Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather, from Black Hawk Sport Fishing reported that this past week was a great step up from the previous week, with much better fishing conditions and continued strong fall action. The dedicated bottom fishing trips are seeing better cod numbers, along with plenty of big scup and sea bass. The sea bass especially have showed no signs of quitting, with huge fish and plenty of them! The blackfishing on their combo trips have been a bit more difficult, with a many more short fish showing up this week, but there are still plenty of keepers to be had with a little persistence. All trips remain by reservation only, so be sure to check their Facebook page or website for updates and to book a trip!
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters saw a slightly slower bass bite over the past week with the decreasing temperatures, but the blackfish action has continued to intensify. Mike is finding easy limits of some big blackfish on most of the local reefs and rockpiles, with most days still producing some bonus scup and sea bass. The bigger striped bass have slowed down as the temperatures have dropped, but the school to slot-bass action has taken over. There has been no shortage of 25-35-inch fish throughout the lower CT River, and across the adjacent reefs.
Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, kept the boat in the water for another week, and is reaping the benefits. The week started with some excellent topwater striped bass action, and while that bite started to dwindle as the week went on, the false albacore and blackfish picked up the slack. The false albacore made a nice late-season push into the area and have been hitting Joe Baggs resin jigs and Albie Snax. The slight drop in water temperatures, coupled with less fishing pressure has really helped the blackfish bite. Joe managed easy limits on all trips, along with increasingly better sizes as the week went on. This will be Joe’s last week in the salt, and he wants to thank all his customers for another great season! Be sure to reach out to him if you’re interested in a fall/winter trout trip, or to book a trip for the 2022 season!
Captain Chris Elser, of Elser Guide Service, told me that the Western Sound fishing has remained outstanding. He continues to find good numbers of slot class bass, with more larger fish showing up every day. The bigger bass and bluefish are still sticking tight to the abundant bunker schools and can be taken on live baits and large bunker imitator plugs. The bigger fish seem to prefer more subtle surface action right now, so the 10-inch Big Occhis and the Doc have been preferable to your standard topwater popper. The false albacore schools have thinned out, but Chris is still getting a couple shots at them on most trips.
Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reported that the fall run remains in full swing across the Western Sound. The temperatures haven’t gotten cold enough to deter the striped bass and bluefish from blitzing on the surface on most trips. The fish can still be found in relatively shallow water, and this week has seen a nice influx of larger, migratory fish join the mix. Small fish can be located just about everywhere and caught on just about anything, while the larger bass and bluefish are generally falling victim to live bunker or large topwater plugs. There is also still some decent bass action on the reefs at 28C and 11B for the diamond jig crew. The false albacore schools have thinned out, but most days are still seeing some smaller pods pop up in the usual haunts from Norwalk to Fairfield. Bottom fishermen are still reporting solid tautog action across 25-50 feet of water, although there are more short fish to contend with recently. There is also still no shortage of scup and sea bass in the same areas, but their days are likely numbered, so be sure to get out there soon! In freshwater news, the fall reservoir enthusiasts are reporting peak fishing, with steady catches of trout, walleye, bass, crappie, and perch.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
With the weather starting to settle down, things have been good on the fall grounds for The Frances Fleet in Narragansett. Over the weekend, Captain Rich found easy full boat limits of sea bass to 5-pounds, scup to 3-pounds, along with a good showing of market cod. The dogfish have started to move out, and the bottom dwellers are back in control! The blackfish grounds were also fruitful for Captain Greg, with near full boat limits and plenty of shorts to keep the rods bent! Captain Greg has also been able to find some new structure to work that is producing a better keeper to short ratio. They will continue to sail whenever the weather allows, so be sure to check the website for updates and reservations.
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that the weather has been good enough for anglers to get out on the tog grounds, and the fishing has been as strong as ever. Double-digit tautog are showing up with regularity throughout the Bay, and on the rocky structure across South County. The false albacore bite has slowed down locally, but there are still plenty of striped bass and bluefish to be had on topwaters. Those looking for hardtails are still finding some around Block Island, so the bite isn’t completely over just yet. Freshwater anglers are reporting a strong trout bite throughout the state, as the water temps and flows have been very good. Dave will be open from 530 AM to 5 PM Thursday thru Saturday, and 530-2 on Sunday. He has plenty of green crabs and gear in stock for you tautog anglers and will be running a Veterans Day sale starting Thursday.
Rick, at Priority Charters in Point Judith, told me that he was part of the crowd that found some excellent tautog fishing off Newport this week. Limits of tog, along with plenty of big fish are still being taken locally, and the numbers of tautog at Block Island are very strong on the days that the weather allows the trip. The Block Island trips are also producing limits of big sea bass and a healthy number of quality cod, along with some blitzing bass, bluefish, and a few false albacore.
Connor, from Tall Tailz Charters in Newport has been having an excellent fall season on the tautog grounds, but this week certainly topped all others. The bite has been on fire, with well over a dozen double-digit fish, easy limits of eaters while releasing bigger fish, and a fish that no one on board will ever forget. Young angler Paul Newman of New Jersey caught the fish of a lifetime, with a 21.57-pound tautog that has since claimed the new Rhode Island state record! Besides the glut of giant tog, they are also seeing a decent number of cod as by-catch. With the water temperatures slowly starting to drop, they are starting to fish a bit deeper, but they are still managing nice fish on rigs and jigs in less than 40 feet of water. They are still seeing large schools of topwater feeding stripers, along with a few schools of very LARGE false albacore. The Mid-November fishing seems a lot more like Mid-October, and they still have some dates available for late November and early December, so be sure to contact Connor to get out while the bite is historically hot!
ick, at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing told me that the beat has rolled on in his neck of the woods. The tautog fishing is red hot for anyone who has gotten out there, and with the recent weather, there has been quite a bit of tautog interest. Freshwater anglers are reporting some big largemouth, especially for those that are switching to live shiners as the water temperatures continue to drop. There are also some big bass that are active enough to hit large artificials around dawn and dusk. Trout anglers are also seeing no lack action with the best catches coming from Silver Spring and Carbuncle.
Dustin, at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures reports that the tautog action has remained strong, with most of his clients being able to manage multiple keepers. There is also no shortage of striped bass action on the reefs and on top for anglers fishing from the kayak or the shore. On the freshwater side, there is still some great largemouth action, with larger fish showing up at or after dusk on large swimbaits. The cool morning weather and nice flows has also provided some good morning trout fishing in the local stocked ponds and streams. There are still plenty of opportunities to book a great shore or boat trip, so be sure to reach out to Dustin before it’s too late.
After a few weeks of unsettled weather, we have been blessed with a series of calm and warm days. It should be no surprise that anglers who have cashed in on this weather window have found some excellent late-fall action. Blackfish limits remain easy, and the quality keeps getting better (including the new RI state record!). We’re also at a great point in bottom fishing, where it’s warm enough to keep some nice sea bass and scup in the mix, while being just cool/late enough to start seeing some nice cod in select locations. Striped bass have started to transition to their late fall/holdover haunts, but there remains no shortage; while the false albacore might a nice late-season push for those still holding out for a hardtail. Freshwater fishing doesn’t get much better either, with trout activity picking up across the board, and just about every species waking up as we enter pre-winter mode.