21 October 2016

• CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report 20 October 2016

• BLACKFISH fishing is good throughout LIS! The warmer water temps have made fishing interesting. Fish shallow water (less than 30 ft) rocky reefs, rock piles, and wrecks have been producing great tog fishing action. As the water temperatures drop, tog will move off into deeper water. Any of the rocky reefs, rock piles, and wrecks in LIS will hold tog. Green, Asian or Hermit Crabs will work. Consider putting the crab (bait) on a jig (1/4 to 1 ounce). I would highly recommend planning a trip on a party/charter boat trip to fish for tautog this fall.

• STRIPED BASS fishing is very good around the “Hunter's” full moon. It’s time for shore anglers to hit the surf, especially at coastal state parks. The fall season is starting off strong, with many shore anglers catching bass on top water at Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities. These bass are migrating and feeding heavily on all the bait. You can have great success during the daytime, especially under overcast skies. The top water technique has produces some very big bass recently (49 inches – 41 pounds, (DEEP Marine Headquarters, Old Lyme).

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 very good. Throw a top water plug/popper and hang on. They can be found throughout the Sound (find the birds). Still a lot of bluefish cruising the lower estuaries, rivers and beaches feeding on menhaden/anchovies. 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 is excellent. Hit every favorite wreck/reef/hump, to find good numbers of these tasty bottom fish. Angler please be careful when releasing sublegal sea bass. There is lots of them out there...let’s give them a chance to grow, reproduce and get big. 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 is good throughout the Sound. Party/Charter boats are still targeting them...that’s how plentiful they are. Hit the coastal state parks (especially around high tide) and spend time chumming...this will improve your success. Try these nice shore fishing areas (incoming tide better); Morningside, and East Norwalk, 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.

• ATLANTIC BONITO & FALSE ALBACORE continues to be good throughout the sound. Pink and green is the lure color choice. Many anglers are scoring using a Hogy heavy minnow jig in pink. Shore anglers are scoring at Fort Trumbull, mouth of the Thames River, Ocean Beach, Seaside Park, Harkness Memorial , Hammonasset State Park, Rocky Neck State Park. In the west try Compo Beach, Sherwood Island, Burying Hill Beach (Fairfield), Southport Harbor, Shady Beach/ Calf Pasture (Norwalk) and Fayerweather Island in Bridgeport along with Long Beach Stratford.

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 juvenile anchovy. Try casting metal (heavy) lures (Swedish pimple, albie snax and Epoxy jigs) to feeding fish on the surface. A quiet approach and finding birds (gulls/terns) actively feeding is the key to a successful trip. Jigging (1.5oz crippled herring) for them also works when they are close to the bottom and your fish fonder is “lit up."

• 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 fair to good in the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Lieutenant River, and Black Hall River.

• STRIPED SEA ROBIN fishing is fantastic. “Poor-Man’s Lobster” are found wherever one is saltwater fishing. Great fishing from shore...with many fish measuring over 17 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. Please be careful when handling them...be mindful of their spines located on top of their head and gill cover.

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

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

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