Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather from Blackhawk Sportfishing reports that they’re gearing up to start fishing this week! The requests for squid trips have been high, and they will be posting them as soon as they know that the squid are in. They will be posting tickets for their trips one week at a time, approximately two weeks ahead of time. The trips will be by reservation only, so be sure to book your seats ASAP! Captain Greg will be presenting seminars at the Black Hall Outfitters grand opening in Westbrook on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area.
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters told me that the striped bass have really started to move around as the water temperatures have slowly climbed. He has been focusing on the lower stretches of the tidal rivers but anticipates seeing some better fish in the salt this week. The hot lure of the week has been a 7-inch sluggo worked closer to the surface, as the fish seem to be starting to push herring up towards the surface.
Black Hall Outfitters reports that the tautog bite has turned on as the weather has heated up. Unfortunately, the season ends after Friday, but if you have a chance to get out your odds have improved. The New Haven walls remain popular, but better reports seem to be popping up across the sound. The tidal rivers are still full of holdover fish chasing herring, while the beaches are seeing an influx of school bass. Swimbaits on jigheads continue to get it done and anglers dunking sandworms are starting to see some strong results. In the freshwater, the trout fishing remains consistent, as the DEEP continues to stock the lakes and rivers. The Salmon and Farmington Rivers have been the top choice for anglers looking for better size and quality. Spin fishermen are catching on Powerworms, Rapalas and spinners, while fly anglers are scoring on caddis and midge imitators. Bass fishing has hit its peak, with strong reports coming from Bantam, Candlewood and Lillinonah. Some good largemouth and smallmouth are being taken on the CT River, along with pike and catfish. Black Hall Outfitters is open now and will have our grand opening on May 1st with seminars from charter captains and giveaways! Experience the entire Old Town Sportsman fishing kayak fleet on water demo.
Ted, at Three Belles Outfitters, told me that they have seen some awesome freshwater action over the last week or so. Some fat pre-spawn bass have been taken at local ponds in the area, including a giant that Ted got at Dodge Pond in Niantic. The pickerel bite has been very strong as well, while the panfish reports have tailed off a bit. Trout action has been top notch in the local TMAs and stocked ponds as well. Tautog fishing has been so-so, but with warming temps the next few days should be decent before the season closes. The striped bass have finally started to make their way to the mouth of their holdover rivers and populate the coastline, but for now most local reports max out around 28”.
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. 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 there were some reports of larger stripers showing up in the extreme Western Sound. 20-30-pound fish have been showing up in the vicinity of the Throgs Neck Bridge around around the East River. The bigger fish shouldn’t be too far behind, but in local waters, school bass have dominated the catch out front. The beaches and harbors are full of small to slot-size bass, while the Housatonic is putting up some larger fish around the herring runs. The New Haven walls remain the best bet for those looking for one last shot at blackfish, while flounder fishing has remained very slow. Trout fishing has been excellent, with some great fish coming from the Norwalk River, Mianus River, and the Mill River. The Saugatuck Reservoir is slowly improving as well, with trout in the 3-5-pound range, along with some nice smallmouth bass and calicos.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
Captain Frank, of The Frances Fleet in Point Judith, reports that they have been keeping themselves busy getting the boats ready for the upcoming season. They have also been working on the website and their store to make it easier for those trying to book reservations. All trips could be booked online now, including half day, full day fluke, squid and even the tuna trips. They will look to sail whenever possible, and they are looking forward to fluke season!
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that his customers that are interested in tautog are scoring some nice catches on worms and crabs. The tautog fishing seems to be improving each day, so things are looking up for the coming week. Squid fishing has started to improve in the area, with anglers fishing from shore doing just as well as boat-bound anglers. Holdover striped bass fishing remains strong in the tidal rivers, and some fresh bass and weakfish are starting to show up out front. Freshwater action has been strong, with anglers getting good largemouth on shiners and jigs, while trout anglers continue to report good catches across the state.
Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, told me that migrating school striped bass have hit the west wall strong over the last few days. Over the weekend, nearly every cast produced a fish on light tackle. The full moon has certainly helped get the fish moving, and the larger fish shouldn’t be too far behind. Holdover bass are still thick in the Narrow River and inside the ponds, with some nice white perch mixed in. The inshore cod fishing has remained a pleasant surprise, with some nice fish showing up close to home. Tautog fishing has started to improve and should only get better as the temps continue to rise.
Dustin, at Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures, told me that the kayak tautog bite has really started to pick up, as the water temps have slowly started to rise. Keeper fish are being caught as shallow as 10-feet and as deep as 50-60-feet. Tog candy jigs have been the go-to jig, tipped with a green or Asian crab.
Nick at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me the recent stockings at Round Top, Sawmill and Carolina have been strong, and they’ve been finding some nice salmon at Carolina on bead head scuds. There’s been a ton of bunker in the bay already, but the striped bass fishing has been so-so. Their second location, Ted’s Bait in Pascoag, will be open this weekend and they are fully stocked with great local luremakers, Including fish daddy 401, Klondike spinnerbaits, and uncle Joe’s jigs for those looking to cash in on the largemouth bite.
Chris Catucci was gearing up for a tournament in Delaware this weekend but told me that the largemouth fishing has been strong across Rhode Island. He was able to take 1st place in the Ocean State Kayak Bass tournament last week, with some quality pre-spawn fish. The bite has been best at drop-offs around rocky points and should remain that way for a few more weeks. He hasn’t been out in the salt, but he is hearing that tautog limits are getting easier and striped bass activity has picked up big time along the beaches.
Saltwater anglers are starting to find a bit more success with tautog across CT, while striped bass activity continues to improve in the rivers and is really picking up out front with the fresh arrivals. 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.