Bluefish are throughout LIS and fishing is about peak and remains excellent. There are “Gator-sized Blues” to 16 pounds being reported every day. This is prime time for surf anglers to hook up with some monster choppers roaming along the Connecticut shoreline. Please note: there are schools of adult Bunker throughout the Sound and lower rivers/estuaries…so the feeding frenzy is on!
Striped Bass fishing is challenging with all of the bluefish around. However, fishing continues to improve on the local reefs and tidal rips as water temperatures cool. Many large “Cow Bass” to 57 pounds have been weighed in while fishing the approaching New Moon. Dusk through dawn is your best chance at scoring with large cow bass. However, daytime/late afternoon fishing is getting better by the day. Live lining bunker or eels on three way or fish finder (slip sinker) rigs is the ticket.
The usual spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef, Thames River, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Little Gull Island, outer Bartlett Reef, off Black Point, the “humps” south of Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef including outer SW Reef, Six Mile Reef, the reefs off Madison, Guilford, and Branford, Falkner Island area.
Also New Haven Harbor, Milford Harbor jetties/Gulf Beach, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, the reefs around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
A reminder to anglers…Circle hooks reduce “gut hooking” and most of the time the hook lodges just in the corner of the fish’s mouth for an easy release…an excellent conservation tool which can provide for years of great fishing.
Blackfish fishing season opened on October 10th. The daily creel limit is 4 fish and the minimum length limit is 16 inches. Green crabs, hermit crabs, and Asian shore crabs are preferred baits for hooking these hard fighting “Reef Bullies”. Weighted jigs in white or chartreuse with bait are very effective. Any rock pile/gnarly hard bottom or wreck is perfect tog habitat. Smaller rock piles or structure in shallow water (8’- 15’) produce larger-sized fish early in the fall fishing season. One must be willing to move from reef to reef and be patient while fishing for these wonderful good eating fish. Please be considerate of other anglers and their boats…so everyone can enjoy this great fishery resource.
Porgy fishing is also excellent for these “Reef Slammers” on any local reef and or rock pile throughout Long Island Sound. The time to go is now! Fish in excess of 18 inches in length and four pounds have been caught. Most of the rocky reefs and wrecks throughout LIS will harbor scup. Porgies are a great fish to introduce children to some exciting ”Deep Sea” fishing with the family and or friends! Our coastal state parks are definitely worth trying out! Go to our web site at http://www.depdata.ct.gov/maps/marinefish/fishmap.htm to find fishing locations close to home. Squid, sand worms, conch and small crabs are the bait of choice.
Black Sea Bass fishing is dynamite…very good. “Bucketmouths” of 26 inches and 7 pounds have been reported. The best time for catching humpbacks is around slack tide. For those anglers willing to venture further, Block Island Sound has been red hot! Locate hard (gravel/rock/boulder) bottom in deep water (80 to 130 feet). Clams are the bait of choice along with crabs. Use braided line to feel the bites along with 8 -12 ounces of weight (or a weighted jig) on a tandem rig.
Little Tunny and Atlantic Bonito fishing has been awesome for ”Albies”, or “Hard Tails”, as they feed heavily on Atlantic silversides before migrating south. These small tuna can be found cruising around in Fishers Island Sound, Watch Hill to Wilderness Point, Bluff Point, Pine Island area off the mouth of the Thames River, the Race including Little Gull Island, Bartlett Reef, Harkness Memorial State Park, Jordan Cove to Millstone Point, and the Black Point area. The Western Sound has also enjoyed the fun with these spectacular fish, with anglers reporting good numbers from Fairfield to Norwalk. Artificial lures are the bait of choice.
Fluke fishing is slow with few “Doormats” being captured.
Blue Claw Crabbing has slowed down to pretty much a stop. Some “Jimmies” still hangin around.”