Connecticut is a state primarily known for its excellent trophy bass fishing and amazing coastal catches. However, its crappie, trout, walleye, and many other species provide quite good sport too. Plus, with quality ice fishing, this state is a year round east coast fishing location.
Trophy bass are rampant throughout both Connecticut’s fresh and saltwater waterways. In fact, Connecticut has broken the offshore world record for striped bass several times in recent years. Connecticut must be quite proud of its over eighty pound striped bass world record.
Striped bass hold not only a record for Connecticut, but also a success story as many striped bass were introduced into freshwater areas of the state with some success. These hearty fish can also be found naturally in the Long Island Sound and tributaries that lead into it.
Panfish are almost as well distributed as bass! Connecticut has a fair quantity of wild trout, and stocking regiments for trout. For premier Connecticut trout fishing it is hard to beat the Farmington River. There are many locations to find crappie and some for catfish across the state, too. Perhaps the most popular overall fishing location by word of mouth is the Connecticut River. Given that it splits the state down the middle it allows for quick accessibility.
There are a few trout parks in Connecticut, which are streams and ponds stocked with trout on a regular basis. They are also family friendly. Most trout parks are in easy to access areas, about half located in state parks. Popular Connecticut trout parks include one within Black Rock State Park and Kent Falls State Park.
Keep your skills sharp by catching some fish during the most inactive fishing season via ice fishing. Connecticut has enough cold weather to form thick ice, and has great fish that are well worth hunkering down in an ice shack. Ice fishing for walleye, pickerel, and pike is a great way to turn winter days from a lull into a pleasurable memory.
Connecticut has so much coastline! There are miles of fishable beaches, along with plenty of docks and harbors for those with deep water aspirations. Connecticut’s saltwater offerings are some of the best on the east coast. Flounder, shad, tautog, bluefish, and many more reside offshone, along with various sharks. Bass fishing is good at sea, too, where one can find striped and black sea bass. The Long Island Sound is good for false albacore, bluefish, porgy (scup), striped bass, and more. For wrangling a shark, catching large tuna, or plentiful porgy, visit Block Island Sound.
State waters are divided into inland and marine variants (Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website lists which areas are which) that have their own regulations and licensure requirements. Annual inland, marine, or all-waters licenses can be bought by residents and non-residents. Residents can purchase single day marine licenses. Non-residents can buy three day inland and marine fishing licenses. Members of the US Armed Services are offered reduced licenses. Seniors and disabled individuals can request free licenses.
Licenses can be purchased online, but a Driver’s License ID or social security number will be required. You can also buy licenses at state licensing agents. If you are over sixteen you will need a license. When you get out there remember to pay special attention to regulations for creel limits, minimum sizes, and restricted bait usage in certain locations!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.