Weekly Fishing Report #11
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 11
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally good to very good. Areas to try include Candlewood Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Mudge Pond (50 fish for 2 anglers), Mashapaug Lake, Bashan Lake, Lake McDonough, Twin Brooks Park Pond, Lake Saltonstall, Winchester Lake (10 fish for one angler), Lake Basile (Simsbury), Park Pond, Silver Lake (Berlin), Black Pond (Meriden), Lake Lillinonah, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Stillwater Pond, Rainbow Reservoir, Coventry Lake, Quinebaug River (Aspinnok Pond), Hopeville Pond, Ball Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc (20 fish for one boat), Hatch Pond, Highland Lake, Bantam Lake, Eagleville Lake, Batterson Park Pond, Amos Lake, Hayward Lake, West Hill Pond, Scoville Reservoir, Billings Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Bishop Pond, Halls Pond, Riggs Pond, Rogers Lake and Glasgo Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (largemouth fishing is fair to good, bags continue to include a number of 4-6 lb fish), Rogers Lake (good action, catches include a 6.25 lb largemouth), Pattagansett Lake, Long Pond (a bit tough), Gardner Lake (fair action, some fish in the 3-5 lb range),
SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing is reported to be fair to very good. Lakes to try include Candlewood Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Highland Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Colebrook Reservoir, Rainbow Reservoir, Highland Lake, Coventry Lake and Lake McDonough. Rivers to try include the Housatonic River (upper river – very good with lots of action, a 20 inch smallie among the catches), Naugatuck River, Quinebaug River and the Farmington River (Tariffville area). Tournament angler reports from Candlewood Lake (slowed some but still good, some 4 lb plus fish continue to be found) and Gardner Lake (tough hooking smallies).
NORTHERN PIKE fishing is good, with reports from Pachaug Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Bantam Lake and Quaddick Reservoir.
WALLEYE are being reported from Lake Saltonstall, Batterson Park Pond and Coventry Lake.
KOKANEE SALMON are providing good fishing at West Hill Pond (daytime; rigger set at 33-40 feet, slow troll beads & corn behind a Flasher, 13 fish for one angler).
CATFISH – The summer catfish season is off to a great start with some recently stocked areas producing well, including Lakewood Lake (Waterbury), Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport), Keney Park Pond (Hartford), Lake Wintergreen (Hamden/New Haven), Black Pond (Middlefield), Lower Bolton Lake (Bolton), Pattaconk Lake (Chester) and Silver Lake (Meriden).
Rivers & streams -With the recent spate of hot days and more in the forecast, anglers are advised to target areas with colder waters to reduce stress on fish. flows are also becoming lower than typical in some areas. Rainbow trout can be found in the fast water and the browns will be in the larger, deeper pools. Bait fisherman are using a corn/mealworm combination. Good reports for early last week from West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River, Salmon River, Eightmile River (East Haddam), Tankerhoosen River, Blackberry River, Hammonasset River, East Aspetuck River and Mt. Hope River.
Farmington River – Fishing continues to be good. Flows remain clear and moderate, currently 259 cfs at Riverton, with the Still river adding another 29 cfs. Morning water temperatures are in the low to mid 60’s°F.
Hatches/patterns include Ephemerella needhami (#22-26, early morning to 9:00 am), Isonychia bicolor (#12-14, evening), Blue Wing Olives (#180 (Drunella lata) & #22-24 (D. cornuta & cornutella), cloudy days, mid-late afternoon), Sulphurs (Epeorus vitreus) duns (#14-16, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening), Midges (#22-28, morning), terrestrials (very good during the middle of the day) and Golden Drake (Potomanthus sps., #6-16, late evening). Most success is below the surface with wets, streamers and bottom bouncing nymphs. Euro style nymphing has been very successful. Centerpin flyfishing is also working well.
Housatonic River – Low flows (currently 236 cfs at Falls Village) and warm water temperatures (low to mid 70’s°F, mornings) are making fishing a challenge.
Hatches/patterns include Alder/Zebra Caddis (Macrostemum zebratum, #10-12, early & afternoon-evening near overhangs), Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#18-20, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia sps. (#10-12 evening), Light Cahill (#12-14, evening), and Tan & green caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening). Midges and stoneflies are located at the mouths of streams. Golden stonefly nymphs hatch at first light and adults egg-lay after dark. Give streamers (morning and evening) a try. Patterns to try include White Zonkers, The Prince, Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10).
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.
Lakes & Ponds – Many of our lakes are still producing good fishing including East Twin Lake (target 20-30 feet), Highland Lake, Crystal Lake (10 fish for one angler, target 20-30 feet), Mashapaug Lake, West Hill Pond (target 25-30 feet), Saugatuck Reservoir, Coventry Lake, Long Pond (25-30 feet with corn), Black Pond (Meriden) and Beach Pond (4 colors, try the small basin).
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Some STRIPED BASS are being taken at night in the lower river/mouth on live eels and tube & worm but the BLUEFISH have taken over much of the flats. NORTHERN PIKE are being reported in the coves (including a 38 inch beauty) and the Haddam Meadows area. LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing has been generally good (coves and backwater areas) with some 4 to 6 lb bass among the catches. SMALLMOUTH BASS are providing good action in the Bissell Bridge, Hartford and Enfield areas. Some action also found in the main stem below Hartford. WHITE PERCH can be found in the mouth of the Lieutenant River. CATFISH are being taken on frozen herring and cut/chunk bait (outside bends in the river are good places to start).
NOTES & NOTICES:
* WYASSUP LAKE (impossible to launch) continues to be drawn down for dam repairs.
* The FirstLight Power HOUSATONIC RIVER FLOW INFORMATION automated phone (1-888-417-4837) remains out of service. Until this line is reestablished, please call 860-350-3685.
* Anglers on the SALMON RIVER should be aware that the current work in the Lyman Viaduct (Colchester) reconstruction project on Dickinson Creek, which includes filling in a large scour hole below the twin culverts and restoring fish passage (after 50+ years), may at times cause some noticeable turbidity, including in the Salmon River downstream of Dickinson Creek.
* GREEN FALLS RESERVOIR has been drawn down 15 inches to facilitate ongoing dam repairs in the Pachaug River system. The pond remains open to fishing and car top boating access, although the swimming area has been closed.
* CONNECTICUT RIVER – Hartford area. The 2012 “Riverfest” is scheduled for this Saturday, July 7 (with a raindate of Sunday, July 8) with a fireworks display scheduled for 9 pm. The river in the Hartford area can be expected to be congested, with restrictions on navigational access in the area of the fireworks barges. The Charter Oak boat launch will be closed from sunset, on Friday (7/6) to dawn on Sunday (7/8). Additionally, on Monday, July 9, a high school hovercraft exhibition will be conducted from noon to 3 pm in the area of the Riverside Park boat launch.
SPECIAL NOTE TO ANGLERS FISHING THE CONNECTICUT RIVER- BOWFIN
In 2011, DEEP began to receive an increased number of reports of “unusual” fish being caught in the CT River. At first these reports were primarily from the Hartford area (including the coves and several tributaries, most notably the Hockanum River system), but now reports are received from at least as far downstream as Salmon River Cove in East Haddam.
The catches reported were all determined to be bowfin (Amia calva). Bowfin are native to portions of the Midwest and Northeast. In CT there have been populations in Scoville Reservoir (Wolcott) and in the upper CT River (north of Hartford) for a number of years. Once relatively limited in size and distribution, since 2003 the CT River population has been increasing in size and expanding its distribution throughout the entire river.
In some cases, anglers have been concerned, thinking that they had caught a snakehead (a large invasive predatory fish from Asia, originally brought to this country for the live food and aquarium trades, made notorious by several high profile introductions). To date, no snakeheads have been documented from Connecticut waters. At first glance to an untrained eye, bowfin and snakeheads are similar in appearance. However, there are a few key characteristics that can easily be used to distinguish these species from one another. The easiest method to distinguish between the two fishes is to look at the length of the anal fin (see below). On a bowfin, the anal fin is short, well less than half the body length of the fish. On a snakehead, the anal fin is generally long, half the body length or longer.
Additional distinguishing features include placement of the pelvic fins (in bowfin, the pelvic fins are set well back from the pectoral fins, whereas the northern snakehead’s pelvic fins are set close to the pectoral fins and gills) and the presence of an “eyespot” on the tail of male and juvenile bowfin (but not on adult females).
Anglers with concerns about the species of fish that they have caught can contact Inland Fisheries by phone (860-424-3474) or email (DEEP.InlandFisheries@ct.gov). If possible, provide digital images of the fish and information concerning where it was caught.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the mid 60’s to 70°F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
STRIPED BASS fishing remains good during the “Thunder” Full Moon. Early morning (before sunrise) or night fishing has been the most productive. The usual areas include the Watch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Little Gull, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Six Mile Reef, the reefs off Branford, Faulkner’s Island, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Charles Island area, Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, east of Milford, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef. Live lining bunker, hickory shad, eels, scup or using fresh cut baits on three way bottom rigs or fish finder rigs will work for “Cow” bass. Tube jigs/worms in bubblegum or pink have been productive for “keeper” linesiders. Plenty of adult menhaden around to use for live bait.
BLUEFISH fishing continues to improve with an influx of good size choppers and “alligator-sized” blues invading LIS. Bluefish weighing in the low to high teens are being reported. SNAPPER BLUEFISH are extremely common now in the tidal rivers and are about 3 to 6 inches long. Snappers are easy to catch, making this fun summertime fishing to enjoy with the kids.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing is fair to good overall. There are some big doormats (fish to 13 pounds) out there but you have to put your time in. Fishing locations include south side of Port Jefferson, Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor to West Haven, and off the mouth off the Housatonic River. Since the snapper blues are in, offering a live one on the bottom (30-70 feet) would be a good move for catching that big slab fluke!
SCUP (porgy) fishing is good to excellent on the major reefs/rock piles. Porgies measuring 12-15 inches in length are the norm! Excellent fishing has been reported at these shore fishing locations: Rocky Neck State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. These “panfish of the sea” are easily caught on sandworms or any other small piece of bait. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is good on the reefs/wrecks and also on the fluking grounds. Anglers targeting fluke are catching black sea bass (“bucketmouths”) up to 22 inches (4 to 5 pounds). Good fishing reported from the Norwalk Islands to the south/southwest side of Block Island! Fishing around the slack tide is best.
HICKORY SHAD fishing is good to excellent in the lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier. Connecticut Tarpon (Hickory shad) can be found mixed in with snapper and harbor blues. Flood tide is best and lures of choice are a willow leaf, kastmasters, small plastic jigs, and or shad darts.
WHITE PERCH fishing is good to excellent in the lower Connecticut River (coves) and by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier/under the railroad bridge. Perch can be found mixed in with snapper blues and hickory shad. Grass shrimp/sandworm are the best bait along with kastmasters and willow leafs.
BLUE CRABBING is pretty hot in the tidal creeks of Stonington to Mystic and Westbrook to Guilford. Some large holdover “jimmies” (male crabs) are measuring from 7 to 9 inches across from spike to spike! Sooks (female crabs) can be found in the lower estuary.
SPECIAL NOTE: During the summer months, anglers may accidentally hook up with a sandbar shark or a sand tiger shark. Sandbar and sand tiger sharks are protected and must be released unharmed. Simply cut the leader if you encounter one. Do not attempt to bring these sharks onboard! For identification purposes please refer to the following website: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/Compliance_Guide/Rec/Rec_Compliance_Guide_QR_Shark.pdf