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.
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).
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.
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.
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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