Connecticut Fishing Report- June 29, 2023

More and more bluefish arrive in the Sound with cow stripers in tow, meanwhile, anglers fishing bottom enjoy abundant scup and quality fluke.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook was out on the water when I caught up with him this week, and he was happy to report that the local striped bass bite was still going strong! The bite in the lower river and around the adjacent reefs and rips is as strong as he’s ever seen it, with large bunker schools fueling some epic feeds. The only problem is that the bass are so keyed in on the bunker, that it is often the only thing that will work. When you start getting away from the masses of bunker in the lower river and fishing the rockpiles out front, you can usually fool a good bass with a live eel, GT eel, large topwater plugs and tubes. There seems to be no shortage of big fish, with Matt finding 8 fish over 40-inches on his last three trips. The fluke fishing has slowed down a bit, but anglers who have been grinding are finding some fish in 35-50 feet of water. 

Matt Stone with another big kayak bass from the Long Island Sound. (@sunrisekayakfishing)

Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing reports that they had some weather issues over the past week, but when it finally settled down, they got back out to the porgy grounds and had limits all over the boat. On their first night bass trip of the season, they had less than favorable wind conditions that made things difficult. Those that stuck it out at the rails and fished hard were rewarded with slot fish, but they had to pick through some shorts. Their after work special trip on Friday evening was fantastic, with huge blues and good numbers of bass coming over the rails all night long. They will be running blues/bass trips on Sunday afternoons starting in July, they’ve had many requests for these trips, and they are filling fast- so grab your spot today! Their private charter dates are nearly sold out for the season- so if you’d like to get your group on board, now is the time to reserve your date! Be sure to contact Heather in the office ASAP to get your group on the calendar!  

Captain Mike Roy, at Reel Cast Charters is still finding some really good local fishing and they are starting to see more and more monster bass each day. A good deal of these bass are still full of sea lice, so we seem to still be getting fresh arrivals. They are still catching more bluefish than they have in years, and it’s been an excellent season for gator bluefish across the state. The local sea bass bite was strong before it closed for a couple of weeks, so it should fire right back up when it opens back up. Mike still has some open dates through July, so give him a call to book your trip before they fill up! 

Max Asnes caught this cow on a chartreuse bucktail in around 50 feet of water while dragging wire off of Eastern Connnecticut. His friend, Will Fierston, said the rips have been loaded with bass and bunker, and more blues are pouring into the Sound by the day.

Dan, at Dan’s Bait, Tackle and Charters in New London told me that the past week or so has been lights out for striper fishing in his neck of the woods. The best results have been coming for anglers fishing bunker, whether it’s live or freshly chunked. Some larger bait balls have moved into the area, which has translated into some better fishing for anglers chucking topwater plugs. Gator bluefish have been prevalent as well, with good reports from anglers dropping diamond jigs at The Race, as well as anglers fishing bait and plugs locally. Scup action has been strong for boat and shore anglers, with the latter finding good catches at Fort Trumbull and the city pier on squid strips.  

Captain Chris, at Elser Guide Service had a few weather cancellations this week but was also able to put together a couple of successful trips. One trip saw great topwater action on blues and bass casting his go to 2 oz. white X-Walk lures. They managed a few blues over 18 pounds and bass to 32 pounds. As the sun came up, they switched over to jigging flutter spoons for 2 hours on a single school of bunker located near Milford, CT. The bottom line is, if you find the bunker schools you will find the bass and blues, but the bunker schools have been a bit sparse since last week’s easterly blow. His other trip did not fare as well, as the bunker were near impossible to locate. We are a little early for fish to set up in their true summer patterns but with the water finally warming up a bit, bass and blues should be hunkering down on their favorite boulder fields, rip lines and deep-water structure! 

Max, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk said that the inshore fishing has remained hot throughout his area this week. Large masses of bunker have started to make their way inshore, which has made it a lot easier for anglers to find some nice bass and blues without traveling too far. Anglers fishing from shore have been scoring bass to 30 pounds on plugs at low light hours and chunks both day and night. Boaters were also finding very good bass fishing around the islands, again, with plugs and chunks being the most effective methods. There are also similar bluefish reports, as they have found the bunker schools and continue to harass them. The deepwater bass bite is still going on in the usual spots, but as slowed down a bit since earlier in the month. Sea bass fishing has been good in 50-feet of water and deeper with both Gulp and squid fished on jigs working well. The local fluke bite has picked up steam this week and anglers that were previously headed across to the North Shore are now staying closer to home. There are some nice fluke in the mix too and those fishing in 20 to 50-feet of water weighed in flatfish up to 10-pounds. The scup bite is strong from both shore and boat, with plenty of keepers for both. Freshwater anglers are still finding trout in most of the local TMAs, while both largemouth and smallmouth are chewing in the reservoir.  

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

The big striped bass action continues to pop off across Connecticut, with the overall class of fish greatly improving once again this week. Bunker numbers have also improved this week, and they remain the bait of choice if you’re looking for consistent action. Fluke fishing has been challenging, as consistency has been lacking from day to day. That being said, some big flat fish are being taken most days. You just need to work different depths and areas instead of chasing reports, and you will likely be rewarded with a few keepers at least. Sea bass fishing shuts down for a few weeks starting this weekend but loads of hubcap scup will hold things down until the bite picks back up. A few blue crab reports have started to trickle in from the estuaries, and those numbers should improve greatly through July. Flows are moderate and clean for trout anglers on the TMAs, while the lakes and ponds continue to produce a nice mix of bass and panfish. 

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