We are into the second week of trout season and, just a couple of years back, the season would not have even opened yet. It’s odd how we gauge time. When the shad ran and schoolie striped bass spread out along the beaches into the harbors, it was typically time to break out the trout gear. This year, we piled into the rivers and lined the lake edges a lot earlier, ahead of the shad run and most of the stripers. That really put a tilt in our inner clock, let alone having to deal with barely getting over Daylight Saving Time. That was the way it was this year and now we’re playing catchup.
Seasonally, though, the weather is about on par. Last year, it appeared that everything ran a bit late. This year, it only seems that way because of an early calendar. It used to be that it was colder for longer. That is not the case today. However, aside from water temperature, our marine fishery has maintained the ability to blend in with the seasonal changes irrespective of the calendar or time frame. So when those fish’s inner clocks go off and nature calls, the adaptive urges take hold, giving rise to another fishing season, be it early or late.
Already, more trout have been stocked to help replenish what was caught since Opening Day. Trout parks, many rivers, and some lakes received another dose of fish. Like magnets, anglers converged onto the scene almost as soon as hatchery fish were released into the wild. Because the season started earlier and water temperatures are still a bit cool in the Sound, anglers will most likely fish the rivers and lakes for longer. Some will split their time between the sweet water and briny, while readying their sea-going vessels in between.
Spring break, along with the early Easter and Passover holidays, have given fishers more time to spend on the water with family and friends. Contrary to what some believe, it’s not always about the fish, but rather, what one does while engaged in the act of fishing. It’s all about the memories created, the joy given to others, and the thrill of releasing a trophy fish back into the wild.
On the Water
With the daylight lasting longer, it now feels more like spring, giving fishers the opportunity to fish more after work. Air temperatures have topped 70 degrees more often than not, while Long Island Sound inshore waters have been gradually edging toward the high 40s. The wind and rain eased, but it’s still April, so expect more.
Striped bass catches keep increasing as the shoreline and its lower tidal rivers are seeing more of the linesiders popping in and out. Sea worms and soft baits, as well as small artificials like swim shads, jigs, and plugs, are grabbing their attention. Most action is occurring during mild flooding and ebbing tides, and it especially perked up during the most recent moon tide. Fly fishers are experiencing success with clousers, deceivers, and half/half’s, especially along beaches during the flood tide.
At the same time, winter flounder catches were fair to better, depending on which bays and coves were fished. Chumming was key to bringing in these right-handed flatties to shore or closer to the boat. The limit of two fish sidelined a few solo fishers, although small family groups found the trips worthwhile. Water temps have been creeping up, but they haven’t done much to turn on the ‘togs. That may change by the weekend since air temperatures have been climbing.
Catches have notched up now that Opening Day of trout season is behind us and water levels and flows have become more comfortable to fish. Early morning and late-day fishing has given rise to more successful stories. Sizes of the trout caught haven’t set the world on fire, but numbers have improved substantially. Both conventional and fly fishers have been faring OK. In-line spinners, small swimmers, and scented baits have been good producers on the artificial side, while worms and grubs have been outpacing the competition. For the fly fishers, streamers and nymphs have been the good producers and the typical dries when the hatches broke.
Largemouth bass catches varied during the fluctuating weather pattern. Location played a big role, but hookups improved in the lakes and ponds as water temperatures edged up. Fish the warmer side. Fishing key rivers like the Connecticut was more challenging considering the increased water flows. Most spots will need a bit more time before those instinctive strikes begin to occur. Smallmouth fishers are finding similar results as they experience more casts and harder than usual work to land one fish. This will change in a blink.
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 reel repairs, 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...