DEEP Fishing Report for June 20: conditions generally good
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing remains good to very good. Places to try include Wyassup lake, Bantam Lake, Hopeville Pond, East Twin Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc, Candlewood Lake, Silver Lake, Miller Pond, Highland Lake, Batterson Park Pond, Burr Pond, Gardner Lake, South Spectacle Pond, Bigelow Pond, Moodus Reservoir, Killingly Pond, Hatch Pond, Leonard Pond, Mudge Pond, Middle Bolton Lake, Quaddick Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Pachaug Pond, Beseck Lake, Cedar Lake, Billings Lake, Maltby Lakes, Lake Saltonstall, Stillwater Pond, Ball Pond, Red Cedar Lake, West Hill Pond, Pickerel Lake, Coventry Lake and Winchester Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Winchester Lake (good fishing, with a 4.4 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (slowing some but still good, anglers just have to work a little harder to find fish), Highland Lake (fair, with only a 3 lb lunker), Lake Zoar (fair, 4.2 lb lunker), Rogers Lake (good action, 3.1 lb lunker), Pattagansett Lake (fair to good, 3.1 lb lunker) and Moodus Reservoir (“tough bite, not many fish, no size”).
SMALLMOUTH BASS catches reported from Highland Lake, Bantam Lake, Middle Bolton Lake, Candlewood Lake, Coventry Lake, Gardner Lake and Squantz Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (has slowed some, but is seasonably good, with several 4 lb smallmouth among the lunkers) and Highland Lake (not many smallmouth in bags), Lake Zoar (some action, including a 3.1 lb lunker).
NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good at Bantam Lake, Lake Zoar and Winchester Lake.
KOKANEE are being caught at West Hill Pond during periods of low light. Try fishing slow at 3 colors of lead line for these great fighters.
WALLEYE are being reported from Batterson Park Pond and Lake Saltonstall.
PANFISH ‐ Now that the sun’s shining, and temperatures should be rising, it’s time to go after these tasty fish. The shallows of your favorite local pond are often the place to fish for sunnies. Use worms, grubs and any type of inexpensive fishing pole or drop line and give these easy to catch fish a go. Kids love this non‐stop action and it will keep them occupied for hours. Larger places worth a try include Amos Lake, Butternut Pond, Hanover Pond, Enders Pond, Anderson Pond, Burr Pond, Halls Pond,
Mirror Lake, Hodge Pond, Howells Pond, Black Rock State Park Pond, Hewitt Pond, Lake Kenosia and Little Pond.
REMINDER TO ANGLERS‐
FISHING IN OR CASTING INTO PERMITTED SWIM AREAS IS PROHIBITED.
State regulations prohibit fishing in or into a swim area that’s been permitted by DEEP. Additionally, vessels cannot be operated within a permitted swim area, and there’s a 100 foot “no‐wake” zone around the perimeter. Swim areas that have been permitted by DEEP will be marked by white buoys with orange markings, and there should be a permit number posted on the buoys. They may or may not have small orange barrier floats to further demarcate the area. Should questions arise concerning the validity of the swim area (no permit numbers or the area appears to have been changed/enlarged or keeps moving), please contact DEEP’s Boating Division at 860‐434‐8638.
Lakes & Ponds – It’s big fish time! Big trout are often caught into mid June. Places to try include West Hill Pond (20‐30 feet down), Congamond Lakes, East Twin Lake (try 35‐40 feet of water), Lake Wononskopomuc (set rigger at 20‐25 feet), Beach Pond (on Big Al’s Streamers), Squantz Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Crystal Lake (target 35‐40 feet), Highland Lake, Candlewood Lake, Stillwater Pond, Mount Tom Pond, Mohawk Pond, Gardner Lake, Coventry Lake and Black Pond (Meriden).
Rivers & streams ‐ Flows in all areas remain above typical late‐June levels (see box on page 3) and several rivers remain difficult or impossible to fish (anglers may want to keep smaller streams and tributaries in mind). With mostly sunny, dry weather forecast for the next few days, conditions should continue to improve. Anglers can check flows for a number of rivers and streams at waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt).
Areas with good reports for fishing last week (in between major rain events) included Leadmine Brook, Pequonnock River, Hockanum River, Pequabuck River and Salmon River. Worms & corn/mealworm combinations were working for bait anglers, and a number of major insect hatches were underway.
Some good reports from last week include the West Branch Farmington & Farmington (mid‐week), Housatonic River (for several days flows had dropped to fishable levels), Hammonasset River, Quinebaug River, Salmon River, Willimantic River, Saugatuck River TMA, Natchaug River, Quinnipiac River and Naugatuck River.
Farmington River – West Branch flows are currently very high (2,720 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River adding 330 cfs) and unfishable as West Branch Reservoir/Colebrook River Lake levels and releases continue to be managed for flood control purposes. There is the possibility that flows may drop to fishable levels over the weekend or sometime early next week depending on lake levels so anglers may want to check the USGS website (waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow) for updated West Branch Farmington River and Farmington River flow information. Water temperatures are in the upper 50’s °F.
Housatonic River – Flows are still turbid and very high (currently 2,640 cfs at Falls Village and 4,240 cfs at Gaylordsville) but are clearing and dropping nicely, and the river may begin to be fishable this weekend. Anglers can call FirstLight Power Resources at 1‐888‐417‐4837 or check the USGS website (waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow) for updated Housatonic River flow information.
Anglers are reminded that the thermal refuge areas on the Housatonic, Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers are closed to fishing as of June 15. These areas will reopen on September 1. There is no fishing within 100 feet of the mouths of posted tributaries to these rivers.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – The river was unfishable for nearly a week due to high flows, turbidity and debris causing unsafe conditions and flooding. Flows have however dropped to fishable levels (although still on the high side) and the river is clearing. STRIPED BASS catches at the mouth of the continued to be up and down due to high flows and turbidity. Trolling tube & worm and casting soft plastics will often work in stained water for those angling from a safe location. The fish are moving out to the reefs.
ZEBRA MUSSELS REMINDER
Zebra mussels are now found in a number of locations scattered throughout the Housatonic River and its impoundments including Lake Lillinonah (since 2010), Lake Zoar (since 2010) and Lake Housatonic (since 2011).
Prior to their discovery in Lakes Lillinonah and Zoar in 2010, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). Anglers fishing in any of these waters and western Connecticut in general should use extra care to avoid transporting water, aquatic vegetation, and possibly zebra mussels to new locations.
For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2013 CT angler’s Guide( www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide).
NOTES & NOTICES:
COLEBROOK RIVER LAKE. The boat launch at Colebrook River Lake is closed until further notice due to high water and possible debris. Boaters should call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at 860‐379‐8234 for updated information.
CONNECTICUT RIVER . The Riverfront Recapture boat launches at Riverside Park and Great River Park have reopened. The Charter Oak Landing launch is expected to reopen to boating use on Friday (6/21).
CONNECTICUT RIVER (Windsor). An Antique Outboard Motor Club, Inc. Club will be conducting a meet to display and run boats and antique outboard motors at the Bissell Bridge state boat launch on the Connecticut River on Saturday, June 22, from 9 am to 4 pm. Although the event will be conducted from the state boat launch, room will be available to the general public to park and launch. Boaters should however use additional caution on the river near the launch.
LAKE LILLINONAH. Lake Lillinonah is back up to typical summer operating levels and both state launches should be usable by trailered boats. Anglers can call FirstLight Power at 1‐888‐417‐4837 for updated lake levels (and Housatonic River flow) information.
LAKE LILLINONAH. A water ski clinic for the disabled is scheduled for Saturday, June 23 in the far upper end of the “Shepaug Arm.” This event run from 9 am to 4 pm, and boaters are asked to take care when passing through this area (marked by buoys) of the lake, and avoid interfering with the event.
LAKE MCDONOUGH & GOODWIN DAM‐WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR. The MDC recreational facilities, including the boat launch, at Lake McDonough has reopened. The West Branch Reservoir facilities remain closed at this time due to conditions (standard flood control measures including releases creating high flow conditions). For more information, including updates, visit the MDC website at www.themdc.com.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the high 50 ‘s to low 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
STRIPED BASS fishing is good at the usual spots: Watch Hill area, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, Thames River, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, humps south of Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison and Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island/Milford area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands. Live lining bunker or eels and casting or trolling the tube and worm combo has been working well for keeper bass.
BLUEFISH fishing is good with fish hitting the scales in the low teens. Fishing spots include the Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, lower Thames River, Millstone warm water discharge, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island north rip, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands.
SUMMER FLOUNDER fishing is rated good with the south side of Fishers Island, north shore of Long Island and New Haven Harbor being the hot spots. There are a lot of sublegal fish “throwbacks” being reported so try to use circle hooks to reduce “gut hooking” fish. Also there appears to be no shortage of SEAROBINS as anglers cull through these notorious “bait stealers”.
SCUP fishing remains fair to good on the major reefs but should improve as water temperatures increase.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing season has opened but fishing reports were not available at this time.
WEAKFISH fishing has improved with catches being reported from the Guilford‐Branford area, New Haven Harbor, Milford/Charles Island area and off the mouth of the Housatonic River.