Connecticut Fishing Report- February 2, 2023

Holdover striped bass fishing slows down in the rivers, and salmon bite on spinners, Rapala's and more in trout management areas.

(Above) Matt Stone holds a beautiful salmon he caught from his kayak in one of the Trout Management Areas earlier this week. (@sunrisekayakfishing)

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me that he has continued to take advantage of the mild winter, with a number of successful kayak trips. He fished a Rhode Island lake last weekend, and hit the salmon well. Trolling Rapala shallow divers and inline spinners over 14 to 20 feet of water has been the ticket.  The salmon bite in CT has been tougher with increased flows early in the week, but the flows have settled, and that bite should be picking up again. The open water bite across CT has been good though, with steady trout, bass, and pickerel action from across the state. This weekend’s cold flash may skim some of the smaller ponds over, but it’ll be short-lived, so plenty of spots should be fishable next week. Holdover striped bass action has improved a bit, especially on the sunnier days where the surface temps rise. Look for that to be a solid option next week when the temperatures start to rise again. On Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Black Hall is holding a seminar hosted by Captain Kevin Albohn on Jig and Pop Tuna Tactics, but space is limited! Reserve your spot HERE.

Matt Stone of Black Hall Outfitters and Old Town got out on the kayak and put some salmon in the boat this week. (@sunrisekayakfishing)

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. Some skim ice may show up this weekend, but it shouldn’t affect the larger bodies of water, and/or the rivers. The Norwich area is still producing bass consistently, but the sizes have ticked down a bit. 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 striper bite in the Housatonic has slowed down a bit with the recent colder nights, and that will likely be the case this weekend. Anglers are still finding fish, so it hasn’t been a total bust, just a bit slower overall. We will be heading right back up towards 50 degrees next week though, so it should be a short-lived lull. Anglers focusing on trout and salmon this week reported an increase in activity, as the flows settled and cleaned up throughout the week.  

Fisherman’s World in Norwalk also reported that the bite has slowed down in the Housatonic, as we cool down, and sort of settle into winter. Slowing down your presentation and downsizing your offering as much as possible has helped to trigger bites during the slower tides. The bite also seems to fire up after some precipitation, as the increased flow increases oxygen levels and baitfish numbers. Freshwater anglers are still putting a hurting on the trout in the Norwalk, Mianus, and Mill River on a number of different offerings.  

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

A quick blast of Arctic weather this weekend will likely be no more than a tease, as the mild winter pattern will pick right back up next week, and continue to provide ample open water opportunities. 

Connecticut anglers can continue to take advantage of holdover striped bass, even though the bite has slowed a bit from earlier this winter. With another week of warm weather coming after this weekend, we will likely see an increase in action in the Housatonic and the eastern CT tributaries. 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 should remain next week as well. We may see some smaller bodies of water freeze, but the larger lakes and CT River should remain open.

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