Weekly Fishing Report
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally good. Areas to try include Mashapaug Lake, Congamond Lakes, Anderson Lake, Lake Waramaug, West Hill Pond, Park Pond, Highland Lake, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Gardner Lake (fish up to 5 lbs), Moodus Reservoir, Batterson Park Pond, Candlewood Lake, Still Water Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc, Lake Saltonstall, Winchester Lake, Bantam Lake, Squantz Pond, Maltby Lake 2 & 3, Lake McDonough, Wood Creek Pond, Pachaug Pond, Ball Pond, Quonnipaug Lake, Silver Lake (Meriden) & Halls Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Highland Lake (very good fishing, the lunker was 5 lbs, but finding fish over 2 lbs was difficult), Beach Pond (tough fishing and no big fish, lunker was only 1.6 lbs), Bashan Lake (slow, with a 3.9 lb lunker), Quaddick Lake (good fishing, 5.75 lb lunker), Pachaug Pond (fair at best in the evening, 3.3 lb lunker), Gardner Lake (excellent action with lots of fish caught, 3.9 lb lunker), East Twin Lake (good, with a 5.3 lb lunker), Aspinook Pond (Quinebaug River, fair action with a 3.1 lb lunker, a swift current complicated fishing) and Candlewood Lake (fair fishing, with a 4.6 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing has been slow to fair, with reports from Mashapaug Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Lake Zoar, Rainbow Reservoir, Highland Lake, Coventry Lake and Gardner Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Highland Lake (only a few in the bags) and Candlewood Lake (only fair, try deep around humps).
NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good at Winchester Lake and Bantam Lake.
KOKANEE are being caught at West Hill Pond at 3 colors of lead line. Mooselook Wobblers, DB Smelt, Flask King lures (blue & silver) are also producing.
WALLEYE – some catches reported from Batterson Park Pond and Squantz Pond.
CATFISH fishing is reported to be very good in the stocked catfish areas with some 4-6 lbs fish being caught. Locations to try include Lakewood Lake (Waterbury), Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport), Keney Park Pond (Hartford), Mohegan Park Pond (Spaulding Pond, Norwich), Black Pond (Middlefield), Maltby Lakes 2 & 3 (Orange/West Haven), Pattaconk Lake (Chester), Silver Lake (Meriden), Freshwater Pond (Enfield), Pickett’s Pond (Derby), Hopeville Pond (Griswold), Quinebaug Lake (Killingly), Lake Kenosia (Danbury), Stillwater Pond (Torrington) and Lake Wintergreen (Hamden/New Haven).
PANFISH are showing up in big numbers and are easy to catch. Try the fishing area closest to you. Use worms, grubs and any type of inexpensive fishing pole or drop line and give these easy-to-catch fish a try. Kids love this non-stop action and it will get them interested in fishing. Mid-size locations to try include Batterson Park Pond, Silver Lake (Berlin), Sochrin Pond (Seymour), Tetreault Pond (Killingly), Tollgate Pond (Greenwich), Valley Falls Pond (Vernon), Black Rock State Park Pond, Walkers Reservoir (Vernon), Zeiner Pond (Plymouth), Hellen Keller School Pond (Easton) and Kaatz Pond (Trumbull).
Flows are fishable, but remain somewhat higher than typical late-June levels. STRIPED BASS fishing at the mouth has been on the difficult side due to increased turbidity caused by the many recent rain events. Anglers in the mid to lower portions of the river were having good luck with CATFISH in the holes (see below). Now that flows have receded some, SMALLMOUTH BASS are putting on a good show above Hartford. Try top water plugs and 4inch Wacky Style worms in motor oil or chartreuse for these feisty jumpers.
Rivers & streams – Conditions should be variable this weekend. Currently, flows statewide are higher than typical late June levels but quite fishable. With more precipitation, including possible localized downpours, in the forecast, anglers can expect that flows may vary widely throughout the state this weekend. Flows for a number of rivers and streams can be checked at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt).
Good success is being found using worms or corn/mealworm combinations. Virtually every insect can be active now and a number should be hatching. Don’t ignore terrestrial patterns as many bugs have been washed into the water recently. Areas with good reports for fishing last week include the Farmington River (fishing well now), Housatonic River (getting better), Natchaug River, Hockanum River, Salmon River TMA, Farm River, Naugatuck River, Eightmile River (East Haddam/Lyme) and Blackberry River.
TIPS & TRICKS – LOCATING CATFISH
There are four basic river structures a catfish will relate to:
The first is a run -
A flat area of a river that has very little contour to it.
Consists of flat water or just a little ripple.
May be feeding locations when fish are on the prowl.
Fish it during low light periods, nighttime and during the pre-spawn.
The second is a riffle -
The river narrows/gets shallow forcing the water to speed up.
Creates faster current that runs into the holes downstream.
Catches & funnels food into the downstream holes.
Provides fresh oxygenated water.
The third is a hole -
Fish will be in the holes or snags located in or downstream of a riffle.
The currents increase your ability to find fishing spots.
Fish feed actively at the head of a hole in periods of low light.
Fish rest in deeper sections of the holes or under the snags during periods of high light.
The fourth is an eddy -
Defined as water going in a different direction from main current, i.e. Circular motion.
Water slowing down.
A snag waving back & forth may be where resting fish are.
Farmington River – Fishing is getting better (high flows last week made fishing difficult to impossible at times). West Branch flows continue to clear and have dropped to more fishable levels, currently 483 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River adding another 136 cfs. There should be plenty of trout in the upper reaches for the Fourth of July. The West Branch (from Goodwin Dam to the upper boundary of the year-round catch-and-release area) will be stocked with 2,250 brown trout (12 inch and longer fish) early next week. Morning West Branch water temperatures are in the upper 50’s°F.
Hatches include Isonychia (#12-14), Vitreus (a.k.a. pale evening dun, #14-16, from 5:00 pm to dark), Tan Caddis (#16-18, good all day) and Sulfurs, (Invaria #14-18 hatches mid-day and Dorothea #16-18). The fish show a preference for the males (#18). Successful patterns include Light Cahill (#12-18), March Brown nymphs (#12-14), Gray Fox (#14, afternoon), Blue Wing Olives (#18-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening), Midges (#20-32) and Pale Evening Duns (Epeorus vitreus #14-16, afternoon & early evenings).
Housatonic River – Conditions and fishing continue to improve. Flows are clearing (3 feet visibility) and very fishable, although still on the high side (currently 1,240 cfs at Falls Village and 2,200 at Gaylordsville). Morning water temperatures are in the upper 60’s °F (and rising through the day). As more precipitation is in the forecast, anglers may want to call FirstLight Power Resources at 1-888-417-4837 or check the USGS website for updated Housatonic River flow information.
Major insect hatches are here and can provide excellent fly fishing. Alder/Zebra Caddis (#10-12) are hot right now, Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#16-18, cloudy days, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#8-12 late afternoon & evening, just starting), Cahill (#14, evenings), Adams (#12-16, evening), March Brown (#10-12) & Gray Foxes (#14-16) are producing. Green caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening) are on the water.
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. Areas to try include Lake Wononskopomuc, East Twin Lake (target 40 feet), West Hill Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Beach Pond (try early), Crystal Lake (Ellington; fish at 20 feet, troll at 2 mph), Lake McDonough, Mount Tom Pond, Mohawk Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Beach Pond, Highland Lake and Coventry Lake.
REMINDER TO ANGLERS-
FISHING IN OR CASTING INTO PERMITTED SWIM AREAS IS PROHIBITED.
State regulations prohibit fishing in or into a swim area that’s been permitted by DEEP. Additionally, vessels cannot be operated within a permitted swim area, and there’s a 100 foot “no-wake” zone around the perimeter.
Swim areas that have been permitted by DEEP will be marked by white buoys with orange markings, and there should be a permit number posted on the buoys. They may or may not have small orange barrier floats to further demarcate the area.
Should questions arise concerning the validity of the swim area (no permit numbers or the area appears to have been changed/enlarged or keeps moving), please contact DEEP’s Boating Division at 860-434-8638.
ZEBRA MUSSELS REMINDER
Zebra mussels are now found in a number of locations scattered throughout the Housatonic River and its impoundments including Lake Lillinonah (since 2010), Lake Zoar (since 2010) and Lake Housatonic (since 2011).
Prior to their discovery in Lakes Lillinonah and Zoar in 2010, 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. Information
For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit http://www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2013 CT angler’s Guide .
NOTES & NOTICES:
COLEBROOK RIVER LAKE. The boat launch at Colebrook River Lake has reopened.
LAKE LILLINONAH. A water ski clinic for the disabled is scheduled for Saturday, June 23 in the far upper end of the “Shepaug Arm.” 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.
LAKE MCDONOUGH & GOODWIN DAM-WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR. The MDC recreational facilities, including boat launches, at both Lake McDonough and the West Branch Reservoir are now both open to use.
LAKE ZOAR. A water ski clinic for the disabled is scheduled for Saturday, June 29, 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.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range from the low to high 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
BLUEFISH fishing remains good at the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Black Point, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island north rip, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands.
STRIPED BASS fishing also remains good. Best time to fish is at dawn. The usual striper spots include the Watch Hill area, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, Thames River, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, humps south of Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison and Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island/Milford area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands. Stripers measuring over 40 inches in length are not unusual to catch! Fishing live eels and bunker are the ticket for catching “cow” bass.
CONNECTICUT RIVER BONUS STRIPED BASS PROGRAM ENDS JUNE 30TH.
The last day to use bonus striped bass vouchers is June 30th.
For more information, visit: Bonus Striper Vouchers or call: 860-424-3474 or 860-434-6043
SUMMER FLOUNDER fishing is rated good. Fluke spots include the south side of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach), Black Point, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, around the Norwalk Islands and along the north shore of Long Island.
SCUP fishing has improved on the major reefs. For anglers fishing from shore, the Fort Trumbull State Park fishing pier in New London has been the hot spot!
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is fair to good on the local reefs. Fishing deeper (75+ ft) wrecks and hard bottom areas around slack tide have been producing good catches.
WEAKFISH reports are still coming in from the Guilford-Branford area, New Haven Harbor, Milford/Charles Island area and off the mouth of the Housatonic River.
For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the 2013 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. 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.