29 September 2016

• CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report 29 September 2016

• STRIPED BASS fishing will improve as the NEW moon approaches. Tis the season for catching large (50 to 60 pound) migrating striped bass during the daytime, especially under overcast skies. Trolling weighted jigs (Chartreuse) with a yellow pork rind and or live lining bunker (Atlantic menhaden) in 15 to 40 feet of water. I like dunking a live eel on the reefs/shoal areas during the late afternoon /evening hours. This technique has produces some very big bass recently (52 inches – 48 pounds, (Outer Bartlett Reef/Norwalk Islands).

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, 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.

• BLUEFISH fishing is quite honestly unbelievable. Go out there and catch one of hardest fighting fish in the sea. They can be found throughout the Sound (you got to find the birds). Large numbers of bluefish are cruising the lower estuaries, rivers and beaches feeding on menhaden/anchovies. The “top-water” bite continues to be very good (look for the “blow-ups."

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, Norwalk Islands and Cable and Anchor Reef.

• SNAPPER BLUEFISH fishing is still better in the western sound (Milford to Greenwich) with fish measuring 5 to 12 inches in length.

• BLACK SEA BASS fishing is heating up with the fall bite/migration on. Hit every favorite wreck/reef/hump, to find good numbers of these tasty bottom fish. Better yet, plan a trip on a party/charter boat trip to fish between Block Island and Montauk...there are many giant-sized (4 – 6 pounds) 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 (Falkner Island) and Fishers Island 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 Closed in CT.

• PORGY fishing is is still the best bet in town. All the party boats are targeting them...that’s how plentiful they are. Spend time chumming...this will improve your success. Try these nice shore fishing areas (incoming tide better); Morningside, and Woodmont (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, Gulf Beach Pier, Bonds Dock (Stratford) 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, Charles island 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 very good throughout the sound. These small tunas are fast movers, quickly moving to different locations to locate them is important. However, the action in CT is heating up and many fish have moved into the central/western Sound. Still some big catches of these small tunas have been reported from Pine Island, Bluff Point, Groton Long Point and points west from Milford, Norwalk to Darien. Shore anglers are scoring at Ocean Beach, Seaside Park, Harkness Memorial , Hammonasset, Rocky Neck State Park and also at Sherwood Island State Park.

These small tunas are also cruising around from Pt. Judith, Watch Hill to Bluff Point (including Fishers Island Sound), the Race to Little Gull Island, from Bartlett Reef to Black Point. Dawn and dusk is typically the best time to fish for these inshore tunas but they can be caught during the daytime. They are feeding heavily of young of the year transparent anchovy. Try casting metal (heavy) lures (Swedish pimple, albie snacks and Epoxy jigs) to fish on the surface. A quiet approach and finding birds (gulls/terns) actively feeding is the key to a successful trip. Jigging for them also works when they are close to the bottom.

• WEAKFISH fishing is surprisingly good in the central and western sound. Falkner and Goose Island area is producing some very nice “tide runners”. Many scup/seabass anglers are catching them while bottom fishing. Fish up to 26 inches are being reported from West Haven Beaches/Charles Island area to Norwalk. Also, look for weakfish in Guilford/Madison/New Haven Harbor areas.

• HICKORY SHAD fishing is good in the Black Hall River, Norwalk River and fair in the Lieutenant River, Housatonic River, Norwalk Harbor and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier). Anglers are still waiting for the fall bite to happen, especially shore anglers. Fishing remains good at Fort Trumbull, Black Hall, Clinton Harbor River systems and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier).

• BLUE CRAB fishing is slowing down in the tidal creeks/bays/piers. Many of the large “jimmies” are still up river and have not migrated down. Crabs can still be found climbing the pilings in the evening, especially with an incoming tide. 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.

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

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