Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report 8/10/2017

INLAND REPORT

LARGEMOUTH BASS – fishing continues to be fair to good. Night fishing is good, try black jitterbugs and surface poppers. Places to try include Candlewood Lake (flipping weeds daytime, spinner baits and Jig & pigs working at night), Lake Lillinonah (topwater first thing in morning), Bantam Lake, Mudge Pond, Hatch Pond, Park Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc, Lake Saltonstall, Bishop Swamp, Highland Lake, Lake McDonough, Winchester Lake, Congamond Lakes, Quinebaug Pond, Black Pond (Meriden), Burr Pond, Tyler Lake, Griggs Pond, Crystal Lake, Billings Lake, Pickerel Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Aspinook Pond, Quaddick Lake, Babcock Pond, Pachaug Pond, Lake Hayward, Quonnipaug Lake, Rogers Lake and Stillwater Pond.

Tournament angler reports are from Aspinook Pond (fair to good, 4.04 lb and 3.5 lb lunkers), Rogers Lake (good for some, tough for some, 5.0 lb and 4.93 lb lunkers), Bantam Lake (5.27 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (fair to good, 5.05 lb, 4.0 lb and 3.8 lb lunkers), East Twin Lake (fair), Winchester Lake (fair for most, very good for a few, 6 lb lunker), and the Connecticut River (good action, 3.49 lb lunker).

SMALLMOUTH BASS – Action reported from Candlewood Lake (look around humps), Lake McDonough, Squantz Pond, Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah. Some very good reports in for river smallmouth from the upper Housatonic River, also some action on the Quinebaug River and the Naugatuck River.

Tournament angler reports are from Aspinook Pond (some fish, 2.8 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (good for those targeting smallies, including a 5.66 lb lunker), and the Connecticut River (fair action).

WALLEYE – No reports this week, places to try include Lake Saltonstall, Saugatuck Reservoir. Squantz Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Beach Pond, Cedar Lake, West Thompson Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Gardner Lake, and Mashapaug Lake.

NORTHERN PIKE – Places to try for pike include Bantam Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Pachaug Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Quaddick Lake (try up in Stump Pond), Hopeville Pond, the Connecticut River, the Housatonic River (Bulls Bridge area), and Winchester Lake. Weedlines early and late in the day typically hold pike.

CHAIN PICKEREL are keeping anglers busy throughout the state, with some big fish reported from Congamond Lakes and Bantam lake.

PANFISH – Fishing is very good. For some great summer time fun try shore fishing in shallow areas (your local ponds are often great places). Small grubs, worms or shiners and bobber will put fish in your creel. Small spinners and jigs have been very productive as well. Try small fly rods. Many of your local small ponds can provide great action. Larger waters to try include Mono Pond, Shenipsit Lake, Mohegan Park Pond, Morey Pond, North Farms Reservoir, Long Pond, Ross Pond, Babcock Pond, Mono Pond, Halls Pond, Barber Pond, Farmill Reservoir, Schreeder Pond, Roseland Lake, Norwich Pond, Peck Pond, Quaddick Reservoir, Zemko Pond, Wood Creek Pond, Park Pond and Stanley Quarter Pond. Black Crappie continue to provide action. Giant Yellow Perch are being caught at Candlewood Lake.

Check out and download the FREE- CARE “Let’s Go Fishing” Workbook available on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/care.

KOKANEE catches were reported from East Twin Lake (mostly 12 inch fish) and West Hill Pond (early and at night, fishing with corn).

TROUT

RIVERS & STREAMS – Conditions for trout fishing are fair to good so far this August, the mostly moderate temperatures continue and flows are generally around typical early-mid August levels. A few decent fish are still coming out of our larger rivers like the Quinebaug River, the West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River, Hammonasset River, Natchaug River, Mount Hope River, Salmon River and Willimantic River. Terrestrial fly patterns (beetles, ants, and grasshoppers) are very important this time of the year and anglers are advised to include them in their offerings.

Farmington River – Fishing remains very good and forecast conditions should be good again for this weekend. West Branch flows are clear, moderate and just continue to be very fishable (currently 256 CFS at Riverton, with the Still River adding 25 CFS) and morning water temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 50’s °F below the dam to the mid 60’s °F through New Hartford.

Rock Snot is still “blooming”. Cymbella janischii is a close relative of Didymo and has been introduced to the West Branch Farmington River (first noticed in 2011). C. janischii is native to the Pacific Northwest and not naturally found on the Eastern seaboard.

Currently this type of “Rock Snot” is very abundant and should continue to grow through August. The primary area of the river is from New Hartford upstream to Riverton. Note: Didymo is still present primarily in the West Branch above the Still River in Riverton. To help prevent the spread to other rivers and streams, all anglers should take extra care to clean and dry waders that have been in contact with rock snot. We recommend having a pair just for use only in the Farmington River.

Hatches/patterns include Isonychia (#10-14, fast water), Summer and Winter Caddis (#18-24, good all day), Needhami (#24-26), Cahill & Light Cahill (#12-14), March Brown nymphs (#10-12), Blue Wing Olives (#18-20, also some smaller ones, #22- 24, in the evening), Sulphur (#16-18, only up in the Riverton- Hogback Dam area), Black Ants (#14-18, midday in fast water), Black Beetles (#12-16, midday), Flying Ants (#18-22, midday, when windy/humid), and Midges (#20-32, morning). Summertime terrestrials (beetles, ants, and grasshoppers) are the go to throughout the day and nymphing/streamers from late morning to early evening.

Housatonic River – Fishing has been good and conditions for the weekend should be good. Flows are clear, a bit below typical mid-August levels (currently 258 CFS at Falls Village and 406 CFS at Gaylordsville), and are just perfect for wading. Morning water temperatures continue in the upper 60’s °F. On hotter days switch from trout to Smallmouth, Pike, Fallfish, and Carp, they’re on fire now hitting a variety of poppers and streamers.

Hatches/patterns include the White Fly hatch with some Alder/Zebra Caddis (#8-10, Alder flies are very active during hot days), Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#16-18, cloudy days, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Light Cahill (#12-14, evening), (Isonychia bicolor, #10-12 has been active lately, fast water, evening) and Black caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening). Streamer fishing and nymphing with big stoneflies have been very productive. Streamer patterns to try include White Zonkers, Wooly Buggers (#2-12), Muddlers, Lion Buggers, and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10).

TROUT

LAKES & PONDS – Summer trout fishing remains quiet as the dearth of reports continue. Fishing has been fair at Crystal Lake (20-30 feet), Colebrook Reservoir and East Twin Lake. Candlewood Lake recently gave up a 3.5 lb brown trout.

CONNECTICUT RIVER. The river continues to be comfortable for fishing and boating, although getting into some of those more hard to get into spots may be getting more difficult, as flows have dropped below typical mid-August levels. The good reports for LARGEMOUTH BASS continue, from below Hartford to Hamburg Cove (especially around the Salmon River). Anglers are reporting solid catches of CATFISH are being caught throughout the river. Night angling in the Hartford to Middletown stretch has been good. We recommend using some really stinky bait and setting up just upstream of a deep “hole”. CARP fishing on homemade baits has been productive from prebaited areas. Fish have been caught in the lower portion of the river. Good fishing for SMALLMOUTH BASS north of Hartford through Enfield/Windsor. Try top water plugs and 4 inch Mr. Twisters, flyfishing with small poppers, or Wacky Style salted worms in motor oil or chartreuse for these feisty jumpers.

NOTES & NOTICES:

PROPOSED CHANGES TO INLAND FISHERIES REGULATIONS.

DEEP‘s Fisheries Division is currently proposing to make changes to the Inland sport fishing regulations and to establish trout and salmon stamps.

The proposed changes to the regulations will establish trout and Atlantic salmon stamps, and amend regulations concerning methods and gear types, fishing seasons for several waterbodies, harvest regulations for certain species (common carp, catfish and bullheads), Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas, Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Areas,” Trout Parks, and Trophy Carp Waters.

DEEP’s proposed changes to Inland Fisheries Regulations (effective 2018) are currently open for public comment until 4:30 pm on August 25, 2017.

For more information on proposed changes, how to comment on them and the public hearing, go to Connecticut’s “eRegulations” system at https://eregulations.ct.gov or contact the Fisheries Division at Deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov or by phone at 860-424-3474.

BANTAM LAKE – The annual Waterski Exhibition will be held this upcoming weekend in North Bay on Friday, August 11 (4 pm to 8 pm), Saturday, August 12 (12:00 pm – 5 pm) and Sunday, August 13 (12:00 pm – 5 pm). Boaters should use caution in this area.

BRANFORD RIVER (boat launch). The Branford River state boat launch has reopened.

CONNECTICUT RIVER (Haddam – Essex – paddle craft regatta). A paddle event (kayaks, canoes, row boats, SUP’s) is scheduled for Sunday, August 13, from 8 am to 2 pm in the Haddam -Essex area. This event is a nine mile one-way race from Eagle Landing State Park (Haddam) south to the Connecticut River Museum (Essex). Boaters should use additional caution is this area.

CONNECTICUT RIVER (invasive species alert). Hydrilla was recently found in the main stem Connecticut River in Glastonbury (near Glastonbury’s Riverfront Park & Boathouse).

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.

MUDGE POND. The swim portion of a triathlon will be conducted from 8 am to 9 am on Saturday, August 12, in the northern end of the pond, with start and finish at the Sharon Town Beach.

WEST BRANCH FARMINGTON RIVER (invasive species alert). Cymbella janischii is a close relative of Didymo and has been introduced to the West Branch Farmington River (first noticed in 2011). C. janischii is native to the Pacific Northwest and not naturally found on the Eastern seaboard. Currently this type of “Rock Snot” is very abundant and should continue to grow through July. The primary area of the river is from New Hartford upstream to Riverton. Note: Didymo is still present primarily in the West Branch above the Still River in Riverton. To help prevent the spread to other rivers and streams, all anglers should take extra care to clean and dry waders that have been in contact with rock snot. We recommend having a pair just for use only in the Farmington River.

PHOTO CONTEST: Do you have the next Angler’s Guide cover shot? Email us your high quality (high resolution) photos at Deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov and include photo contest in the subject line. Youth Fishing Passport Fishing Challenge Scorecard: Download the new scorecard for your Youth Fishing Passport Holder on the program web page at www.ct.gov/deep/yfp. Top anglers will receive a great prize pack of fishing gear.

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 in the low to mid 70’sF.

Saltwater Fishing at Fort Trumbull State Park

Our annual CARE and No Child Left Inside Summer Fishing Event will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 (coinciding with free fishing license day). The event will be at Fort Trumbull State Park from 10 am to 3 pm. Feel free to bring your own fishing gear or you can borrow ours. We will have bait too! A great time will be had by all.

Youth Fishing Passport holders- This is a great chance for you to “check off” several of the saltwater species on the “Fishing Challenge Scorecard”.

WHALES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN LONG ISLAND 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.

SHARK SPECIES YOU MAY ENCOUNTER IN COASTAL WATERS OF CONNECTICUT: Anglers may catch Sand Tiger and Sandbar (Brown) Shark which are protected and prohibited species and must be released unharmed. IF YOU DON’T KNOW, PLEASE LET IT GO! Coastal shark information.

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.

STRIPED BASS fishing continues to be fair throughout the Sound. One must reef hop and hopefully get 1 or 2 bass on each reef. The nighttime is the right time. They are feeding on the young-of-year menhaden. Fishing should improve around the waning full moon. Bunker (Atlantic menhaden) schools are still in the major tidal rivers and harbors with stripers following close behind. Look for hovering or diving ospreys which is an indication of bunker (menhaden) schools. The usual 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 and the upper reaches, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing is improving with the influx of peanut bunker and snapper blues forcing the summer flounder to feed in shallow water. There have been some big fish caught off Black Point and Six Mile Reef measuring in the mid to high 20 inch range being reported. Fort Trumbull is the shore fishing hot spot…there have been some very impressive fluke (24”) caught there recently. Summer flounder spots include the south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Napatree Point and along the beach, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River over to Groton Long Point, Twotree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay including the Bloody Grounds, Sound View Beach, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, off the mouth of the Housatonic River during the flood tide, and around the Norwalk Islands. Minimum size is 19 inches and the daily creel limit is 3 fish per person.

BLACK SEA BASS fishing is fantastic. They are carpeted throughout the bottom of the Sound. Fishing over deep water structure/cobble/gravel in 80 to 120 ft around slack tide will produce some trophysized “humpbacks” up to 25 “ on baited jigs or gulp. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure and fish around slack tide (stay close to the bottom) to find these beautiful and awesome eating fish. They will eat anything you provide them (clams).

SCUP (porgy) fishing is good. These “Reef Slammers” are measuring 10-18 inches (“hubcap size”) in length being reported at every fishing pier, reef or rock pile in the Sound. Try Gardners Island, Milford (Charles Island), Montauk and Niantic (Bartletts and Hatchetts Reef). Porgy fishing has also been reported at these very accessible shore fishing locations: 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”. These “panfish of the sea” are easily caught on sandworms/cut squid or any other small piece of bait. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.

BLUEFISH fishing has improved on the major reefs and rip areas. Vertical jigging diamond jigs in deep water locations and using fresh bunker chunk baits on three way rigs in shallow water has been the ticket. Typical bluefish fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, the Race, Thames River, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, lower Connecticut River (CT DEEP Headquarters Fishing Pier), Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor and upper reaches, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

SNAPPER BLUEFISH fishing is improving daily in the tidal creeks and rivers. The DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and Fort Trumbull fishing pier are two great spots to bring kids fishing & crabbing. Look for the schools of “peanut” bunker and you will find the snappers.

BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) fishing is pretty good this summer. There are plenty of these “Reef Bullies” around the local reefs and pilings. The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches. Tautog love eating crabs and mussels…try green, Asian and hermit crabs for bait. Look for “Togs” over shellfish beds, pilings with mussel beds and rock (reef) piles (10 to 45 ft). The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches.

STRIPED SEAROBIN fishing continues to be steady for this “hardhead fish with spines and large pectoral fins”. Also, called “Poor-Man’s Lobster”, these fish are very common especially when bottom fishing at many of Connecticut’s shore fishing sites. With fish measuring over 22 inches and “barking up a storm” (grunting noise they make when handling them). They love sandworms, squid and any live or dead bait. They are also very good to eat. There are videos on how to clean/fillet these tasty eating fish.

BLUE CRAB fishing is good. Many crabs are molting and growing larger as we speak. Time to get out and try your favorite spot and enjoy the scenery and catch some crabs for dinner (crab cakes). There are a lot of smaller under-sized crabs out there. Remember… all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for most updated information (local hot spots), legal crab traps and bait to use for your fun-filled crabbing. Legal gear types include: scoop (dip) net, hand line, star crab trap, circular (topless) trap not exceeding 26 inches in diameter. Maryland Style crab traps are prohibited. Chicken with the skin on it (along with a long handle net) is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs.

NOTABLE CATCHES:

  • American Eel 40” 5 lb 3 oz Alyssa Zuppe

     

  • Smooth Dogfish 42” 9 lb 2 oz Jennifer Zuppe

     

  • Smooth Dogfish 47” C&R Joselin Braun

     

  • Tautog 26” 11 lb 6 oz Jennifer Zuppe

     

  • Blue Crab 8.5” 1lb 1oz Alyssa Zuppe

Courtesy of CTDEEP

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