Tasty and enjoyable to catch is the colorful black sea bass. Not particularly the greatest fighters on the end of your line, this type of grouper is a strictly marine fish living in depths to 425 feet that can be caught in water as shallow as 10 or even less. These fish are structure-related and water temperature driven. During the summer months, though, they will frequent depths of less than 120 feet.
Anglers will often set up on a deep-water reef or choose to drift fish. Black sea bass are schooling fish, and when one locates a school, fishing will be non-stop. Chumming is usually not necessary since these competitive feeders will take baits as well as lures, however, it will increase activity in shallower water. Thus, having a variety of jigs, hooks, rigs, sinkers (2-to-12 ounces) and bait is the first step toward a successful trip.
On the Water
A three-day heat wave was jarred by severe thunderstorms and heavy downpours that hit the I-95 corridor. Minor flooding occurred along parts of the Connecticut shoreline, tides and currents were impacted with winds, and tidal rivers developed temporary murky conditions. Nevertheless, fishing in Long Island Sound's 70-degree water continues on its summer pace.
Bluefish are charging up the Atlantic coast and into the Sound, pursuing schools of menhaden that, in several instances, have already infiltrated the "Big Pond" and traveled up river. Other noticeable baitfish appearing in numbers are sand eels, butterfish, and of course, spearing. Among these forage species alone, there appears to be an ample food supply for our visiting predatory fish.
Choppers into the low teens need some fattening up and have been ravaging anything in their path. Faulkner's, Charles, Six Mile, The Beacon, and Townsend's, as well as several inshore reefs like Half Acre and Brown's, are seeing late June action. In some instances, flood tides are bringing blues within shore casting distance and even into harbor channels. Chunks, spoons, umbrellas, and jigs are some good choices.
The heat has placed stripers into deeper, cooler water, but their feeding goes on. Best bets have been Southwest, Hatchett's, Goose Island, Charles, The Beacon, and Six Mile. Shore fishing has been hit-amd-miss with most successes coming in the early or late-day hours. Look toward the coming week for increased shoreline action prompted by progressively better flood tides and cooler water temps. Best baits have been eels, bunker, swimming plugs, bucktails, and diamond jigs.
Black sea bass catches have been good. Try dropping 3/0 to 4/0 hook tipped with squid on a 75-to-100-foot hump or wreck. Holding tight on the right spot could easily limit you out and provide for a great feast. Porgy/scup are also in full swing with two-plus-pound catches, making for a super "porgy pounder's" day. Anglers are scoring well when fishing the inshore reefs and shoreline rock piles using sandworms, squid, and clams. Catches of fluke have moderated, due to the on again/off again weather, wind, and churned water. However, catches in the eight-pound range continue to be recorded with some "mini-mats" now being caught more regularly, much closer to shore. Look toward three-way or high-low rigs trimmed with squid, sand eels and/or spearing.
Largemouth bass fishing is hot not only in the larger lakes and rivers, but also in local farm ponds. Soft baits (Case plastics), chubs, cranks, jigs, and spinners are catching. Smallmouths have been just OK, but pickerel, catfish, pike, and, especially, perch, and panfish are quite active. Look for the cool pools and riffles when casting for trout. Bugs are out in force and are key trout-getters. Fly fishers: match the hatch! Use worms or grubs, scent baits, and small swimmers or in-line spinners for you conventionalists.
For all things fishy including licenses, 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...