01 September 2016

• CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report 01 September 2016

• STRIPED BASS fishing remains very good at night. Hook up with a charter boat and learn how to catch those “cow” bass. Live lining bunker (Atlantic menhaden) on the reefs at dawn and dusk still producing some nice bass (50 inches – 54 pounds, (Plum Gut). 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 (Breakwalls) and the upper reaches.

Also, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Milford Point, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef. Don’t have a Boat? Hook up with the many Party or Charter Boats found throughout CT’s shoreline from Greenwich to Stonington.

• BLUEFISH fishing is very good. Large numbers of bluefish found in the lower estuaries and rivers feeding on menhaden. Eastern Sound has seen much better fishing for “alligator–size” blues.

Bluefish fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, the Race, Thames River, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor and upper reaches, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

• SNAPPER BLUEFISH fishing has improved in the tidal creeks and rivers with fish measuring 6 to 10 inches in length.

• BLACKFISH (Tautog) fishing closed on September 1, 2016 and will reopen on October 10, 2016.

• BLACK SEA BASS fishing has been very consistent in the Sound. The sea bass have just finished spawning and are feeding heavily on crabs and small fish throughout Long Island Sound. Plan a trip on a party/charter boat trip to fish off of Block Island...there are many giant-sized sea bass out there. Eastern Sound (Fishers Island to Block Island and northeast of Montauk) anglers are having better success.

For those willing to travel, Block Island Sound is the place to be for humpback sea bass. Closer to home, the rocky reefs from Niantic, to Branford (Faulkner Ilsand) have been consistent all season. 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.

• FLUKE fishing is getting better as fall approaches. They are feeding heavily prior to their migration south for the fall/winter. Fishermen are reporting some very large doormat fluke being caught (13 lbs 8 ozs, central sound). Apparently, the bite is in very shallow water (6 to 25 feet). Hit those beach areas where all the bait is stacked up along the shoreline. Live lining snapper blues in deep water (80 to 100’) is the preferred method by fluke sharpies.

The usual 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.

• PORGY fishing is very good throughout Long Island Sound. They are extremely abundant this year. The central and western Sound is loaded with hubcap size (15+ inches in length) fish. In the west the Norwalk area (Cockenoe Island) is fishing very well. Otherwise, some good locations in the west are: the lower Housatonic River to Charles Island, Morningside (Milford), Coast Guard Jetty at Southport Beach, Rick Jetty at Calf Pasture beach, South Benson Fishing Pier, Sherwood Island, Pleasure Beach Fishing Pier, St Mary’s by the Sea and Stratford wall along with Long Beach (excellent shore spots).

Other shore spots include The Sound School Fishing Pier/Dock, Rocky Neck State Park, Harkness Memorial State Park, Meigs Point, Hammonassett, Sherwood Island State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Fish during the high tide at these shore locations. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”.

• ATLANTIC BONITO & FALSE ALBACORE fishing is sporadic...here today and gone tomorrow is the news. These small tunas are cruising around from Pt. Judith, 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.

• HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair in the Black Hall River/Lieutenant River, Housatonic River and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier). Fishing remains good at Fort Trumbull, Black Hall, Clinton Harbor River systems and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier). Both snappers and hickory shad can be found schooling together at these locations.

• WEAKFISH fishing is surprisingly good in the central and western Sound. Many scup anglers are catching them. Fish up to 26 inches are being reported in the West Haven Beaches and Charles Island area. Also, look for weakfish in Guilford/Madison/New Haven Harbor areas.

• BLUE CRAB fishing fair in all tidal creeks and bays. Many of the large Jimmies (male crabs) have moved upstream. Incoming tide has produced better crab fishing...as the crabs migrate into the shallow water to feed. 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) 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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