Flip a Coin. Fish Tales Wins!
As the season heats up, Paul DeLuca hooked into this nice 28-inch doormat fluke off of the Clinton shoreline. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Allyn Temple of Guilford had a good black sea bass day while fishing Long Island Sound. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Nicholas Dietz, 9, of Madison hooked into this prize brook trout in the midst of a super trout season. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
The state’s waters are seeing more action with big numbers of fishers testing their skills. Anglers are either casting from shore or mid-stream or maneuvering small vessels on rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. On a daily basis, you can see fish being reeled in or fought as anglers attempt to bring their potential catch to the net and then snap a shot before the moment is lost.
Sometimes, these anglers are seriously dedicated to their quest. However, others are out to shake up the boredom that these times have brought. Fishing is one activity that can bring light to an otherwise awkward time of adjustment. It is a way to bring relief from the unwanted pressures of the day, while also bringing smiles to many faces.
Being on the shoreline, we have the advantage of casting north to the sweet water or south to the saltwater environments. Now that the weather is leaning toward summer and water temperatures in the Sound are steadily rising, fishing opportunities have exploded, albeit a little late for some species.
It hasn’t been uncommon for a blend of fish to be caught during a single day. Trout and bass from the inland waters, for example, and a smorgasbord of marine fish from the Sound. These include anything from black sea bass, summer flounder (fluke), stripers, sea trout (weakfish), bluefish, and porgy (scup) to sand sharks, sea robins, and skate. This certainly has developed into quite a diversified season with enough to go around for everybody.
Recently, we have seen an influx of large bottom fish feeding all along the shoreline. If you are accustomed to light gear, consider taking it up a notch or at least beefing up leader material. While the same size hook may very well be adequate, one size up might be the best way to go.
At the end of the day, whether you decide to head inland to tackle the freshwater or venture south to the shore, expect to have a story to tell to fishers and non-fishers alike. We know for a fact that there are fish just waiting to contribute to your tale.
On the Water
Long Island Sound inshore water temperatures have now, in parts, crossed the 60-degree mark from the high 50s. The flip-flop conditions are apparently stabilizing, allowing more windows of opportunity for those venturing out to the offshore reefs. The Full Strawberry Moon had a positive impact on the fishing scene, as did the calming of the winds and their shifting direction.
Black sea bass remains the hot fishery as numbers of humpbacks in the four- to five-pound range have been caught, mainly in depths in excess of 75 feet. These beauties are aggressive and continue to take squid and clams. In addition to rigs and bait, they are also hitting jigs with or without bait attached. One of the best eating fish caught in the Sound, these fish will please just about every fish lover.
Fluke had a mediocre start to the season, but as the waters warmed, these summer flounder began to pop. Smaller fish were initially being caught in shallow water, along the beaches, in some of the lower tidal rivers, and inshore shoals. Now, as the migration picks up steam coming off the Continental Shelf, doormats are starting to make more of an appearance as they enter the eastern part of the Sound. Hi-lo rigs, bucktails with trailers, and drift rigs with or without teasers are hooking into fish from 60-foot depths and greater. Whole squid worked in deep water (versus lighter setups) are producing the best quality fish. Do not rule out scented baits, either.
We are seeing a continuation of the striped bass bite, mostly south of the lower slot limit. However, some linesiders besting 40 inches have been hooked and released using live eels and chunk baits. Three-waying by the reefs has also been productive, as has jerking wire and bucktails along rip lines. The recent full moon not only had an impact on the bass bite, but also on the fishery as a whole. Shore casters remain confident in their top-water lures and soft plastics as plenty of schoolies hammer away. If you’re looking for some light tackle action, now is the time to hook into a smaller class of stripers, as well as four- to six-pound harbor blues chasing schools of bunker.
Adult scup are on the reefs and are hitting squid, clams, and sea worms hard. Catches will only improve from here on in. You will also find large sand sharks, skate, and sea robins taking bottom baits and giving a surprisingly frisky fight.
Although water levels have dropped, inland fishing continues to be very good. Trout catches in the rivers have been robust, with some of the lakes and parks keeping pace. Large- and smallmouth bass have been aggressive, pickerel are taking live bait and lures, and black crappie remain suspended and active. Perch and sunfish have been easy targets, while catfish and carp are taking bottom baits.
Note: Email us pics of your catches to share with our USA and international fishing friends who keep up with the latest fishing news and frequent social media.
For all things fishy including clam supplies, swing by the shop (203-245-8665) open seven days at 21 Boston Post Road, Madison. Until next time from your Connecticut shoreline’s full-service fishing outfitter, where we don’t make the fisherman, we make the fisherman better...