Connecticut Fishing Report – October 28, 2021

Prior to the Nor'easter, tautog fishing in Connecticut had been tremendous and bass had been hitting topwater lures aggressively.

Connecticut Tautog
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The mid-week Nor’easter brought winds approaching 100 mph and several inches of rainfall. It might be some time before the water clarity and debris clear from inshore waters, especially since more rain is expected over the weekend.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Heather, from Blackhawk Sport Fishing also reported that Mother Nature hasn’t really been on their side, but they’ve been able to make the most of their trips when they have been able to get out there. On some of the heavy weather days they have stayed closer to home and targeted tautog. The pick of fish has varied from day to day, but most anglers have gone home with limits, and have found a few heavy white chins. When they have been able to get out to the island, they’ve seen excellent fishing. The boat has been filled with piles of scup, limits of sea bass, and some jumbo cod! The cod numbers seem to be improving on each trip, so the early winter season is shaping up to be a strong one if the weather allows. They will continue to update their schedule with their regular trips, along with a few more “blackfish/bottom fishing combo trips”. As always, the weather dictates a lot this time of year, so be sure to reserve your spot asap!

Things have been quiet the last few days, according to Andrew, at Fishin’ Factory 3 in Middletown, but the cooperative weather days have been successful for most anglers. The tautog fishing has been strong for anglers fishing jigs in shallow water, and we should start to see them transition across different depths post-storm. Prior to the blow, the striper fishing around the mouth of the Connecticut River showed no signs of slowing down. These fish will likely be even more aggressive post-storm and should be willing to hit several topwater offerings. Sea bass and scup action has remained solid for those targeting them, and as by-catch for tautog anglers. The albie fishing was finally starting to gain some consistency before the storm, hopefully they haven’t all been blown out. Freshwater anglers found some nice carp and catfish action during the FF3 Connecticut Carp Open last weekend, while anglers fishing the river for pike are reporting better catches throughout the Haddam area. Strong trout fishing has been reported from Chatfield Hollow Pond and should be consistent in the TMAs as the water starts to drop a bit.

Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters was still finding some strong striped bass action before the blow, as the fish are getting ready to move and showing more aggression. The lower CT River and all the adjacent reefs are holding some big bass and bluefish, and most of those same reefs are still paved with quality sea bass. Blackfishing has also remained strong whenever he has been able to get out, with full boat limits on all trips. Things should only improve after this weather, with cooling temperatures and less fishing pressure.

The beat has rolled on for, Captain Chris Elser, of Elser Guide Service.  The winds have been troubling for most of the fall, but whenever he has been able to get out there, he has found steady feeds of false albacore, along with big bass and bluefish on the hunt for bunker. The false albacore bite was fairly consistent before the storm, and Chris is hoping that the storm doesn’t equate to the end of the albie run. He does believe the storm surge will only help the striped bass fishing, as the fish will likely be using it as a sign to start to gear up for the fall migration.

Connecticut Tautog
Prior to the Nor’easter, tautog fishing was strong. (Photo Credit: Joe Diorio Guide Services)

Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reported that the false albacore had spread out along the beaches and out into deeper water. Prior to the storm, the fish were being found anywhere Norwalk to Penfield, so let’s hope they’re still out there. The inshore bass bite has been strong for anglers fishing live bunker and/or large topwater plugs around shallow rocky structure. There are still some big bluefish in the mix, from 10-15-pounds or so, along with some smaller bluefish blitzing around the islands. Prior to the blow, tautog fishing had been very good for anglers fishing shallow, with fish to 7-8-pounds having been weighed in last weekend. Anglers fishing the Saugatuck Reservoir have reported some strong catches of bass, walleye, perch, and crappies on shiners and nightcrawlers. The Saugatuck TMA has been recently stocked and is reportedly producing some quality trout action.

Rhode Island Fishing Report

The captains over at The Frances Fleet in Point Judith, were able to piece together an excellent weekend on the cod grounds before the storm machine showed up. Captain Rich had a banner weekend in terms of both drift and fish cooperation. The sea bass and scup are still stealing the show, which isn’t a problem, as everyone has been hooked up and they’re seeing some of the best fishing they’ve seen all fall. The also had a good showing of cod all weekend, so it wasn’t a challenge to fill coolers. The cod were nearly as cooperative as the scup and sea bass, with pool fish coming in the mid-teens. They haven’t been able to sail most of this week, but be sure to check their website for scheduling, as theirs certainly potential for a trip Friday morning and/or Sunday.

Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, has seen things slow down a bit due to the weather this week, but told me that the fishing was consistent prior to the storm and has been good for those fishing sheltered locations. The breachway mouths have been unfishable for a few days, but fishing was strong for those drifting metal-lipped plugs, darters, and eels before the blow; while the diehards are getting out around the storm and finding some fish willing to take jigs on the inside. The tautog fishing has been great, and while the last few days have been the exception; most days you can stay close to home, find some shelter, and still find a limit of tog. Some quality scup and sea bass are still in the mix, and that should remain the case, as the water temperatures haven’t dropped too much yet. Dave is still fully stocked with all our bottom fishing gear and green crabs, so be sure to check in with him before your next trip!

Pamela May Charters Striper
Pamela May Charters posted this photo from a recent trip in Narragansett Bay.

Jay, at Pamela May Charters in Narragansett, told me that they took advantage of the last few nice days last weekend, and found tons of school bass dumping out of the mouth of the bay, and stretching as far west as the Point Judith lighthouse. Bass can be found blitzing on small bait throughout the area, with plenty of birds above to signal the feeds. The recent storms can certainly change the complexion of the fall fishing in the area but should only help to increase the migratory bass activity. Tautog fishing was also tremendous pre-storm, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t continue when the weather settles. You may have to look to slightly deeper water, but the big white chins are certainly not afraid of the turmoil going on above. Jay still has some late season dates available, and if it’s been anything like the last few years, those late dates should be a prime spot to find some nice bass and slammer tautog!

Rick, at Priority Charters in Point Judith, had continued to shift his attention to tautog fishing whenever the weather has allowed. They’re still finding plenty of keeper fish on all their early-season rockpiles, with several quality fish in the 7-9-pound range. Short fish aren’t overpowering the bite, but there have been about 2-3 shorts for each keeper, so the action has been top-notch! The recent weather may start to move the fish to their mid to later season haunts, but with mild water temperatures, the season should roll on right up to the finish.

Connecticut Forecast

I apologize for not having more to report this week, but as you’ve probably seen, the conditions have been less than ideal. Dodging fall storms is nothing new for New Englanders, and on the positive side, these storms are coming early enough to not make this a season-ender. The false albacore were finally around in good numbers pre-storm, and we can all keep our fingers crossed that the abundance of bait and warm enough water will keep them around as opposed to blowing them out. While confidence may be waning with false albacore, I’m confident that there are plenty of big striped bass and bluefish around that are going to be on the pre-migration feedbag to make things interesting when the weather settles. The tautog bite has also been tremendous, and often they can be targeted in less-than-ideal conditions. That bite will undoubtedly continue as long as the season is open, and we should still have another week or two of nice scup and sea bass in the mix. As is often the case this time of year, we need to pick our days, but there should be plenty of strong saltwater fishing left, along with an ever-growing abundance of freshwater options.

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