17 July 2018

• CT DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 12 July 2018


STRIPED BASS fishing is still good with many schoolie bass being caught close inshore, and some large bass (40” +) being caught in the CT river and out in deeper water on rips and structure near the Race and Plum Gut. The ticket for landing some of these large bass seems to be live bait such as eels or bunker, and working structure with bucktail jigs with some a gulp or tail on it to give it some live action.

The best striper fishing has been occurring at both the early dawn and late night. There have been plenty of schoolie bass caught from shore and they consistently smash soft plastic lures in skinny water. When targeting large striped bass be sure to fish good structure such as reefs (rip areas) and lower coastal tidal rivers with live bait for the best results. If you don’t have access to a boat and are fishing from shore, there has been plenty of success at some of the Enhanced Shore Fishing Sites. Specifically, Calf Pasture Beach Pier and sandbar, Seaside Park, Bond’s Dock, Silver Sands Beach, Gulf Beach Pier and Gulf Beach jetty, New Haven’s Fort Nathan Hale Pier and Sandy Point (West Haven Sandbar) and Old Saybrook Point have been productive. Please use circle hooks when fishing with bait (prevent gut hooking) and practice catch & release.

PORGY [Scup]fishing has been incredible this past week with lots of monster scup (~14”) being caught in deeper waters with fishable structure such as rock piles, reefs, and wrecks. Some of the hot spots for scup by boat are Middleground, Six-Mile Reef, and Greens Ledge Lighthouse. Enhanced shore fishing sites such as Fort Nathan Hale, Branford Point, and Calf Pasture Beach Pier have been housing a surprisingly large amount of scup. The ticket to catching these hub cap sized scup is using high-low rigs with squid strips, sand worms, and clams. Make sure to use small pieces of bait on your hooks when targeting scup as they will strip your bait easily if you leave too much hanging off. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.

BLUEFISH fishing has picked up and there are plenty of harbor blues to be caught close to shore and there are some gator sized blues being taken amongst the schools of harbor blues. There have been sightings of snapper blues in shallow water estuaries and at the mouths of tidal rivers. The mouth of the Connecticut River on popper rigs and small kastmasters, will likely provide results, many of the fish are in the 4” range at this point in the season.

BLACK SEA BASS fishing has remained excellent this past week with many large fish being taken, and plenty of anglers are quickly limiting out on sea bass out in deeper water (60’-100”). Fishing with high – low rigs with squid strips, gulp, or clams has proved to be the best way to land lots of keeper sized sea bass. Sea bass ction to the East of the Connecticut River has picked significantly over the last few weeks. Some of the recent hot spots in the Central and Western sound include Six Mile reef, Stratford Shoals, and Middlegrounds. Fishing deep structure at slack tide has produced some trophy sized black sea bass, scup, and the occasional summer flounder. Remember to move from structure to structure when targeting these “sea biscuits” to find some hot action.

FLUKE [Summer Flounder] fishing in Long Island Sound remains fair at best but there has been some successful anglers during the past week with some keeper sized fluke being caught both from shore and by boat. There are plenty of short fluke being caught in the 14” range but currently keeper sized fluke 19”+ are few and far between. The big ones are being caught on bucktail jigs with gulp mullet, and fresh squid have also produced some doormats. Some of the hot spots for fluke fishing from shore include Cini Park and Mago Point on the Niantic River and Saybrook Point in Old Saybrook. When fishing from a boat remember to get out into deeper water and jig bucktails and fluke rigs along the bottom with fresh squid or gulp while drifting. When targeting fluke from shore remember that enhanced shore fishing sites allow you to harvest smaller fluke (minimum 17”) which gives anglers a better shot at hooking into a fish that is legal size to keep, so be sure to be on the lookout for these enhanced sites to take advantage of the opportunity.

STRIPED SEA ROBIN fishing is always good in Long Island sound, and there seems to be an abundance of very large sea robins being caught while anglers are targeting other species such as scup, sea bass, and fluke. They are aggressive feeders and will eat just about anything you drop down, but they especially love squid, sandworms, and bunker strips. Contrary to popular belief that they are a “trash fish” that people generally do not eat, they are actually very tasty to eat with mild, white meat in the tails and are referred to as “poor man’s lobster” by anglers who harvest these fish. Keep some of these “birds” in your cooler on your next trip and try them out, you may be surprised.

WHITE PERCH…no report

MACKEREL…no report

BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) fishing remains slow as anglers try to target these delicious fish with green, Asian, and hermit crabs amongst the rock walls and jetties. The minimum size to keep tog is 16” with a daily creel limit of 2 per angler.

BLUE CRAB are becoming more prevalent in tidal rivers as the water warms up, and we can expect to see plenty keeper sized crabs (5” tip to tip) by the end of July. These crabs are super fun to catch with a hand line and a scoop net, and is a great activity to get the whole family out on the water. Catching and harvesting blue crabs does not require a fishing license, but remember that all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury, and the 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 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.

WEAKFISH…no report
Read the full report at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

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