CT DEEP 2013

LARGEMOUTH BASS  fishing has been good to very good in most areas. Frogs, night topwater lures and drop shot rigs are putting fish in the boat. Areas to try include East Twin Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Candlewood Lake, Mudge Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc, Lake Lillinonah, Lake Zoar, Lake McDonough, Bolton Lakes, Congamond Lakes, Hatch Pond, Upper Moodus Reservoir, Maltby Lakes (2 & 3), West Hill Pond, Hopeville Pond, Pachaug Pond, Anderson Lake, Pickerel Lake, Batterson Park Pond, Babcock Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Highland Lake, Quinebaug River, Bantam Lake, Lake Hayward, Ball Pond, Lake Kenosia, Griggs Pond, Stillwater Lake, Gardner Lake, Rogers Lake, Bishop Swamp, Black Pond (Woodstock), Coventry Lake and Silver Lake (Meriden). Tournament angler reports are from East Twin Lake (fair to good at night, 4.04 lb lunker), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (several clubs found a good bite, and lots of fish, especially early, with 4.25 lb and 3.68 lb lunkers), Gardner Lake (good bass fishing, with a 4.02 lb lunker), Long Pond (a bit tough, lots of pickerel getting in the way, 4.17 lb lunker), Aspinook Pond (good, with a 5.8 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (good during the day, fair to good at night, with a 5.2 lunker), Pachaug Pond (fair fishing with a 4.36 lb lunker) and Bantam Lake (very good with lots of fish caught and culled, catches included a 4.89 lunker and three other 4 lb plus fish).

SMALLMOUTH BASS – Lake & pond smallmouth fishing is generally slow to fair with reports from Candlewood Lake (plenty of catches, look for fish on the humps), Colebrook Reservoir, Highland Lake, Squantz Pond, Bantam Lake and Mashapaug Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (fair to good days with some in the 3-4 lb range, also good at night) and Aspinook Pond (tough but one 4.4 lb smallie among the bags). River smallmouth are however active and crazy right now, with good to excellent reports from the Housatonic River (excellent this week, action really picked up as flows dropped and the heat wave really set in), Naugatuck River and Farmington River (Tariffville area).


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.

NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good in Bantam Lake, Winchester Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Hamilton Reservoir (Union/MA) and Pachaug Pond.

WALLEYE are being reported from Squantz Pond, Coventry Lake (a few, at night), Lake Saltonstall (target 25 feet) and Batterson Park Pond.

KOKANEE have been caught this week at West Hill Pond and at East Twin Lake (target 25-30 feet).

CATFISH – Summer catfishing has been slow in the recently stocked areas, although some action has been reported from Lake Wintergreen (Hamden) and Silver Lake (Meriden).

PANFISH – It’s been good weather for fishing for sunnies. It’s a great activity for kids and will get them interested in fishing. Target the shallows with bobbers and worms, grubs or small shiners. An inexpensive fishing pole or drop line works just fine, and your small local ponds are often great places to try. Larger waters to try include Lake of Isles, Silver Lake, Dog Pond, Halls Pond, Lake Kenosia, Tyler Lake, West Side Pond, Park Pond, Gorton Pond, Lake Waramaug, Billings Lake and Pattagansett Lake.

Although somewhat on the high side and turbid, the river is very fishable and boat-able and flows continue to clear and drop to more typical mid-summer levels. NORTHERN PIKE fishing has been slow (although some catches have been reported from the Salmon River cove/Haddam area, mostly smaller fish). SMALLMOUTH BASS are being caught both above Hartford (South Windsor/Enfield area) and the Haddam area. WHITE PERCH & CHANNEL CATFISH were reported in the Middletown section.


Rivers & streams – Flows throughout the state are quite fishable, and still a bit higher than typical summer levels (see box on page 4). However, anglers and trout have been challenged by very hot weather (expected to last into Saturday). Early and late in the day are the best fishing times during the summer, try targeting areas of cooler waters to reduce stress on fish. Good reports from the West Branch Farmington River and Housatonic River (evenings), and some action reported from the Salmon River.

Farmington River – Fishing has been good, especially in the upper West Branch Farmington where there are still plenty of recently stocked trout. West Branch flows are moderate, currently 389 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 56 cfs from the Still River. Water temperatures are in the low 60’s°F in the morning and rising some through the day and as you move farther downstream.

Hatches/patterns include Ephemerella needhami (#22-26, early morning), Cahills (Stenonema Ithaca, #12-14), Leadwing Coachman (Isonychia bicolor, #12-14, evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella sps., #18-24, mid-late afternoon), Sulphurs (Epeorus vitreus, #14-18) duns (#14-20, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners), Caddis (Brachycentrus sps., tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening), Midges (#20-32, morning), Black Ants (#8-10, hot mornings in fast water), Black Beetles (#16-18), Flying Ants/Termites (#14-18, when hot & humid after a rain) and Golden Drake (Anthopotamus distinctus, #10-14, late evening).

Housatonic River – Early mornings are providing some good fishing. Flows are clear and moderate, currently 503 cfs at Falls Village and 1,080 cfs at Gaylordsville. Morning water temperatures are now in the mid 70’s°F (and will rise through the day). These summer conditions can be very stressful to trout, and especially during extended bouts of high temperatures, it’s an excellent time to switch to smallmouth bass (these conditions are near ideal for smallie fishing). Those targeting trout are reminded to additional care when handling trout they plan to release! More moderate air temperatures are forecast for Sunday and early next week, which however may improve water temperatures.

Hatches/patterns include Alder/Zebra Caddis (Macrostemum zebratum, are around in small numbers, #10-12, afternoon-evening near overhangs), Isonychia bicolor (#10-12, late afternoon/evening), Light Cahill (Stenacron sps. #12-14, evening), and Tan & green caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening). Don’t forget streamers (morning & evening; white is a go to color). Patterns to try include White Zonkers, Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10, with a red throat).

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 – Anglers continue to find fair to good trout fishing, with reports from Beach Pond (15 trout for one angler, 5:00 am-7:30 am), Mashapaug Lake (26-28 feet), Crystal Lake (Ellington, 7-8 colors), East Twin Lake (riggers 25-30 feet), West Hill Pond (5 colors, riggers at 25-30 feet), Lake McDonough (target 25-30 feet), Mohawk Pond, Mt Tom Pond, Highland Lake (middle bay, early/late) and Long Pond (worms in the deep hole).


* know the water, feeding & habitat characteristics of the fish.

* Concentrations of fish can be pinpointed easily.

* Boat speed dictates lure speed & depth.

*Trout favor certain areas of a lake.

* Locate food sources in a given lake, & fish will be found nearby.

* Fish relate to structure, cover & a dropoff. Fish finder will help you find these.

* Trout lakes stratify into three layers during spring & stay that way until late fall. The middle layer of water, the thermocline, contains both a large amount of dissolved oxygen & forage fish.

* Blade shape of lake trolls determines how fast it will rotate & sound vibrations produced.

* Larger & more blades should be used for deep trolling or murky water.

* Fewer/smaller blades should be used in clear water or depths of 10 to 20 feet.

* Nickel finishes work best on bright days or in clear water.

* Brass & copper finishes produce better in murky, deep or stained (tea-colored) water.

* Brass, 50/50 Brass-Nickel, or Copper finishes work well when skies are overcast.

* When using lures or trolls that have a tendency to spin in the water, a rudder is essential.

* The rudder will keep blades tracking straight & prevent your line from twisting.

* A snubber is a length of surgical tubing with a coiled piece of heavy line inside & swivels attached to both ends. When a fish strikes, the snubber stretches out to help absorb the impact, & then retracts.

* Two accessories that will help when trolling are trolling speed indicator & depth finder.

*When trout don’t cooperate: –
Troll slowly – Vary trolling speed.
Work in ‘S’ curves.
Double your trolling speed for several feet, & then quickly slow down.

You will receive most hits after the lure has been quickly & erratically moved & is just slowing down.

If strikes are few & far between to go to a lighter, longer leader between troll & lure.


CONNECTICUT RIVER – Hartford area. The 2013 “Riverfest” fireworks display was rescheduled to Today (Thursday), July 18 at 9:30 pm. The Great River (East Hartford) and Charter Oak (Hartford) boat launches are 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 21, in the southern end of the lake in front of Sandy Beach.


Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range from the high 60’s to the high 70’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:





BLUEFISH fishing remains good with fish weighing in the lower teens being reported. 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 fishing is just fair. Snapper fishing should be better by month’s end.

STRIPED BASS fishing also remains good. Stripers weighing in the 40’s are not unusual. Again, live eels and/or bunker have been the choice baits. Fishing 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 is good especially in deeper water (90+ feet). Fluke spots include 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 is good with jumbos measuring 15-17 inches in length being caught on the major rocky reefs.

BLACK SEA BASS fishing is fair to good on the deeper (90+ feet) rocky reefs and hard bottom areas.

BLACKFISH fishing is fair to good on the major rocky reefs.

BLUE CRABS are abundant in the estuaries and tidal rivers along the coast and crabbing is rated good overall.

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.


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