Connecticut Fishing Report – November 5, 2020

Primetime tautog season may be upon us, while sea bass and cod are rounding out the bottom catches. The stripers are continuing to chew as they gear up for the migration, while freshwater fishing is probably the best it has been since the spring.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Andrew, at Fishin Factory III in Middletown, told me that blackfishing remains the main game in CT this week. The water temp has dropped a bit and it seems were in the midst of a great big fish week! Limits have been pretty easy to come by in most of the common spots, as they haven’t been fished out just yet. There haven’t been many giants hitting the scale just yet, but 6-8-pound fish are showing up with regularity. Sea bass fishing also remains hot, with some nice keepers mixed in with the blackfish, and some larger ones out on the deeper reefs. Striper fishing has been up and down, but anglers are finding some decent fish around the river mouths and estuaries. Freshwater anglers are turning to trout fishing since the recent stockings, with good reports coming from Black Rock and Day Pond. Carp fishing remains very consistent in the CT River, while the local pike anglers are starting to report some better catches in the river as well.

Ted, at Three Belles Outfitters, told me that our local saltwater fishing seems to have improved markedly following the rough weather at the end of last week. Solid schools of striped bass and hickory shad can be found working schools of bait in tandem. The majority of the striped bass have been small, 14-20 inches, but some larger fish have been popping up in the mix. The Niantic River remains a safe bet for good bass numbers, while much of the larger fish have been around the Black Point area. The scup bite has died, and the sea bass bite seems to be trailing off a bit, while reports of winter flounder have started to come in with more regularity. Local freshwater anglers are reaping the benefits of a nice influx of water and dying weeds, with strong largemouth and pickerel fishing coming from spots such as Gorton Pond and Powers Lake. The Connecticut River freshwater action is hitting its stride as well, with promising numbers of bass, pike, yellow perch and white perch.

Mike Roy, of Reel Cast Charters, told me that the stripers are schooling up and they are on the feed. These fish are likely gearing up for the migration, so you’re going to want to cash in on them asap! The bottom fishing remains consistent as ever, with great blackfish and sea bass action. Mike still have a few available dates in the coming weeks, so be sure to call soon and reserve a spot.

Heather, from Blackhawk Sportfishing, reports yet another great week of fall fishing. They had their first combo trips recently, which included some blackfishing along with some deeper bottom fishing. They managed a good number of keeper blackfish, and some easy limits of big sea bass! Some cod, scup and winter flounder rounded out the catch and help to fill the coolers. They will continue to post new trips on Monday nights around 8 PM, so be sure to make a reservation as soon as you can, as all trips require a reservation.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, told me that the fall run is in full swing. He is finding good numbers of bass locally, despite the wind. Most of these fish have been willing to hit topwater plugs and will take live bunker if all else fails. The tautog fishing is really starting to kick into gear, with Joe managing big numbers of keeper fish this week!

Captain Chris, at Elser Guide Service, told me that the excellent top water fishing has continued in the Western Sound. The false albacore are still around, although they are thinning out. The striped bass and bluefish remain very plentiful though, and they are keyed in the bunker schools. There are loads of bunker out there, so you may need to bounce around until you find one holding some bass, but you should be able to. School bass can be taken on the fly around the peanut bunker schools, and you have a chance for a gator bluefish in just about every location. With some great (and warm) weather on tap, we should see the excellent fishing continue.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Connecticut.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reports some excellent blackfish action whenever the weather has cooperated. They had a stellar trip on Wednesday, with easy full boat limits. Many of the fish fell in the 6-8-pound range, with the biggest of the day coming in at 9-pounds. The cod fishing has been a bit tougher due to the winds, but they are still finding some quality fish on each trip, with plenty of sea bass in the mix. The weather looks excellent for the weekend, so be sure to check their website for reservations and scheduling.

Jeff Ingber tautog
Jeff Ingber with a tautog that tipped the scales at nearly 11-pounds on the Bounty Hunter this week.

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the tautog bite remains strong throughout Narragansett Bay and on the rockpiles out front. The fish are still relatively shallow and shore anglers are also cashing in. Anglers have been reporting some strong striped bass fishing around the breachways around dawn, with plenty of 20-pound class fish. There are also still plenty of bass roaming the Seekonk and Providence Rivers. Tuna anglers were happy to report a good school tuna bite in close proximity to Point Judith. The freshwater bite has been consistent across the state, with largemouth taking shiners and trout taking powerbait and worms.

Captain Connor, of Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, told me that jumbo tautog fishing has taken priority on most trips this week. Finding a decent weather window has been the hardest part, but when it’s settled, they are chewing! They have started to move a bit deeper and are there in big numbers. They’ve seen quite a few fish in the 7-10-pound range, and a few larger double-digit monsters in the mix. White an toxic colored tog candy jigs have produced very well, along with traditional snafu rigs on the deeper pieces of structure. They are also getting a healthy by-catch of cod on most trips, which are helping to fill the cooler. When the weather has allowed, they have also been targeting bluefin around the cape, and the results have been strong. They’ve managed fish from 30-80-inches on most trips, and those fish don’t seem to be leaving just yet. Be sure to book soon before it’s too late!

Jaden tautog
Jaden with a nice 8-pound tautog taken on C-Devil II sportfishing.

Captain Kelly, of C-Devil II Sportfishing, reports that other than a couple of bad weather days, the fall fishing continues to be great. There are still some straggler slot bass around the island and beaches, hitting the eels and plastics. Sea bass are still plentiful with easy limits, while the tog fishing is improving daily. The bigger tautog seem to be moving in, with multiple 8-10-pound fish showing up this week. Cod have also started to show up inshore, and they are finding a few on just about every trip. Be sure to check the online calendar for remaining dates through Dec 15th!

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Rhode Island.

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Last weekend’s weather cooled the water down to a point where we should be entering prime tautog fishing. They continue to be found at a variety of depths, with quality keeper fish being plentiful. There are still solid numbers of sea bass and scup in the mix, and the codfishing should be benefit from the calm and warm weekend ahead of us. The striped bass seem to be getting ready for the migration, so locating them has been trickier; but when you find them, they are chewing! Some gator bluefish are still around in certain areas, and you still can luck into a school of false albacore. Trout and largemouth bass fishing has been keeping the freshwater anglers busy in the lakes and ponds, and it appears the fall freshwater fishing in the Connecticut River seems to be coming to life.

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