Connecticut Ice Fishing Conditions

recommended ice depth safety chart

Connecticut Ice Fishing Conditions

ice-safety

These conditions have been acquired from multiple sources and are to be used as basic guidance for where “safe” ice can be found. Remember, ice is never 100% safe and these conditions are only to be used as guidance. It is 100% your responsibility to assure a location is safe to venture out onto. Fishing Northeast in no way will be held responsible for mishaps or inaccurate information. While we try to gain specific locations on bodies of water it is not always possible. Many reports are of general lake name with no specifics and sometimes not even an indication of which Lake “X” is being mentioned, some states have more than one Lake “X”. Have any other ice reports? Please comment below or contact us with details.

CAUTION ADVISED:

Please use extreme caution with these ice conditions. After last weeks warm temperatures and rain we saw many issues with edges, running water and drilled holes opening up on the ice from rain drainage. Many of these reports are from prior to the warmup as anglers have been slow to venture back into areas due to unsafe conditions.

BODY OF WATER CONDITIONS DATE
Bantam Lake 7-8 inches in South Cove 1-15
Black Pond, Meriden 8 inches 1-11
Tyler Lake, Goshen 8 inches, use beach for safe edge entry 1-15
Stillwater Pond, Torrington 6 inches 12-31
Mount Tom 4-5 inches 12-30
Holebrook Pond 6 inches 12-30
Scoville Reservoir 7-8 inches 1-1
Red Cedar Lake, Lebanon 7 inches 12-31
Park Pond, Winchester 6 inches 12-31
Winchester Lake 7-8 inches 1-3
Lower Moody’s Reservoir  5+ inches 12-31
Long Meadow Pond, Naugatuck 6 inches 12-31
Crystal Lake, Ellington 6 inches in most spots 12-31
Amston Lake 5.5-6 inches 12-27
Beseck Lake 6 inches 12-29
Wethersfield Cove 10 inches 1-6
Batterson Park Pond 5 to 6 inches maybe 50 yards from shore 12-31
Bashan Lake Laurel Cove up 100 yards from shore 4-5 inches, spring areas are thin 12-31
Wrights Cove, Portland 6+ inches- forget about getting on/off anywhere within a few hours of high tide 12-31
Silver Lake 5-6 inches 12-30
Ball Pond 6 inches off boat launch 1-1
Hamlin Pond, Plainville 3.5-4 inches from launch out about 40-50 feet 12-29
Horse Pond, Salem 4 inches within 50 feet of launch on rte 85 12-29
Lower Bolton Lake 4.5 inches about 75 yds from launch 12-27
Anderson Pond North Stonington 5 inches 1-1
Billings Lake 4 inches, middle still sketchy 1-1
Avery Pond, Ledyard 5 inches 1-1
Lantern Hill Pond North Stonington 6 inches 1-1
Lake of Isles, North Stonington 5 inches 1-1
Wyassup Lake, North Stonington 6-7 inches 1-1
Amos Lake, Preston 4 inches 1-1
Long Pond 5 inches 1-1
Pachaug Pond 6 inches 1-15
Ashland Pond 5 Inches 1-1
Hopeville Pond 4 inches 1-1
Cedar Lake, Chester 6 inches 1-1
Squantz Pond 7-10 inches 1-6
Mashapaug 12 inches 1-11
Mansfield Hollow 7-8 inches 12-31
Gardner Lake 8 inches 1-15
Pattiganset Lake 5-6 inches 1-2
West Hill Pond 9-11 inches 1-14
Beach Pond 6 inches south end, 8-10 inches north end 1-2
Lake Zoar Most coves solid 6-8 inches, edges are tough 1-2
Crescent Pond, Southington 5-6 inches 1-15
Lake Lillinonah 6-7 inches 1-3
Candlewood Lake, Squantz Cove area towards islands 6-9 inches 1-7
Candlewood Lake, Skeleton Island area 10 inches 1-8
Highland Lake 4 inches 12-30
Long Meadow Pond, Bethlehem 8 inches 1-9
Housatonic River, Pink House Cove 6+ inches 1-3
Long Meadow Pond, Middlebury 8 inches 1-10
Congamond Lake, north pond 8-10 inches where cove meets big lake, edges are good 1-14
Tankerhoosen Lake 7-10 inches 1-11
Black Pond, Woodstock 8-10 inches -edges a little soft but no issues 1-14
Coventry Lake 6+ inches black ice 1-15
Congamond Lake, near Saunders 5-7 inches 1-14

Black Hawk Fishing Report (January 9, 2018)

Heather from the Black Hawk office reports that last week, everyone was putting another log on the fire and hoping it was going to warm up! The unusually frigid weather and harsh winds kept us tied to the dock. It did, however, give us a little bit of extra time to get ready for our winter sports shows. We hope to see everyone at our first show this weekend- we’ll be at the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show in Edison, New Jersey. Stop by and see Capt. Greg and the great white shark!

Keep reading to find out about more upcoming trips and remember to stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for details and updates.

Want to be the first to know about these trips in the future? Sign up for our specialty trips email list and find out sooner! Click here to join now!

Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more. For the month of January, we will be continue to collect canned food items for the local food pantries. As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.

As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!


Courtesy of Black Hawk Sportfishing

Black Hawk Fishing Report (January 2, 2018)

Capt. Greg from the Black Hawk reports, “Absolutely, without a doubt, the coldest, toughest day that we’ve ever had, probably in my career- and I used to commercial fish in the wintertime. Absolutely terrible on Friday, December 29. Bitter cold- it was hard to stay at the rail for any length of time.  We did catch a few cod, a few seabass, a few scup, but it was simply unmerciful.  Saturday, the following day, it was about 25 degrees and it felt like a heatwave.  Fishing was much better, mostly because people could stay at the rail.  We had some nice codfish up to 15 pounds, we had some seabass, a few scup, we had a lot of ling, including some big ling, and everybody went home with a bag of fillets.  We even had a haddock, which is kind of unusual in this area. A much better day than Friday.

We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best in 2018.  We’ll still be fishing on a weather basis, so stay tuned for details.  Our first trip of the 2018 season will be tomorrow, Wednesday, January 3, leaving from Stonington at 5:00 am.  The early reports for the weekend don’t look good, so if you’d like to fish soon, tomorrow’s the day!  Book your tickets online now!  Want to be the first to know about these trips in the future?  Sign up for our specialty trips email list and find out sooner! Click here to join now!
We are also getting geared up for our winter show schedule- for our first one, come check us out at the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show in Edison, NJ, January 11-14.  Capt. Greg will be there with the shark, and we’re looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones!  Plan on stopping by to say hello!  We’ll also be in Hartford and Suffern later in the season.

Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more.  For the month of January, we will be continue to collect canned food items for the local food pantries.  As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.

As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!


Black Hawk Fishing Report (December 26, 2017)

“We were able to fish 3 days this past week”, reports Capt. Matt from the Black Hawk. We got out Monday, Thursday and Friday, with Monday being the premier day of the three. Simply excellent fishing with full limits of sea bass, scup, and a nice mix of codfish up to 30 lbs. The scup were so thick we had to move to avoid them- they were huge! Thursday and Friday was more of a steady grind; a lot of limits on the scup and sea bass with a mix of cod to 17 pounds. Nowhere near the fantastic action of Monday’s trip. The fish have definitely left the Block Island area and have moved to the southeast. Saturday’s trip was cancelled due to miserable wind and rain conditions.

We will be posting more trips as the weather allows, and they will be by reservation only. Tickets can be purchased on line through our website.  As usual, continue to check our Facebook page and website for schedules and details.

Heather from the office, on behalf of the entire Black Hawk family and crew, would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  We look forward to seeing everyone soon and wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2018!

As you know, we’re heading out from Stonington now- we plan on fishing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with weekday trips when the weather permits.  Trips will now leave at 5:00 am.   As always, be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates and details about upcoming trips and events.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

We are also busy getting ready for our winter shows- check out our website for our schedule and be sure to stop by to see us this winter.

Our current trips are limited to only 35 people and by reservation only. On-line tickets are available. Want to stay updated about these trips?  Be sure to check our website and Facebook page often!  Don’t forget, you can also join our specialty trips email list, where you will get info about these weekday trips and any other special trips we have planned.  Click here to join the list!

Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more.  For the month of January, we will be continue to collectcanned food items for the local food pantries.  As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.

As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!


Courtesy of Black Hawk Sportfishing

Black Hawk Fishing Report (December 19, 2017)

Heather from the Black Hawk office reports that our trip last Friday was fantastic.  The weather may have been cold, but the fishing was red hot.  Limits of seabass, a good mix of nice codfish, and some porgies as well.  The porgies are still around, although we are not specifically targeting them, so we’re getting more cod and seabass than the porgies now.

Sunday’s trip started off a little slower, but as the wind died down the fishing picked up.  Once again, the boat limit of seabass, a steady pick of cod all day, and a nice mix of jumbo porgies too.  Now is the time to get out there and fill your freezer!

Monday’s trip was another fabulous day.  We had to travel a little further to get to the fish, but it was worth it!  Limits of seabass, loads of jumbo porgies and cod to 30 pounds! The fishing was so good and the weather looks great for Thursday- so we’ve added another trip for this Thursday the 21st. Join us and get some fish before the holidays!

As you know, we’re heading out from Stonington now- we plan on fishing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with weekday trips when the weather permits. Trips will now leave at 5:00 am instead of 6:00 am. As always, be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates and details about upcoming trips and events. We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

We are also busy getting ready for our winter shows- check out our website for our schedule and be sure to stop by to see us this winter.

On behalf of the entire Black Hawk family, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season!

Our current trips are limited to only 35 people and by reservation only. On-line tickets are available. Want to stay updated about these trips?  Be sure to check our website and Facebook page often!  Don’t forget, you can also join our specialty trips email list, where you will get info about these weekday trips and any other special trips we have planned.  Click here to join the list!

Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more.  For the month of December, we will be collecting canned food items for the local food pantries, as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season.  As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.

As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!

Black Hawk Fishing Report (December 12, 2017)

“At this time of year, we lose a few scheduled trips to the weather. Not much we can do about it; we have Mother Nature as a business partner, reports Capt. Greg from the Blackhawk. We fished MondayFriday, and Saturday with Friday being the best production of the three. Limits every day of the jumbo Black Hawk sea bass, but Friday not only had wonderful flat calm weather but a really good shot of codfish throughout the entire day. Fish to 20 lbs. and plenty of ’em. Saturday’s trip was hampered by the snowstorm, which brought cold freezing sleet and just miserable conditions. We put a trip together; those who stayed at the rails did okay, but quite a few kept seeking the warmth of the heated cabin, along with a cup or two of hot coffee.

Porgies are still thick around certain structures, even though we’re trying not to target them. A lot more draggers were seen outside of us this week in the deeper water; an indication of more activity. Draggers working off the Watch Hill reefs had some good squid the past few weeks. A lot of seals and porpoise around the 900 line and a few whales around the areas we’re actually fishing. Considerable activity overall.
We still plan on fishing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with weekday trips as the weather permits.  As always, be sure to check our website and Facebook for details and updates.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon!
These trips are limited to only 35 people and by reservation only. On-line tickets are available. Want to stay updated about these trips?  Be sure to check our website and Facebook page often!  Don’t forget, you can also join our specialty trips email list, where you will get info about these weekday trips and any other special trips we have planned.  Click here to join the list!
Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more.  For the month of December, we will be collecting canned food items for the local food pantries, as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season.  As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.
As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!

Courtesy of Black Hawk Sportfishing

Black Hawk Fishing Report (December 5, 2017)

Capt. Matt reports we had fabulous weather for a full five days in a row which resulted in excellent production on the Black Hawk. Thursday’s trip was a combo where we spent half the day on the sea bass and cod, then the rest of the day on the togs. Steady pick on the Blackfish to 10 lbs. with limits of sea bass and a good mix of codfish to 15 lbs.

Saturday’s trip was the best of the week on the codfish with a good pick of nice green cod to 20 pounds.  Sunday’s trip had a full boat limit of seabass, with a nice mix of codfish to 15 pounds.  All trips have a good amount of action on the porgies even though we’re not targeting them. There has been a few pollock, bluefish and ling mixed in. Monday’s trip was another combo with the togs targeted first and then the sea bass and cod.

We’ll be sailing steadily, weather permitting, from our winter dock at Dodson’s Boatyard in Stonington Borough. Stay tuned to our website & Facebook for available dates and daily fishing reports and pictures.   We hope to see everyone soon!

These trips are limited to only 35 people and by reservation only. On-line tickets are available. Want to stay updated about these trips?  Be sure to check our website and Facebook page often!  Don’t forget, you can also join our specialty trips email list, where you will get info about these weekday trips and any other special trips we have planned.  Click here to join the list!

Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more.  For the month of December, we will be collecting canned food items for the local food pantries, as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season.  As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.

As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!


Black Hawk Fishing Report (November 28, 2017)

Mother nature finally smiled on us, giving back to back days of beautiful weather and simply EXCELLENT fishing. Friday and Saturday trips had boat limits of jumbo sea bass, monster porgies, a good mix of codfish, with few pollock and even a keeper weakfish.

It’s going to be a December to Remember coming up. Trips are limited and by reservation only, sailing from our winter dock at Dodson’s Boatyard in Stonington Borough. Keep in touch and informed through our website and Facebook page.

We plan on fishing Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and will be adding more trips as the weather permits, including THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30.   Don’t forget to stay tuned to our website, Facebook and emails for details and more trips! We hope to see you soon!

These trips are limited to only 35 people and by reservation only. On-line tickets are available. Want to stay updated about these trips?  Be sure to check our website and Facebook page often!  Don’t forget, you can also join our specialty trips email list, where you will get info about these weekday trips and any other special trips we have planned.  Click here to join the list!

Our Black Hawk & the Community program continues to go strong- again, thanks to everyone for bringing in books, toiletries, socks and more.  For the month of December, we will be collecting canned food items for the local food pantries, as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season.  As always, thanks for helping us help the local community.

As always, you can check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or call the office- we’ll be glad to hear from you!


Courtesy of Black Hawk Sportfishing

Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report 10/05/2017

INLAND REPORT

Fall TROUT Stocking- Trout stocking has started up once again. We are currently focusing on lakes and ponds as stream and river flows are once again at or near historic low levels and not suitable for releasing fish. Stay up to date with our daily stocking post on Facebook, our interactive trout stocking map, and our stocking report.

LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as good. Places where the largemouth are eager to bite include East Twin Lake, Gardner Lake, Pickerel Lake, Beseck Lake, Amos Lake, Beach Pond, Highland Lake, Seymour Reservoir #4, Crystal Lake, Mudge Pond, West Side Pond, Tyler Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Dog Pond, Hatch Pond, Park Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc, Lake Saltonstall, Bishop Swamp, Winchester Lake, Congamond Lakes, Quinebaug Lake, Black Pond (Meriden), Burr Pond, Griggs Pond, Anderson Pond, Billings Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Aspinook Pond, Babcock Pond, Pachaug Pond, Lake Hayward, Quonnipaug Lake, Rogers Lake and Stillwater Pond.

Tournament angler reports are from Amos Lake (good, nice bags with fish averaging 2.6 lbs apiece, and a 4.24 lb lunker), Aspinook Pond (fair, 3.19 lb lunker), Gardner Lake (fair, 4.50 lb lunker), Mashapaug Lake (fair, 2.13 lb lunker), Moodus Reservoir (fair to good, little size, fish averaged only a bit over 1 lb apiece with 2.32 lb lunker), Quaddick Lake (fair to good, 4.2 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (fair, 3.39 lb lunker), Lake Lillinonah (slow to fair, 4.66 lb lunker) and the Connecticut River (fair, 4.19 lb lunker).

SMALLMOUTH BASS – Catches reported from Candlewood Lake, Housatonic River (upper), Naugatuck River, Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah. Housatonic River smallmouth fishing has been good.

Tournament angler reports are from Aspinook Pond (slow to fair), Candlewood Lake (good, 4.56 lb, 4.11 lb, 4.01 lb, 3.98 lb lunkers), Lake Lillinonah (fair to good, 4.02 lb lunker), Mashapaug Lake (a few), and the Connecticut River (slow).

CARP are hitting in the Housatonic River Impoundments, West Thompson Reservoir, Batterson Park Pond, CT River/Mattabesset River, and the Quinebaug River (West Thompson and Aspinook Pond).

NORTHERN PIKE – Some medium to large pike coming out of Lake Lillinonah and the CT River.

WALLEYE – Some real decent fish reported from the Saugatuck Reservoir. Other waters for walleye include Mount Tom Pond, Squantz Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Beach Pond, Cedar Lake, Gardner Lake, and Mashapaug Lake.

CATFISH – Fishing remains solid with 2-6 pounders coming out of many of our Catfish Management Lakes and several Community Fishing Waters. Try cut fish (mackerel) or live shiners to entice a cat to bite.

PANFISH – are still a great bet. Calico Bass should be picking up a bit. Perfect for family fun along the shoreline
of a small pond.

FALLFISH (DACE) – lots of reports of action (while the trout stocking is on hold) from the Willimantic River, Shetucket River, Natchaug River, Lower Farmington River (Avon-Windsor), Housatonic River (Cornwall to Kent), Scantic River (Somers to East Windsor), and Yantic River. The current state record Fallfish (2.25 pounds) was taken in 2012 by Chad Tessman.

TROUT

RIVERS & STREAMS – Conditions for trout fishing are poor with flows rapidly decreasing by the day. We have quickly fallen back into very dry and very low flow situation statewide (dark red and brown colors from gauges around the state). This week the Willimantic River TMA was stocked. Earlier this fall we stocked the Farmington River TMA (Collinsville to Unionville), Housatonic River TMA (Cornwall), Salmon River, Salmon River TMA, and the Moosup River TMA. For the latest information on what has been stocked, follow our daily posts on Facebook Page or Twitter Page, view our current stocking report, or check out the interactive trout stocking map.

Farmington River – Fishing remains very good. The West Branch flows are clear and lower than typical for late September (currently 66 CFS at Riverton, with the Still River at 11 CFS). Morning water temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 50’s °F through New Hartford (and into the upper 60’s °F farther downstream). CT DEEP continues to augment the flow in the river during the continued warmer than normal air temperatures to keep the water from getting too warm.

Hatches/patterns shifting to the fall patterns. Some go-to flies include Isonychia (#12-14, parachute style), Blue Wing Olives (#18, 22-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; brown #16-18), Midges (#20-32, morning), and Rusty Spinner (#14-20, mornings). White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, or Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10) are standard streamers. Bottom bouncing nymphs with Caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14- 16), Prince (#6-18) and Hare’s ear (#8-20) works well.

Housatonic River – Fishing has been very good. The flows have dropped even lower, but you can still have a great day on the river (currently 156 CFS at Falls Village and 243 CFS at Gaylordsville). Morning water temperatures are in the upper 60’s °F. With the weather forecast to be more fall-like, this weekend is perfect to take some “me” time and fish the famed “Housy”.

Hatches/patterns include a good diversity of insects. Patterns to try include Blue Wing Olive (#18-24, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#10-12 evening), Midges (#20-24) and caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening). Also try terrestrial patterns such as Black and Cinnamon Ants (#16-18, midday, when breezy) and large streamers, or nymphing the pockets, deeper riffles and pool heads.

The area between the Route 4 Bridge and Route 341 Bridge is still offering great fishing with smallmouth and fallfish eagerly hitting a variety of poppers, dry flies, nymphs, and streamers.

Streamer fishing and nymphing with big stoneflies is usually productive. Streamer patterns to try include White Zonkers, Wooly Buggers (#2-12), Muddlers, Lion Buggers, and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Light Cahill (#12- 14, evening), Isonychia (#10-12), Sulfur (#16-18) and Black caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening).

TROUT

LAKES & PONDS – Improving quickly with re-start of fall stocking. Here is this week’s list: EAST: Valley Falls Park Pond Trout Park, Wangumbaug (Coventry) Lake, Long Pond, Amos Lake, Beach Pond, Chatfield Hollow Trout Park (Schreeder Pond only), Quonnipaug Lake, Cedar Lake, Day Pond Trout Park, Black Pond (Middlefield/Meriden), Wauregan Reservoir, Mohegan Park Pond Trout Park, Gardner Lake, Rogers Lake, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Mashapaug Lake, and Bigelow Pond, Black Pond (Woodstock) WEST: Stillwater Pond, Westside Pond, Mount Tom Pond, Black Rock Pond Trout Park, and Great Hollow Trout Park.

CONNECTICUT RIVER
BLACK CRAPPIE action is improving in the coves up and down the river. Target the backwaters with small shiners, silver grubs, or small Rapalas. SMALLMOUTH BASS have been reported as hit or miss in from Hartford upstream. LARGEMOUTH BASS are being caught (but you have to work for them) in the Hartford to Haddam area. CARP are providing action in coves and in the mainstem, especially Salmon River Cove and the Middletown area. BOWFIN can be found in backwater areas with dense weeds especially in Keeney Cove, Crow Point Pond, and Chapman’s Cove. NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported as good in the main stem and coves.

NOTES & NOTICES:

CANDLEWOOD LAKE (boat launches). Boaters using the Lattins Cove launch should take extra care. The launch ramp is damaged, with the bottom of the ramp broken up and a large drop off. Plans for repairs are in process and a sign is being posted to mark the end of the ramp surface. Backing down beyond that sign is not recommended at this time. The lake level is also down close to the minimum “summer” level, at which launching of trailered boats (especially larger boats) becomes more difficult (but usually still doable) at Lattins Cove. The Squantz Cove state launch is fully functional.

CONNECTICUT RIVER (invasive species alert) Last year hydrilla was found in the main stem Connecticut River in Glastonbury (near Glastonbury’s Riverfront Park & Boathouse). There are now reports of plants found at other locations along the river including Wethersfield and Crow Point coves and at a site in Enfield.

COVENTRY LAKE (invasive species alert). Hydrilla, a very highly invasive aquatic plant, has been found growing in Coventry Lake. All lake users should take extra care to check and clean their boats (including canoes, kayaks and rowing sculls), trailers, and fishing equipment before leaving the boat launch, or leaving the lakeshore.

HIGHLAND LAKE (boat launch). The state boat launch on highland Lake is currently scheduled to be closed for line repainting on October 11th and reopening the next day (October 12th).

LAKE HOUSATONIC (rowing regatta). The “Head of the Housatonic” Regatta is scheduled for Saturday, October 7th from 8 am to 6 pm, with course setup occurring on Friday, October 6th . Although this event will be using the boat launch in Indian Well State Park, room will be available to the general public to launch. Boaters should however use additional caution on the lake.

LAKE HOUSATONIC (drawdown). The lake will be drawn down three feet beginning Sunday night, October 8, and ending Saturday, October 14, for maintenance. Launching trailered boats from the state boat launch will be very difficult to impossible.

PACHAUG POND (drawdown). A 3.5-foot drawdown to facilitate dam maintenance is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 10.

WEST HILL POND (drawdown). A 5-foot drawdown is ongoing to facilitate dam maintenance.

PHOTO CONTEST: Do you have the next Angler’s Guide cover shot? Email us your high quality (high
resolution) photos by November 1 to Deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov and include photo contest in the subject
line.

CT FISHIN’ TIPS is our monthly e-newletter dedicated to providing information, tips and pointers about fishing in Connecticut. Get CT Fishin’ Tips delivered automatically to your in box by subscribing at www.ct.gov/deep/newslettersubscription.

MARINE FISHING REPORT

Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are around 70°F.

WHALES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN LONG ISLAND SOUND (in early July, juvenile humpback whales have been spotted on the New York side of the sound), PLEASE CHECK WHALE WATCHING GUIDELINES.

Note: All marine mammals are protected by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Following these recommended operational guidelines helps minimize chances of harassing or injuring whales and violating Federal law. Guidelines apply to all large whales from Maine through Virginia, except North Atlantic right whales. It is illegal to approach a right whale within 500 yards (1500 feet) unless granted specific exemption or authorization.

SEE A TANGLED TURTLE? CALL THE HOTLINE: 1-860-572-5955 ext. 107. This is the time of year when leatherback, loggerhead, green, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles return to northern waters, with many sightings around Long Island Sound.

LICENSE RECIPROCITY & CT RESIDENTS: Anglers please note: Although Connecticut has reciprocity with neighboring states (New York, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts), residents of Connecticut are required to have a CT Resident Marine Waters or all-Waters Sport Fishing License to fish in the Marine District.

ATLANTIC BONITO & LITTLE TUNNY fishing is good. Schools of these small tuna have been reported from New Haven to Greenwich. But they seem to be particularly fond of Cockenoe Island, Sunken Island, The Cows, and off Compo Beach. Smaller Hogy Epoxy lures, Zoom Super Fluke, Deadly Dicks, Sluggos and Albie Snacks (amber color) have all been very effective. There have been so many sighting of false albacore around the Norwalk Islands that some anglers are comparing the venue to the albies off Watch Hill. If you’re using braided line with a 20 lb fluorocarbon leader stop by your local tackle shop and ask them to show you a proper knot – there’s nothing worse than losing a little tunny because your knot slipped through the slick braid. Although false albacore are poor for eating – just catching one will give you such a fight you will be bragging about it for weeks. There is a good chance your local party boat has run into a few schools treating customers with a great day of fishing.

STRIPED BASS fishing is fantastic. It is time for shore anglers to hit the SURF…locate your favorite coastal state park(s). The fall season appears to be starting strong, with many charter boat operators commenting on how many large bass there are. These bass are migrating and feeding heavily on all the bait. The best thing is…you catch them during the daytime, especially under overcast skies. Trolling weighted jigs (chartreuse) with a yellow pork rind and or live lining bunker (Atlantic menhaden) in 15 to 40 feet of water. I like dunking a live eel on the reefs/shoal areas during the late afternoon /evening hours. This technique has produces some very big bass recently (52 inches – 48 pounds, (Outer Bartlett Reef & Norwalk Islands). Striper spots include the Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, lower Mystic and Thames River, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, the “humps’ south of Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (breakwalls) and the upper reaches, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Milford Point, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

BLACK SEA BASS and SCUP (porgy) fishing is still phenomenal. I would recommend to get out while it’s good, these excellent eating fish won’t be hanging around forever. Double your chances by using a high-low rig tipped with clams and/or squid. Once you get a bite make sure to set the hook and whether releasing or keeping, be careful of the spines. We highly recommend heavy chumming; although you do not need to feed the entire ocean – chumming really gets black sea bass and scup in a feeding frenzy. Great porgy fishing this week are; Buoy 32A, Hens & Chickens near Captains Harbor in Greenwich, Fort Nathan Hale Beach (pier under construction), Pleasure Beach Family Pier, Short and Long Beach in Stratford and Silver Sands State Park in Milford, The Wall in Stratford, South Benson Pier, Ash Creek, Saint Marys by the Sea, Seaside Park, Fayerweather Island, Sherwood Island State Park, Calf Pasture Beach Pier, Cummings Park, Shippan Point and Todds Point on the southwest side facing New York skyline. Try your luck at one of CT’s wonderful Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing sites where the length limit for porgy (scup) is 9” as opposed to non-enhanced sites, which have the standard 10” length limit. List of some very accessible shore fishing locations are: Calf Pasture beach, Jennings and Penfield beach, Seaside Park, (Milford), Bradley Point Park (West Haven), New Haven, Harkness State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Kimberley Reef (Guilford), Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.

BLUEFISH The “blitz” is on and bluefish schools mixed with striped bass are reigning supreme. Jennings Beach, Walnut Beach, mouth of the Housatonic, Greens Ledge Lighthouse, Middle-ground (especially Stratford Shoal Lighthouse), The Cows, Sunken Island, the Norwalk Islands, Pennfield Reef, Todds Point, mouth of Rowaytons Five Mile River, Fish Island in Darien, Sasco Beach, Sandy Point, Black Rock Harbor and Gulf Beach Pier and Gulf Beach Break-wall are all excellent striped bass and bluefish locales. As for bluefish bait, well you could probably could put a taco on your hook and catch one because they are voracious eaters. But Atlantic mackerel and bunker (Atlantic menhaden) are good bait choices. Striped bass are a little pickier than bluefish, but topwater plugs are working well. There are some large holdover stripers available but the smaller juveniles are really on fire this week. Plastics are very effective on the 14”-24” striped bass inhabiting our lower rivers this fall. Anglers are having a blast catching smaller striped bass on the Housatonic and Norwalk Rivers. Bait fish like to take refuge in harbors, rivers and estuaries at night, so the rule still goes that the best fishing is at dusk and dawn.

BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) REMINDER TO ANGLERS: OPENING DAY FOR TAUTOG (BLACKFISH) IS OCTOBER 10TH! Any of the rocky reefs, rock piles, and wrecks in Long Island Sound will hold tog. Green, Asian shore or hermit crabs all work. Consider putting the crab (bait) on a jig (1/4 to 1 ounce). It will be a shallow water bite (6-30 feet) this early in the season. I would highly recommend planning a trip on a party/charter boat trip to fish for tautog. As you prepare for the season here are two quick tips; if you dunk a green/Asian shore or hermit crab in the water, and there is a tautog there – you will get a hit. Jigs tipped with a crab is an awesome technique for tautogs hanging tight to the reef. If you are not getting hits, you are fishing in a site void of blackfish, so move to another location (reef). Also, try chumming to attract fish. The three break-walls at the entrance to New Haven Harbor sometimes hold very large blackfish. So enjoy the season, be safe and TIGHT LINES!

HICKORY SHAD fishing is good in the Black Hall River/Lieutenant River (out-going tide), Housatonic River and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier). Fishing remains good at Fort Trumbull, Black Hall, Clinton Harbor River systems and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier).

 

BLUE CRAB fishing is good. Remember…all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. 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 dip net) and a small circular crab trap is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs. Blue Crab Fact Sheet


Courtesy of CTDEEP

Black Hawk Fishing Report (September 12, 2017)

Capt. Greg from the Black Hawk reports that on Monday, Labor Day we went bluefishing and it was good. Unfortunately, we had to skip Tuesday because of high winds and rough seas. Wednesday we went back to the bottom fishing and it was very, very good fishing. Thursday was probably the best of the week, and we had some nice weather for it. We started off drifting on the seabass, and everybody got their limit. It was excellent fishing. We left there and went over to the porgy grounds, and anchored up on a pile of poriges, and it was just non-stop, 2 at a time action, with most people, if not getting their 45 fish limit, coming very close. Friday, Matt ran the boat, and it wasn’t as good- it was still very good but not as good as Thursday. Capt. Greg ran the boat on Saturday, it was good, but Thursday remained the highlight of the week.

Bluefishing has been nothing short of excellent on all the afternoon trips. Diamond jigging as many fish as you want, hot action through the whole tide. Unfortunately, no striped bass to report. The striped bass are pretty non-existent in the area at the moment.

Last night was our annual Veteran’s trip- a great time was had by all! We are so honored to be able to continue to be a part of this special trip every year. Check out this article about our trip: Vets trip on the Black Hawk

There’s still a lot of bait around, and there are bluefish everwhere- there are even bluefish in the Niantic River at the dock! They’re shagging bait up on the beach, exploding in the morning, white water all over the place, just a preview of things to come!

Heather from the office wants to thank everyone for your support of our Underwear Drive so far. We’re getting ready to send our shipment down to Texas to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Your support is incredible, thank you so much! Don’t forget, grab some undies wand bring them down to the boat for your next trip to help those in need!

We continue to fish daily, leaving at 7:00 am. Sundays and Mondays are for bass & blues, Tuesday through Saturday for porgies and seabass. Don’t forget, there is no trip on Thursday, September 14, and our trip for Saturday, September 16 is by reservation only and is currently full. All other trips have tickets available online or at the dock. As usual, check our website and Facebook page for updates, reports, photos and more! We look forward to seeing everyone soon!


Courtesy of Black Hawk Sportfishing

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