Connecticut Fishing Report- February 16, 2023

Brown trout and salmon fishing is good through mild weather, and holdover striped bass bite well on small bucktails and paddletails in the rivers from Milford to Norwich.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me he was able to get out to the rivers a couple times recently, and managed a nice 6-pound salmon on a centerpin, while drifting a black and chartreuse fly. Water levels have stabilized and the flow rate is perfect for drift fishing right now. The couple extremely warm days leading up to this weekend should help to make these fish even more active. Most of our lakes and ponds, and all of our major rivers are now free of ice and fishing. The boost in water temperatures should help with the panfish, bass, and pike bait in these lakes/rivers. Reports from largemouth anglers have been strong for those bouncing hair jigs slowly along the bottom. The holdover bite should really intensify after this warm spell, and Matt is expecting to hear reports of some larger stripers being caught this weekend. 

Matt Stone took advantage of the perfect weather and flows, and found some beautiful salmon this week.

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 and hitting the local fishing shows. 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 the quick freeze and thaw put some fly larvae onto some of the tribs and trout streams across the state, and brown trout catches have been up quite a bit. Brown and orange fly patterns with traces of silver have been strong producers. The holdover bass in the Norwich area have been a bit more active with the water temperatures climbing a few more degrees. Paddletails on small jigs or small bucktails have produced well when fished slowly. Throwing a small squid strip on the jig also seems to be a good tactic when the fish aren’t being cooperative.  

Bobby J’s Bait and Tackle in Milford reports that the Housatonic is still putting out fish and things have started to improve with the most recent warm spell. The upper river, from Sunnyside and north, has still been the most consistent stretch of the river. Small offerings have still been the key as well, with Albie Snax or similar plastics on ¼ to 3/8-ounce heads being the best producers. Anglers hitting the TMAs for trout are still finding good catches on a variety of offerings. 

Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that most of the local anglers are interested in trout fishing, with nice fish being put out in the Saugatuck River, Mill River and Norwalk River; along with some of the smaller stocked ponds. The fly fishing area of the Saugatuck River has been a top producer recently. The Housatonic continues to see even more attention than most winters due to the continued mild temperatures. The bite can still be tough from day to day, and it seems downsizing offerings below 5 inches or so has been the trick.  

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

There are no signs of any sort of winter on the horizon, as anglers continue to take advantage of the spring-like, open water fishing opportunities.  

Connecticut anglers can continue to take advantage of holdover striped bass, as the bite has ticked up a bit across the state due to the extreme temperatures this week. If the fish aren’t being too cooperative, look to downsize/slow down your offerings. Freshwater anglers can take advantage of a salmon bite in the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers, along with some recent fall trout stocking. Ample open water opportunities for bass, pike, and panfish remain on the Connecticut River and the larger bodies of water that are now free of ice. 

1 thought on “Connecticut Fishing Report- February 16, 2023

  1. Jack G.

    Where can I obtain a Connecticut fishing license for weekend fishing. Thanks.

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