Weekly Fishing Report
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing has been generally good but spotty as the heat has slowed both anglers and fish at times. Areas to try include Upper Moodus Reservoir, Pachaug Pond, Lake Saltonstall, Lake McDonough, Lake Wononskopomuc, Candlewood Lake, Hatch Pond, Congamond Lakes, Bantam River, Little Pond (“Little Bantam”), Shelton Reservoir, Southford Falls, Mudge Pond, West Hill Pond, Gardner Lake, Rogers Lake, Pickerel Lake, Bishop Swamp, Cedar Lake, Batterson Park Pond, Black Pond (Meriden), Stillwater Pond, Moodus Reservoir, Halls Pond, Winchester Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir. Tournament angler reports are from Lake Lillinonah (good fishing with 4.85 lb and 4.07 lb lunkers, fish averaged over 2 lbs each for one club ), Candlewood Lake (good), Highland Lake (fair), Amos Lake (slow), Pachaug Pond and Long Pond (tough bite, hot, with a 4.7 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS are reported at Lake McDonough, Crystal Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake Zoar, Mashapaug Lake, the upper Housatonic River (surface action on poppers; fish up to 17 inches) and Shetucket River. Tournament angler reports are from Lake Lillinonah (good), Highland Lake (tough) and Candlewood Lake (fair to good, try deep).
NORTHERN PIKE fishing is good, with reports from Pachaug Pond (very good), Winchester Lake and Bantam Lake.
WALLEYE are being reported from Batterson Park Pond (night), Lake Saltonstall ((tough due to the heat), Mashapaug Lake and Coventry Lake.
SUNFISH are providing excellent action statewide using poppers on a fly rod. Now is the time to get the family out and experience the fast-paced action of fishing for panfish. Small local ponds are often great places for summer sunnies, bigger locations to try include Dog Pond, Leonard Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Keeney Park Pond, Lantern Hill Pond, Red Cedar Lake, Savin Pond, Ross Pond, Muddy Pond, Norwich Pond, Roseland Lake, Cedar Lake and Lake Hayward.
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.
For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2013 CT angler’s Guide( www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide).
ATLANTIC SALMON came to net this past week for a lucky angler fishing at Mount Tom Pond.
KOKANEE SALMON are being caught at West Hill Pond (early; rigger set at 30 feet).
For the latter portion of last week, the river was unfishable due to high flows. The river has cleared some and flows are now back at much more comfortable levels for fishing and boating (although still a bit on the high side). Good reports for
LARGMOUTH BASS, SMALLMOUTH BASS as well as NORTHERN PIKE in the upper river (north of Hartford up to Massachusetts). Good reports also for largemouth bass from Salmon River Cove. STRIPED BASS fishing was good at the mouth early last week, and then slowed due to deteriorating conditions due to high flows. CATFISH action was good early last week.
Lakes & Ponds – Anglers are finding some fair to good summer trout fishing, with reports from Crystal Lake (Ellington), Mt Tom Pond, Mohawk Pond, Highland Lake (target 20-25 feet), East Twin Lake, Coventry Lake, Mashapaug Lake, West Hill Pond (target 5 colors), Beach Pond (streamers are working), Lake McDonough (lower basin) and Long Pond (recent catches include a 10.25 lb fish).
Rivers & streams – With hot & humid summer weather appearing to be fully entrenched, early and late in the day are the best times for both trout and trout fishing. Flows statewide are generally fishable, but continue to be higher than typical mid-July levels (see box on page 4). Flows for a number of rivers and streams can be checked at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt). Good reports for last week from the West Branch Farmington River (below the dam), Salmon River, Leadmine Brook (Harwinton), Tankerhoosen River, Eightmile River, Hammonasett River and Housatonic River (cooler early or late).
Farmington River – Fishing was good on the upper West Branch last weekend, and conditions should be fairly good for the upcoming weekend and next week, with plenty of recently stocked trout and moderating flows. Currently flows are at a bit on the high side, 404 cfs at Riverton with the Still River adding another 257 cfs (barring heavy thunderstorms, Still River flows should continue to drop over the weekend). West Branch water temperatures have been in the upper 50’s to low 60’s°F.
Hatches/patterns: Ephemerella needhami (#22-26, early morning; 9:00am), Isonychia bicolor, (#12-14, evening), Light Cahill, (Stenonema ithaca, #12-14, evening), Blue Wing Olives (#18-20 Drunella lata & #22-26 D. cornuta & cornutella, cloudy days, mid-late afternoon), Sulphurs, (Epeorus vitreus duns #14-18, afternoon to early evening for spinners), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #16-18, evening) and Midges (#20-32, morning) are successful patterns. Ants, beetles and Midges have been good throughout the day, when it’s hot and humid. Most success is below the surface on nymphs, wets and streamers. Try bottom bouncing caddis pupa Euro-style.
Housatonic River – Fishing was fair to good last week. Flows remain a bit high but at fishable levels and will likely drop further during the weekend, currently 1,250 cfs at Falls Village and 2,150 cfs at Gaylordsville. As some localized thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next several days, anglers may wish to call FirstLight Power at 1-888-417-4837 or check the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow) for updated flow information. Water temperatures are currently in the low to mid 70’s°F mornings and rising through the day. With only slightly cooler temperatures forecast for the weekend and another heat wave in the forecast for next week, anglers should consider switching to smallmouth bass (these conditions are near ideal for river smallie fishing).
Current hatches/patterns include Alder/Zebra Caddis (Macrostemum zebratum, #10-12, afternoon-evening), Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#18-20, early morning; spinner fall will be in the evening), Isonychia sps. (#10-12 evening), Light Cahill (#12-14, evening), and tan & green caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening). Ants & Beetles (#14-20) are contributing well during humid days. Midges (#20-24) and stoneflies (#4-8) typically are located at the mouths of streams. Golden stonefly nymphs normally hatch at first light and adults should egg-lay after dark. Don’t forget streamers (best bet, morning & evening). Patterns to try 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.
TIPS & TRICKS – CATFISH
* Clams & mussels should not be overlooked for bait.
* Look for shellfish in water near the shore.
* Decaying clams generate bubbles causing the flesh to float above the shells attracting fish.
* Let your bait rest in a bucket for a day to develop a good scent.
* Rotten bait is not as effective.
* Prime time is between 10 pm – 2 am when fish move from deep water to feed.
* Use medium to heavy rod with 20 lb test braid.
* Carolina rig with egg sinker & 3/0 hook is recommended.
*Catfish, which are warm water fish, will be feeding heavily by midsummer.
*Target 3-6 foot humps off shore as these will hold fish.
*Look for snag filled areas loaded with timber for your trophy.
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.
LAKE & POND BATHYMETRIC MAPS
Bathymetric maps of many of Connecticut’s public access lakes and ponds can be found online at:
NOTES & NOTICES:
LOWER BOLTON LAKE . A boat Parade will be held on Saturday, July 13 from 2 pm to 13:30 pm. Boats will be completing a clockwise circuit along the shoreline.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Hartford area. The Riverfront Recapture boat launches at Riverside Park (Hartford), Great River (East Hartford) and Charter Oak (Hartford) boat launches have all reopened. The 2013 “Riverfest” fireworks display has been rescheduled to Thursday, July 18 at 9:30 pm. The Great River (East Hartford) and Charter Oak (Hartford) boat launches will be closed on July 18 and the river in the Hartford area can be expected to be congested, with restrictions on navigational access in the area of the fireworks barges.
CRYSTAL LAKE (Ellington). The swim portion of a triathlon will be conducted from 8:00 am to 8:30 am on Sunday, July 14, in the southern end of the lake in front of Sandy Beach.
HIGHLAND LAKE. The annual Highland Lake boat Parade will be held on Saturday, July 13 from 8 pm to 9:30 pm. Beginning and ending at Holland Beach, boats will complete a clockwise circuit along the shoreline.
QUADDICK LAKE. Portions of Quaddick Lake are scheduled to be treated with herbicides on Tuesday, July 16th. The state launch will remain open and there are no restrictions on fishing. Water contact recreational activities such as jet skis, kayaks, sailboats and swimming will however be restricted. Boaters are advised to avoid treatment areas.
LAKE ZOAR. A water ski clinic for the disabled is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, in the upper end of Lake Zoar (approximately the upper first mile of the lake below the Shepaug Dam). 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 high 60’s to the mid 70’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions: http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html
BLUEFISH fishing remains good throughout LIS. Bluefish spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Pigeon Rip (rip line just north of Plum Island), Plum Gut, 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. Snapper bluefish are in the tidal rivers and creeks but only measure 3 inches in length.
STRIPED BASS fishing is consistent throughout LIS. Anglers using live eels and/or bunker have been scoring well on “cow” stripers very early in the morning. Striper spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Cornfield Point, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison to Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island/Milford area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands.
SUMMER FLOUNDER fishing has dropped off (rated fair). The better fluking spots have been the south side of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach), off the mouth of the Thames River over to Goshen Point, Niantic Bay, Black Point, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, and New Haven Harbor.
SCUP fishing has picked up on the local reefs. Squid strips have been the preferred bait.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing has also picked up with the Falkner Island area and the reefs off Madison to Branford being the hot spots.
BLACKFISH fishing has been good in about 10 to 20 feet of water on the local reefs and rock piles in close to shore. This a good time to hit our coastal state parks for some shore fishing “tog” action.
BLUE CRABS are off to an excellent crabbing start in the tidal rivers and coves. With all the rainfall and freshwater runoff, flood tide is the best time to go.
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.