Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report, July 25
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as good to very good in many areas. Night fishing is in full swing and producing many fish. Try black jitterbugs and surface poppers for some explosive strikes. Areas to try include Bantam Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Mudge Pond, Wood Creek Pond, Winchester Lake, Rainbow Reservoir, Congamond Lakes, Lake Wononskopomuc, East Twin Lake, Highland Lake, Park Pond, Pickerel Lake, Rogers Lake, Shelton Reservoir(s), Crystal Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Ball Pond, Squantz Pond, West Hill Pond, Red Cedar Lake, Quonnipaug Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lower Bolton Lake, Pattaconk Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Halls Pond, Hopeville Pond, Griggs Pond, Bigelow Pond, Lake McDonough, Cedar Lake, Kenosia Lake, Mamanasco Lake, Lake Housatonic, Pachaug Pond, Silver Lake (Meriden), Bashan Lake, Hatch Pond, Uncas Lake, Bishop Swamp, Gardner Lake and Lake Hayward. Tournament angler reports are from East Twin Lake (good fishing for two clubs, with 6.13 and 4.2 lb lunkers), Candlewood Lake (good, with 6.09 lb and 5.89 lb lunkers), Rogers Lake (fair, with a 3.1 lb lunker), Glasgo Pond (fair action, with a 3.93 lb lunker, but nothing else of much size), Bantam Lake (fair to good, two bass over 4 lbs each and a number of fish in the 2‐3 lb range) and Long Pond (tough fishing for most, with a 3.2 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS – River smallmouth action reported from the upper Housatonic River (non‐stop action), Farmington River (Tariffville), Quinebaug River and Naugatuck River. Lake & pond smallmouth fishing remains slow to fair with reports from Candlewood Lake, Rainbow Reservoir, Squantz Pond, West Hill Pond, Lake Housatonic, Lake Lillinonah, Lake McDonough, Highland Lake and Mashapaug Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (fair to good, with 4.36 lb and 3.91 lunker smallies) and Bantam Lake (fair).
NORTHERN PIKE action reported from Quaddick Reservoir (slow), Winchester Lake, Bantam Lake (fish to 38 inches caught) and Lake Lillinonah (good catches reported).
WALLEYE are being reported from Squantz Pond, Coventry Lake and Batterson Park Pond.
Excellent CALICO BASS action on small minnows is reported at Park Pond and Silver Lake (near the culvert).
CATFISH – Summer catfishing has picked up in several recently stocked areas. Great reports from Mohegan Park Pond (25 fish for one father & son team, all 19‐22 inch fish and all released except for one). Other areas to try include Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport) and Lake Wintergreen (Hamden).
PANFISH this season has been very good. Target the shallows with bobbers and worms, grubs or small shiners. Small spinners and jigs have been very productive as well. Small local ponds are often good places, for larger waters, try Mamanasco Lake, Quinebaug Lake, Hayward Lake, Amos Lake, Aspinook Pond, Dog Pond, Halls Pond, Patagansett Lake, Shenipsit Lake, Glasgo Pond, Tyler Lake, Mudge Pond and Gorton Pond.
The river continues to be quite fishable, although flows and turbidity increased some late this week. NORTHERN PIKE fishing has been slow. Good numbers of SMALLMOUTH BASS are being caught near the Bissell Bridge, the confluence of the Farmington River, Kings Island, the Windsor Locks Canal and in the Salmon River area. Tournament anglers generally reported good LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing, with 4.88 lb and 3.65 lb lunkers (one club averaged 2 lbs per fish). CATFISH are being taken on fresh/frozen cut bait. Target shallow areas near deep drop‐offs. CARP action was excellent for anglers using Euro‐style which brought several (20‐30 lbs) fish to the swim. Boilies & method with pop‐ups, helicopter rigs & hair rigs did the trick. Action has been good in the lower river during the right tide.
Lakes & Ponds – Early morning and evening anglers are boating some good fish, with reports from Coventry Lake (evening with green lights), Crystal Lake (8 colors, 6:00‐9:00am), East Twin Lake (try 30‐40 feet of water), Highland Lake (center basin, early/late), Lake McDonough (near dam), Mashapaug Lake, Beach Pond (early; deep trolling streamers), Ball Pond (25‐30 feet) and West Hill Pond.
Rivers & streams ‐ Conditions have improved some this week as temperatures have moderated and flows in most areas are quite fishable, remaining a bit higher than typical late July levels (see box on page 4). Note than localized rain events, some heavy, are possible tonight and Friday morning, especially in eastern portions of the state and flows in a few areas may become uncomfortably high for fishing. Flows for a number of rivers and streams can be checked at waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt).
Early and late in the day are peak fishing times during this time of the year. Select your location carefully (target cooler waters) to avoid undue stress on the fish. Good reports for early last week from the West Branch Farmington River (very good) and upper Housatonic River (early/late).
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.
Farmington River – Good reports from the West Branch Farmington, especially through the Peoples/American Legion State Forests. Conditions should be good for the weekend with moderate temperatures and clear, moderate flows, currently 331 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 104 cfs from the Still River.
Current hatches/patterns include Light Dark Hendrickson Ephemerella needhami (#22‐26, early morning), Leadwing Coachman (Isonychia bicolor, #12‐14, fast water, evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella sps., #18‐ 24, mid‐late afternoon to evening), Sulphurs duns (Epeorus vitreus, #14‐18, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners; hatch is coming to an end), Rusty Spinner (#12‐24), Caddis (tan #16‐18, all day; green #18/22, evening), Midges (#20‐32, morning), Black Ants (#14‐18, mid day in fast water), Black Beetles (#8‐10, mid day), Flying Ants (#18‐24, mid day, when windy/humid) and Golden Drake (Anthopotamus distinctus, #10‐14, late evening) are successful patterns.
Housatonic River – Conditions have improved for trout fishing. Flows are now clear and at very comfortable levels (currently 474 cfs at Falls village and 801 cfs at Gaylordsville) and with cooler, more pleasant weather, water temperatures have dropped some (currently 70° F in the morning). Summer conditions can be very stressful to trout, and especially during extended bouts of high temperatures, switching to smallmouth on hot days should be an option. Those targeting trout are reminded to take additional care when handling trout they plan to release.
Hatches/patterns ‐ The White fly has not shown up yet. Currently hatches include Blue Wing Olive (#16‐18, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10‐12 evening), Light Cahill (#12‐14, evening), and assorted caddis (#14‐18, early morning & evening). Terrestrial season is here. Try Black/Cinnamon Ants (#18‐22, mid day in fast water), Black Beetles (#14‐18, mid day) and Flying Ants (#18‐22, mid day, when windy/humid). Don’t forget streamers (morning & evening). Patterns to try include White Zonkers, Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4‐10). The Dobson Fly (#2‐6) is active and anglers can use a black woolly bugger to mimic it.
NOTES & NOTICES:
BANTAM LAKE – Limited portions of Bantam Lake are scheduled to be treated with herbicides on Wednesday, July 31st. The state launch and marina will remain open, boaters are advised to avoid treatment areas (maps will be posted at access points).
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Portland area. On Saturday, July 27, from 10 am through 2 pm, “The Connecticut River Raft Race” “home‐made” raft event is scheduled to be conducted on the CT River in the Portland area. The event course runs from the lower end of Gildersleeve Island to the Portland Riverside Marina. Boaters are advised to use extra caution when passing through this area.
LAKE ZOAR. A water ski clinic for the disabled is scheduled for Saturday, July 27, in the upper end of Lake Zoar (approximately the upper first mile of the lake below the Shepaug Dam). 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.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range from the high 60’s to the high 70’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
BLUEFISH fishing remains good throughout LIS. Bluefish spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Pigeon Rip (rip line just north of Plum Island), Plum Gut, Black Point, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island north rip, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands. Snapper bluefish are in the tidal rivers and creeks in good numbers but are still on the small side.
STRIPED BASS fishing is very good at the usual striper spots: Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Cornfield Point, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison over to Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island/Milford area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands. Live lining bunker early in the morning has produced some nice “cow” bass.
SUMMER FLOUNDER fishing is better in deeper water (60+ feet) especially for doormats. Fluke spots include the south side of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach), off the mouth of the Thames River over to Goshen Point, Niantic Bay, Black Point, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, and off the Norwalk Islands.
SCUP fishing has become more consistent on the major rocky reefs throughout LIS.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is fair to good over gnarly bottom in 90+ feet of water.
BLACKFISH fishing is fair to good on the major rocky reefs.
BLUE CRABS are thick in the tidal creek and coves. Besides keepers, there are also a ton of small blue crabs roaming around which bodes well for excellent crabbing later in the season.
With water temperatures in the 70’s°F be on the lookout for seasonal visitors from the south such as KINGFISH, SPOT, CROAKER, TRIGGERFISH, RUDDERFISH, JACKS, NEEDLEFISH AND OTHERS!
For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the 2013 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. Current regulations, electronic versions of the Angler’s Guide and additional information can all be accessed on the DEEP website at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.
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. Information
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).