03 September 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 03 September 2015

STRIPED BASS remains very good at dawn and dusk and also during the nighttime. Smaller sized bass can be caught during daylight hours (Griswold Point). 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, and West Haven.

Also, 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 (maybe with that Humpback whale moving out...fishing will improve in the west). 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 blue fishing has really improved throughout the Sound. Find the birds diving for food and you will find these sub-adult bluefish (12-20 inches) feeding on snappers in the lower rivers and estuaries, providing some fast paced fun fishing for anglers (shore and boat).

SNAPPER BLUES fishing is very good (finally) at many shore locations. They are getting larger and larger as the days go by. Fishing around the incoming flood tide has been better. Snappers are approximately 4-8 inches in length. Look for the schools of “peanut” bunker/bait and you will find the snappers.

FLUKE fishing remains good especially in deeper water of 90+ feet. A 33 inch, 16 pound doormat fluke was caught this week (unofficial state record). 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, mouth of the Mystic River over to Groton Long Point, Two Tree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay including the 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 14-18 inches (“hubcap size”) in length. Seriously, they are everywhere and easy to catch...go out enjoy the fast paced family fun action. Try fishing deeper to catch those really huge scup. 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. You may have to move around and fish deeper as the season progresses. 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. Berkley Gulp swimming mullet (green or white) on a spro jig and squid with a spinner above works great for these tasty “Bucketmouths”.

ATLANTIC BONITO and LITTLE TUNNY fishing is sporadic...here today and gone tomorrow is the news. They are tough to spot in rough seas. Flat seas are the best for sight fishing. 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 (heavy) lures to feeding fish on the surface. A quiet approach and finding birds (gulls/terns) actively feeding is the key to a successful trip.

STRIPED SEAROBIN fishing continues to be fantastic from shore or boat. 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 22 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 slow, however some nice 16 to 21 inch “CT Tarpon” continue to be caught by those who try. 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 (6lb 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.

BLUE CRAB fishing remains slow for keepers. There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (8.5 inches spike to spike, Milford area). 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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