Connecticut Fishing Report – January 28, 2021

With bitter cold temperatures ahead, nearly every pond and lake in Connecticut will be frozen, and it will strictly be a tip-up and jigging game.

Presented by West Marine
With bitter cold temperatures ahead, nearly every pond and lake in Connecticut will be frozen, and it will strictly be a tip-up and jigging game.
Joe Diorio holding a Farmington River trout.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Evan, at Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme, says anglers who are finding open water are catching good-sized stripers at the tidal rivers, with more quality than quantity. But, some bigger fish have been reeled in at night on soft plastics. Evan recently caught dozens of stripers in an Old Town Sportsman Bigwater PDL 132, with the largest weighing around 15-pounds. A ¼-ounce jighead paired with a 4-inch white swimbait worked well for him. The winter cod bite at Block Island continues to produce and some anglers are catching their limit. Evan says the northern part of the state has safe ice, and some pike and bass have been caught on Winchester Lake. The shop in Westbrook is closed until further notice, but you can buy tackle and gear off the Black Hall Outfitters website and pick it up in the store.

Max, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, says holdover striper fishing on the Housatonic River has been good. Anglers are picking away at schoolies using 4-to-6 inch soft plastic baits, paired with jigheads, ranging from ½-to-¾ ounces. Max says white, pink, and chartreuse are the most popular color choices for soft plastics. The Housy has been quiet at night because of the recent cold weather, which causes ice buildup in the guides. Several stocked Atlantic Salmon have been accidentally caught by anglers targeting holdover stripers with soft plastics in the Naugatuck River. Atlantic Herring action remains inconsistent in the harbors. Local ponds and lakes in the southern part of the state are going to freeze over in the coming days, and ice fishing will be the main attraction. Some people have been traveling to Litchfield and Fairfield counties to ice fish for walleye and bigger trout. Squantz Pond and Bantam Lake are good choices, respectively.

Ted, at Three Belles Outfitters in Niantic, says the local fishing is in a state of limbo. It’s difficult to fish from shore or in a kayak because of ice forming on the bodies of water, but it’s not thick enough for ice fishing with tip-ups and jigging rods. Cold temperatures over the weekend should create safe ice, providing an opportunity for largemouth, panfish, pike, trout, walleye, and pickerel.

Joe, from Diorio Guide Service, says, “the fishing has been great on the Farmington River. There has been a lot of really, really, big fish [trout].” I asked why, and Joe believes the smaller fish are well fed, and aren’t competing with the larger trout. Although the action hasn’t been lights out, Joe is catching a couple of dozen fish per trip, and that’s decent for late-January. As temperatures dropped and ice formed, Joe says he was trying to catch shiners to use for pike bait. “There is a lot of ice and it’s encouraging – we should be doing a lot more pike and ice fishing [in the upcoming days].”

Ponds & Lakes with Walleye: Batterson Park Pond, Beach Pond, Cedar Lake, Coventry Lake, Gardner Lake, Lake Zoar, Lake Saltonstall, Mashapaug Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Lake Pocotopaug, Saugatuck Reservoir, Squantz Pond, West Thompson Lake.

Ponds, Lakes, and Rivers with Northern Pike: Winchester Lake, Bantam Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Pachaug Pond, Hopeville Pond, Lake Lillinonah, Quaddick Reservoir, Housatonic River, Mattabesset River, Shetucket River.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

Cory, with the Frances Fleet in Narragansett, says they have not left the dock in the past week because the wind has been blowing 20-to-30 mph. However, they might make a trip on Sunday for cod if the weather holds up.

A list of ponds, lakes, and rivers stocked with trout.

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

The upcoming days are going to be extremely cold and ice will form nearly everywhere, with the only exception being smaller rivers, and some of the waterways near the shoreline. Ice fishing is going to be the most popular option. Shiners, spoons, blade baits, lipless crankbaits, and jigs are wise choices. Try Walleye and pike offer anglers a shot at a big fish; Squantz Pond and Bantam Lake.

Weather permitting, there might be an opportunity to book a Block Island cod fishing trip on Sunday. The holdover striper fishery on the Housatonic River continues to produce schoolie action with soft plastics on jig heads.

Ice Fishing Content

Article: 5 Steps to Finding a Good Ice Fishing Spot

Article: Ice Fishing Tips for Beginners

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