Fishing Report Number 17
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 17
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is good, with night fishing in full swing and producing many fish. Try black jitterbugs and surface poppers. Places to try include Candlewood Lake, Highland Lake, Lake McDonough (23 fish on one trip), Hatch Pond (over 25 fish for 2 anglers), Winchester Lake, Congamond Lakes, Lake Saltonstall, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Lower Bolton Lake, Billings Lake, Burr Pond, Cedar Lake, West Hill Pond, Gardner Lake (8 fish for one angler), Tyler Lake, Griggs Pond, Ball Pond, Crystal Lake, Amos Lake, Anderson Pond, Beseck Lake, Halls Pond, Pickerel Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Aspinook Pond, Babcock Pond, Beachdale Pond, Rogers Lake, Black Pond (Woodstock), Stillwater Pond and Park Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Glasgo Pond (fair at best), Lake Zoar (“okay,” and catches included 5.5 lb and 4.5 lb lunkers), Bantam Lake (fair, with a 4 lb lunker), Ashland Pond (fair to good), Aspinook Pond (not bad, with a 5.7 lb lunker), Gardner Lake (good for most, no fish over 2.5 lbs), East Twin Lake (good, with a 5.1 lb lunker) and Lake Lillinonah (a bit tough, but some fair bags reported).
SMALLMOUTH BASS action reported from Highland Lake, Lake McDonough, Squantz Pond, Candlewood Lake, Saugatuck Reservoir, Coventry Lake, Lake Zoar, Lake Housatonic and Lake Lillinonah. Tournament angler reports are from Lake Zoar (fair to good), Bantam Lake (good), Gardner Lake (very few smallies caught) and Candlewood Lake (very good, but they’re getting a bit harder to find). River smallie action is good with reports from the upper Housatonic River (excellent here), Naugatuck River and Willimantic River.
NORTHERN PIKE catches reported from Bantam Lake.
Some WALLEYE are being caught at Lake Saltonstall and Gardner Lake (including a 32 inch, 8.6 lb walleye).
Excellent CALICO BASS action on small minnows is reported from Bantam Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Park Pond Silver Lake and Rogers Lake (grubs working here).
CATFISH – some action reported from Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport), Lake Wintergreen (Hamden/New Haven), Black Pond (Middlefield) and Silver Lake (Meriden).
PANFISH – Hot summers are good for panfishing. Now is the time to get the family out and experience this fast-paced action. Target the shallows with bobbers and worms, grubs or small shiners. Small spinners and jigs have been very productive as well. Get the kids into this. Small local ponds are often great choices, bigger waters to try include Tyler Lake, Lake Hayward, Halls Pond, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Silver Lake (Berlin/Meriden), Black Pond (Meriden), Bashan Lake, Gardner Lake, Tyler Lake, Mamanasco Lake, Wood Creek Pond, Park Pond and Winchester Lake.
In 2010, adult zebra mussels were found in Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah. Prior to these discoveries, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). Anglers fishing in any of these waters and western Connecticut in general should use extra care to avoid transporting water, aquatic vegetation, and possibly zebra mussels to new locations.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Recent rains have increased flows to more typical levels. Some legal size STRIPED BASS are being caught on the rocks at the mouth of the river early in the morning (on eels/bunker). LARGEMOUTH BASS are being taken in the coves around the Haddam area (good action, catches include several 4 lb plus bass). SMALLMOUTH BASS are providing good action north of Hartford (Enfield, King’s Island area and near the mouth of the Farmington River). Try small bait, black caddis flies or 3-4” rubber worms on 3/8oz. football jigs. Night anglers are finding CATFISH. The bite is on cut bait near brush piles and in the deeper holes. Try from just north of Hartford downstream to the Haddam area.
Lakes & Ponds – Summer anglers are finding some action at East Twin Lake, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Beach Pond, Highland Lake, Lake McDonough, Mashapaug Lake and Coventry Lake.
Rivers & streams – Recent rains have improved flows in many areas throughout the state, and with cooler, less humid weather in the forecast for the weekend and next week, conditions for trout fishing should be better. Early and late in the day are peak fishing times during this time of the year. Some good action reported from the West Branch & main stem Farmington River, Housatonic River TMA (early/late), Pequonnock River and Tankerhoosen River.
Farmington River – Trout fishing continues to be good on the river. Flows are clear and remain low, currently 57 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River providing another 56 cfs below Riverton. Morning water temperatures have been in the low to mid 60’s °F in the upper West Branch (from the Goodwin Dam to Riverton), rising through the day and as you move downstream (reaching the low to mid 70’s°F).
Hatches/patterns – Tricos (Tricorythodes #22-26) are hatching through the catch & release area. Ephemerella needhami (#22-26, early morning), Leadwing Coachman (Isonychia bicolor, #12-14, fast water, afternoon/evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella sps. & Baetis sps.; #18, 22-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Cahills/Summer (Stenonema ithaca, #12-14, early morning), Midges (#22-28, morning), Black Ants (#14-20, mid day in fast water), Black Beetles (#16-18, 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 among the successful patterns. Evening brings out every bug on the water.
Housatonic River – Morning water temperatures are in the low 70’s°F (and rising through the day). Flows are clear and much improved due to recent rains, currently 374 cfs at Falls Village and 834 cfs at Gaylordsville. With cooler weather in the forecast, conditions should continue to improve.
Hatches/patterns – The White Fly (Ephoron leukon) in nearing the end of the hatch. Use a White Wulff, #10-12. Other insect activity includes: Light 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. Don’t forget streamers (morning & evening), typical patterns include White Zonkers, Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Also try brown crayfish like streamers as they are effective right now.
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.
* CONNECTICUT RIVER (Windsor) – A canoe/kayak race will be conducted from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday, August 18 in the vicinity of the Bissell Bridge. The loop course runs from the small island just downstream of the Bissell Bridge state launch up the river to the Farmington river and then into the Farmington River to the Route 159 bridge. Start and finish will be near the Bissell Bridge launch (the launch will remain open to use by the general public).
* CONNECTICUT RIVER (Hartford) – Riverfront Recapture will be holding its annual “Dragon Boat Races” on Saturday, August 18 (9 am – 3 pm) and Sunday, August 19 (9 am – 3 pm) on the CT River in Hartford between the Founders Bridge and the Charter Oak Bridge. Boat travel through the course area will be difficult during the race events, use extra caution or avoid the area.
* CANDLEWOOD LAKE – CLA will be holding its annual “Dragon Boat Races” on Saturday, August 18 from 7 am to 5 pm in the upper end of the New Milford arm (Lynn Deming Town Park). This area will be congested with participants and spectators.
*COVENTRY LAKE – A Waterski Exhibition will be held Sunday, August 19 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the area to the west in front of the state boat launch. The launch will remain open for use by the public and a lane will available to pass by the water ski area. Boaters should use caution in this area.
* LAKE LILLINONAH – We have received a number of inquiries from anglers about the status of the Route 133 (Steel Bridge) boat launch. The renovations scheduled for this launch won’t occur until sometime in 2013, and the launch remains open for use until the project begins.
ZEBRA MUSSELS continue to be found scattered throughout the Housatonic River system
The presence of adult zebra mussels in Lake Housatonic was confirmed in November, 2011. Earlier that summer, adult mussels were confirmed in the Housatonic River in Massachusetts and free-floating juveniles (veligers) were found at a number of sites in the river downstream to Lake Lillinonah.
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.
One of only a few crabs 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).
An excellent website for more information on Chinese mitten crabs (and other marine invasions) is the Smithsonian Environmental Research Marine Invasions Lab website: www.serc.si.edu/labs/marine_invasions/index.aspx
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the 70’s°F. Check out the following web sites for more detiled water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
STRIPED BASS fishing is fair to good from dusk to dawn. Live lining bunker, eels, or scup is the ticket or bouncing buck tailed jigs garnished with a long strip of pork rind has been effective. BLUEFISH fishing remains good to excellent with a mixed size of fish ranging from 4 lbs to the lower teens. The usual fishing spots for stripers and bluefish 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, the “humps” south of Hatchett Reef, lower 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, the reefs around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
SNAPPER BLUEFISH fishing remains good to excellent with most fish measuring 5 to 7 inches in length.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing remains on the slow side throughout LIS.
SCUP (porgy) fishing remains good to excellent on the major reefs and rock piles.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is good on the deep water reefs and wrecks.
LITTLE TUNNY and ATLANTIC BONITO can be found cruising around on the water surface south of Fishers Island, the Race, and Little Gull Island.
BLUE CLAW CRABBING remains good to excellent in the tidal creeks. The time to go is NOW!
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 .