels is the best bait on the water for the week. Places like Mid Sound and Hempstead have been crawling with big bass and medium sized bluefish. Shops from around the area have been talking about bass from 17 to 36 pounds as regular daily catches. Bluefish are also following right on the tails on big bass, but most of them are less than 10 pounds. Hempstead has been a very productive area this past week, but most anglers are hush-hush about the exact locations. A report of a 13-pound weakfish came in from this area as well.

Bridgeport to Stratford: Anglers should be going deep for bass this week. Deepwater around this area is swarming with bass with reports of stripers to 32 pounds. Most shops are averaging bass between 22 and 28 pounds for daily weigh-ins. Top baits for the week include live bunker and mackerel on the ocean side and tubing worms in all local rivers. Bluefish have been caught throughout the area, but anglers are being told to follow the herring gulls for the best results. Most bluefish are between 5 and 7 pounds. Not much has been mentioned about weakfish but breeding tiderunners are still being seen at night.

New Haven to Madison: The deepwater trend continues for anglers in search of that first big striper of the year. A majority of reefs are holding bass and the deeper the better. Places like Thompson’s Ledge, Branford Reef and Branford Harbor have been bass hideouts when the rain stopped. Deep water diving plugs are highly recommended. Yozuris and large lipped swimmers would be perfect during day and night. Porgy anglers have also been busy this week, but locations for the larger porgy are limited at this time.

Eastern CT:
CT River and the Race: The CT River has been excellent for big bass during this week. Striper to 30 pounds were reported until the weather turned nasty. The best time for lunker bass now is low light and out going tides. Most guys are using Shimano Butterfly Jigs or diamond jigs for both bass and blues. The best action has been on the outer reefs. Places like the Southwest Reef and Long Sand Shoal are have been great with jigs.

Niantic Bay and Thames River: Bass numbers are starting to look as they should for this time of year. Although big bass are further west many anglers are still taking fish to 25 pounds in this area. Migrating bass have been caught at places like: Bartlett’s Reef, Harkness and the Millstone Power Plant Discharge. Most blues in this area are just over the cocktail size and starting to really frenzy near Bartlett’s Reef. Top lures for the week for both bass and blues are red and white deep-diving Bombers and Sluggos fished off the bottom. The Race and surrounding areas are being fished with Bounders and tins for any remaining bluefish.

Captain Morgan, 6/3/09

East winds blew for almost the entire week with slight shifts in the early evening and predawn hours. As waters in the Sound churned, menhaden found refuge within the confines of several shoreline harbors and tidal rivers. Anglers who attempted some daylight fishing outside the windows of opportunity tasted the briny and had a thorough wash down chore waiting at the docks. With porgy/scup season now open, holding fast on a reef was a challenge. The same held true for the sea bass bite. However, more bait entered the Sound including sand eels and herring; moving downriver both striped bass and bluefish fed throughout the week. Both offshore reefs and inshore tidal rivers and coves produced numbers of “linesiders” on fresh and artificial baits. Seaworms, soft plastics, tubes, worms, small jigs, and swimmers caught numerous fish in the shallows both on flood and ebb tides.

Menhaden/moss bunker created some feeding frenzies among bluefish while live-lining them on reefs like Cornfield, Hatchett’s, Southwest, Charles, Faulkner’s North Rip, and Brown’s, sparked striper catches in excess of 46 inches. Smaller bass in the 20- to 26-inch range, as well as those that fall short after a stretch, are in abundance—loads of fish less than 20 inches. Look to the tidal rivers for shad action on light gear. Fly rodders are doing well on the flats while anglers are connecting along shoreline breaks and troughs from their ‘yaks.

Recent stockings brought out more sweet water anglers where many found catching trout in this past week’s turbulent weather a good alternative. The annual spring stocking program is wrapping up with more than 700,000 trout stocked. Now is the time to look for the big fish. The Hammo continues to produce good catches along with several local rivers and streams—flows are optimal. Lakes and ponds are seeing good large- and smallmouth activity along the breaks and in the shallows. Juvenile sunnies are in abundance along with pickerel and catfish where stocked. Trolling floaters or live shiners with spinner chains are producing both trout and walleye in about 20 to 25 inches. Pikers should also be into near-record catches.

There’s still time to register! Once again Captain Morgan’s sponsors Trout Unlimited (TU) Hammonasset Chapter’s Catch & Release Trout Tournament. Plan on a date with the Farmington River and plenty of fish on June 6 at 10 a.m. Four-member teams will enjoy a great dinner, prizes and awards, a raffle, and a whole lot of fun. Proceeds go toward TU’s youth education programs. Contact the shop at 203-245-8665 or Ted Gardziel at 203-415-2117.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Western LIS, M. Armstrong 5/30/009

Fishing exploded last week. Striped bass, bluefish and porgies are all supplying lots of action. And, the first weakfish of the season was reported as was a black sea bass.

Reported catches:
Stamford Breakwater: stripers with Cape Cod spinners
Stratford Shoals: stripers on incoming with bunker.
Mid-Sound waters: stripers with live bunker and bunker chunks.
Mamaroneck & Rye/Playland NY: stripers
Hempstead Harbor: stripers with bunker chunks & bluefish with poppers
Stamford Cows: Porgy with calm
Buoy 21: Porgy with sandworms
Mid-Sound & 32A: Bluefish with sandworms
Port Jefferson: Fluke & Black Sea Bass with sandworms.
Port Jefferson: weakfish with sand eel fly
Private pond in North Stamford: 2.5lb largemouth bass