Last Updated May 1, 2019
"On The Waters" Connecticut Fishing Report
Herring have shown up in full force, helping the holdover bass bite; while fresh schoolies are showing up along the beaches. Spring tautog reports are very good in CT and should go strong right up to the opener.
Connecticut Fishing Report
Andrew, at Fishin Factory 3 in Middletown, told me that the river remains at high flood stage and hasn’t shown signs of receding, with more snow melt still on its way down from up north. That hasn’t completely killed the spring striper run however, with anglers catching school bass on sandworms from all parts of the river. Anglers fishing around the herring runs are also catching some better fish on large swimming plugs and soft plastics, but it has been difficult with the high, dirty water. The white perch bite has also gotten going in the coves, but it is also a bit difficult due to water conditions. Blackfish reports have been very good at the breakwall in New Haven and some of the other rockpiles in the area. The water in the eastern sound is still a bit cold so that bite may not materialize before it closes, but the central to western sound should give you a good shot at spring tog. Shad reports have been popping up around the Farmington, and the bite should really get moving when the flows finally recede.
Josh, at Three Belles Outfitters in Niantic, told me that fresh school striped bass have been showing up along the Rhode Island beaches and across central Long Island Sound. The holdover bite has picked up quite a bit around the herring runs in all the tidal rivers, including the Connecticut. The Connecticut is tougher with the water conditions, but it is still producing if you know where to look. A few blackfish reports came in from a few happy kayak anglers, who combined for around 40 fish. 30-feet was the magic depth. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing is still going strong as the spawn grows near. Candlewood has been giving up giant bronzebacks this week, with a near 6-pounder. fish being the biggest reported. Pike fishing should be improving with water temps pushing 55-60 in most lakes. The pre-summer period is one of the best times to target open water pike. You can’t go wrong with a spinnerbait!
Chris, at Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme, told me that some tremendous blackfish reports have come in from Stratford to Westbrook, with good fish in the shallows eating both crabs and sea worms. Striped bass fishing remains solid for schoolies on topwater in the sound and better fish stalking the herring runs. Flounder reports have been good from western Connecticut, with clam or mackerel chum being a must. It appears some bluefish may be showing in the sound, as Chris reported some mystery bite-offs on topwater plugs the last few mornings.
Joe, at Rivers End in Old Saybrook, reports that more credible reports of stripers have come in this week. Fresh school bass to the low 30-inch range have shown up from New Haven to Guilford, and the tidal rivers are still producing a nice mix of fish. Some decent fish have been caught at the DEEP docks in Old Lyme, despite the poor water conditions. Trout fishing is going strong throughout the state, with many anglers reporting good results on tan colored PowerBait.
Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters in Old Saybrook, reports that the striped bass bite continues to steadily improve, as the climbing water temps and herring numbers producing more bass activity. Keeper fish are starting to become more common and they are readily hitting topwater plugs. Blackfishing has been strong in the western and central sound, and Mike still has some openings before the spring season closes.
Max, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, also reports that the flounder fishing has improved this week, with guys finding limits on the channel edges in the Harbor. The mud flats around Calf Pasture beach are also starting to produce well. Herring numbers have picked up quite a bit and the striped bass bite in the Housatonic has taken off. Some topwater bites are starting to fire up in the mornings, and some fish to 36-inches or so can be taken around the runs after dark. Some fresh school bass are being found in the sound, especially around Hempstead and Oyster Bay. The shallow rockpiles have produced some keeper blackfish this week and should only improve right up until it closes at the end of the month.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
Captain Frank, of the Frances Fleet in Narragansett, has spent the week tied to the docks getting the boat ready for the upcoming season. There have been some very encouraging reports from the draggers that have been seeing much more bait off Block Island recently; which is a good sign for both the upcoming cod fishing and fluke season. The fleet has now switched to a 5 day/week schedule; which includes Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Sunday at 7 a.m. They are currently waiting on the 2019 fluke regulations to be posted before they pick a start date, but that will likely be in mid-May, and when that happens they will be sailing daily. The tuna schedule has been finalized and they are taking reservations, along with private charter requests. Check in with the office for available dates!
Captain Russ, of The Seven B’s in Snug Harbor reported that Captain Andy got out a few times last week in search of cod, but it remains slow. They were able to manage a couple keeper cod, but the action is still on the slow side. As soon as the fluke arrive in good numbers which is typically around mid-May, they will make the transition over to fluke fishing. Depending on the run this year there may also be some squid trips added to the schedule. Be sure to call ahead to confirm schedule and sailing times before heading down to the dock.
Mike, at Watch Hill Outfitters in Westerly, reports that the herring numbers have picked up nicely in the Pawcatuck and there have been some better holdover bass on their tail. Gannets have been diving along the coast over the past few days; which is yet another indication of good herring numbers. Their first few sporadic reports of bunker in the area have come in, and Mike anticipates having some in the shop very soon. A few anglers have been finding squid off the docks in Stonington and Westerly over the past few nights, and those numbers should be increasing soon as well.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the tautog reports have been picking up nicely in the area, including some fish up to 23-inches in the Sakonnet river for both shore and boat anglers. Some keeper striped bass are showing up in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers, but the are likely still of the holdover variety. The fishing in the Barrington River has also picked up over the past few days, with bass hunting the herring runs. There have been some reports of fresh school bass from the South Shore and around the West Wall, and anglers are catching well with small soft plastics on light jigs. Squid reports are popping up here and there, but it hasn’t blown open yet.
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