05 August 2016

• CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report 04 August 2016

STRIPED BASS fishing is improving daily after the new moon, especially in the lower tidal rivers during dusk and dawn. Casting swimming lures, surface poppers, and bouncing jigs off the bottom in the shallows at low light has been productive. Also, live lining bunker (Atlantic menhaden), hickory shad or scup on the reefs has been effective on “cow” bass.

The usual striper 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, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor and the upper reaches, 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.

FLUKE fishing is fair with some big fish caught off Montauk measuring in the mid to high 20 inch range being reported. Shore anglers give Fort Trumbull a try...there have been some very impressive fluke caught there.

Summer flounder 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, Twotree 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 during the flood tide, and around the Norwalk Islands.

BLACK SEA BASS fishing has become a deep water bite. Eastern Sound (Fishers Island to Block Island) anglers are having better success. A reminder to all anglers...If you are fishing in water deeper than 100’, barotrauma can cause released fish to struggle to make it back to the bottom. A descending devise such as the Shelton Fish Descender can help assist the sea bass air bladder to recompress and get safely back down to the depths. See Fishsmart.org for more information.

PORGY fishing is very good throughout Long Island Sound. Any spot with hard bottom (structure) is worth fishing on. The mouth of the Housatonic River to Charles Island, Morningside (Milford), St Mary’s by the Sea and Stratford wall (shore spot) is good. Fishing from shore try Stratford Seawall at high tide. Rocky Neck State Park, Harkness Memorial State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett, Sherwood Island 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.

BLUEFISH fishing is improving daily. The time is now to plan a “deep sea” fishing trip with a party charter boat in your area and fish for those “alligator” sized blues. The Race, Pigeon Rip, Plum Gut, many of the major rocky reefs, rips, and shoal areas in eastern LIS are the best bets at this time. Fishing is slowly improving in the Central and Western Sound. Hopefully, in time for the “Big Bluefish Tournament” coming up in few weeks.

Diamond jigs, trolling parachute jigs or umbrella rigs, and using fresh bunker or hickory shad chunks on three-way bottom rigs have all been effective. Other bluefish spots include the Sluiceway, Gardiners Bay, Peconic Bays, and the north shore of Long Island along with the Stratford Shoal Housatonic River area. My recommendation is to hook up with a Party or Charter Boat and enjoy some of the best fishing you will ever experience. There is no harder fighting fish in the sea.

Snappers” (juvenile bluefish) along with “Harbor Blues” (16 - 22 inches) are also very common along all shore locations. These under sized bluefish provide great sport for shore anglers. Try the lower reaches of tidal rivers and estuaries...you will be glad you did.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is very good once again. They are back in a big way as one angler remarked. Fishing remains good at Fort Trumbull, Black Hall, Lieutenant River and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier). Both snappers and hickory shad can be found schooling together at these locations.

BLUE CRAB fishing is excellent on the flood tide. With some patience...you can catch a lot of blue crabs of all sizes. There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (8.8” spike to spike) along with some impressive sooks (females up to 7.25 inches carapace width). Remember... remember, all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Blue crab fishermen please release all diamondback terrapins’ caught in your traps. The turtles must be released without avoidable injury.. 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) and a small circular crab trap is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs.

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

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

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