STRIPED BASS BASS fishing is very good. It’s time for shore anglers to hit the SURF...locate your favorite coastal state park(s). The fall season appears to be starting off strong, with many charter boat operators commenting on how many large bass there are. These bass are migrating and feeding heavily on all the bait. The best thing is...you catch them during the daytime, especially under overcast skies. Trolling weighted jigs (chartreuse) with a yellow pork rind and or live lining bunker (Atlantic menhaden) in 15 to 40 feet of water. I like dunking a live eel on the reefs/shoal areas during the late afternoon /evening hours. This technique has produces some very big bass recently, 50 inches – 45 pounds, (Goshen Reef & Norwalk Islands).
Striper spots include the Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, 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, 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.
Striped bass are a little pickier than bluefish, but top-water plugs are also working well. There are some large holdover stripers available on top...but the smaller juveniles are really on fire this week. Plastics are very effective on the 14”-24” stripedbass inhabiting our lower rivers this fall. Anglers are having a blast catching smaller striped bass on the Housatonic and Norwalk Rivers. Bait fish like to take refuge in harbors, rivers and estuaries at night, so the rule still goes that the best fishing is at dusk and dawn.
BLACK SEA BASS AND PORGY [Scup] fishing is still phenomenal. I would recommend to get out while it’s good, these excellent eating fish won’t be hanging around forever. Double your chances by using a high-low rig tipped with clams and/or squid. Once you get a bite make sure to set the hook and whether releasing or keeping, be careful of the spines. We highly recommend heavy chumming; although you don't need to feed the entire ocean - chumming really gets black sea bass and scup in a feeding frenzy.
Great porgy fishing this week are; Buoy 32A, Hens & Chickens near Captains Harbor in Greenwich, Fort Nathan Hale Beach (pier under construction), Pleasure Beach Family Pier, Short and Long Beach in Stratford and Silver Sands State Park in Milford, South Benson Pier, Ash Creek, Saint Marys by the Sea, Seaside Park, Fayerweather Island, Sherwood Island State Park, Calf Pasture Beach Pier, Cummings Park, Shippan Point and Todds Point on the southwest side facing New York skyline.
Try your luck at one of CT’s wonderful Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing sites where the length limit for porgy (scup) is 9” as opposed to non-enhanced sites which have the standard 10” length limit. List of some very accessible shore fishing locations are: Calf Pasture beach, Jennings and Penfield beach, Seaside Park, (Milford), Bradley Point Park (West Haven), New Haven, Harkness State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Kimberley Reef (Guilford), Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate
BLUEFISH: The “blitz” is on and bluefish schools mixed with striped bass are reigning supreme. Jennings Beach, Walnut Beach, mouth of the Housatonic, Greens Ledge Lighthouse, Middle-ground (especially Stratford Shoal Lighthouse), The Cows, Sunken Island, the Norwalk Islands, Pennfield Reef, Todds Point, mouth of Rowaytons Five Mile River, Fish Island in Darien, Sasco Beach, Sandy Point, Black Rock Harbor and Gulf Beach Pier and Gulf Beach Break-wall are all excellent striped bass and bluefish locales.
As for bluefish bait, well you could probably could put a taco on your hook and catch one because they are voracious eaters. But Atlantic mackerel and bunker (Atlantic menhaden) are good bait choices.
BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) SEASON IS OPEN! Any of the rocky reefs, rock piles, and wrecks in Long Island Sound will hold tog. Green, Asian shore or hermit crabs all work. Consider putting the crab (bait) on a jig (1/4 to 1 ounce, depending on the depth and current). It will be a shallow water bite (6-30 feet) this early in the season. I would highly recommend planning a trip on a party/charter boat trip to fish for tautog.
If you dunk a green/Asian shore or hermit crab in the water, and there is a Tautog there - you will get a hit. Jigs tipped with a crab is an awesome technique for tautogs hanging tight to the reef. If you're not getting hits, you're fishing in a site void of blackfish, so move to another location (reef). Also try chumming to attract fish. The three break-walls at the entrance to New Haven Harbor sometimes hold very large blackfish. A reef doesn’t have to be named to produce fish.
Read the full report at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
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