Connecticut Fishing Report- January 26, 2023
Trout and salmon fishing is good for anglers throwing spinners and spoons, and holdover striped bass fishing should improve with the wet conditions.
Connecticut Fishing Report
Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me that he has made the most of the late January open water, with a number of successful kayak trips. He’s been splitting his time between CT and RI, and has found nice catches of salmon, rainbow trout, yellow perch, and largemouth bass. The salmon have been falling for inline spinners, while the best trout action has come from slow-trolling spinners and small Rapalas. The fish seem to be hanging on drop-offs near heavy weedlines, and while the fights are sluggish due to the cold water, there has been no lack of action. Second hand reports from holdover bass anglers are still reporting steady catches in the Housatonic, along with scattered but relatively steady catches from the Eastern CT rivers.
Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing is done fishing for the season but has been keeping busy getting some work done on the boat, and starting their Talkin’ Tackle seminars online. Last week’s seminar was about hooks, and they had a good deal of response and feedback. Stay tuned as they will have more seminars in the coming weeks, and you can find information on their website or Facebook page. Be sure to also reach out with what you would like to hear about, as they’re always anxious to take suggestions and feedback.
Dan, at Dan’s Bait, Tackle and Charters in New London told me that most of the local anglers have still been taking advantage of the open water opportunities, as we await fishable ice to show up. Some skim ice is showing up, but open water opportunities remain the focus of most anglers. The Norwich area is producing bass from 20 inches all the way up to nearly 40 inches, although most remain of the schoolie variety. Looking for deeper areas where the current drops off and fishing soft plastics very slowly has been the ticket for most anglers. Reports are similar from the Housatonic, where anglers are finding plenty of bass on soft plastics fished on various types of lead heads. Good weather days have been sporadic, but anglers heading to the cod grounds are reporting good catches whenever they can make it out there.
Bobby J’s Bait and Tackle in Milford reports that the holdover bass bite remains the main draw in town, while anglers await some colder winter weather. The crowds have been getting tough at the Housatonic, but anglers are bouncing around, dropping jigs, and finding plenty of bass; especially on the warmer days. Trout fishing has also been catching the attention of local anglers. The Farmington River is the epicenter of the action, but most of the local TMAs are also putting up some nice fish. The state’s fall salmon stocking program has also gained a lot of attention this year with the lack of ice, and anglers are still reporting some nice catches. There are signs of some colder weather/potential ice in February, and the shop will continue to stock shiners in hopes that it happens!
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the beat continues…it’s trout or holdover striped bass for most local anglers. The local streams and TMAs have been flowing well and fishing well, and while this recent rain blew them out a bit, the long-term forecast is promising for good trout fishing. Flies, mealworms, and minnows have been getting the job done, with an emphasis on a slow presentation, regardless of the bait. The Housatonic also remains consistent for holdover striped bass, and is also putting up the best results for anglers fishing soft plastics with a slow presentation. The local herring reports have been poor, but if we do get a cool down we could see some schools of fish pushing in closer to the harbors.
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Connecticut Fishing Forecast
Signs of a February cool-down are starting to get more encouraging for anglers hoping for ice, but in the meantime, the mild winter continues, and so do the wintertime open water fishing opportunities.
Connecticut anglers can continue to take advantage of an abundance of striped bass and are continuing to see more consistency, as the rivers are cleaning up. While the mild winter may be aggravating for ice anglers, it has helped highlight the strong holdover fishery we have. Reports from the Housatonic were as steady as expected before the rain/snow, and that should remain the same after we get past this quick flash flood. If you’re not looking to head to the Housatonic, good news, reports from the lower CT and Thames Rivers have improved this week. Freshwater anglers can take advantage of a salmon bite in the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers, along with some recent fall trout stocking. The Connecticut River took the recent rain pretty well, so freshwater anglers should be able to find ample open water opportunities for pike, perch, and crappie throughout the river.
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Joseph W Rydzy
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