DEP Fishing Report for Sept 16
The State Department of Environmental Protection has issued its weekly fishing for the week starting Sept. 16, 2010
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 22
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is variable, ranging slow to good. The best reports are from Candlewood Lake, Mudge Pond, Amos Lake (best at night) and Mamanasco Lake, with fair reports from Lake Wononskopomuc, Bantam Lake (very mixed reports), Quaddick Reservoir (a bit on the tough side, but catches include a 5.7 lb largemouth), Crystal Lake (Ellington), Cedar Lake and West Hill Pond. Slow fishing reported from Lake Quonnipaug, Glasgo Pond, Gorton Pond, Pachaug Pond and Beach Pond. Other areas reporting some action include the Bantam River, the Coginchaug River, Bishop Swamp, Beseck Lake, Dog Pond, Park Pond, Winchester Lake, Bolton Lake, Rogers Lake and Long Pond.
SMALLMOUTH BASS is fair at best, with reports from Lake Housatonic, Candlewood Lake (may be into its typical brief fall lull), Lake Zoar, Highland Lake, Coventry Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Gardner Lake and Lake Lillinonah. Although the river has cooled, some action for river smallies can still be found in the Housatonic River. Some smallies are also being found in the Farmington River (Tariffville area).
KOKANEE SALMON catches reported from West Hill Pond (12 fish caught and released for one angler, target 25-30 feet).
NORTHERN PIKE action reported at Lake Zoar, Winchester Lake, Bantam Lake (good) and Pachaug Pond.
Some WALLEYE are being reported from Lake Saltonstall and Coventry Lake.
SUNFISH are providing some good late summer action, local ponds are generally great places to find some quick action, larger waters to try include Red Cedar Lake, Lake Hayward, Highland Lake, Winchester Lake, Billings Lake, Dog Pond, Bishop Pond and Halls Pond.
YELLOW PERCH are reported from Candlewood Lake, Coventry Lake, Gardner Lake and Park Pond.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – The river is cooling, but flows continue to be low. NORTHERN PIKE fishing is picking up, best in coves, some catches along the mainstem from Hartford to Haddam (especially the Haddam Meadows area).
LARGEMOUTH BASS are providing some nice action in the coves in the Wethersfield/Glastonbury area, and are also being found along the lower river (although a bit tougher here). Recent catches include two 4 lb plus largemouth.
SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing is fair to good in the Windsor/Enfield area, with some catches reported from the Haddam Meadows area. Limited catches reported from the Hartford area. CATFISH are active and are providing action on cut bait near brush piles adjacent to deeper holes. Target outside bends in the river for deeper water. Try the East Hartford to Rocky Hill area. Some STRIPED BASS action is being reported in the lower river. Tube and worm combination and eels have been producing. One shore fisherman had a 30 fish night on artificials.
Fall trout stocking update-
DEP currently plans to stock approximately 32,000 trout (15,000 adult-size rainbow trout, 14,000 trophy-size brown trout, and 3,000 yearling-size brown trout) this fall.
Due to very low stream flows, stockings of many rivers and streams typically stocked in the fall have been cancelled. In eastern CT, the only river now scheduled for stocking is the Hockanum River TMA. In western CT, stockings of the Trout Management Areas (TMA) on Mill River (Fairfield), Mill River (Hamden), Mianus River and Saugatuck River have been postponed.
This week DEP is stocking a total of 4,300 trophy-size brown trout (all 12 inch and bigger fish, with some in the 3-4 lb range) and 7,500 adult-size rainbow trout.
In eastern CT, the brown trout are scheduled to be released into Black Pond (Woodstock, 150 fish), Cedar Lake (175 fish), Mashapaug Lake (200 fish), Quonnipaug Lake (175 fish), Day Pond Trout Park (500 fish), Mohegan Park Pond Trout Park (500 fish), and Chatfield Hollow Trout Park (500 fish, stocked into Schreeder Pond only).
In western CT, the brown trout are being released into Mount Tom Pond (350 fish), Squantz Pond (150 fish), West Hill Pond (350 fish), the Wharton Brook Trout Park (600 fish), and the upper Housatonic River TMA (650 fish). The rainbow trout are being stocked into the Housatonic River, with 2,500 fish going into the Bulls Bridge TMA and 5,000 fish into the upper TMA.
Rivers & streams - With drought conditions now extending well into September, stream flows continue to drop throughout the state, and most rivers throughout the state are now well below their typical September levels. lthough the thunderstorms predicted for Thursday (9/16) evening and night may briefly enhance flows in some areas, no additional rains are currently forecast for the next week. Cooler weather has moderated stream temperatures in many areas, and should improve trout activity. In these low flow conditions, light line and leaders should work best.
Anglers are advised to focus their efforts more toward terrestrial fly patterns as summer hatches fade. Streamer action should get better as we move into fall.
Farmington River – Trout fishing in the West Branch continues to be very good (and plenty of the 2,000 trout recently stocked between the dam and the TMA are still out there). West Branch flows remain clear, low and very fishable, at about 85 cfs at Riverton and an additional 5 cfs from the Still River. Morning water temperatures are in the upper 50’s to low 60’s °F.
Next week (Monday 9/20, through Wednesday, 9/22), DEP expects to conduct its annual electrofishing survey of the West Branch Farmington River. Anglers may expect fishing in the West Branch TMA to be slow during and for several days following sampling.
Hatches/patterns: Some Trico’s (Trycorythodes stygiatus, #26-28, early morning), can be found between 7:00am – 10:00am in the upper river. Other bugs include Isonychia bicolor (major hatch, #10-12, fast water, evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella sps. & Baetis sps.;#18-26, mid-late afternoon), Cahills/Summer (Stenonema ithaca, #12-18, evenings), Sulfurs duns (Heptagenia sps., #16-20, below the dam due to low temperatures, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners), Caddis (tan #14-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Midges (#22-32, morning), Black Ants (#14-20, mid day in fast water), Flying Ants (#18-22, mid day, when windy/humid), Stone Hopper (#8-14, mid day) and Golden Drake (Anthopotamus distinctus, #10-14, late evening).
Housatonic River – Fishing has been improving, and with plenty of recently stocked fish and cooler temperatures, trout fishing should continue to get better. Water temperatures continue to cool, and are currently in the upper 50’s °F (mornings in the TMA). Flows remain clear but are very low, currently 95 cfs at Falls Village and 155 cfs at Gaylordsville.
Hatches/patterns include Flying ants (#14-18, mid-day, when windy/humid, September is peak month), Fall Sulfurs (#16-18), Blue Wing Olive (#18-24, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10-12 evening, September is peak month), Sulfurs duns (#16-18, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners), Cahill (#12-14, evening), and Black caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening). Golden stonefly nymphs hatch at first light and adults egg-lay after dark. Try Black Ants (#14-18, mid day in fast water. Don’t forget streamers (morning & evening), try White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10).
Lakes & Ponds- Some fish are being caught, but anglers have had to work harder, with reports from Mashapaug Lake, Crystal Lake, Coventry Lake, Beach Pond (try the Rhode Island side), Long Pond, West Hill Pond (22-28 feet) and Highland Lake. Feeding fish are still deep.
NOTES & NOTICES
The drawdown of MOODUS RESERVOIR (Lower & Upper) has been delayed, and is now scheduled to begin on September 20th. It will take approximately 10 days to lower the lake by three feet
RAINBOW RESERVOIR is currently being drawn down to facilitate dam maintenance. The boat launch will be unusable once the planned drawdown depth is reached.
TYLER LAKE is being drawn down 2.5 feet to facilitate dam repairs, with refilling expected after Thanksgiving. While drawn down, the launching of trailered boats may be difficult.
The MDC Boat launch on LAKE MCDONOUGH is closed for the season.
The BAYBERRY LANE State Boat Launch (Groton) is closed for renovations until December 31st.
TIPS & TRICKS – CATCHING CRAPPIE – Part II
During most of the year, crappie lurk in deep water hiding out near brush piles and underwater structure and can be difficult to catch for all but the consummate crappie anglers.
A popular place to fish for crappie is under wooden docks. Some metal docks make too much noise when people walk on them, and this scares the crappie away. Crappies love minnows, and when it comes to live baits there is no better choice than a small minnow.
The best time to catch crappies is early morning after sunrise and in the late afternoon towards early evening hours.
When you use an artificial minnow make sure you keep the lure pretty active.
The challenge in catching crappies is that they have very thin and fragile lips. Gently set the hook with a little tug to the left or right. The hardest part of crappie fishing is trying to set the hook in a gentle fashion.
If you catch a crappie and plan on letting it go, make sure to hold the fish upright in the water for as long as it takes for the fish to swim away on its own. Crappie are very delicate fish and they need to released gently.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) have cooled down to around 70 °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
SPECIAL NOTE: Just a reminder that the BLACKFISH fishing season is closed from September 1st to September 30th.
BLUEFISH fishing remains excellent throughout LIS! Most bluefish being caught are in the 4 to 6 lbs range. This is prime time for surfcasters to hit the beach at any of our coastal state parks.
STRIPED BASS fishing is good although you have to compete with bluefish in order to catch a striper! Buck tail jigs on three way rigs, diamond jigs, tube and worm combination, and live bait (bunker, eels, etc.) on fish finder rigs always work well.
Fishing locations for both BLUEFISH and STRIPERS include the Watch Hill area, Ram Island Reef and East and West Clumps (Fishers Island Sound), lower Thames River, the Race (by Race Rock and Valiant Rock), outer Bartlett Reef, the Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, warm water discharge from Millstone Power Station, Harkness Memorial State Park, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef, Duck Island area, Sixmile Reef, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Falkner Island area, reefs off Guilford and Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area and the sand spit at Silver Sands State Park, lower Housatonic River, buoys #18 and #20 off Bridgeport, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, Norwalk Islands, Cable and Anchor Reef, and Stamford and Greenwich Harbors.
SCUP (porgy) fishing remains excellent so the time to go is now! Scup fishing is a great way to introduce kids into saltwater fishing because of the nonstop action. Any of the reefs, rock piles and wrecks in LIS will be loaded with scup.
HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair at best in the Niantic River and lower Connecticut River.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is fair to good on the reefs in eastern LIS.
LITTLE TUNNY are off the Watch Hill area to Sandy Point, Pine Island area off Groton, the Race, and Wilderness Point (Fishers Island). You have to “search and destroy” for these speedsters.
BLUE CRABBING is good for quality September “jimmies” although the numbers tend to drop along with water temperature. As water temperatures decline, blue crabs move off into deeper water.
For regulation updates and fishing/crabbing information, please check out our web site at: www.ct.gov/dep or pick up the 2010 Angler’s Guide.