Connecticut Fishing Report- November 22, 2023

Freshwater fishing heats up, schoolies blitz off central Sound beaches while many anglers begin hunting holdovers, and scup, tautog and sea bass continue to fill coolers.


Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me that the local blackfish bite has remained top notch, despite some cooler temperatures. Matt is still finding fish as shallow as 18 feet and as deep as 55 feet this week, with both jigs and rigs producing. The temperatures are dropping quick, so we should see some changes soon, but it has remained status quo right now. Matt also saw school bass blitzing everywhere. These fish are likely putting on the food bag right before they make their way south or tuck into the tidal creeks and rivers for the winter. Freshwater guys are reporting some solid trout action in the TMAs, which should only improve over the coming weeks. 


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Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing provided the following report: “This was the week of the sea bass! While we didn’t get out every day, when we did, the sea bass were there waiting for us. We had a full boat limit of beautiful sea bass every day, along with some porgies that are still hanging around, and a nice mix of cod to round out the coolers. Overall, a fantastic week of fishing. The entire Black Hawk family and crew wishes your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for all of our wonderful customers, and those who have turned into friends and family, for allowing us to continue to do what we love. Thanks for your continued support year after year. After turkey day, don’t forget our annual Small Business Saturday gift certificate sale. As always, we encourage you to shop small and local, especially during the holiday season. We will continue to fish through December, weather permitting. Be sure to grab your tickets and join us!?”

Captain Mike Roy, at Reel Cast Charters has wrapped another successful season. They want to thank all their clients for another great year of fishing, and they look forward to seeing everyone next year. As far as fishing reports, anglers are still cashing in on a strong tautog bite across CT, and should have another week of steady action, as long as the weather cooperates. Holdover striped bass are starting to garner a lot of attention as well. Some of the lower CT River late fall hotspots are starting to hold better numbers of bass, while word from the Housatonic is that things are setting up in their usual winter patterns, and anglers are cashing in with plenty of bass of mixed sizes. 

Bobby J’s in Milford reports that there are still plenty of good fishing options across the Western Sound to take advantage of during this holiday weekend. The Housatonic is already starting to fish very well, with the only issue being getting away from the crowds in the usual hotspots. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, there are some other bass bites to key in on in the area. New Haven Harbor is currently fishing well, and there are still some big bass in that area feeding on the adult bunker that haven’t left just yet. The blackfish bite remains excellent and should remain that way right through the close of the season next week. The fish should be transitioning to deeper water, but right now they can be found throughout a range of depths. Your best bet is to start in 15 to 20 feet and slowly transition deeper as needed. The shop is well stocked with crabs and blackfish through the end of the season, and after Thanksgiving they will be open Thursday thru Saturday for the rest of the winter. 

Tyler at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the late fall Western Sound fishing has remained status quo for most. If you can find the birds, you should find plenty of school to slot class striped bass blitzing on peanut bunker. Blackfish has been the main saltwater show in town, with anglers finding limits in depths from 20 feet to 60 feet. As mentioned earlier, starting shallow then transitioning deeper as needed is a good tactic to use for the remainder of the season. The deep-water wrecks are popular, and for good reason, especially the ones that haven’t been hit too hard. The scup have also moved to deeper water, but there are still some nice dinner plate class fish to be had. Freshwater anglers are reporting good results for smallmouth bass, crappie and more from the Saugatuck Reservoir, and that bite should only get better as the water cools. The shop will be fully stocked with shiners and everything else you need and will remain open 7 days a week!

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Connecticut anglers have also still been focusing on blackfishing, and while temperatures have started to drop, the fish haven’t quite made the move to deeper water. Limits are being reported from as shallow as 20 feet and as deep as 70, and the last week of the season should be a strong one if the weather cooperates. Weeding through shorts is still a reality, but over the past few day’s reports have indicated a much-improved keeper to short ratio. There is still no shortage of mixed sized striped bass to play with, but they seem to be moving around quite a bit from day to day. With temperatures dropping again next week, the holdover striped bass should start to get more concentrated and easier to locate in the tidal rivers. Early indications from the Housatonic are that the holdover season has started off hot, but there are plenty of fish in other locales at the moment, so you can avoid the larger crowds. Freshwater anglers are reporting an uptick in trout action in the lakes and ponds, along with steady action in the TMAs. Pike, bass, and carp reports are starting to intensify a bit as well and should continue to improve throughout November, and right up until we get real winter weather.  

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