02 July 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 02 July 2015

STRIPED BASS fishing...its game on...with the full “buck” moon this weekend. A huge 65 pound (55 inch) striper was caught this week in Stratford on a live menhaden. These large “cow” stripers are now found throughout the sound. Hit your favorite spot (reef) and hang on... Live eels, bucktails and diamond jigs on the larger reefs at the beginning and end of the tides (The Race) is producing. 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. Please use circle hooks when fishing with bait (prevent gut hooking) and practice catch and release.

BLUEFISH fishing continues to be slow. Harbor Blues (15 - 24 inches) are the only game in town. Bluefish spots include the Peconics, 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 are arriving in the tidal creeks and rivers.

FLUKE fishing remains fair to good. Anglers targeting fluke report that skates, searobins (striped and northern), and dogfish continue to be very common. Try fishing the mouth of lower rivers...along the channel and across the channel mouths (25 - 40 feet). 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, Two Tree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic River and bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor including by the breakwaters. Also, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Bridgeport harbor, round the Norwalk Islands, Westport (off Sherwood Island) and Can 26 (Greenwich). Pink, white 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 11-17.5 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, Harkness State 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 remains good. The hot spot continues to be Falkner Island/Guilford/Branford and area islands. Fishing over deep water structure/cobble/gravel in 80 to 120 ft around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks”. Angler’s reporting abundant sub-legal sized fish 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. Berkely Gulp (swimming mullet) on a spro jig and also squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”.

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

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

WHITE PERCH fishing remains good. Perch are found in estuaries, tidal rivers and coves along the Connecticut shoreline. Productive spots include the Pawcatuck River (Stanton Weir Pit/Point), Mystic River, upper Thames River and Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, North/South Cove and Hamburg Cove. Grass Shrimp and or a small piece of sandworm fished on the bottom are the keys to success. A trophy 14.5 inch, 2 pound 4 ounce white perch was caught at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme on a piece of sandworm. You can collect grass shrimp with a minnow net along the shoreline where marsh or eel grass is growing. They love to cling to the grass or dock pilings.

BLUE CRAB fishing is slowly improving in the tidal creeks. There have been some very large “jimmies” (male crab with its T-Shaped apron) reported (seven and one half inch carapace width) in lower tidal creeks. The “Sooks” (mature female crab) and sallys’ (immature 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. Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for updated information, 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 is an awesome bait to capture these tasty crabs.…

Read the full article at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

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