27 August 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 27 August 2015

STRIPED BASS fishing should improve around the “Full Sturgeon” moon along the shoreline and lower tidal rivers, especially at dawn as these large bass feed on menhaden during low light conditions.

Fishing 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 (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Six Mile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor and the upper reaches.

Also West Haven, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef. Please use circle hooks when fishing with bait (prevent gut hooking) and practice catch and release when possible.

BLUEFISH fishing continues to be good in the eastern and central sound (Southwest Reef), slower in the western sound. Fishing is consistent in the Race and Plum Gut. Also, large bluefish have been pushing bunker up into harbors and tidal rivers including the Thames River, Connecticut River, upper reaches of New Haven Harbor (West River, Mill River and Quinnipiac River) and the Housatonic River. Choppers up to 15 lbs have been reported. Other bluefish spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Sluiceway, Pigeon Rip, Long Sand Shoal, Six Mile Reef, Falkner Island area, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef. Harbor blues have been feeding on snappers in the lower CT River and providing some fast paced fun fishing for anglers (shore and boat).

SNAPPER BLUES fishing continues to improve as they get larger and larger as the days go by. Fishing around the top of the flood tide has been better. Snappers are now approximately 4-8 inches in length. Look for the schools of “peanut” bunker and you will find the snappers.

ATLANTIC BONITO and LITTLE TUNNY fishing continues to improve in the sound. Some very large “False Albacore” were recently caught in the eastern Sound. These small tunas are cruising around from Watch Hill to Pine Island (including Fishers Island Sound), the Race to Little Gull Island, from Bartlett Reef to Black Point and west to New Haven. Dawn is the best time to fish for these inshore tunas. Try casting metal

FLUKE fishing remains fair to good especially in deeper water of 90+ feet. Live lining snapper blues in the deep water is an effective way to score on late summer doormats. Traditional fluke spots include the south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Napatree Point and along the beach, off the Stonington breakwater, Bloody Grounds, Sound View Beach, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, and south of the Norwalk Islands

PORGY “Reef Slammers” are measuring 14-17 inches (“hubcap size”) in length. Try fishing along fishing piers, any reef or rock pile in the Sound. Seriously, they are everywhere and easy to catch...go out enjoy the fast paced family fun action. Try the Race/Valiant Rock, Gardners Island, Milford (Charles Island), Montauk and Niantic, Millstone, Two Tree island, (Bartletts and Hatchetts Reef) Porgy fishing has also been reported at these very accessible shore fishing locations: Saint Mary’s by the Sea, 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 excellent eating and fun catching “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 continues to be fantastic. Absolutely the best fishing in the Sound. The hot spots continues to be The Race during slack tide/Lower Thames River Reefs/Goshen Reef/Falkner Island/Guilford/Branford Beacon/Southwest Reef/Middle Ground/Stratford Shoal. Fishing over deep water structure/cobble/gravel in 90 to 130 ft around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks on baited jigs or gulp. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure and fish around slack tide (stay close to the bottom) 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 (green or white) on a spro jig and squid with a spinner above works great for these tasty “Bucketmouths”.

STRIPED SEAROBIN fishing continues to be steady for this “hardhead fish with spines and large pectoral fins”. Also, called “Poor-Man’s Lobster”, these fish are very common especially when bottom fishing at Connecticut’s many shore fishing sites. With fish measuring over 20 inches and “barking up a storm” (grunting noise they make when handling them). They love sandworms, squid and any live or dead bait. They are also very good to eat.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is getting better...some nice 18 to 20 inch CT Tarpon have been reported. Try the Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier, Baldwin Bridge State Boat Launch, Clinton Harbor, lower Housatonic River and Fort Trumbull. These ”CT Tarpon” providing outstanding/fun shore fishing for anglers. Tie on a silver willowleaf lure or a small charteuse jig (add a 14-20 inch leader) with a slip sinker above the swivel along with light tackle (6-lb test main line). Cast to current breaks/channels and retrieve the lure and hold on/have fun...

WHITE PERCH fishing spots include the Pawcatuck River (Stanton Weir Pit/Point), upper Mystic River, upper Thames River (Norwich Harbor) and Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, North/South Cove, Hamburg Cove and Housatonic River. Grass shrimp and or a small piece of sandworm fished on the bottom are the keys to success. You can collect grass shrimp with a minnow net along the shoreline where marsh/eel grass is growing or along dock pilings. They love to cling to the grass or dock pilings...just scoop them up and put them on a small hook.

BLUE CRAB fishing remains slow for keepers. There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (7 inches spike to spike). Remember...all egg bearing females must be released with unavoidable harm. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for most updated information (local hot spots), 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 it (along with a long handle net) is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs.

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

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