Connecticut Fishing Report Week of September 19th, 2019

ATLANTIC BONITO & LITTLE TUNNY fishing is very good. Atlantic Bonito and Little Tunny (False Albacore, Albies) have been reported at The Race, Niantic Bay, Jordan Cove, Sunken Island, Middleground, Norwalk Islands, South Benson Pier, Stratford Shoal and Sasco Beach. These lightning fast fish are so quick and schools move so fast, that it’s best to grab a pair of binoculars and watch for birds above feeding on leftover bait. Calm seas also help in locating them. This week little tunny have been caught on Deadly Dicks, Sluggos (4″-7″), Castmasters, Hogy Epoxy Jig and Albie Snacks. Although false albacore are poor for eating – just catching one will give you such a fight you will be bragging about it for weeks. There’s a good chance your local party boat has run into a few schools treating customers with a great day of fishing.

STRIPED BASS fishing remains very good. It’s the fall and time to fish your local coastal state park(s)…the fishing has been crazy good. Schoolie striped bass in the 5-8 pound class with some large holdovers, are still feeding in close to shore where all the bait is. Dusk and dawn has been the most successful times to fish and poppers have been the winning ticket. Reports are streaming in from the banks of the Housatonic where anglers are getting a real workout catching and releasing striped bass. Other excellent locations this week for stripers have been Norwalk Harbor, Seaside Park, Gulf Beach break-wall and pier, Calf Pasture Beach, Walnut Beach, Todd’s Point, Cummings Beach in Stamford and Charles Island (fishing from the sandbar is strongly discouraged as it is quite dangerous due to rip tide). Please use circle hooks when fishing with bait to prevent gut hooking and practice catch & release. BLACK SEA BASS and SCUP fishing is excellent in the Sound. Bottom fishing still red hot in the western Sound from New Haven to Greenwich. Try the Middleground, Norwalk Islands and Great Captains are still holding a gold mine of Black Sea Bass and Scup (Porgy). High-low rigs baited with squid and clams are your best bet. Most shore spots are housing scup although some locations more notable than others; Jennings and Sasco Beach in Fairfield, Saint Mary’s by the Sea, Seaside Park, Stratford’s Long and Short Beach and Sherwood Island State Park (fish from the boulders on the Western side but be safe navigating the rocks), Calf Pasture Beach and Todd’s Point in Greenwich. List of some very accessible shore fishing locations are: Calf Pasture beach, Jennings and Penfield beach, Seaside Park, (Milford), Bradley Point Park (West Haven), New Haven, Harkness State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Kimberley Reef (Guilford), Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.

BLUEFISH schools are scattered but there are finally some real “alligators” out there (16 pounds). Mixed in with striper schools are large bluefish schools which are popping up throughout the middle-western Sound including the Middle-ground, Norwalk Islands, Sherwood Island, Compo Beach and Silver Sands State Park. They are feeding on just about any bait or artificial lure you offer them.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is good in the Black Hall River/Lieutenant River (out-going tide), Housatonic River and the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier). Fishing remains good at Fort Trumbull, Black Hall, Clinton Harbor River systems and the lower Connecticut River.

WEAKFISH fishing is good in the western Sound. Weakfish have been reported from the New York state line to New Haven. The hottest spots to catch weakfish this week include Buoy 18, Sunken Island and Execution Rock. Weakfish is also surprisingly good in the central Sound (Falkner Island).

BLUE CRAB fishing is very good. Many of the large Jimmies (male crabs) are now available in the lower reaches of rivers (North Cove). Incoming tide has produced better crab fishing…as the crabs migrate into the shallow water to feed. Remember…all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Legal gear types include: scoop (dip) net, hand line, star crab trap, circular (topless) trap not exceeding 26 inches in diameter. Maryland Style Crab traps are prohibited and it’s illegal to snag blue crabs. Chicken with the skin on it (along with a long handle net) is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs.