• SALMON: In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, from September 1 through November 30, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only. From December 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Areas” is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
• BLACKFISH fishing is very good (Rapid Rock, Race Rock, Sarah’s Ledge, inner Bartlett Reef, Two Tree Island (flood tide), various smaller locations east to Watch Hill. You may want to try rock piles or reefs that are away from the more popular areas to increase your chances of finding a keeper sized fish. Green, Asian or Hermit Crabs will work, especially on jigs. Consider putting the crab (bait) on a chartreuse and orange jig (1.5 – 3.0 ounces in weight/depending on tide and wind). The lighter the jig the better...feel more bites. Use braid in 30-50 lb class and/or a 50 lb fluorocarbon leader (sensitivity to feel the bites is important). Also use a 4/O Gamakatsu hook (Octopus style) when using bait.
• STRIPED BASS fishing is excellent. The Housatonic River is red hot, CT River up to Wethersfield Cove and the upper Thames River (north of Montville). Fish have been migrating into the estuaries and tidal rivers but the reefs in Long Island sound are still producing fish. There is still plenty of Atlantic menhaden (bunker) around that can be used as bait. Live bunker on a three-way or slider rig on the local reefs and rip areas can still provide some results.
Other striper spots include the 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 (Dock & Dine shore fishing access), 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 still good. If you are looking for these “choppers” now’s the time before it’s too late. They can be found throughout the Sound (find the birds). Bluefish fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, the Race, Thames River, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, lower Connecticut River, CT DEEP Headquarters, 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.
• ATLANTIC BONITO & FALSE ALBACORE fishing is good. “They are everywhere” said an eastern charter boat captain. You can find large schools from Millstone Point to Race Rock and the western shore of Fishers Island. Water temperatures are slowly starting to drop, but there are still hanging around. Dawn and dusk is typically the best time to fish for these inshore tunas but they can be caught during the daytime. A quiet approach and finding birds (gulls/terns) actively feeding is the key to a successful trip
• BLACK SEA BASS fishing continues to be excellent on all the major reefs and wrecks throughout Long Island Sound. When releasing fish suffering from “barotrauma”, a buildup of swim bladder gases, try using a recompression tool to help get them back to the bottom quickly. More information is available at FishSmart.org.
• PORGY fishing has started to slow down as fish start their migration to offshore overwintering grounds. Some scup can still be caught on the local reefs or from shore. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”.
• HICKORY SHAD fishing has picked up from last week for some fun fall shore fishing action. Your best chances are in the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), East and West River, Lieutenant River, and Black Hall River.
CTDEEP will post the complete report at this site, eventually: CTDEEP
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