ATLANTIC SALMON – Fair action reported from the Naugatuck River. Some catches also reported from Crystal Lake, but action definitely was slower this past weekend.
Stocking Update – DEEP has so far stocked approximately 1,225 broodstock salmon since late September. These fish were released into Crystal Lake (200 salmon) Mount Tom Pond (100 salmon), the upper Naugatuck River (253 salmon), lower Naugatuck River (253 salmon) and Shetucket River (413 salmon). These salmon range in size from 2 to 15 pounds each.
Spawning begins soon, and DEEP expects approximately another 800 salmon from the Kensington Hatchery will eventually be available for stocking this fall. These fish will range in weight from 4 to 15 pounds each, and some may be available for stocking as soon as next week (if Tropical storm/Hurricane Sandy doesn’t interfere).
Fall Trout Stocking is complete – A total of 27,600 adult trout (11,800 brown trout and 15,800 rainbow trout) were stocked from early September through mid-October. The brown trout were all 12 inch and larger fish and the rainbow trout were all standard size (9-10 inch fish). A total of 43,000 “yearling” (6-9 inch fish) were also stocked out this fall.
Rivers & streams – Conditions should be fairly good this weekend for fishing, flows are on the high side in some rivers and streams (mostly in western CT) but very fishable in most areas (see box to the right) and the forecast is for comfortable weather. Depending on how close Tropical storm/hurricane Sandy comes to CT, flows may increase next week (possibly to difficult to fish levels).
Good action was reported from the Housatonic River, Farmington River and Naugatuck River last week. Anglers have been having good success using streamers (#2-12) on 2X tippet (9 am-1 pm, during low light periods/overcast days) or nymphing for their fish. Try white, yellow & brown colors, patterns include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Nymphs to bottom-bounce include 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 to very good. West Branch flows are clear, moderate and very fishable, currently 147 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River adding an additional 96 cfs.
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia (#12-14, parachute style), Blue Wing Olives (#18, 22-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-28, all day; brown #16-18,), Midges (#20-32, morning) and Rusty Spinner (#16-22, morning) and Rusty Spinner (#14-14, morning).
Housatonic River – Trout fishing has been good. Flows are on the high side, but still very fishable (1,150 at Falls Village and 1,870 cfs at Gaylordsville) and morning water temperatures are in the low 50’s°F.
Hatches/patterns include the Blue Wing Olive (main hatch, #18, 22-24, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#10-12 evening), Midges (#20-24) and Black caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening).
Lakes &Ponds – Variable fishing success was reported by anglers as the fish settle into their fall behaviors, with reports from East Twin Lake (fish are in close to shore), West Hill Pond, Squantz Pond, Crystal Lake (tough fishing last weekend, shore anglers had better luck) and Coventry Lake.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as generally fair to slow. Areas to try include Wononskopomuc Lake (until next Wednesday), Winchester Lake, Highland Lake, Candlewood Lake (slow), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Red Cedar Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Bishop Pond, Lake Hayward, Glasgo Lake, Quinebaug Lake, Silver Lake, Beseck Lake, Black Pond (Meriden), West Hill Pond and Bantam Lake. Tournament reports are from Billings Lake (tough, cold water/”dormant” fish, nothing over 2.1 lbs), Mashapaug Lake (slow, with a lot of “shorts” getting in the way, with a 3.7 lb lunker), Highland Lake (fair, nothing over 3 lbs), Gardner Lake (slow) and Candlewood Lake (hard to find).
SMALLMOUTH BASS catches were reported from Lake Lillinonah, Squantz Pond, Coventry Lake, Mashapaug Lake and West Hill Pond. Tournament reports are from Gardner Lake (a few in the bags), highland Lake (fair, with three 3 lb plus smallmouth caught) and Candlewood Lake (hard fishing, fish are deep & hard to locate).
NORTHERN PIKE fall bite is here! Anglers should target Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, the upper Housatonic River, Lake Lillinonah, Bantam Lake, Winchester Lake, Quaddick Lake (note that due to drawdown, access by trailer boats may be difficult) and Pachaug Pond.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Some STRIPED BASS to 40 inches are being caught by chunking bunker. Action in the lower river has been variable. WHITE PERCH & BLACK CRAPPIE (fair to good action) was reported last week in the coves throughout the river. Try night crawlers on the bottom or small jigs bounced just off the bottom, tipped with small shiners. NORTHERN PIKE fishing is picking up and should continue to get better. Fish are being found in Middletown, Harbor Park, Haddam and downstream to the mouth of the Salmon River. CHANNEL CATFISH are still providing anglers with short term loans of bait and some good action as they respond to chunk and cut-bait on the outside edges of channels and in the coves up and down the river. Try the Wethersfield, Hartford and Middletown Portland areas. CARP fishing has been consistent this fall with many high teen and low twenty pounders being reported. Another Carp Learning Event will be held at Batterson Park Pond this weekend. Come and learn from the experts how to catch these powerful fish.
NOTES & NOTICES:
* WYASSUP LAKE (impossible to launch) remains drawn down.
* COLEBROOK RIVER LAKE – Due to low water levels, anglers and boaters should check the USACE Colebrook River Lake website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/recreati/crl/crlhome.htm or call the Colebrook River Lake office (860-379-8234) for updated information concerning status of the boat launch.
* CANDLEWOOD LAKE (lake levels) – The lake level is down close to the minimum “summer” level (as required under the FERC license) to facilitate some necessary maintenance of the power facility including replacement of the penstock. At this level (“summer” minimum) the launching of trailered boats (especially larger boats) may become difficult at the Lattins Cove state launch but the Squantz Cove state launch remains fully functional.
* CANDLEWOOD LAKE (safety buoy removals) – The Candlewood Lake authority has begun removing the hazard, navigation and speed buoys for the winter. Boaters, especially those unfamiliar with the lake should use extra caution out on the lake.
* QUADDICK LAKE has been drawn down several feet, launching of trailered boats at the state launch may be very difficult.
* In eastern CT, “winter” drawdowns of Bashan Lake, Beseck Lake, Gardner Lake, Lower Bolton Lake, Middle Bolton Lake, Pickerel Lake, Pachaug Pond and Mashapaug Lake have begun.
* LAKE ZOAR is drawn down with refilling scheduled to begin October 28th. Lake Lillinonah is currently scheduled to be drawn down beginning November 3rd and ending November 11th. During these drawdowns, launching of trailer boats will be difficult to impossible at the state boat launches.
* Anglers are reminded that Wednesday (October 31st) is the last day of the fishing season at several lakes and ponds scattered throughout the state, most notably LAKE WONOSCOPOMUC, GREEN FALLS RESERVOIR, BATTERSON PARK POND and SHENIPSIT RESERVOIR. Please refer to the 2012 CT Angler’s Guide for additional locations.
Broodstock Atlantic salmon regulations and areas summary
* Regulations for broodstock on the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers. In rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to CATCH-AND-RELEASE ONLY through November 30. From December 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure.
* On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor). The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area, from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.
* Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. The salmon are typically stocked into two designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas on the Naugatuck River, the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston) and the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck, from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls). From October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in these designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
* The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit will be one salmon per day. (Please refer to the 2012 CT Angler’s Guide for trout regulations).
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the high 50’s to low 60’s °F. October can be a really windy month so check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boaing conditions:
Remember, don’t forget about our state parks for some prime fall fishing opportunities. Just go to our web site at http://www.depdata.ct.gov/maps/marinefish/fishmap.htm to find a good place to fish close to home.
BLUEFISH fishing has slowed down and STRIPED BASS fishing has gotten better. However, bluefish weighing in the teens are still being reported! Stripers in the 40+ inch range are being caught by anglers live lining eels. Schoolies are now showing up in the tidal rivers. Fishing spots include the usual locations: Watch Hill area, Ram Island Reef, Thames River, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Little Gull Island, outer Bartlett Reef, off 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, New Haven Harbor, Milford Harbor Jetties/Gulf Beach, 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.
TAUTOG (blackfish) fishing is going strong on the local rock piles, reefs, and breakwaters. Fresh bait and sharp hooks are key for a successful trip.
SCUP (porgy) fishing is good on the local reefs but time is waning!
BLACK SEA BASS fishing has also slowed down but is still doable.
LITTLE TUNNY and ATLANTIC BONITO are still around off Watch Hill and south shore of Fishers Island but it’s a crap shoot.