Fresh Water Fishing
LARGEMOUTH BASSfishing continues to be generally good although there’s lots of variability in fish location (both within and between lakes) with anglers finding the bass either on beds, or off beds, and moving deep (but with a few under structure). Good reports for last week from Mamanasco Lake, Lake McDonough, Highland Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Lake of Isles, Glasgo Pond (several 4-6 lb fish caught here); and fair reports from Silver Lake, Bantam Lake, Wyassup Lake (fishing’s been picking up here) and Lake Waraumaug. Tournament angler reports are from Pachaug Pond (fair action, nothing over 2 lbs), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (fair to good, with a 3.75 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (good, with some 4-5 lb fish), Lake Lillinonah (tough for largemouth), Winchester Lake (fair at best, with a 3.9 lb lunker) and Wonoskopomuc Lake (fair to good, 3.7 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS. Good reports from Colebrook Reservoir, Candlewood Lake (good fishing, some smallmouth in the 3-4 lb range), Lake Zoar and Lake McDonough. Tournament angler reports are from Lake Lillinonah (good action), Lake Zoar (good action, some over 3 lbs) and Candlewood Lake (fishing continues to be very good, with a number of 3-4 smallmouth and several over 4 lbs).
CHANNEL CATFISH. Good reports for catfishing from Wauregan Reservoir, West Thompson Lake, Mohegan Park Pond, Black Pond (Middlefield) and Pattaconk Lake. Other recently stocked catfish waters to try include Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport), Keney Park Pond (Hartford), Lakewood Lake (Waterbury), Lake Wintergreen (Hamden/New Haven), Freshwater Pond (Enfield), Pickett’s Pond (in Osborndale State Park, Derby), Maltby Lakes 2 & 3 (Orange/West Haven), -, Silver Lake (Meriden), Hopeville Pond (Griswold), , Stillwater Pond (Torrington), Lake Kenosia (Danbury), Batterson Park Pond (Farmington/New Britain), Burr Pond (Torrington) and Scoville Reservoir (Wolcott), and stocked (14-18 inch fish averaging 2 lbs apiece) for the first time are five newly designated community fishing Waters, Beaver Park Lagoon (New Haven), Birge Pond (Bristol, Mirror Lake (Meriden, really good catfishing reported at this lake), Rowans Pond (Middletown) and Stanley Quarter Pond (New Britain).
KOKANEE SALMON are providing some action at East Twin Lake (good) and West Hill Pond (fair).
WALLEYE are being found at Lake Saltonstall, Batterson Park Pond, Squantz Pond and Saugatuck Reservoir.
BLACK CRAPPIE fishing is good throughout the state, with reports from Lake Saltonstall, Saugatuck Reservoir, Great Hollow Pond, Highland Lake and a number of southeastern CT waters (including Oxoboxo Lake, Avery Pond, Long Pond).
NORTHERN PIKE. Good reports for Hopeville Pond and a few catches reported from Bantam Lake, but little action reported at Pachaug Pond and Quaddick Lake.
RIVERS & STREAMS – Conditions for fishing this weekend should be fairly good with dry weather in the forecast. Flows in most areas had been dropping and were at or below typical early June levels, however today’s (Thursday, 6/5) rains have refreshed flows throughout the state (see stream flow graphic on page 4). Flows in some areas are currently moderately high but most areas should be at comfortable levels during the weekend (streamflows for a number of areas can be found at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt).
Good reports last week from the Salmon River (catches here include several tiger trout), Blackledge River, Shetucket River, Eightmile River (in the “Hopyard” ), Five Mile River (Thompson-Putnam-Killingly), Hammonaset River (nymphs -pheasant tails working), West Branch Salmon Brook, West Bracnh Farmington River and Farmington River.
Farmington River – Trout fishing has been good. West Branch flows are moderate and fishable, currently 385 cfs at Riverton with the Still River adding another 146 cfs.
Hatches/patterns include Tan Caddis (#16-18), Vitreus (a.k.a. Sulphur/pale evening dun, #14-16), Blue Wing Olives (#18-22, mid-late afternoon), March Brown (#10-14), Blue Quill (#16-18) and Green caddis (#16-18). Evenings look for rusty spinners (#12-18). Streamers and nymphing are working well.
Housatonic River – Fishing was good last week. This week’s rains have however increased flows to levels too high for most anglers to be comfortable wading, currently 1,850 cfs at Falls Village and 2,240 cfs at Gaylordsville. Flows should begin to drop for the weekend. Morning water temperatures have warmed to the lower 60’s°F (and rising some through the day).
Hatches/patterns include Alder caddis (#10-12), Sulphurs (#16-18), Blue Wing Olive (#18-20, cloudy days; early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#8-10 evening, just starting), Cahill (#12-14), Adams (#10-12, evening), green caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening), March Brown (#10-12, spinner) and golden stoneflies.
LAKES & PONDS– Trout fishing has been fairly good in a number of areas throughout the state, with reports from Cedar Lake (some nice action, no really big fish lately), Wononskopomuc Lake (around 20 feet, 3-colors), Candlewood Lake (trout action continues to be steady), Highland Lake (fish are finally moving deeper), East twin Lake (good, “beads on riggers”), Lake Saltonstall and Quonnipaug Lake (fair to good action, nothing really big).
Flows are on the turbid side and somewhat higher than typical early June levels, but comfortable for boating and fishing. STRIPED BASS can be throughout the river and have been producing some good action with legal size fish being caught all the way to the Massachusetts border (including a recent 42 lb beauty at the border). Although there’s plenty of bunker, action at the mouth has been slow. AMERICANSHAD catches are declining. As of Tuesday (June 3), approximately 304,000 shad have been counted at the Holyoke Dam fishway (MA) this spring. CHANNELCATFISH (up to 15 lb fish) are providing some nice action. NORTHERN PIKE catches have been reported in the river coves downstream to Haddam (smaller fish), many by anglers targeting stripers. Some catches also from the Mattabesett River. SMALLMOUTH BASS has been fair to good in the Enfield area. LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing has been fair to good from below Hartford (coves) to Salmon river cove (good here) with a number of 3-4 lb fish caught.
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the low to upper 50’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
STRIPED BASSfishing overall is good. Dawn and dusk is prime time for large stripers on the reefs and rip areas. Live lining eels or bunker has been the ticket. There is plenty of bunker throughout LIS including the tidal rivers to hold fish. Striper areas include the Watch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River (Great Island), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Charles Island area, Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
See page 60 of the 2014 CT Angler’s Guide for Connecticut Tides
BLUEFISHfishing is fair to good. Bluefish spots include the Race, Plum Gut, Sluiceway, Gardiners Bay, Peconic Bays, and the north shore of Long Island. Fresh bunker chunks on three way rigs or speed squidding diamond jigs work well.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing is fair to good. Squid are throughout LIS. Mid to western LIS, anglers reported 3 to 5 lb fish being common. Fluke spots include south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Watch Hill to Napatree Point, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Gardiners Bay over to Greenport, NY, Twotree Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor to West Haven, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Norwalk Islands, and across over to Port Jefferson, NY.
Anglers Please Note: New York has the same summer flounder (fluke) regulations as Connecticut (18 inch minimum, 5 fish daily creel limit). Rhode Island has an 18 inch minimum length, but with an 8 fish daily creel limit. However, since Rhode Island has a higher daily creel limit than Connecticut and New York, make sure you abide by the state with the most restrictive regulation when crossing (by boat) state boundaries.
WINTER FLOUNDERfishing remains slow overall. However, flounder sharpies have limited out in the Niantic Bay area and the Brothers by the Fourmile River mouth.
SCUP (porgy) fishing is fair to good on the major reefs throughout LIS.
HICKORY SHAD fishing remains good in the lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and in Clinton Harbor.
WEAKFISH fishing is fair to good in New Haven Harbor by the breakwaters over to Milford Point.
Special note-BONUS STRIPED BASS FISHING PROGRAM
The Bonus Striped Bass Voucher Program will run May 1 through December 31 in 2014. Vouchers will be available beginning May 1 at DEEP Offices and Facilities listed below. There is a limit of one voucher annually per fishing license holder. However, for convenience one person may pick up at most two vouchers by presenting valid fishing licenses for two anglers. Children are also eligible to receive a voucher by signing up for a free Youth Fishing Passport. Vouchers will be available on a first come first serve basis for as long as supplies last.