Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather from Blackhawk Sportfishing told me that they are anxiously awaiting the start of their season. Their first porgy trip will be on May 1st at 5 AM. Tickets will be available to purchase on their website on April 19th at 8 PM. Like last year, they will post tickets for their trips one week at a time, about 2 weeks in advance. All trips remain by reservation only, so be sure to get your tickets asap! They are also starting to book dates for private charters, but they are filling fast, so be sure to contact Heather as soon as possible.
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters started getting back on the water this week and has found plenty of eager spring school striped bass. The bass have been taking smaller soft plastics and small swimmers, and he was able to tag 25 fish for Gray’s Fish Tag Research. He is also starting to see some nice pods of herring in the river as well, so the bigger bass shouldn’t be too far behind.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, is back from steelhead fishing in NY and started putting some time in on the Farmington River this week. He said that the results have been very strong, with recent stockings resulting in a good mix of wild, holdover and freshly stocked fish. He spent one night looking for holdover striped bass and found good numbers of fish to 29 inches. He has started to hear of some bigger fish showing up in the tidal rivers over the past couple of nights as well.
Black Hall Outfitters reports that the recent warm water has really helped to get the fishing going. In the salt, anglers are finding cod around Block Island on slow-pitch jigs. Striped bass anglers are catching some quality fish in the tidal rivers on sandworms, flies, swimbaits and swimming plugs. Freshwater anglers are scoring plenty of trout in the Salmon and Farmington rivers, along with many of the smaller streams across the state. Original Rapalas, PowerBait, and worms are working for spin anglers, while fly anglers are catching on streamers, nymphs and dry flies. Largemouth bass fishing is improving as well, with better numbers and sizes being caught across the state. BHO is now open and the grand opening is May 1st, with seminars from charter captains, along with plenty of giveaways.
Captain Chris Elser has been seeing the usual strong school striped bass action in the local estuaries. The herring run has begun, and the early numbers seem very encouraging. There is also some early schoolie activity in the Western Sound. Water temperatures are a bit warmer than the past several years, so we are in pretty good shape for a strong spring fishery. Casting the 10-inch Big Occhi around first light has been the ticket for fish up to 35 inches. Trout fishing remains good on the Housatonic, Farmington and Shepaug, and it should only get better with the upcoming mayfly hatches.
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the local striped bass fishing has improved following a wave of new fish showing up in the area. School-sized bass to low slot keepers can be found throughout the Housatonic on large swimming plugs and soft plastics, while other are finding some nice fish around the beaches and river mouths on sandworms. The blackfish bite has been slow on the local reefs and rockpiles, but the break walls across the area are starting to put up some solid keepers. Trout fishing has been as strong as ever on the Mill and Mianus rivers, with most methods/tactics working well.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
Captain Frank of The Frances Fleet in Point Judith, reports that they haven’t been able to get out much due to the weather, and things have been quiet on the cod grounds. They remain eager to get out there and hit the spring cod grounds whenever the weather allows, so hopefully things turn around soon. They are currently trying to sail everyday except Tuesday and Thursday, by reservation only. Fluke fishing is right around the corner, and you can already book a trip on their website.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the spring tautog season is picking up, with some keeper fish taking green crabs in the Providence area, along with Bristol Harbor and in the Warren River area. The winter-over striped bass are getting more active in most of their usual areas, and some better fish are being caught after dark in the Providence River. Trout fishing has been excellent at Olney, Barbers and Carbuncle ponds. The trout are actively eating PowerBait, shiners and worms. Pike reports are starting to pick up from the few anglers who have been trying, including Cesin Curi, who landed a nice “water wolf” this week.
Dustin at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures told me that he didn’t spend much time in the fresh water this week, but trout and largemouth reports remain steady. He started focusing his attention on the salt, and while it hasn’t been lights out, he was able to manage some keeper tautog. Jigs tipped with green crabs have been getting the job done, in depths from 15 to 30 feet.
Nick at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing spent some time cashing in on the opening of trout season and found some nice fish on white Wooly Buggers in the Wood River. Customers have been reporting good catches on PowerBait at Spring Grove and Round Top. An early hatch this week resulted in some tougher fishing, but scud patterns helped to get the job done. Striped bass action continues to improve across the state, while the tautog reports from the bay are starting to get more consistent.
Chris Catucci of the Kayak Centre in North Kingstown told me that the largemouth bite continues to be strong. He traveled to fish Lake Cochituate in Wayland, Massachusetts last weekend and landed upwards of 20 fish. There weren’t any true outliers in terms of size, but the overall quality was fairly strong. Most of the fish came on jigs around sunken bridge structures, but there are still some fish in the shallows that are willing to hit topwater spooks and poppers.
Rhode Island & Connecticut Fishing Forecast
Saltwater anglers are starting to find a bit more success with tautog across Rhode Island and Connecticut, while striped bass activity continues to improve in the rivers and is starting to wake up along the beaches. The American shad bite is starting to get going in the rivers, and the prime activity should be happening over the next two weeks. Trout fishing remains the main game in the freshwater world and is consistent as ever. The same can be said for largemouth bass, that can be taken across all different types of water and by all types of methods.