Connecticut Fishing Report – April 19, 2018

Opening day was a success across Connecticut and Rhode Island, and some real spring weather appears to be coming for this weekend. That change should make trout, striped bass and even spring flounder and blackfish viable targets.

monster Farmington brown trout
Derrick Kirkpatrick found this monster Farmington brown trout over the opening day weekend

Connecticut Fishing Report

Andrew, at Fishin Factory 3 in Middletown, is coming off another strong opening weekend and reported that most guys who went trout fishing did well. The Salmon River fished very well and a number of the smaller local streams put up some nice trout as well. The Connecticut River came up quite a bit earlier this week, but it remains fishable and should be dropping quick. The schoolie action was very good over the weekend, with sandworms producing the best numbers. The pike bite has remained consistent as well, with good fish taking large soft plastics and crankbaits. The Housatonic remains the main hot spot for stripers, as the action has really started to improve with an influx of bait. Flounder and blackfish reports have been quiet, but they could certainly start to improve as the weather warms next week.

At Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme, reports have been good from local anglers getting out after holdover striped bass. Most anglers who have got out there have reported some level of success, and it seems the Daiwa SP Minnow remains the plug of choice. In the freshwater, largemouth bass are biting very well and some heavy fish were taken on jigs this week.

Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me that the striped bass fishing has continued to improve in the rivers, and he expects things to really heat up over the weekend and into next week. Large soft plastics have been the ticket, but as the herring continue to arrive in better numbers, large swimming plugs should get the job done as well.

The reports of a strong opening day weekend were flowing in across western CT as well, according to Fisherman’s World in Norwalk. Most reports were very strong, with fly fishermen seemingly finding the biggest fish. The biggest fish of the weekend was a 6.5-pound rainbow, taken on a Wooly Bugger in the Norwalk River. The Housatonic remains your best bet for striped bass action, but some school bass are finally starting to show here and there in the western sound. Flounder fishing has been slow, but guys are catching on the warmer days, so next week could be solid.

Torrey, at Upcountry Sportfishing in New Hartford, saw some great crowds and some great fish over the weekend. Reports were varied, but overall a good amount of quality fish were taken. The Riverton Derby winner was a trout in the 6-pound range, and an 8-9 pound golden rainbow was taken after the derby ended. Baetis/Blue Winged Olives are currently the most active hatch, and anglers are still seeing some Winter Caddis, Early black stones and Midges. Some holdover & wild fish have been rising in the permanent Catch & Release, especially in the mornings to Winter Caddis, and some in the afternoons to Midges & Baetis/BWOs. Nymphers continue to have the most success, but with the rising temperatures next week we should be seeing more rising trout and bug activity.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

• For the first time, hatchery-raised tiger trout are being stocked in the following ponds: Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Upper Melville Pond, Portsmouth; Shippee Sawmill Pond, Foster; and Barber Pond, South Kingstown.

John Migliori
John Migliori landed one of the tiger trout that have been stocked this year in Rhode Island.

Captain Frank, of The Frances Fleet in Narragansett, didn’t have much to report as far as fishing this week, after enduring another week of cold/windy conditions. They did make one trip for a cod research study, and there were some signs of life on the grounds, so they are hoping that the fishing will pick up when the weather finally breaks. They are going to try and sail for cod overnight on April 20th, and they may also be adding some spring blackfish trips towards the end of the month. Frank was also happy to announce that they added a 35-foot SeaHunter center console to the fleet, which will be available for charter. This boat will specialize in 1-6 person charters and will have plenty of speed and range to explore new locations.

Mike, at Watch Hill Outfitters in Westerly, said that opening day results for trout were very good, especially later in the day after the warmer temperatures moved in. The state has continued to stock fish throughout the week, and the elevated flows should disperse them nicely. The Pawcatuck is still producing pretty consistent catches of school striped bass, but reports have been quiet from the West Wall and the other traditional early season spots. Temperatures are down across the board, but there should be some fish showing up in these spots shortly. Flounder reports have been quiet in Rhode Island, but a few decent catches have been reported from eastern CT.

Ethan found a limit of nice Rhode Island trout
Ethan found a limit of nice Rhode Island trout on both Saturday and Sunday.

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that opening day was a huge success up in his area, with loads of good trout landed. Some beautiful brook trout and rainbow trout were taken at multiple locations, and some nice tiger trout were reported from Barber’s Pond. Berkley Powerbait and Gulp have been the top producers, but as the trout start to get used to their new waters, they should start hitting shiners pretty good as well. There have been some scant reports of school bass showing up on the beaches to the south of Narragansett, but nothing has been reported around the West Wall just yet. Tautog fishing has remained slow due to the cold temperatures, but a few fish were reported at Stonebridge in Tiverton. The fishing should pick up with the warming temperatures next week, and Dave has plenty of crabs and sand worms in stock.

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

A beautiful opening day was the only reprise from the cold spring we’ve been having. Luckily, it finally looks like we may be trending in the right direction weather-wise, and we should see some more spring-like weather next week. With that change, trout action should only get better, while the spring run for striped bass should really pick up as the herring activity increases. Winter flounder and spring blackfish reports have been quiet, but they may also trend in the right direction after a much-needed warm up.

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