Connecticut Fishing Report- February 9, 2023

Trout and salmon fishing is good in the rivers, cod fishing is quiet, and holdover stripers get lockjaw after the deep freeze.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me that it was a quieter week due to the cold and skim ice conditions on many of the smaller lakes/ponds. He has heard that the salmon bite on the Shetucket has remained strong for anglers that are still trying. The Salmon and Farmington River TMAs have also been fishing strong over the past few days, as most of the shelf ice is gone. You need to look to the larger lakes or the Connecticut River to find open water this weekend, but a strong bass and panfish bite should be available in most locations. Holdover striped bass action seems to be picking up once again after a slow week or two around the cold snap, and that will remain a steady option for anglers looking to kill time before the spring run.  

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. This week’s seminar will be covering/giving lessons on various types of knots. 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 anglers used the recent cold snap to spend some time on the local trout/salmon streams. Strong stocking numbers earlier in the winter has resulted in good trout action in most of the TMAs, and solid salmon fishing in the Shetucket. Holdover striped bass anglers were still finding fish in the Norwich area before the cold snap, and it should pick back up after a few more warm days. Reports are similar from the Housatonic, where anglers are finding plenty of bass on soft plastics fished on various types of lead heads. Cod reports have been quiet, but things should start trending better as we approach March. 

Bobby J’s Bait and Tackle in Milford reports that the striper bite in the Housatonic remains in a bit of a winter doldrum, but there are still plenty of fish being caught for those putting their time in. The fish seem to be more concentrated north of the Sportsplex, and nighttime has been the best bet for numbers and size. Going small and slow with your presentation will give you your best shot, until the water starts to warm up and we approach spring. Anglers focusing on trout and salmon this week found steady action once again. Anglers also found some fishable ice for once on the northwest corner smaller ponds, but that’s already starting to fade.  

Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the standard Western CT winter fishing trends continue, with most anglers looking to the Housatonic for holdover action or working the TMAs for trout. Holdover anglers are reporting the best success after dark, on the smallest/lightest plastic and jighead combination you can get away with. The bite also seems to fire up after some precipitation, as the increased flow increases oxygen levels and baitfish numbers. Trout anglers are still reporting good catches on the Saugatuck River, along with the Mill and Mianus. Most of the usual offerings are getting the job done, including spoons, flies, powerbait, worms, etc.

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Ice fishermen got a quick tease last weekend, but the mild winter prevails, and we’re all back to open water fishing unless you want to head north to find fishable ice. 

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 ahead of us, we will likely see a steady 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 remain on the CT River and the larger bodies of water that did not freeze last weekend 

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