STRIPED BASS fishing is very good as we approach the “Hunters” full moon. It’s time for shore anglers to hit the SURF, especially at coastal state parks. The fall season is starting off strong, with many shore anglers catching bass on top water at Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities. These bass are migrating and feeding heavily on all the bait. You can have great success during the daytime, especially under overcast skies. The top water technique has produces some very big bass recently (49 inches – 41 pounds, (DEEP Marine Headquarters, Old Lyme).
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” striped bass 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. Please use circle hooks when fishing with bait (prevent gut hooking) and practice catch & release.
BLUEFISH fishing is very good. Throw a top water plug/popper and hang on. They can be found throughout the Sound (find the birds). Still a lot of bluefish cruising the lower estuaries, rivers and beaches feeding on menhaden/anchovies.
Bluefish fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, the Race, Thames River, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor and upper reaches, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, Norwalk Islands and Cable and Anchor Reef. Atlantic mackerel and bunker (Atlantic menhaden) are good bait choices.
BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) Fishing is good throughout LIS! The warmer water temps have made fishing interesting. Fish shallow water, (less than 30 ft). Rocky reefs, rock piles, and wrecks have been producing great tog fishing action. As the water temperatures drop, tog will move off into deeper water. Any of the rocky reefs, rock piles, and wrecks in LIS will hold tog. Green, Asian or Hermit Crabs will work. Consider putting the crab (bait) on a jig (1/4 to 1 ounce).
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