Connecticut Record-Holding Lake Worth the Trip
It sure feels like an early spring is coming. Of course as New Englanders, we are not lulled into questionable weather patterns since we are used to momentary changes that can quickly put one on their heels.
A January thaw is the norm prior to settling into a more wintry February and being blessed with a surprise or two during the month of March. However, a repeated 50-60 degrees up and down reiteration of the coming of spring at this juncture is most unusual, considering we established a 62 degree record-breaking temperature.
Yet, there has been enough sun to break the seal on many of the leaf stems to start sap slowly flowing, gradually creating a greenish aura on sun drenched clumps of trees. Similarly, blood is apparently flowing easier through the veins of anglers, as many are also breaking the seal between winter and spring as they feel the urge to kickstart the season - some looking at the salt but most zeroing in on the sweet water.
In pursuing another worthwhile, productive and gratifying Connecticut inland fishing hole, there is one surrounded by nature and sits in the northwestern part of the state. Granted, there are exquisite homes along western parts of the waterfront but then again, this lake attracts water lovers with varying interests.
Most of the shoreline is wooded and homes are generally set back. The deepest lake in Connecticut and popularized by local residents who refer to it as Wono, this natural 348-acre lake is set off the beaten track and nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires.
Wono is in the Housatonic River Drainage Basin and is fed by Sucker Brook and another small stream, draining to the northeast into Factory Brook. Maximum depth is 102 feet with a mean depth of 36 feet.
Although there could be dense vegetation, anglers generally seek out the tall weeds so submerged growth is not generally an issue. A town-owned boat launch is available to non-residents for a fee. To get there from Route 44, take Route 41 for 0.1 miles, then take a right onto Ethan Allen Street to the launch.
No doubt, it is a trek from many parts of the state, but well worth the travel - especially on mild days. This high-end recreational resource, Wononscopomuc Lake, sometimes referred to as Lakeville Lake, holds the Connecticut Lake Trout Record of 29 pounds, 13 ounces caught by Dr. Thompson in 1918. It is classified as both a Bass and Trout Management Lake as well as a draw for ice fishers - when ice permits.
Anglers can fish for trout, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, sunfish and brown bullhead. Regulations have been updated and currently they are as follows: The possession and use of any live alewives, blueback herring, gizzard, hickory or thread fin shad as bait is prohibited. The boat launch is from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. from the second Saturday in April to Labor Day. From Labor Day through October 31, it is from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. on weekdays, and to noon on weekends.
Ice fishing: Now limited to use of 2 devices per angler - 2 tip-ups, 2 jigging rods or one of each.
On The Water
The shoreline escaped another blast of winter as high pressure took over, sending temperatures above 60 degrees and continued on the warm side. A deepening low pressure moved along the coast northward but passed south and east of the area, opening the door for another high pressure system and more warm weather. That moved out, replaced by another low pressure system bringing lower temperatures, but that was soon edged out by another high and, once again, warmer air temps.
Fool us not, there is room enough for a few surprises even though the winter season appears to be losing its grip. Meanwhile, Long Island inshore water temps remain around the 39 degrees mark as gusty winds churn the seas and early morning fog persists, before being blown out and replaced by clear air with good visibility.
Little has changed as February slips by in terms of being on, in or by the water. On the briny side, it is wetting the line for holdover striped bass in the upper major tidal rivers using soft plastics, small jigs, swimmers and a few sinking flies, if a fly fisher can get past the wind or have one heck of a roll cast. Popularity is up on the shellfish beds as clammers scratch for those sweet and chilled winter bivalves.
Wind and sudden drop in temps have been the drawback but there have been plenty of good days and tides falling between the ideal early and late in the day low tides. Additionally, beach combing, treasure hunting, bird watching and feeding the seagulls top the shoreline’s list of activities.
Needless to say, ice fishing has seen better days. The few northern Connecticut lakes and ponds where some ice formed, remained on again/off again sites and quite variable. Be very cautious. The up side to the inland waters has been the successful stocking of trout and Atlantic salmon and the lack of meaningful ice.
Water flows and levels have been of concern due to the amount of rainfall and the release of water by dams affecting both. Putting that aside, inland fishing activity and catches have been up and, on some of those spectacular unseasonably mild days, fishing has been exceptional for this time of year.
Popular trout rivers, management areas and parks have been attracting anglers as well as the salmon rivers like the Shetucket and Naugy. Some of the bass waters have seen limited action due to those periods of sudden barometric and temperature drops. Even so, at times when high pressure set in, the bite was affected in a positive way when live baits, scented ones, artificials and flies were used in areas like deep holes, drop-offs, oxygen-rich water and ideal ambush points.
Fly Fishing: Outstanding Opportunity for the experienced or beginner! Booking inland and marine fly fishing lessons for 2023 with World Fisher, certified Master Fly Fishing Casting Instructor and Fishing Lodge Director. From trout, salmon, steelhead and sea-run browns to striped bass, bonefish, permit and tarpon, etc., techniques learned and honed will improve your fishing.
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 the latest gear, ice fishing, flies/fly fishing, rods/reels, clam/crabbing supplies, fishing trips, licenses/permits and much more, 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 and Authorized Penn Premium Dealer, where we don't make the fisherman, we make the fisherman better.