10 September 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 10 September 2015

STRIPED BASS fishing should improve with the approaching NEW moon (Sept 13th) bringing some very large “cow” bass close to shore. Try shore fishing at your local coastal state park or public shore fishing access area. Boat 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 (shore fishing), 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. Fishing is consistent in the Race and Plum Gut. Also, large bluefish continue chasing 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. Large “Choppers” up to 16 lbs have been reported.

Other bluefish boat fishing 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. Shore spots include Meigs Point Hammonasset, Ocean Beach State Park (New London), Seaside Park (Bridgeport) and CT Audubon Center (Milford).

Harbor blue fishing has really improved throughout the Sound. Find the birds diving for food and you will find these sub-adult bluefish (14-20 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 at many shore locations. Interestingly, they are much larger in the western sound (6-10 inches) when comparing them to the central and eastern sound snappers (4-6 inches). Look for the schools of “peanut” bunker/bait and you will find the snappers.

FLUKE fishing is good in deeper water of 90+ feet as they begin their migration towards Montauk and points further south. 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.

BLACK SEA BASS and PORGY fishing remains good to excellent on any of the major reefs in LIS. Fishing in deeper water (80+ feet) over gnarly bottom is your best bet for bigger black sea bass. Shore fishing spots for scup Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities. 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).

ATLANTIC BONITO and FALSE ALBACORE fishing is sporadic... here today and gone tomorrow is the news. Small tuna have been reported cruising from Watch Hill to Pine Island (including Fishers Island Sound), the Race to Little Gull Island, and from Bartlett Reef to Black Point. Early morning dawn patrol is the best time to fish for these speedsters!

HICKORY SHAD fishing continues to be slow. 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. 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 slowly, hold on for the hard strike and the shad jumping out of the water.

BLUE CRAB fishing remains slow for keepers. There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (8 inches spike to spike, Westbrook area). Remember...all egg-bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. 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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