25 May 2018

• CT DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 24 May 2018...AND...Don't Be One of the 402 Who Will Die In Traffic This Weekend

STRIPED BASS fishing is excellent…the full migration is on. Bass are still migrating slowly and chasing new bunker schools on Long Island Sound’s western side—but they are headed east. Sand Eels have made their way to our shores, especially in Stratford, Milford, West Haven and New Haven. A favorite spot for stripers in May and June is the West Haven Sand Bar and specifically Sandy Point Beach and Sandy Point Audubon Society Beach. The lot has been upgraded and self-service parking meters have been added by the town - and they do enforce - so feed that meter.

They are really loving soft swim baits still with lead heads. And fishers have had luck recently bouncing soft plastics with heavier bodies and led on the bottom of the water column. There was one report of a new arrival weighing 50-pounds that was caught mid-Sound in the Stamford area. Atlantic menhaden (bunker) schools are a little scarce and spread out and they are also infiltrating the western Sound. But with the recent weather temps, all of our favorite fish will be invading us via Block Island Sound on the eastern part of Long Island Sound.

Larger striped bass are still moving out of the Hudson and headed into Long Island Sound. They are especially prevalent between Mamaroneck, NY and Rye, NY to the Housatonic River. Dunking fresh Atlantic menhaden chunks (Bunker) in 50-feet of water mid-sound is producing keepers up to 50-pounds. Plugging has rapidly picked up and the Housatonic River is still on fire. Although the Connecticut River is lagging slightly behind, schoolie striper action is still hot and larger cow bass are starting to move in.

Bass are being caught at the brand new Fort Nathan Hale Pier with sand worms (sand worms have been working better than night crawlers) and striped bass are also getting reeled in at Sandy Point West Haven, CT DEEP Marine Fisheries HQ Pier, Norwalk’s Calf Pasture Beach Pier, Gulf Beach Pier in Milford and Branford Point. Focus on the river mouths and surrounding beaches close to shore.

It would be a good idea to start switching from small soft plastics, to larger soft plastics and swimming plugs. Small jigs and Sluggos will do the trick as well. The lower Housatonic, Connecticut River, Thames River and large bays/harbors (New Haven) are holding a lot of bunker (bait). Striper spots include Hempstead, Mamaroneck, Execution Rocks, Stepping Stone, the Weather Buoy, Can 32A, Pawcatuck River, Mystic River, Thames River, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and Dock and Dine), Black Hall River, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Housatonic River and Norwalk/Saugatuck Harbor including the islands.

Try trolling bunker spoons on the reefs or better yet toss a chunk of bunker. Sand and blood worms have been working the best for “schoolie” bass. Casting swimming lures (SP Minnow – bone & sand eel color), small jigs (Chartreuse color) with twister tails, soft baits, and Kastmasters and other metal lures will all work. The evening/night bite is fantastic with bait, including eels. The top-water fishing continues to be fantastic…Cotton Cordell pencil poppers in bone, blue back or black color. Check out your local bait and tackleshop for bait.

Striped bass are being caught from piers along the Connecticut coast, including the new, fabulously designed, Fort Nathan Hale Pier. In fact, at Fort Nathan anglers are not just catching 38” plus stripers, they’re also catching keeper scup, in ranges of 13” - 16”. Other striper spots include the Pawcatuck River, Mystic River, Thames River, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and Dock & Dine), Black Hall River, New Haven Harbor (Nathan Hale Fishing Pier, Sandy Point), the Sound School Fishing Pier, Housatonic River and Norwalk Harbor including the islands.

Sand and blood worms have been working the best, especially in turbid waters around the incoming tide. Casting swimming lures, small jigs (Chartreuse color) with twister tails, soft baits, and Kastmasters and other metal lures will also work. Please use circle hooks when fishing with bait to prevent gut hooking and practice catch & release.

SCUP (porgy) fishing is awesome south of Gardiners Island and the other north shore bays. Scup are piled up in Gardiners Bay, Cherry Point, Napeague Bay and the Peconics (Little Peconic) for spawning. For those who want to stay close to home…Scup are slowly inhabiting all the local Long Island Sound reefs. Try sandworms or clams. Time to plan a trip on a party/charter boat in CT. CT Party Boat Association. I mean giant porgies measuring 14-18 inches (“hubcap size”) have been caught!

Porgy fishing has also been reported at these shore fishing locations: Todd’s Point, Calf Pasture beach Pier, Sherwood Island State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. These “panfish of the sea” are easily caught on sandworms/cut squid or any other small piece of bait. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information. Scup are being caught on high-low rigs. Although they have been preferring clams this month, try to offer them some squid as well.

WINTER FLOUNDER continues to impress with good numbers of fish being caught. Fishing is good in the Poquonock River, at Bluff Point State Park, Niantic River, The Brothers, Jordan Cove, lower Saugatuck River, Calf Pasture Beach area, Norwalk Islands (Cockonoe) and the channels in Norwalk Harbor.


fishing is good in tidal rivers and coves along Connecticut’s shoreline. Perch spots include the Pawcatuck River, Mystic River, Thames River, upper Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, North/South Cove and Hamburg Cove. Shrimp and small worms are the key to success.


fishing is good overall and improving with the arrival of countless numbers of squid. As squid continue to enter Long Island Sound…fishing will only get better.

Fishing is very good just south of Fishers Island. The largest confirmed report was a doormat, weighing 9.4 pounds. Also as usual, Two-Tree Island fluke fishing is just getting started, but anglers are cranking in some nice keepers. Mid to western LIS anglers reported fluke from 2 to 4 lbs being common. Fluke spots include the typical locations: Smithtown Bay, Buoy #26, south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Napatree Point and along the beach, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Two Tree Island channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay/River, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, West Haven to Woodmont, New Haven Harbor including by the breakwaters, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, and around the Norwalk Islands.

Since squid are coming in, offering a live one on the bottom (10-40 feet) would be a good move for catching that big slab “doormat” fluke! Try drifting with a white or pink Spro Bucktail jig with a Berkely 3”- 4” Gulp Mullet in chartreuse, white or pink color. Fresh squid and or silversides (spearing) have also been producing. Minimum size is 19 inches and the daily creel limit is 4 fish per person. Time to get the boat, and fishing gear ready for some phenomenal early season fluke fishing.


fishing is good at West Haven Sand Bar, Milford and Stratford Beaches including Stratford's Long Beach and Charles Island in Milford. Try small Daiwa SP Minnows as the tide changes from slack to outflow. The weakfish have also arrived at Pennfield Reef in Fairfield and at the mouth of Blackrock Harbor. Small lures like Super Spook Lures or Talking Poppers have been effective. Look for these awesome eating fish in Guilford/New Haven Harbor over to the Milford/Stratford area along with the Peconics (NY) and South of Plum Island on sandy bottom.


fishing is pretty good in LIS. The early season hot spots are Falkner Island, the Middlegrounds, Buoy 32A, Green Ledge Lighthouse, Cockenoe Islands, Six Mile Reef and from New Haven to Woodmont. Fishing over any deep water structure in 30 to 100 ft around slack tide will produce some trophysized “humpbacks”. Fish shallower and you will catch plenty of keeper-sized sea bass. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure to find these beautiful and awesome eating fish. Minimum size is 15 inches and the daily creel limit is 5 fish per person.


the new arrival of spearing (silversides), bunker and sand eels, we are hearing our first reports of bluefish. As you know, bluefish will devour almost anything. Bluefish are around the Norwalk Islands up to 30” and they are entering Long Island Sound from Block Island Sound as well. Reports are also coming in from Seaside Park and the Milford beaches of meal sized bluefish catches. The Race, Millstone Outflow, Plum Gut and the north side of Long Island including Gardiners Bay and the Peconics are the early season hotspots.


fishing is good in LIS for this “hardhead fish with spines and large pectoral fins”. These beautiful and strange looking fish are now very common especially when bottom fishing at many of Connecticut’s shore fishing sites. With many fish measuring over 20 inches, 3 pounds and “barking up a storm” (grunting noise they make when handling them). They love sandworms, squid and any live or dead bait. Please be careful when handling them…be mindful of their spines located on top of their head and gill cover. They are also very good to eat.


fishing is good in the lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with schoolie striped bass and American shad. Flood or ebb tide is best and lures of choice are a willow leaf (silver), kastmaster (single hook), small plastic jigs (white or chartreuse), and or shad darts in various colors.
Read the full report at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

• Please Be Careful This Weekend

“The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is a deadly one on the road…

“The National Safety Council has released estimates indicating that 402 fatalities are expected during the holiday period, which which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NSC

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