22 June 2018

• CT DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 21 June 2018


STRIPED BASS fishing is good. The approaching full moon should provide phenomenal striped bass fishing. Recently there was a 51 pound striped bass caught from shore in Old Lyme. Qualify for the CT Trophy Fish Award Program. The big fish keep on rolling in to feed on the abundant bait populations (squid and sand eels). It’s also impressive to see how many anglers are catching and releasing so many of these trophy striped bass.

Dawn and dusk is prime time for large stripers on the reefs, rip areas and lower coastal tidal rivers. Live lining eels, bunker or hickory shad has been the ticket. There is some bunker throughout LIS including the tidal rivers to hold fish.

Striper areas include the Watch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River (Great Island), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Westbrook, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Charles Island area, Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

PORGY [Scup] fishing is very good in Long Island Sound. It is much better on the southeast corner of Montauk in approximately 30 feet of water. There are huge schools of scup in relatively shallow water. Hook up with your local party/charter boat to get into some of the best fishing ever! These scup are very large and delicious to eat!

Seriously, try fishing for some “reef slammers” and enjoy some great fishing...there are lots of scup around for all. Porgies measuring 13-18 inches (“hubcap size”) have been caught! Porgy fishing has also been reported at these shore fishing locations: Rocky Neck State Park, Harkness Memorial State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and 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 tackle shop for updated fishing information.

FLUKE [Summer Flounder] fishing is hit or miss for “keepers” in Long Island Sound. The area north of Montauk (40-60 feet) is producing good numbers of fish…fluke up to 13 pounds this week. Mid to western LIS anglers are still reporting good numbers of sub-legal sized fish and a few keepers mixed in, up to 5 pounds. (Norwalk/Stratford/New Haven/Woodmont area).

Fluke spots include south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Watch Hill to Napatree Point, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Gardiners Bay over to Greenport, NY, Twotree Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor to West Haven, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Norwalk Islands, and across over to Port Jefferson, NY. Try drifting with a white or pink Bucktail Jig and attach 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.

BLACK SEA BASS BLACK SEA BASS fishing continues to keep on getting better, showing no signs of slowing down. Fishing over any deep water structure (gnarly bottom preferred) in 30 to 75 ft. around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks”. Fish shallower and you will catch plenty of keeper-sized sea bass along with fluke and sea robins. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure to find these beautiful and awesome eating fish. Berkely Gulp (swimming mullet), on a jig along with squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”. Minimum size is 15 inches and the daily creel limit is 5 fish per person.

BLUEFISH fishing is improving with more and more bluefish arriving from the Montauk area, after feeding on scup and squid. The Race, Plum Gut, many of the major rocky reefs, rips, and shoal areas in LIS will harbor bluefish. Speed squidding diamond jigs, trolling parachute jigs or umbrella rigs, and using fresh bunker or hickory shad chunks on three-way bottom rigs have all been effective. Other bluefish spots include the Sluiceway, Gardiners Bay, Peconic Bays, and the north shore of Long Island along with the Stratford Shoal area. My recommendation is to hook up with a Party or Charter Boat and enjoy some of the best FISHING you will ever experience. These “Alligator Blues” are one of the hardest fighting fish you will ever reel in. Snappers (juvenile bluefish) have not arrived yet!

WEAKFISH fishing continues to keep on plugging along with some very nice fish reported in the central and western sound. Good fishing in New Haven Harbor by the breakwaters over to Woodmont/Milford Point and along Stratford shoals. One of the best eating saltwater fish you will ever catch.

STRIPED SEA ROBIN 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 fish measuring over 23 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.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is very good in the Black Hall River, lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and in Clinton Harbor. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with schoolie striped bass. They move up and down the river systems with the tide. Flood or the beginning of the Ebb tide is typically the best and lures of choice are a willow leaf (silver or copper), Kastmaster (single hook), small plastic jigs (white, red or chartreuse), and or shad darts in various colors. You will be impressed with these “high flyers”. Its great shore fishing and you get to meet a lot of anglers and trade fishing stories (“secrets”).

BLUE CRAB are becoming active in the tidal creeks and rivers. However, fishing is really improving for keepers (7.5 inches). Expect a very good year following a relatively warm winter and good survival of juvenile crabs.
There are some large “jimmies” (male crabs) being captured (7 inches spike to spike). Remember… all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for most updated information (local hot spots), legal crab traps and bait to use for your fun-filled crabbing. 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.

,Read the full report at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

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