Connecticut Fishing Report- August 31, 2023

Gator blues hit everything from diamond jigs to topwater plugs, scup dominate the bottom fishing scene, and stripers take bunker chunks and live eels around New London.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me that things are still steadily feeling more fall like, with more birds and more blitzing fish on small bait. There are still plenty of big bunker schools around that are fueling some blitzes of bigger fish. Big bass are also being taken on GT’s, big topwater plugs, and big spoons. There are peanut bunker, silversides, and juvenile butterfish throughout the Eastern Sound fueling this school bass blitzes, and they soon will be fueling false albacore/bonito blitzes. The false albacore/bonito reports are slowly improving from Rhode Island, so it won’t be long now. Bluefish of all sizes are also still plentiful, with blitzes of big fish throughout the Sound, and great snapper action in the tributaries. Fluke fishing has slowed down, but sea bass action picked up in slightly shallower water, say 40 to 50 feet. Scup fishing is as strong as ever, so there’s plenty of bottom fishing to hold down the fort until the full fall blitzes take off. 

Matt Stone with a quality kayak bass from the Eastern Long Island Sound. (@sunrisekayakfishing)

Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing reported that summer is starting to wind down, but the fishing keeps getting better! Bottom fishing was excellent, with limits of porgies filling the coolers, and some nice sea bass as well. They’re bass and blue trips continue to have huge blues coming over the rails, with a few nice bass in the mix. They are looking forward to fall fishing, and they have a few private charter dates still available! As you may have seen in their Facebook video, the Blackhawk is having a sunset cruise/seal watch on Saturday, September 2. All proceeds from this trip will go to help the efforts in Hawaii after the devastating wildfires. Please join on this trip if you can! Their September trips are posted on our website, so grab your tickets soon for some excellent fall fishing.  

When I checked in with captain Mike Roy, at Reel Cast Charters, he told me that he and his crew have still been cashing in on the summer striper bite, as there are still plenty of big fish around. There is also no shortage of big bluefish that will eat diamond jigs on the reefs. They are starting to transition into early fall run fishing and seeing more topwater striper and bluefish blitzes recently. There are juvenile butterfish, silversides, bunker, tinker macks, and squid in the area. All that bait is fueling some great topwater activity and should keep the hardtails around when they show up.  Captain Mike and his crew still have openings for the fall run, so give them a call to book a spot ASAP!

Reel Cast Charters posted this photo of this cow bass that hit a 9-inch Nichols Lures flutter spoon. (@reelcastcharters)

Dan, at Daniels Bait Tackle & Charters in New London is reporting that it’s time to take advantage of some of the best fishing Eastern Long Island Sound has to offer, as we transition to fall. The porgy and sea bass fishing is as strong as it has been this season for both shore and boat anglers. Striped bass are feeding well on fresh chunks and live eels, with the best results being on the incoming tides. The recent full moon tides seem to have helped with the bait numbers, as there have been increasing numbers of striped bass blitzes in the area over the past few days. The false albacore should be right around the corner, and this weather/moon may get them here sooner than anticipated.  

Captain Chris, at Elser Guide Service told me that the fishing for big bass improved this week, as they found fish to 45-pounds while trolling his new “Hammer Time” orange tubes. They used this tube while fishing the bluefish tournament as well, and while they didn’t find the winner, the landed 30+ gators over the 10-pound mark. The number of big bass in the area actually made the bluefishing tough, but no one’s really complaining! They are starting to see Spanish mackerel in reasonable numbers, and this week they will start to transition into light tackle and fly fishing for the macks, bass, bluefish, and hopefully albies. Chris has seen false albacore as early as September 2nd in years past, and based on the water temperatures, he believes this is lining up to be an early year.  

Joe, at Diorio Guide Service, has continued to find a nice mix of stripers and bluefish, along with the first false albacore and bonito of the year. Striped bass and bluefish action has been great, whether it’s fishing locally around New London or out around Block Island. The rocky points and reefs are holding loads of bait, and thus are holding plenty of stripers. Most of the bass are coming on live eels or the JoeBaggs Patriot Fish, but they are also starting to get some better fish rising on topwater plugs. Each trip this week has seen better numbers of false albacore, and the latest swell should help to push them even closer to home. It’s shaping up to be a killer fall run once again and Joe still has some dates available. Be sure to reach out before it’s too late.  

Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reported that the stellar bluefishing has continued, even after the WICC tournament. Large schools of big bluefish are taking up residence on most of the local pieces of deepwater structure. Working diamond jigs over this structure has been safest bet for finding gators, but they are also hitting umbrella rigs, and will occasionally hit topwater plugs during low-light periods. There are still some bass to be had as well, and they can usually be taken using the same methods as the bluefish. Live baits are also a great strategy for bass and blues, and there’s been no shortage of bunker in the local harbors to snag or net. Scup fishing is red-hot and is the most reliable bottom fishing bite, but the sea bassing is solid if you don’t mind picking through shorts. Freshwater anglers fishing the reservoir are mainly targeting largemouth, but the trout and walleye activity should start picking up as the temperatures drop.  

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Connecticut anglers can continue to find big bass in their usual late-summer haunts, but there are increasing numbers of topwater blitzes popping off daily. We’re entering an excellent period for striped bass enthusiasts, where big bass are getting active enough to be fooled on a topwater plug, but are also prevalent on the reefs; so, you should be able to find them one way or the other. Big bluefish are also still around in good numbers, with the best reports coming from The Race/Plum Gut area to the east, and on the deepwater reefs in the Western Sound. There are massive amounts of small bait throughout the Sound, so once the false albacore and bonito work their way west, they should hang around for a while. Fluke fishing has ticked down, as that season comes to an end, but the sea bassing has picked up and the scup fishing remains as reliable as ever. The tidal estuaries are as clean as they’ve been all year and are producing strong blue crab and snapper bluefish catches. 

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