17 September 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 17 September 2015

Striped Bass fishing is good at many local coastal state parks or public shore fishing access areas, especially in shallow water along the rocks (bass feeding on abundant prey fish). 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 sporadic for large and harbor blues. Also, bluefish ranging from 5 to 15 pounds 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. 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 Blues (14-20 inches) fishing has really improved throughout lower rivers and bays. Find the birds diving for food and you will find these sub-adult bluefish feeding on snappers or peanut bunker in the lower rivers and estuaries, providing some fast paced fun fishing for anglers (shore and boat).

Snapper Blues fishing continues to be awesome (finally) at many shore locations. Interestingly, they are much larger in the western sound (6-12 inches) when comparing them to the central and eastern sound snappers (4-8 inches). Look for the schools of “peanut” bunker/bait and you will find the snappers.

Black Sea Bass and Porgy fishing remains good...but you got to move from spot to spot and find small or 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 porgy 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 getting better from Niantic Bay to Bluff Point. Small tuna have also 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!

Blue Crab fishing continues to be slow. There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (8 inches spike to spike, Niantic and Milford 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. For more information please see the Blue Crab Fact Sheet on our website.
Read the full article at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

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