TROUT STOCKING – Earlier this week DEEP stocked 224 Seeforellen-strain broodstock brown trout into ten lakes and ponds scattered throughout the state. The fish released this week were raised at the Kensington State Fish Hatchery and weigh between 3 and 19 pounds each (averaging 12 pounds each).
In eastern Connecticut, Beach Pond (Voluntown) (30 fish), Black Pond (Middlefield/Meriden) (25 fish), Cedar Lake (Chester) (25 fish) and Mashapaug Lake (Union) (30 fish) were stocked.
In western Connecticut, Mohawk Pond (Cornwall/Goshen) (18 fish), Stillwater Pond (Torrington) (12 fish), Squantz Pond (New Fairfield/Sherman) (30 fish), Tyler Lake (Goshen) (12 fish), West Hill Pond (New Hartford/Barkhamsted) (30 fish) and Westside Pond (New Hartford/Barkhamsted) (12 fish).
RIVERS & STREAMS – Conditions should be good for the weekend. Flows are currently below typical late October levels in many areas (see stream flow graphic on page 3) but with rain in the forecast for tonight and Friday morning, flows should improve, and the weekend forecast is for pleasant forecast is for comfortable, pleasant weather. Good reports last week from the Housatonic River, Saugatuck River, Blackberry River, West branch Farmington River and Naugatuck River.
Streamers (#2-12) on 2X tippet (9 am – 1 pm during low light periods/overcast days) and nymphing are producing well for many anglers. The best times for this method are in the early morning & late evening. For streamers try white, yellow & brown colors. Patterns include Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Mid-day, try bottom bouncing nymphs with Caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14-16), Pheasant Tail (#12-20), Prince (#6-18), Golden Stoneflies (#8) and Hare’s ear (#8-20).
Farmington River – Fishing has been good. West Branch flows are clear, a bit low but quite fishable (93 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 43 cfs from the Still River) and water temperatures are in the low 60’s °F.
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia (#12-14, parachute style), Blue Wing Olives (#18-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-20, all day; brown #16-18), Black Ants (#14-18), Midges (#16-22, morning) and Rusty Spinner (#12-24, morning).
Housatonic River – Fishing continues to be good and conditions should be good for the weekend. Morning water temperatures are in mid 40’s°F (and rising some during the day). Flows are clear and somewhat low for late October (currently 474 cfs at Falls village and 564 cfs at Gaylordsville) but with rain in the overnight forecast, they may increase some for the weekend. Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (currently the main hatch, #18-24, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#10-12 evening), Midges (#20-26) and Brown/tan caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening), Flying Ants (#14-18) and Light Cahill CDC (#12-14).
LAKES & PONDS – Late October trout fishing remains variable, with from East Twin Lake (fish are in close to shore), Crystal Lake (Ellington; fish the edges in 2-3 feet of water near the inlet/outlet), Highland Lake (fish shallow near the brooks and culverts), West Hill Pond (spillway & edges), Squantz Pond (fish from the causeway), Mashapaug Lake, Beach Pond (near the beach & north point; Shore Rd area), Coventry Lake (stream inlet) and Long Pond.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as fair to good and fall turnover has ended in some water bodies. Target suspended fish over deeper water using jigs. The outside edges of weed lines are holding some fish over 5 lbs. Areas to try include Highland Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Candlewood Lake (look for clear water, fish just off the bottom), Moodus Reservoir, Crystal Lake, Ball Pond (targeting docks), Silver Lake, Black Pond (Meriden, by the cliff), West Hill Pond and Bantam Lake (although a little slow last week). Tournament angler reports are from Gardner Lake (tough fishing, and the lunker was only 1.88 lbs), Candlewood Lake (fair but slower in areas with a denser algal bloom, recent lunkers include a 6.47 lb largemouth), Aspinook Pond/Quinebaug River (fair to good fishing, 2.8 lb lunker) and Long Pond (fair at best, but with a 4.57 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS catches reported at Lake Lillinonah (see NOTES section -fall drawdown has started), Squantz Pond, Candlewood Lake, Highland Lake (see NOTES section -winter drawdown has started), Coventry Lake and West Hill Pond.
WALLEYE were caught from Batterson Park Pond (season closes on Oct. 31) and Squantz Pond last week. DEEP completed its 2013 walleye fingerling stockings last week. These fish are 4-6 inch fish (averaging x.x inches in length) obtain from a hatchery in Minnesota. A total of 33,400 fingerling walleye were released into Batterson Park Pond, Beach Pond, Cedar Lake, Gardner Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Squantz Pond, West Thompson Lake and Lake Zoar. Another 13,100 fingerlings were stocked into Saugatuck Reservoir, Lake Saltonstall and Lake Pocotopaug. The fish released into these three lakes were purchased by Aquarion Water Company, South Central Connecticut Water Authority and the town of East Hampton and stocked by DEEP. The fish released this fall should reach keep-able size in three to four years.
NORTHERN PIKE fall bite is producing many good size fish. Anglers should target Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Lake Lillinonah, Bantam Lake & Little Pond (Little Bantam), Winchester Lake, Quaddick Lake and Pachaug Pond.
ATLANTIC SALMON fishing in the Shetucket River and Naugatuck River has been good. Flashy streamers (attractor pattern) are the method of choice so far. Limited reports from the lakes but Crystal Lake (2 fish reported) has produced a few catches for anglers trolling and one salmon was reported from Mount Tom Pond.
CATFISH are being caught at Mohegan Park Pond, Keeney Park Pond, Lake Wintergreen and Silver Lake (Berlin/Meriden).
Flows are currently comfortable for boating and fishing, and are a bit lower than is typical for late-October. With rain in the forecast for northern New England, flows may increase this weekend. YELLOW PERCH & BLACK CRAPPIE action was good last week in the back areas of coves while using small shiners. LARGEMOUTH BASS are being caught in the Haddam Meadows/Salmon River Cove area, Chapmans Pond, Keeney Cove as well as the Middletown area (try the mouth of the Mattabasset River). SMALLMOUTH BASS is very good north of Hartford. NORTHERN PIKE (including fish over over 35 inches) fishing was reported as good to very good. Fish can be found in Middletown (Harbor Park), Haddam Meadows/Salmon River Cove area up to the mouth of Salmon River. CHANNEL CATFISH are still providing anglers with some good action as they respond to chunk & cut-bait on the outside edges of the channel and the in the coves. Try the Wethersfield/Hartford and Middletown/Portland areas.
NOTES & NOTICES:
BESECK LAKE A 13 foot drawdown to facilitate dam repairs began October 4. BURR POND (boat launch). The boat launch on Burr Pond (in Burr Pond State Park- Torrington) is currently
scheduled to be closed for repaving from November 4th through November 15th.
CANDLEWOOD LAKE (safety buoy removals) – The Candlewood Lake authority has completed removal of the hazard, navigation and speed buoys for the winter. Boaters, especially those unfamiliar with the lake should use extra caution out on the lake.
CONNECTICUT RIVER (Haddam). The Connecticut Yankee-Haddam Neck Power Plant discharge canal has been closed to public access due to security concerns.
DRAWDOWNS (eastern CT)… “Winter” drawdowns of Bashan Lake, Beach Pond, Lower Bolton Lake, Middle Bolton Lake, Gardner Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Pickerel Lake and Pachaug Pond have begun.
HIGHLAND LAKE (drawndown). A 4 foot drawdown of Highland Lake is scheduled to begin November 1st.
LAKE LILLINONAH (boat launch). The Lake Lillinonah state boat launch (Route 133, also referred to as the “Steel Bridge” launch) is closed for renovations. This closure is currently expected to last through December 31, 2013. Anglers/boaters can continue to access the lake using the Pond Brook state boat launch.
LAKE LILLINONAH (drawdown) Lake Lillinonah is currently drawn down approximately 9.5 feet from its typical minimum summer level, with refilling currently scheduled for November 17th. The drawdown duration this fall will be longer (nearly two weeks) and the depth of drawdown several feet deeper than is typical for the fall drawdown to facilitate renovation of the Lake Lillinonah state boat launch (Route 133 launch). During this drawdown, launching of trailer boats will not be possible at the Pond Brook state boat launch.
LAKE LILLINONAH (rowing regatta). A high school rowing event is scheduled for Saturday, November 2 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm in the uppermost two miles of the lake (and up through Lover’s Leap to Addis Park in New Milford) Boaters should however use additional caution on the northern portion of the lake.
ROGERS LAKE. The lake remains (as of 10/27) down nearly one foot. Dam repairs have been completed and refill has begun but has been slow as the rate of refill is dependent on rainfall amounts in the watershed (and it has been relatively dry). The launching of trailered boats may be difficult at this level of drawdown and the launch may be unusable by larger boats or those with deeper draft.
WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR (Hogback Reservoir). The West Branch Reservoir was drawn down 70 feet to facilitate an inspection of Colebrook River Lake outflow structures and refill began early last week (as of 10/30, the lake was down 45 feet). Refill is expected to take approximately three more weeks.
FISHING SEASONS. Anglers are reminded that today, Thursday, October 31st, is the last day of the fishing season at several lakes and ponds scattered throughout the state, most notably LAKE WONOSKOPOMUC, GREEN FALLS RESERVOIR, BATTERSON PARK POND and SHENIPSIT RESERVOIR. The fishing season will reopen at these water bodies at 6 am on April 19th, 2014. Please refer to the 2013 CT Angler’s Guide for additional locations.
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MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html http://marine.rutgers.edu/mrs/sat_data/?nothumbs=1 http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/ http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/330.html
TAUTOG (blackfish) and SCUP (porgy) fishing continues to be good at any of the breakwaters, reefs, wrecks, and areas with structure throughout LIS! Green Crabs, hermit crabs, and Asian shore crabs are preferred baits for Taugs. Baited jigs have been very successful. As the water cools…shift to deeper wrecks and rock piles. Move around the reef (adjust anchor rope length) and move to different locations until you find them.
BLUEFISH and STRIPED BASS- The major tidal rivers (lower) are still holding adult bunker (Atlantic menhaden) and other baitfish and that’s where you will find bluefish and striped bass in hot pursuit! The lower Connecticut River from the Baldwin Bridge down to the breakwaters has been the hot spot. It’s also prime time for surfcasters to hit the beaches and coastal state parks for excellent fall fishing action as fish migrate!
HICKORY SHAD fishing remains good (incoming tide most productive) in the Connecticut River especially along the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier. Willow leafs; shad darts or jigs (chartreuse color) have been the lures of choice. Reminder: Six fish creel limit.
Anglers please note: Black Sea Bass season closed on October 30 until June 14, 2014.
Check out our Coastal Access Guide at http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/ for more shore fishing locations close to home!