STRIPED BASS fishing continues to impress, with very large bass being reported (55 inches). Doesn’t matter what time of the day, daytime fishing under bunker schools is hot. We are transitioning to a nighttime/dawn and dusk bite. The western and central sound is the place to be. Buoy 18 (Stratford) has been a hot spot. The bass fishing will improve in the east as we speak. Legal size Porgies or trolling a Tube and Worm (red) have produced.
Striper spots include the Watch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point (15 to 25 feet), Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River (Great Island to Essex), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, and New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point).
Also, Charles Island area, Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, Cable and Anchor Reef, Stamford Harbor and the Cows off Stamford.
BLUEFISH fishing is fair. Still no real consistent action for trophy “choppers” yet. Early morning and evening times are best especially for some top-water fishing action. Try Millstone and mouth of the CT River for “Harbor Blues” (16 to 22 inches). Other bluefish spots include the Race, Sluicway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, bouys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef. SNAPPERS will be here in 2 – 3 weeks, arriving in the tidal creeks and rivers.
FLUKE fishing is good and getting better with a lot of flatfish to be had. You got to spend some time getting “keepers,” there are a lot (I mean a lot) of “shorts”. A good sign for the future. The summer flounder have transitioned from feeding on squid to now feeding on mantis shrimp. LIS anglers reported fluke from 3 to 4 lbs being common, with a 12 pounder being the largest to date. Anglers targeting fluke report that searobins are extremely plentiful (bait stealers). Time to start fishing deeper ( 30 -70 feet).
Fluke spots include typical fishy locations: Montauk (best spot), south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Napatree Point and along the beach, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Two Tree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay/River, Off Seaside and Waterford beach, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area (Clinton Harbor), Falkner Island area, West Haven to Woodmont, and New Haven Harbor including by the breakwaters. Also, off the mouth of the Housatonic River (Milford), and around the Norwalk Islands.
Try drifting with a white or pink Bucktail Jig and attach a Berkely 3”-5” Gulp (Swimming Mullet) in chartreuse, green, white or pink. Pink colored imitation squid have also been producing well...add a spinner to your fluke rig to create a flash, attracting those big flatfish.Minimum size is 18 inches and the daily creel limit is 5 fish per person. Note: New York has the same summer flounder regulations as Connecticut. However, Rhode Island is already open with an 18 inch minimum length and an 8 fish daily creel limit. Since Rhode Island has a higher daily creel limit than Connecticut and New York please make sure you abide by the state with the most restrictive regulation when crossing (by boat) state boundaries.
PORGY fishing is good...with large “Reef Slammers” measuring 10-18.5 inches (“hubcap size”) in length still being reported at Gardners Island, Milford (Charles Island), Montauk and Niantic (Bartletts Reef). Porgy fishing has also been reported at these very accessible shore fishing locations: Calf Pasture beach, Jennings and Penfield beach, Rocky Neck State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. These “Panfish of the Sea” are easily caught on sandworms/cut squid/conch or any other small piece of bait. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information (see page 14 of the 2015 CT Angler’s Guide).
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is really getting better. The hot spot is Falkner Island. Fishing over deep water structure in 80 to 120 ft around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks”. Fish shallower and you will catch plenty of keeper-sized sea bass. Anglers are reporting “shorts” everywhere...including sand flats/shoals. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure to find these awesome eating fish. Remember, CT black sea bass regulations are as follows...14 inch min. length, 3 fish daily limit from June 1st to August 31 and a five fish daily limit from September 1 to December 31st. Berkely Gulp (swimming mullet) on a jig and also squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”.
STRIPED SEA ROBIN fishing is short of fantastic. “Poor-Man’s Lobster” are found wherever one is fishing for summer flounder (fluke) or sea bass. With fish measuring over 22 inches and barking up a storm. West Haven sand bar and your favorite local beach have been producing for shore anglers. They love sandworms and squid.
HICKORY SHAD fishing continue to be slow after the recent rains. Few fish reported at the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier. It’s anybody’s guess as to where they go. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with schoolie striped bass, menhaden and harbor blues. Flood or Ebb tide is best and lures of choice are a willow leaf (silver), kastmaster (single hook), small plastic jigs (white or chartreuse), and or shad darts in various colors.
WHITE PERCH fishing is good for these tasty panfish related to striped bass. Perch are found in most of the tidal rivers and coves along the Connecticut shoreline. Productive spots include the Pawcatuck River, Mystic River, Thames River, upper Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, North/South Cove and Hamburg Cove. Grass Shrimp and a small piece of sandworm fished on the bottom are the keys to success. Another 14.5 inch 2.3 pound white perch was caught at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme on a sandworm this past weekend under the railroad bridge.
BLUE CRAB fishing is fair in the tidal creeks. All sizes of crabs continue to be found...a good sign for the upcoming summer months of crabbing. There have been some very large “jimmies” (male crab with its T-
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