Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather from Blackhawk Sportfishing reported more quality fishing last week, except for the rainouts. Most, but not all, days have seen plenty of jumbo porgies all around the boat. The fish seem to be moving around quite a bit, so they may have to move around to dial in the bite, but they are out there! Like many of the other reports up and down the coast, the Blackhawk is also seeing some great numbers of weakfish in the mix! They will be adding more fluke trips to the schedule soon, along with starting their after-work special trips! The trips, including private charters, must be booked in advance by reservation, so be sure to check the website or check in with Heather!
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters continues to find plenty of striped bass of mixed sizes on light tackle offerings, and there are still plenty of gator bluefish to play with. The rain dropped the water temperatures a bit, but they should rise quick, and it doesn’t seem to have affected the fishing too much. Be sure to contact Mike for a spring-run trip or to book into the summer/fall!
Evan from Black Hall Outfitters reports that the rain hasn’t slowed down the fishing. The fishing remains strong in the CT River, with fish to 40-inches being taken on Gravity Tackle Eels. Most of the fish remain in the 24-30-inch range, but larger fish are showing up every day. The reefs are also starting to get going, and that bite should only improve with the upcoming heat wave. Scup anglers are landing keeper from shore and the boat, while the deeper structure is starting to produce a consistent sea bass bite. Fluke fishing has been hit or miss locally, but strong reports from Montauk, Greenport and Block likely mean a push of local fish should be arriving soon. The bluefish have arrived in full force and can be caught around the stripers on just about any type of offering. Freshwater anglers are finding post-spawn bass around structure/weeds, while the trout fishing remains strong on most of the larger rivers, including the Salmon and Farmington.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, told me that fishing has held steady despite the unsettled weather over the weekend. Bluefish of mixed sizes continue to filter in with the bass, to provide steady action throughout the day. The stripers have been mostly around the slot-size, with some bigger specimens over 40-inches showing up this week. Topwater offerings and un-weighted soft plastics have been the go-to lures, but the Joe Baggs Patriot Fish on jighead has produced when the fish aren’t working the surface.
Captain Chris Elser got rained out like most of us last weekend, but once again found bluefish and stripers chasing bunker in the mid-sound area when he got back out there Tuesday. Light tackle and fly action has been excellent in mornings, with plenty of 20-28-inch fish, while larger fish continue to filter into the area each day. Fluke and sea bass action has been slow out west, but there is an abundance of sand eels that should help change that soon.
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the fishing out west was strong right up to and following the storm. Big bass continue to filter in from west to east each day; just look for the bunker schools and you will likely find some fresh fish. Livelined bunker and chunks are working as always, but fish are also coming on trolled spoons, trolled mojos, nomads, jigs, and big plugs. The inshore bite consists of smaller fish, but they are actively hitting light tackle offerings and clouser flies. The bluefish bite has been phenomenal, with the area around 11B holding loads of gators in 80-100 feet of water. There have also been some large schools of bluefish aggressively taking topwater offerings throughout the area. Sea bass anglers are finding some fish around Stratford on squid and bucktails, while the fluke bite seems to have started to pick up. Some quality flatties from 22-27-inches were taken in 20-30 feet of water on bucktail/Gulp combos. Most of the local rockpiles are also holding scup, and the red-hot weakfish bite remains just as good out west as it is to the east.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Point Judith has been laid up for a few days due to the rough weather over the weekend, so Captain Greg was excited to get out on the water on Tuesday. The water was still on the dirty side, but the fish didn’t seem to care. It seems that the wind has pushed a new batch of fish into the area, and they were hungry! A few dozen keeper fluke made it into the coolers, and there were more than enough shorts to keep the action consistent. They will continue to sail daily at 7 am, so be sure to check in for reservations.
Cheri, at C-Devil II Sportfishing in Narragansett, told me that the striped bass fishing around the island has been excellent whenever the weather has cooperated. The Southwest corner is loaded with bait, and the bass have taken notice. Most trips have seen limits of slot bass, with many 40-45” fish in the mix. The fish haven’t been fussy, they are willing to take a number of artificial offerings, along with live eels. There are huge schools of sand eels in the area as well, which has helped the fluke bite out immensely!
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, is hearing some reports of more keeper fluke since the weather cleared up, with the Warwick Neck area being one local hotspot. Scup anglers are starting to report good catches throughout the state, while weakfish catches remain steady, with many being taken on squid/bucktail combos intended for fluke. Striped bass to 56-pounds are eating pogies in the East Bay, while slot-sized fish are common in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. Some big bluefish are scattered throughout the bay and can be found alongside the stripers in most locations.
Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, reports that the fishing out front for fluke is steadily improving. There are also plenty of big seabass showing up lately, which bodes well for the season opener in a few weeks. Striped bass and bluefish are mixed in together and are willingly hitting topwater offerings and white/chartreuse flies around the breakwalls. Out at the island, some larger striped bass have started to settle in, along with some bigger fluke. Some larger bass are also being taken up in the bay and weakfish are still around the East Greenwich area. The shad bite has been good in the salt ponds and provide a nice bait option for larger striped bass.
Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters told me fishing has been very good after the rain this week. They have been getting their limit of slot striped bass with ease, while still regularly boating fish over 30-pounds. Certain parts of the bay are loaded with bluefish, which has made it tougher to target stripers, but is providing some great tackle-busting action. Scup are schooled up heavy and chewing in their usual haunts, and the fluke bite seems to be improving as well. They’re keeping an eye on the water temperatures charts and should be sailing for sharks and tuna shortly!
Dustin from Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures reports better striped bass and bluefish action throughout Narragansett Bay. Hard minnow-shaped plastics, topwaters and the Butchie Built tube have been the top producers. The bottom fishing has been strong for those traveling to Buzzards Bay. The post-spawn largemouth bite has been strong for freshwater anglers, with large swimbaits being the best tactic.
Nick at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me that the weather had an adverse effect on the fishing this weekend, but those that braved the weather are still finding some nice bass hitting soft plastics around the bunker schools. Fluke fishing is picking up, with good numbers of mixed-sized fish throughout the bay. Freshwater anglers found a few trout on the Wood River amidst a Hendrickson hatch, while largemouth anglers are reporting better results than the trout anglers since the storm blew through.
Memorial Day weekend certainly didn’t feel too summerlike, but that trend isn’t going to continue. The weather is warming up quickly and so is the fishing. Not only are the striped bass numbers increasing across the region, we are starting to consistently hear of larger catches. There has been no shortage of bluefish that are willing to bust tackle in the area, and the biggest surprise of the year remains the return of the weakfish. Fluke fishing hasn’t hit full stride yet, but signs are pointing in the right direction, while some larger sea bass are helping to fill coolers in Connecticut.