Connecticut Fishing Report- May 25, 2023

Big bluefish chase bunker in the Western Sound, porgies pave the bottom to the east, and 30-inch stripers crush topwater plugs around the river mouths.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook, told me that all signs are pointing to the kickoff of the spring migratory striped bass run, although the central sound is slightly late to the party. There are tons of local school to slot bass, along with a nice mix of big bluefish. Larger bass are starting to show up to the west and east, so they should be in his area soon. The deeper reefs and rips around The Race and Plum Gut are also producing, so they’re on the doorstep! Anglers are starting to mark some better fish in the lower CT River as well, and that bite should blow open when the bunker show up. The usual soft plastics and topwaters have been working for the bass and bluefish; along with the Tube and worm, which has been quite productive.  

Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing reports that it was again an excellent week of fishing, now is the time to come out and join them! Porgy fishing remained fantastic, with limits all around the boat. Private charters last Wednesday and Friday filled with boat with limits of porgies, and then stopped for some bass, getting several keepers! Their Calamari Safaris showed good squid fishing and they hope to have a few more of these before the season ends. Stay tuned for dates. Their After Work Specials have had limits of keeper bass, and they have a few more scheduled this week, grab your tickets today! They are also continuing to book private charters- and days/times are filling fast. Be sure to contact Heather in the office to get your date on the calendar. 

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Captain Mike Roy, at Reel Cast Charters reports that there are stripers all over the reefs and rips just outside of the Connecticut River. Schoolies, slots and overfish are plentiful, and they are feeding on butterfish and juvenile scup. Adult bunker numbers are on the rise, and that should start to help out the bite in the lower river. Mike also noted that he is having one of the best weakfish seasons he can remember and is also starting to see larger bluefish than he has in years! Everything is shaping up well for a great season, so be sure to book a trip with Mike and the crew asap! 

Gator blues have followed schools of bunker into Long Island Sound. Get your steel leaders ready! (@reelcastcharters)

Dan, at Dan’s Bait, Tackle and Charters in New London told me that it’s truly a great time to be outdoors. The freshwater fishing season has been one of the best in years, with all the stocked rivers producing very nice trout. The panfish and smallmouth bite has been voracious on a number of spoons and spinners around nesting areas and/or downed trees. Local saltwater anglers saw an uptick in striper activity around the mouth of the Thames and the adjacent CT shoreline. Sandworms and eels are producing, as well as jigs/spoons for those heading out toward The Race. Bluefish numbers and sizes are also up this season, with big gators hitting diamond jigs in the rips and topwaters around the beaches and piers. The fishing seems to be slightly ahead of schedule, so we should have a great holiday weekend ahead of us! 

Joe, at Diorio Guide Service told me that fishing has been nothing short of stellar. There are tons of stripers around, with most falling in the 28- to 36-inch range. Larger fish are entering the area each day, along with an invasion of massive bluefish! It’s been awesome seeing the big pods of blues after years of subpar numbers. Most of them are in the 7- to 15-pound range, which has been a lot of fun. Most of the action is coming on topwater baits like the Doc, JB Skipper and Strike King Mega Dog. They’ve also been getting fish on soft plastics such as a Patriot Fish on a jighead. Joe still has a few dates available, so be sure to reach out soon! 

Rich, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the me striped bass fishing remains excellent in the western sound. The region is overrun with migratory bass, from inshore and around the islands out to the deep-water reefs. The overall average size has been great and there are some truly giant fish in the mix. The deep-water reef bite has been good for anglers trolling bunker spoons, mojos, and umbrella rigs as well as those dropping flutter spoons and diamond jigs. There are lots of mackerel in the area, helping to fuel the bite and bunker schools are present too, if not a bit spottier. Inshore, anglers are catching on bait and lures like SP Minnows, X-Raps, topwater plugs and jigs and plastics. There were a few more bluefish reported this week over last, and they are starting to harass the bunker schools. Local fluke reports are few and far between but there have been a few fish taken. Better reports are coming from Smithtown Harbor, so hopefully the fish will start making their way over to this side soon. Sea bass opened last Friday and anglers targeting deep water reefs with clams and jigs were able to find some keeper-sized fish. 

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Connecticut anglers continue to see a nice mix of holdover and early migratory striped bass, with sizes improving daily. The larger rivers are still producing good catches, but there has been no shortage of solid bass around the gut and The Race, along with a dearth of giant bass to the west. Large bluefish seem to be patrolling the whole state, with no shortage of reports of fish all the way up to 20 pounds this week! Fluke reports have been quiet locally, but anglers are starting to find some better scup fishing and some nice early season sea bass. The trout streams are back to fishable flows and some quality trout reports have started to flow back in! Largemouth, a strong crappie bite and good action for the carp anglers are rounding out the freshwater catches. 

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