Connecticut Fishing Report- January 11, 2024

Holdover stripers were active in the rivers before flows increased, largemouth bass are chewing in the ponds, and trout management areas are fishing well for fall-stocked salmon and Seeforellen brown trout.

Connecticut Fishing Report: Winter Update

Matt at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook told me that aside from the usual holdover striped bass madness in the Housatonic River, there has been a much more robust holdover population in the Connecticut River this season. Unfortunately, another round of heavy rains and flooding has dirtied that up, but the increased flow should actually help things out as it cleans up. The holdover bite in all of our tributaries should fire right back up by this weekend and keep on going unless we hit a deep freeze. Ice fishing prospects may be improving, with the long-term forecast looking a bit more promising, but open water remains prevalent at the moment. Lakes and ponds which are devoid of ice are providing a very good winter largemouth bite. It sometimes takes a little work to locate them, but once you do, they should be congregated and chewing. Trout fishing has also been as consistent as ever, all of the TMAs were fishing very well before the last round of rain. A number of lakes and ponds were stocked with Seeforellen brown trout this winter, providing a great winter option, while a number of anglers were also still finding a few of the fall-stocked Atlantic Salmon in the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers.  

Heather from the Black Hawk office said: “Wanted to remind everyone that we’re done fishing for the season, but we still have a lot going on! The boat is currently undergoing a number of winter projects. The bottom will be sanded, primed and painted, and we’ll be putting a pulpit on the boat, for those who like to fish in the pulpit. We’ll also be doing some other minor maintenance and improvement as well. We can’t wait for you to see the boat when we’re done! We’ll also be starting our Talkin’ Tackle video series soon- be sure to let us know what you’d like to hear about! Check their website for updates on all of the above and the Spring sailing schedule when it is released.  

Bobby J’s in Milford reports that there is still some good fishing to be had in their area. Besides the Housatonic, there are still some decent bass around many of the other local harbors and rivers. A recent push of Atlantic herring seems to have woken up these bass and fired up a solid bite. The best bite is after dark if you’re looking for bigger fish, and with the herring showing up, the fish have been willing to hit some larger swimming plugs. If the bite is tricky, or you’re fishing some deeper water, the usual soft plastics on lead heads are still the top producer. The Housatonic is producing as well as ever, especially if you can avoid the crowds. It will likely be dirtied up for a couple more days but will continue to produce throughout the winter. Prior to the last round of the rain, the local TMAs were fishing well, and a few anglers were still finding salmon in the Naugatuck.  

Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk also reported that some herring have shown up throughout the Western Sound and it has help provide a more widespread winter striped bass bite. A few anglers have found bass in Norwalk Harbor feeding on herring. While it may not be many bass, the quality tends to be good. The Housatonic has also been fishing very well, especially with some herring showing up there as well. Soft plastics on jigheads fished slowly has been the ticket. Reports have been coming in from all over the river, so there hasn’t been one hot spot, and that has helped to keep the crowds somewhat at bay. Freshwater reports have slowed down once the reservoir closed, but anglers are still finding some nice trout in the TMAs and in the recently stocked ponds.  

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Connecticut anglers were thinking ice, with some nearly fishable ice in the northern part of the state prior to the last round of rain. The rain all but ended that dream, however things are looking better in the long-term forecast for ice enthusiasts. In the meantime, anglers have been cashing in on another winter of strong holdover striped bass fishing. To the west, anglers are finding quality bass in a number of the harbors and rivers, as they are right on the tail of some arriving herring. Anglers targeting herring haven’t been reporting a whole lot, but the numbers do seem to be improving weekly. The Housatonic is loaded with holdover fish as always and for the first time in a while, the Connecticut River is holding some great numbers of holdover fish. All the rivers are in rough shape after this last round of rain, but it all should settle down nicely by early next week. Trout fishing in the TMAs and the recently stocked lakes and ponds has been steady and anglers were still finding some salmon in the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers before the flows went up.  

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