25 June 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 25 June 2015

STRIPED BASS fishing continues to impress...with some large “cow” stripers being caught by anglers using live or chunk Menhaden (bunker). Folks are starting to do well with bucktails and diamond jigs for stripers on the larger reefs at the beginning and end of the tides. Finding the schools are a challenge but if found most are being rewarded.... The usual striper spots include the Watch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River (Great Island), 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, and the Cows off Stamford.

BLUEFISH fishing is slow. Early morning and evening times are best especially for some top-water fishing action. Bluefish spots include the Race, Sluicway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef. SNAPPERS will soon arrive in the tidal creeks and rivers.

FLUKE fishing remains fair to good. Anglers targeting fluke report that skates, sea robins, and dogfish appear to be in plentiful supply. Fluke spots include the typical locations: 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, Twotree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay/River, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, and New Haven Harbor including by the breakwaters.

Also, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Bridgeport harbor and around the Norwalk Islands. Pink and green teasers seem to be producing best. The traditional “fluke sandwich” (long squid strip and spearing) is working as well as mackerel strips.... 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 improving...with “Reef Slammers” measuring 10-17 inches (“hubcap size”) in length still being reported at every fishing pier, reef or rock pile. Try 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, Seaside Park, 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 short of awesome. The hot spot continues to be 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. Angler’s reporting “shorts” everywhere...including on sand flats/shoals. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure and fish around slack tide to find these beautiful and 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. Berkley Gulp (swimming mullet) on a spro jig and also squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”.

BLACKFISH fishing season reopens July 1 in Connecticut waters. The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches. Anglers please note: CTDEEP and Marine Fishing Clubs have been tagging blackfish with yellow American Littoral Society Tags to determine their movements and growth rates. This critical information will help us understand and manage this important resident species. Please record Tag Number, Location (Lat/Long), Length and weight of Blackfish and Date of Capture. www.littoralsociety.org 18 Hartshorne Dr., Ste.1, Highlands New Jersey 07732. Thank you very much for your cooperation and participating in Marine Fisheries Management.

STRIPED SEA ROBIN fishing is very good. “Poor-Man’s Lobster” are found wherever one is fishing for summer flounder (fluke) or sea bass (bottom fishing). With fish measuring over 20 inches and “barking up a storm” (grunting noise). West Haven sand bar and your favorite local beach have been producing for shore anglers. They love sandworms and squid.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair in the Black Hall River, lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier, Clinton Harbor and the lower Housatonic River.

WHITE PERCH fishing is good for this species which is closely 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 trophy 13.5 inch, 2 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 improving 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-
Shaped apron) reported (seven inch carapace width) in lower tidal creeks and rivers. The “Sooks” (mature female crab) will soon be following. Remember...all egg bearing females must be released with unavoidable harm. Min. carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Looks to be a very good crabbing season...contact your local bait and tackle shop for update information, crab traps and bait.

SHARK species you may encounter in coastal waters of connecticut: sand tiger and sandbar (brown) shark are protected and prohibited species and must be released unharmed. if you don’t know, please let it go! please visit the nmfs coastal shark information page for more information.
Read the full article at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

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