20 July 2018

• CT DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 19 July 2018


STRIPED BASS fishing remains solid 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 sort of 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. Plenty of schoolie bass have been 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 and lower coastal tidal rivers with live bait for the best results

PORGY [Scup] fishing has been incredible this past week with lots of monster scup (~15”) 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 hubcap-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 easily strip your bait if there is too much hanging off.

BLUEFISH fishing has picked up and there are plenty of harbor blues close to shore as well as some gator-sized blues being taken amongst the schools of harbor blues. Snapper blues have moved into shallow estuaries and the mouths of tidal rivers, and snapper poppers as well as small kastmasters have proved effective. Snappers were biting at the Old Saybrook Causeway with many of them in the 4” range along with large schools of larger snappers (~10”) and harbor blues feeding on small baitfish.

BLACK SEA BASS fishing has slowed down significantly since last week especially in eastern and central LIS, with a far lower number of keepers; however the activity is expected to get better in the coming weeks. Fishing with high – low rigs with squid strips, gulp, or clams has proved to be the best way to land keeper sized sea bass. Some of the recent hot spots include Six Mile reef, Stratford Shoals, and Middleground for awesome bass action. Fishing deep structure at slack tide has produced some trophy sized black sea bass, scup, and the

FLUKE [Summer Flounder] fishing in L.I.S. remains fair but seems to be slowly picking up 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 rare. The big ones are being caught on bucktail jigs with gulp mullet, mummichogs, and fresh squid strips. Some of the hot spots for fluke fishing from shore include Cini Park in Niantic, Saybrook Point in Old Saybrook, and Branford Point in Branford. 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 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, bunker strips, and gulps

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 lineand 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 egg-bearing females must be released back into the water as it is mating season for the blue crabs. Soft shell crabs that are in the molting process can be kept at a length of 3.5” tip to tip. Blue crab season is open until November 30th, so there will be plenty of opportunities to fill your freezers with some good eating crabs, especially when the water warms up in August.

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

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