Weekly Fishing Report
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 16
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as good. Night fishing is in full swing and producing many fish. Try black jitterbugs and surface poppers. Areas to try include Lake McDonough, Rogers Lake, Amos Lake, Halls Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc, Lake Williams, Candlewood Lake, Coginchaug River, Pattaconk Lake, Ball Pond, Aspinook Pond, Lake Saltonstall, Seymour Reservoir, Twin Brooks Park Pond, Park Pond, Lake Hayward, Burr Pond, Lower Bolton Lake, Lake Zoar, Pomperaug River, Bantam Lake, Stillwater Pond, Mudge Pond, Hatch Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Pachaug Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Gardner Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Bishop Swamp, Red Cedar Lake, Winchester Lake, Highland Lake, Black Pond (Woodstock), Quaddick Reservoir, Moodus Reservoir, Bashan Lake, Pickerel Lake and Dog Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Pachaug Pond (good for most), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (good early bite, slowed later in the morning, catches included a 5.47 lb lunker), Bantam Lake (fair, but bags included a 6.1 lb lunker), Squantz Pond (fair, including a 4.8 lb lunker) and Candlewood Lake (“…typical summer action”).
SMALLMOUTH BASS – River smallie action continues to be very good on the upper Housatonic River, and some nice action reported from the Farmington River (Tariffville area), Willimantic River, Quinebaug River, Naugatuck River and Coginchaug River. On the lakes and pond side, action reported from Candlewood Lake (very good), Lake Zoar, Lake McDonough and Congamond Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Lake Lillinonah (fair, including a 3.7 lb bass), Pachaug Pond (nine smallies in the bag for one club, including a 3.8 lb smallmouth), Candlewood Lake (steady at night, including some 3-5 lb smallmouth), Bantam Lake (fair) and Squantz Pond (a little hard to find many bass).
NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good in Bantam Lake (target cooler water), Lake Lillinonah (find the springs), Beseck Lake and Winchester Lake. Try the weed edges for the explosive marauders (be ready, they’ll tear your tackle up).
KOKANEE are being caught at West Hill Pond.
A nice CHAIN PICKEREL came from Lake Wononskopomuc (7 lbs plus).
WALLEYE have made a good showing of late (reports from Lake Saltonstall, Batterson Park Pond and Mashapaug Lake).
Excellent CALICO BASS action is reported in Silver Lake (Meriden), Rogers Lake and Park Pond (small shiners).
CATFISH – Good reports from Black Pond (Middlefield) and Silver Lake (Meriden).
CARP fishing continues to grow in popularity as anglers experience these freshwater ‘tanks’ for themselves. Places to find good carp action include the Connecticut River, Farmington River (Farmington area), Housatonic River, Lake Lillinonah, Hockanum River, Union Pond (Manchester), Lake Zoar, Rogers Lake (have to work to find them here), Squantz Pond and Batterson Park Pond. Aspinook Lake is this week’s sleeper location where some high catch rates have been experienced. Sweet corn is producing well on “popup rigs.” “Swims” pre-baited with homemade “method” are bringing them in. Come to Iain Sorrell’s carp fishing lecture at the DEEP Hunting & Fishing Appreciation Day on Sept. 22, 2012 at Sessions Woods WMA in Burlington to learn more.
CONNECTICUT RIVER -The river remains well below typical August levels and the summer doldrums are beginning to set in.
LARGEMOUTH BASS are providing some action in the coves from below Hartford to the Haddam area. SMALLMOUTH BASS are being caught in the South Windsor/Enfield area on jigs, worms and on black caddis flies. Try wacky rigged Senko worms. Tube worms (4”) on jig heads are also producing. Target these aerial acrobats at dusk and be prepared for some great action. NORTHERN PIKE are hard to find. STRIPED BASS action in the lower river is slow with some fish being boated. CATFISH are being taken at night on cut bait and chicken liver. CARP fishing on homemade baits continues to be good for those willing to pre-bait their “swims” (fishing areas).
Lakes & Ponds – Some trout anglers continue to find some good fishing, with reports from Crystal Lake (19 trout before 8:30 am for one boat, target 25-30 feet, try 1.9-2.2 mph), Lake McDonough (23-25 feet), West Hill Pond, Long Pond (the deep hole), Highland Lake, Coventry Lake (4 colors) and East Twin Lake (4 colors).
Rivers & streams – Temperatures have dropped a bit, but even with some rain in the last several weeks, flows continue to be low in most areas throughout the state and conditions remain challenging for both trout and trout anglers. With low flows and hot weather, early and late in the day are the best fishing times. Some good trout fishing can still be found in some areas, with action reported from the West Branch and main stem Farmington rivers (22” brown among the catches), Housatonic River (dawn & dusk), Eightmile River (East Haddam) and Hammonasset River. Anglers are advised not to forget terrestrial fly patterns; these can be very productive during the summer.
With the chance of rain and thunder storms in the forecast through Saturday, stream flows may vary throughout the state this weekend. Anglers can find real time stream flow data for a number of rivers and streams in CT on the USGS website at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow.
Farmington River – Fishing has been good. Morning water temperatures are in the mid 60’s°F (West Branch TMA, rising during the day, and higher downstream). West Branch flows are clear and continue to be low, currently 89 cfs at Riverton with the Still River adding an additional 16 cfs.
Hatches/patterns – Tricos (Tricorythodes #22-26, spinners starting about 7:00 am) are in the TMA. Ephemerella needhami (#22-26, mid morning), Leadwing Coachman (Isonychia bicolor, #12-14, fast water, evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella sps. #18 & Baetis sps.; #22-24, mid-late afternoon), Sulphurs duns (Epeorus vitreus, #14-18), Cahill (Stenonema ithaca, #12-14), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Midges (#22-28, morning), Black Ants (#14-18, mid day in fast water), Black Beetles (#12-16, mid day), Flying Ants (#18-22, mid day, when windy/humid), Stone Hopper (#8-12, mid day) and Golden Drake (Anthopotamus distinctus, #10-14, late evening) are other successful patterns. Evening brings out a mix of every bug on the water.
Housatonic River – Morning water temperatures are in the low 70’s°F (and increasing to the upper 70’s°F by mid-day). Flows are clear and remain low, currently 165 cfs at Falls Village and 293 cfs at Gaylordsville. Current conditions (very warm temperatures and low flows) can be especially stressful to trout, so anglers should consider switching to smallmouth bass (these conditions are near ideal for smallie fishing). Those targeting trout need to take extreme care when handling trout they plan to release.
Hatches/patterns – The White Fly (#10-12, Ephoron leukon) hatch is winding down. Other hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive larvae (#18-24, early morning; spinner fall in evening, mainly during overcast days), Light Cahill (#12-14, evening), (Isonychia bicolor, #12-14 has been active lately, fast water, evening) and Black caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening). Golden stonefly nymphs hatch at first light and adults egg-lay after dark. Don’t forget streamers (morning & evening), standard patterns include White Zonkers, 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.
NOTES & NOTICES:
* WYASSUP LAKE (impossible to launch) remains drawn down for dam repairs.
*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.
* 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.
*COLEBROOK RIVER LAKE – The boat launch is currently open, but due to low water levels, anglers and boaters may want to check the USACE Colebrook River Lake website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/recreati/crl/crlhome.htm or by calling the Colebrook River Lake office (860-379-8234) for updated information concerning status of the boat launch.
* BANTAM LAKE- The annual Waterski Exhibition will be held this upcoming weekend in North Bay on Friday, August 10 (5 pm to sunset), Saturday, August 11 (1:30 pm – 5 pm) and Sunday, August 12 (1:30 pm – 5 pm). Boaters should use caution in this area.
* BANTAM LAKE- On Wednesday, August 15, several small areas on Bantam Lake are scheduled to be treated with aquatic herbicides. The Morris Town launch will be closed during the treatment. All other launches including the state boat launch (formerly Beverly’s Marine) will remain open for use, but boaters are asked to avoid the areas being treated (maps will be posted at all launches).
* LAKE ZOAR – A water ski clinic for individuals with disabilities is scheduled for Saturday, August 11 in the upper end of Lake Zoar. 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.
CHINESE MITTEN CRAB RECENTLY FOUND IN CONNECTICUT:
DEEP and Connecticut Sea Grant recently confirmed that a juvenile Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) was found in Connecticut waters. The crab was collected from the Mianus Pond fishway on the Mianus River (Greenwich) and is the first confirmed sighting of this invasive crab in this state.
Where abundant, Chinese mitten crabs can damage fishing gear, clog pumps and intake pipes, cause riverbank erosion through their burrowing activities and outcompete native species for food and habitat. These crabs are relatively new to the Atlantic coast, however, and at this time it is unclear as to what their effects will actually be here.
Adult Chinese mitten crabs have several distinctive characteristics that aid in identification:
Claws are of equal size.
“Furry” claws with whitish tips.
Brown to green carapace, four spines (the fourth can be small) on each side.
Notch between the eyes.
Only crab that would be found in freshwater in the Northeast.
Individuals finding a crab that they suspect to be a Chinese mitten crab should keep the crab on ice or freeze it (please do not release the crab), note the exact location it was found, and contact DEEP Marine Fisheries (860-434-6043), DEEP Inland Fisheries (860-424-3474) or CT Sea Grant (Nancy Balcom, 860-407-9107). Any crab found in fresh water should be investigated, as there are no freshwater crabs in New England.
Additionally, an excellent website for more information on Chinese mitten crabs (and other marine invasions) is the Smithsonian Environmental Research Marine Invasions Lab website:
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low to mid 70’s°F. Check out the following web sites for ore detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
STRIPED BASS fishing is good during the nighttime hours and BLUEFISH fishing is good to excellent. Fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef, Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Little Gull Island, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef including outer SW Reef, Six Mile Reef, the reefs off Madison, Guilford, and Branford, Falkner Island area, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef. SNAPPER BLUEFISH fishing remains good to excellent in the tidal rivers, creeks and coves.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing remains slow overall.
SCUP (porgy) fishing is good to excellent on the major reefs.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing remains good over hard rocky bottom and submerged wrecks and reefs. For those anglers venturing into Block Island Sound fishing has been red hot!
ATLANTIC BONITO and LITTLE TUNNY have been reported chasing bait on the surface off the Watch Hill reefs, Pine Island area, Little Gull Island to the Sluiceway, Sixmile Reef, and Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground. But, pinning these speedsters down is another story!
BLUE CLAW CRABBING remains good to excellent with jimmies measuring up to 9 inches from spike to spike!
For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the 2012 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. Anglers can purchase their fishing licenses online (www.ct.gov/deep/fishinglicense) or at participating town halls, DEEP field offices and fishing tackle vendors. 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