Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather, from Black Hawk Sport Fishing reported that the Labor Day week once again did not disappoint in terms of fishing success. Limits of sea bass have been happening on nearly every trip, and the bonus porgy season is now open, so the coolers will be filling up! The Friday night After Work Special was sensational, with huge bluefish coming over the rails all night long. It’s shaping up to be a great fall, so be sure to book a trip on their website asap!
Andrew, at Fishin Factory 3 in Middletown, told me that the talk of the shop remained the hardtails, that are still being caught across Rhode Island. They have been spotted from Watch Hill to Newport, but they seem to be moving around quite a bit from day to day. Back in the sound, anglers are reporting increased bluefish action, from snappers to 10-pound plus fish. School bass are plentiful as well and can often be found blitzing anywhere from Niantic to Groton. The mouth of the CT River has been holding some bigger bass, and it is starting to fish well again with the water cleaning up. The fluke fishing is all but done, outside of Montauk, while sea bass and scup can be found without much difficulty throughout the state.
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters told me that numbers of small bait continue to climb, with anchovies, peanut bunker, and small butterfish showing up with regularity. Big bluefish seem to be hanging out in the area consistently, and slot striped bass can be found blitzing throughout the area. The first few false albacore pods seem to be filtering in locally, so things are lining up nicely for the upcoming fall run. Mike has openings for 9/22 and 9/30, along with some dates in October, so be sure to contact him asap!
Captain Chris Elser told me that he continues to find Spanish Mackerel, along with topwater bass and bluefish. The recent winds have made things a bit more difficult, but there is so much peanut bunker, there is always a good shot that you’ll see some topwater activity. There has been a nice mix of size with the blitzing striped bass, with bass from 26”-43” taking Big Occhis and poppers. The Spanish Mackerel seem to be favoring the 1-ounce Exo Jig.
Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the bass and bluefish action has remained strong in the area. The Diamond jig bite at 11B and 28C has been very good, with a mix of big bluefish and striped bass. Anglers popping jigs over structure or soaking fresh chunks at night are also finding good results for both species. Closer to home, bass and blues can be found around first light and last light on small spooks like the Rebel Jumpin Minnow. Scup action has been steady for shore and boat anglers, and the sea bass bite remains good and has transitioned to slightly shallower water. Good numbers of Spanish Mackerel and a few bonito are scattered from the Housatonic River out to Middleground, so make sure you have some light tackle in wait.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
Captain Greg, of The Frances Fleet in Point Judith reported some strong fishing this week, both inshore and offshore. The sea bass grounds have remained rich, with boat limits of knot heads being taken on most trips. There are still as many 2-3-pound scup as you could want, and a few late-season fluke have been rounding out the catch. Inshore trips will sail daily at 7 am and reservations can be made on their website. The 2021 tuna season has started off well, with some nice Mahi and yellows on the troll, along with some solid bluefin taking jigs and fresh squid.
Connor, at Tall Tailz Charters in Newport, told me that the fall run has officially busted wide open in his home waters. They have been running and gunning around the area, and have been rewarded with some incredible striper feeds, along with some very aggressive albie feeds. The hardtails seem to be keyed in on the Daiwa Zakana jigs in silver/blue and grey, or a classic soft plastic. When the fish aren’t feeding on top the guys are still some big bass around 20-30-pounds on the troll and live baits. Tautog fishing has been as steady as ever, with fish to 9 pounds this week. The best fishing is still to come, and Connor has a few dates left in October, so book soon!
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that some giant tuna have made their way back into the area, with some reports of fish as close as 2 miles last weekend. Inshore anglers are finding a steady tautog and scup bite on the bottom, while light tackle anglers are finding a mix of bass, blues, macks, bonito and albies blitzing on peanut bunker. Local surfcasters are reporting some slot to slightly larger bass around the breachways.
Nick, at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me fall run blitzes can be found almost everywhere in the bay, with steady reports of blitzing bonito, albies, and striped bass this week. The numbers aren’t crazy just yet, but it’s nice to see some consistency this early in September! Tautog fishing has also remained strong, and the shop will be carrying green crabs through the fall. Freshwater has been increasingly better with the water cooling a bit a night, but anglers are still focusing on the topwater bite closer to dusk.
Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, reported a great Labor Day weekend for all their charters. They found some small pods of false albacore and bonito, and some larger feeds of striped bass from 30-35-inches. Peanut bunker is all over the area, and there have been some tremendous feeds from Point Judith lighthouse to Newport. Fly anglers that can match the hatch have been rewarded, while Albie Snax or similar soft plastics have been the ticket for spin anglers. Those looking for bigger bass are still reporting a solid bite in the mornings at Block Island. The fluke have moved out for the most part, but some quality sea bass can be found around the peanut bunker feeds, and can often be easily jigged with tins intended for albies/bonito. Offshore anglers are still getting tuna closer than ever, and there are yellows and mahi out by the shipping lanes, with the Mahi hanging on the highflyers.
Cheri, at C-Devil II Sportfishing told me that the big bass have returned to the island, and they were able to find them on the troll and jigs in deeper water. Closer to home, you can find smaller bass blitzing in the bay and along the beaches, with slot limits being easy to obtain. Tautog fishing has improved on the shallow rock piles, and sea bass fishing has been as steady as ever. Some giant bluefin have moved in closer to the island this week, with a few dressing out over 400-pounds, along with a few swords on the deep drop. Dates are going fast for fall tautog trips, so be sure to check the website asap!
Rick, at Priority Charters in Narragansett has spent time targeting the bottom dwellers this week. Cod, sea bass, and scup fishing has all been very productive this week for those looking to fill the coolers. The striped bass fishing has also been productive across the board, with strong reports from PJ, Sakonnet, Newport, and Block Island. The other big news of the week is that the old school tuna grounds right off Point Judith are producing once again, with some giant bluefin being taken only a couple miles off the beaches. The yellowfin/Mahi bite is also very reliable for those who want to run south of the shipping lanes.
Dustin, at Rhode Island Kayak Fishing Adventures told me that the fall run is in full effect with a solid bite for multiple species. Bottom fishing is improving daily, with consistent tautog and sea bass action. Striped bass can still be found feeding throughout the area, and they appear to be getting bigger. More and more false albacore are popping up in the area, along with some gator bluefish that are eager to steal your albie offerings. Freshwater anglers are seeing an improved largemouth bass bite on large swimbaits, as the water has started to cool a bit. As the water continues to cool, we should start to see improved pike, crappie, and trout action. Be sure to contact Dustin for a trip before it’s too late!
The fall run continues to push on with anglers throughout the area are consistently finding blitzing fish of all varieties. Most areas are seeing albies, bonito, bass, bluefish, and mackerel, and numbers should continue to climb daily. The range should start to increase as well, and hopefully we see more hardtails entering the sound. Larger striped bass and bluefish can still be found in their usual haunts, and we should be seeing them start to spread out and become more aggressive as the water starts to cool. Bottom anglers can continue to look to sea bass and scup for consistent cooler fillers, while Rhode Island anglers should continue to target tautog before they get too heavily pressured. Offshore anglers should continue to hope for settled weather after the remnants of Larry moves out, as there are some excellent fish to be had without traveling too far from home!