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Three miles off Guilford, Faulkner’s Island is in the process of shedding its winter coat covering the 2.87 acres, thereby making way for migrating roseate terns and welcoming fresh schools of fish. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Spring has arrived! The transformation is underway as fish are waking up and are hungry. Trout fishing continues to be hot, rivers are flowing, and lakes are alive with forage while fish feed. There are only a few days left in the salmon and until the blackfish (tautog) season begins. Meanwhile, stripers are on the move as the holdover bite continues.
Inshore Long Island Sound water temperatures staggered in the high 30s last week, topping off with the mercury hitting 40 degrees at one point. Winds and water conditions have been typical of March as spring and the vernal equinox sets up the start of a promising new fishing season. As a blast of leftover wintry air temps struggled to hang on, ultimately, they had to give way to warmer ones, opening the door for some exciting early springtime hook and line action.
Pictures often speak louder than words and that cannot be any truer than among anglers. As the hot activity in the trout rivers spreads via mouth and social media, more and more anglers are hurrying to head out for their piece of the catch. From rainbows, browns, and brookies to tiger trout, these fish are responding to a wide variety of offerings. On the live bait side, shiners, worms, and grubs are the meal ticket. Then there are varieties of scent baits, hard and soft lures, as well as flies. Continue to cast to salmon through Wednesday, March 31.
Recent rains increased river flows and water levels, tending to move debris off of the banks and into prominent fishing areas. However, shy of those hazards, there were breeders caught, along with plenty of average-sized trout. Although opening the state waters to early fishing due to the pandemic may have spread out congregating anglers and their impact, there were still a lot of people fishing the key stocking areas. So, as a reminder, keep at least a rod’s distance from the nearest angler.
Lakes and ponds continue to produce fish, more now in open water as opposed to limited ice. There has been variable largemouth action on spinner baits, small jigs, and shiners. Smallmouth activity has picked up both in key rivers and some of the more popular lakes. Pickerel have been on the move, along with yellow perch and suspended black crappie that have been liking small jigs.
With the schoolie holdover striped bass population gaining steam and the migration showing signs of making inroads in Connecticut waters, more fishers are taking advantage of the early springtime bite. According to the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission’s final guidance, inline circle hooks when fishing with bait is in, artificials using bait get a pass, and incidental catches of striped bass when fishing for other species with non-circle hooks must be released. More conservative measures adopted by states may be considered, so let’s see what measures Connecticut finally adopts. In the meantime, get ready to gear up for the start of the spring tautog season that opens on Thursday, April 1.
Captain Morgan’s 16th annual Codi and Bubba Memorial Trout Contest is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, April 10 at 6 a.m. Registrations are now underway. Fish anywhere and bring your catch to the shop for a weigh-in by 5 p.m. Five bucks gets you in and kids under 12 fish free when accompanied by a registered adult. Donations gladly accepted. Prizes for the top trout weighed. Date subject to change pending any new pandemic restrictions. We are looking forward to another fun-filled event.
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 latest gear, swing by the shop (203-245-8665) open seven days located 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.