10 June 2016

• CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report 09 June 2016

STRIPED BASS fishing overall is very good. WOW! What a week. I can’t remember when we have seen so many big cow bass (45 – 61 inches). Jolyn Wiggins tops the charts with a 60 inch beauty of a striper from the central sound. She is to be congratulating for letting that huge striped bass go...thank you for practicing catch & release. Dawn and dusk is prime time for large stripers on the reefs, rip areas and lower coastal tidal rivers. Live lining eels, bunker or hickory shad has been the ticket. There is plenty of bunker throughout LIS including the tidal rivers to hold fish.

Striper areas 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), Westbrook, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Charles Island area, Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

BLUEFISH fishing is finally improving. Bluefish spots include the Race, Plum Gut, Sluiceway, Gardiners Bay Peconic Bays, and the north shore of Long Island. Fresh bunker chunks on three way rigs or speed squidding diamond jigs work well.

FLUKE fishing is improving quickly as the weather warms. The eastern sound is starting to get very good as many summer flounder move off Montauk Point. Mid to western LIS anglers are reporting fluke from 3 to 11 lbs. (Stratford area). Fluke spots include south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Watch Hill to Napatree Point, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Gardiners Bay over to Greenport, NY, Twotree Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor to West Haven, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Norwalk Islands, and across over to Port Jefferson, NY.

Since squid are coming in large numbers, offering a live one on the bottom (10-40 feet) would be a good move for catching that big slab “doormat” fluke and becoming the “Duke of Fluke”. Try drifting with a white or pink Bucktail Jig and attach a Berkely 3”- 4” Gulp Mullet in chartreuse, white or pink color. Fresh squid and or silversides (spearing) have also been producing. Minimum size is 18 inches and the daily creel limit is 5 fish per person.

PORGY fishing is very good around Gardiners Bay. Also, improving throught Long Island Sound. My recommendation is to hook up with a Party or Charter Boat and enjoy some of the best scup fishing you will ever experience. These scup are very large and delicious to eat! Seriously, try fishing on a party boat and enjoy some great fishing...there are lots of scup around for all. Porgies measuring 11-18 inches (“hubcap size”) have been caught! Porgy fishing has also been reported at these shore fishing locations: Rocky Neck State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. These “panfish of the sea” are easily caught on sandworms/cut squid or any other small piece of bait. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.

BLACK SEA BASS fishing is getting hot. A 25.25 inch, six pound beauty was caught on the Lucky lady this past week. The early season hot spot is Falkner Island, central sound, six mile reef and from New Haven to Darien. Fishing over any deep water structure (gnarly bottom preferred) in 60 to 100 ft around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks”. Fish shallower and you will catch plenty of keeper-sized sea bass along with fluke and sea robins. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure to find these beautiful and awesome eating fish. Remember, CT black sea bass regulations are as follows...15 inch min. length, 5 fish daily limit from May 1st to December 31st. Berkely Gulp (swimming mullet) on a jig along with squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”.

WEAKFISH fishing is good in New Haven Harbor by the breakwaters over to Woodmont/Milford Point.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is good in the lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier, Hammonassett and other shoreline locations. Also, try the Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, Baldwin Bridge State Boat Launch, Clinton Harbor, lower Housatonic River and Fort Trumbull. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with schoolie striped bass. Flood or Ebb tide is typically the best and lures of choice are a willow leaf (gold & silver), kastmaster (single hook), small plastic jigs (white or chartreuse), and or shad darts in various colors. You will be impressed with these “high flyers”.

WHITE PERCH fishing is very good for these tasty panfish in most of the tidal rivers and coves along the Connecticut shoreline. Perch spots include the Pawcatuck River, Mystic River, Thames River, upper Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, North/South Cove and Hamburg Cove. Grass Shrimp and a small piece of sandworm fished on the bottom are the keys to success.

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 many of Connecticut’s 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.

BLUE CRAB fishing remains slow for keepers. I expect a good year following a relatively warm winter and good survival of juvenile crabs. 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.

CTDEEP will post the complete report at this site, eventually: CTDEEP

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