Connecticut Fishing Report
Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook took advantage of some free time this week and found some more solid winter fishing. On Sunday, he used the centerpin setup and found some salmon that were willing to eat, along with a few nice rainbows. The black fly with olive and chartreuse accents has been the go to presentation. The water clarity and flow rate have been great and should remain very conducive to float fishing. Matt has also had success trolling for rainbow trout on Cedar Lake, and also mentioned that the jig bite for crappie and yellow perch has been strong. Trout anglers are finding fish in most of the local TMAs, and the state continues to stock the usual trout ponds, so keep an eye on those stocking reports to increase your odds! The holdover bite has remained steady and is only going to improve from here, with higher bass activity levels and some bigger bait showing up soon. The Westbrook location hosted three shows in February and plans to add a few more for March, so be sure to keep an eye on their social media pages.
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 things were a bit quieter due to the winter weather this week, but there remains plenty of local fishing opportunities. The trout stocking has continued, but flows are up a bit from all the snow melt. They should be settling soon, and trout fishing should remain consistent throughout the rest of the winter. Prior to the snow, the Farmington, Salmon and Pequabuck Rivers were putting up some nice trout, while recently stocked ponds such as Ball Pond and Black Rock Lake have plenty of freshly stocked fish. For anglers in the eastern part of the state, Dan mentioned some strong reports from Rogers Lake in Old Lyme. The holdover action slowed down in the Norwich area this week, but that should pick right back up after a few more warm days.
Bobby J’s Bait and Tackle in Milford said that the holdover striped bass fishing is still the most consistent option for those looking to take advantage of the mild winter. It had slowed down a bit during the cold spell last week but fired right back up after the snow. The bass will continue to get more active as the water temperatures slowly climb, and it will only get better from here with the first river herring being right around the corner. Small soft plastics on jigheads remains the safest bet right now, but anglers could start slinging some bigger offerings when the bigger bait starts to trickle in. Trout fishing has been consistent as well in the local TMAs, the Bantam River, Pickett’s Pond, and up in the Farmington River. The strong Atlantic salmon stocking this fall/winter is also paying dividends, as broodstock reports also remain consistent.
Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the fishing has remained basically status quo this week with anglers targeting holdover striped bass or hitting the local trout waters. Bass action in the Housatonic is steadily improving, and some increased flow from the snow melt this week should help things out. Trout fishing has been good all winter, and nothing has changed, with strong reports coming from the Mianus, Saugatuck, and Mill Rivers. Those making the ride to the Farmington River are being rewarded with some large holdover trout over the past week. Most of the usual trout offerings are getting the job done, and fly-fishermen should start to see some increased stonefly hatches as the days get longer.
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Connecticut Fishing Forecast
A quick blast of winter weather reminded us that we’ll likely pay for the mild winter we’ve had thus far, but there are still plenty of great winter fishing opportunities regardless.
Despite the winter weather, it’s hard to not see spring on the horizon, as the calendar flips to March. Connecticut anglers can continue to take advantage of holdover striped bass, as the bite has continued to slowly improve each week. The early run of river herring tends to show up sometime in March, and we may start to see some early arrivals after the next warm spell! The state is essentially opened for trout year-round, and while some areas may be catch and release, all of the TMAs are fishing well. The state also got an early start to their lakes/pond’s trout stocking, so keep an eye on those stocking reports to help increase your odds. For those looking to score a broodstock salmon, most anglers that are putting some time in are still finding success. Pike fishing should improve soon, as the fish start to put the pre-spawn food bag on, and there are still ample open water opportunities for bass and panfish across the state.