Numerous migratory fish species inhabit the Connecticut River, including trout (brook, large brown, rainbow), winter flounder, blueback herring, alewife, shad (American, hickory), bass (striped, smallmouth), American eel, shortnose sturgeon, and lamprey. Although Atlantic salmon have been extinct in the river for over 200 years due to damming, the Wildlife Service ensures the river is stocked with them annually.
Fishing on the Connecticut River varies depending on water level, depth, and how fast the current is flowing. Fish like to use rock piles, holes, overhanging branches, and boulders to rest and hide. Successful anglers will use the river’s natural behavior to their advantage by casting upstream and allowing the lure to drift toward the fish. Recommended lure and bait include nightcrawlers with bobber rigs, inline spinners, spider jigs, crankbaits, swimbaits, and stickbaits.
Great spots to check out along the Connecticut River include the Baldwin Bridge State Boat Launch, Saybrook Point, South Cove Causeway, and DEP Marine Headquarters. These first three spots are all in the Old Saybrook area. Along the pier at Baldwin Bridge, use worms, chunked mackerel, bunker, or squid to catch flatfish or striped bass. Bring your net when fishing at Saybrook Point. Catch snapper blues and fluke at South Cove Causeway. DEP Marine Headquarters in Old Lyme has a boardwalk where large bluefish like to hang out.
Connecticut River Fish:
Connecticut River boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Connecticut River.