Connecticut

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Connecticut Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Connecticut


Anglers spend their time in Connecticut fishing for an astounding variety of game fish. It may be one of the smaller states in the country, but there’s no shortage of productive waters and quality game fish here. Spend the day aboard one of many fishing charters CT has in store, and you’ll soon see why the local angling is one of the best kept secrets in New England.

Connecticut boasts 6,000 lakes and ponds, 8,400 miles of streams and rivers, and 253 miles of coastline. Excellent fishing is rarely more than an hour’s drive away, and the good people of CT are committed to sharing these prospects with anglers from all walks of life. With 26 areas designated to youth-only fishing, 29 lakes and rivers featuring handicapped access, and a 1,000’ pier in East Lyme that is also handicapped accessible, the local community has done its best to make sure no one misses out on the fishing here.

Freshwater Fishing in CT

Freshwater fishing sources in CT are small compared to those in other states, but don’t let that give you the wrong impression. Local waters are filled with the likes of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Crappie, assorted Panfish, Walleye, Northern Pike, Brown, Brook and Rainbow Trout, Shad, Striped Bass, and Atlantic Salmon. In winter and spring, you can fish half-a-dozen coastal rivers for sea-run Brown Trout, some of them weighing 8 pounds or more. If you’re wondering where to start, a couple of choice locations stand out from the crowd.

Connecticut River

The Connecticut River is by far the biggest, most accessible, and most diverse fishing source in the state—which easily makes it one of the best fishing spots in CT. Spanning roughly 90 miles from Massachusetts to Long Island Sound, this is the longest river in New England, and you’ll find boat launches and shore-based fishing sites all along its banks.

The Connecticut River is brimming with Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, White and Yellow Perch, Crappie, Sunfish, Catfish, Carp, Shad, and Striped Bass. On occasion, you can also catch Atlantic Salmon, Walleye, and the odd Sturgeon here. This river has some special bragging rights, including the best Pike fishing in the state, with a few 15-pounders landed each year. It also hosts one of the premier American Shad runs on the east coast. These fish, known as “the poor man’s Tarpon,” show up in March and the fishing is best in April and May.

More than any other species, the Connecticut River is dominated by Bass. In fact, many argue this is the best place for Bass fishing in CT. Anglers catch both Largemouths and Smallmouths in the river from Hamburg Cove all the way to the MA border in Enfield. For year-round Bass fishing, cast your line in Chapman’s Pond in East Haddam or Wethersfield Cover in Wethersfield. Other notable Bass fishing spots in CT include Pachaug Pond, Winchester Lake, Moodus Lake, Lake Zoar, and Powers Lake (to name a few).

Lake Candlewood

Covering just 5,420 acres, this man-made lake near the NY state border is the largest in CT. Here you can indulge in quality fishing for Bass and some real lunker Trout. This lake is especially famous for its population of trophy Brown Trout, which gorge themselves on alewife and reach 7-10 pounds. Needless to say, this spot boasts some of the best Trout fishing CT has to offer. Swimming along the shoreline are Bass, Panfish, and White Perch which can reach up to 2 pounds or more.

If you’re keen on Trout fishing, you can take advantage of year-round opportunities in the upper reaches of the Housatonic River and the Farmington River above Burlington. To the east, the Yantic, Natchaug, Shetucket, Salmon, and Quinebaug Rivers have great Trout fishing in spring and fall.

And much more

Fishing trips in CT are all about variety, and there are plenty of small waters throughout the state which offer exactly that. Squantz Pond, Rogers Lake, and Gardners Lake host experimental Walleye populations, while many coastal rivers see Striped Bass in spring and fall. The Atlantic Salmon fishing CT produces each year runs from October through spring, and is usually limited to catch and release at the start of the season. Fly fishing for this species is especially popular, and in some years it’s legal to keep Salmon caught on fly rod after November. The Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers are the two main rivers stocked with this fish. You can also catch some Kokanee Salmon in East Twin Lake, West Hill Pond, and Lake Wononscopomuc.

Saltwater Fishing in CT

Though overlooked, CT’s saltwater fishing scene is also impressive. Anglers here take advantage of hundreds of miles of coastline stretching along the Long Island Sound, where nearly ⅓ of the state’s population resides. You can expect outstanding inshore fishing anywhere from Byram Point in the west to Pawcatuck Point near Rhode Island. Main catches here include Striped Bass, Tautog, Flounder, Fluke, Bluefish, Weakfish, Mackerel, Porgies, and Black Seabass.

Some anglers fish the Long Island Sound year-round, but for most the season lasts from March through late November. Flounder are the first to arrive in spring, eventually followed by Mackerel, Fluke, Porgy (Scup), Black Seabass, Striped Bass, Bluefish, Weakfish, and finally Tautog.

Coastal Fishing

The biggest freshwater rivers which flow into the Long Island Sound have large, brackish sections where Stripers and Flounder like to live, which makes the coastal reaches of these rivers a popular stop on many CT fishing charters. The lower part of the Housatonic River, though not as large as the Connecticut, has very productive fishing for Striper, Bluefish, Flounder, and Fluke.

Along the north side of Long Island Sound, the shore is rocky, highly irregular, and speckled with hundreds of small, rocky islands and outcroppings which are perfectly suited to Tautog and Striped Bass in the fall. Alternatively, you can enjoy good fishing from shore at the town docks in Stratford, Stratford Point, and Milford Point Jetty.

Nearshore Sound Fishing

Some of the best fishing in Long Island Sound is a bit farther out, over numerous reefs and ledges just off shore. The Norwalk Islands, Goose and Falkner Islands complex, Madison Reef, Kimberly Reef, Long Sand Shoal, and the Hatchett and Barlett Reefs are but a few of the hot spots you might visit here. In the middle of the sound sits a unique geographical feature, known as Stratford Shoal—or, “the Middle Grounds.” This shoal rises from some of the deepest water in the sound to depths of 8-10 feet. Here you’ll find the best Bluefishing of the summer.

When the season is right, a full day trip to Block Island gives you the chance to hook into trophy Striper and Fluke. On the other hand, some of the most popular saltwater fishing spots in CT are actually found in NY state waters, including Plum Gut, The Race, Fishers Island Sound, and more.

And beyond...

In summer, you’ll see many anglers heading offshore to fish for even more species. Trips lasting 10 hours or more can take you past Block Island to fish for Cod, Haddock, Pollock, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna when in season. Monster Mako and Thresher Sharks inhabit the deep water offshore, and adrenaline junkies will be glad to know that plenty of local charter operators offer trips designed specifically with catching these brutes in mind.

Need to Know

Anglers fishing aboard licensed charter boats in CT do not need to bring individual fishing licenses. A marine saltwater fishing license is required for anglers 16 and older who plan to fish from shore or on their own.

Anglers 16 and above who plan on fishing in freshwater should buy a CT inland freshwater fishing license as well as Trout and Salmon stamps.

Local regulations vary depending on where you fish. In general, Trout, Bass, and Salmon fishing are regulated by size and bag limits. Most Salmon fishing in CT is restricted to catch and release.

Connecticut
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.59
Based on 23651 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

At the start of the year, you’ll find very little action in the Long Island Sound, but many of Connecticut’s rivers and streams are bustling with Atlantic Salmon as well as Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout.

February

Average temperatures are between 20-37°F in February. Those who are willing to brave the cold will be rewarded with some of the excellent Trout fishing CT is known for.

March

Spring is on its way, and things are slowly picking up momentum. Fluke are appearing in the Long Island Sound while Bass are starting to bite more in the lakes.

April

April is an excellent time to cast a few lines in the Connecticut River! The American Shad run is in full swing, and your chances of catching Trout and Salmon are still strong.

May

Come May, charter boats all over Long Island Sound are fully up and running. Fluke and Black Seabass are feeding near reefs and rocky shorelines, while Striped Bass are at their peak in the coastal streams.

June

June is a great time to experience the sheer variety CT has to offer. Wrangle with monster Sharks offshore, make the most of nearshore fishing in the sound, or enjoy local Trout fishing.

July

Now is the time to head offshore if you’re in the market for Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Marlin, and other big game beasts. Meanwhile, the sound is crowded with Porgy, Fluke, Seabass, and more.

August

You’ll find local Trout and Bass fishing to be slower in the heat of summer, as these fish do their best to stay cool and survive. Meanwhile, the fishing has never been better in the sound.

September

As fall approaches, Striped Bass and Shad re-appear for a second peak season in the rivers. You can still enjoy great success while fishing offshore for Tuna, Marlin, and more.

October

With Tautog at their peak, Long Island Sound is the place to be! You can catch anything here, from Seabass and Fluke to Bluefish. Try your luck near Block Island or one of many local reefs.

November

As average temperatures decrease toward 30°F, the fishing is shifting once again. Many charter boats will soon shut down for the winter, but until then fishing in the sound is excellent.

December

By December, some of the best fishing in CT is in the streams and rivers. Atlantic Salmon are on the rise, joined by Trout and many other fish.

Connecticut Fishing Calendar

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Easy in and out marina, fish accessible almost immediately = more fish in the boat and less time cruising from location to location. Good for kids, and first time and casual anglers.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Easy in and out marina, fish accessible almost immediately = more fish in the boat and less time cruising from location to location. Good for kids, and first time and casual anglers.
Chris  T.
Chris T. Stamford, CT
The weather was great. Not too hot and not too cold. A great time to fish for Sea Bass on the sound.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
The weather was great. Not too hot and not too cold. A great time to fish for Sea Bass on the sound.
Vida  S.
Vida S. North Massapequa, NY
Marine fauna is very diverse, the landscape is fantastic and you can put in practice many different fishing techniques depending on the environmental conditions.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Marine fauna is very diverse, the landscape is fantastic and you can put in practice many different fishing techniques depending on the environmental conditions.
Pablo  A.
Pablo A. Weare, New Hampshire
this is a great boat to fish from. If August, then expect to have a lot of fun fishing for scup and seabass.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
this is a great boat to fish from. If August, then expect to have a lot of fun fishing for scup and seabass.
Ed  B.
Ed B. New Haven, Connecticut
Just a note if you have mobility issue the access to the boat might be tricky. You might consider another Marina or arrange a pick up at a different place.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Just a note if you have mobility issue the access to the boat might be tricky. You might consider another Marina or arrange a pick up at a different place.
Remi  L.
Remi L. Waterford, CT
Nightjack was great bring sunscreen and drinks and a positive attitude and you will have a great time!
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Nightjack was great bring sunscreen and drinks and a positive attitude and you will have a great time!
Michael  P.
Michael P. New York, New York

Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
Thank you to the Captain and first mate for making this day the most memorable birthday my son will ever have!! You were so patient and kind!!! We really thank you both!
Stephanie  K.
Stephanie K. Harrison, NY
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waterford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 20 reviews
Ken was awesome! He's very helpful, knowledgeable, and passionate, and a lot of fun to be out on the water with for hours! Highly recommend for a small group!
Iolani  D.
Iolani D. United States
Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
Capt was the best,.made us feel comfortable and you can tell he loves what he does. I would highly recommend this trip for any fisher man especially beginners.
Thomas  M.
Thomas M. Norwalk, CT
Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
I took my two grandkids fishing with Capitan Joe. It was a pleasant experience. Kids loved it. Joe was very helpful, kind, and patient. My wife, my daughter, and my son-in-law also were with me. We all enjoyed the trip. We caught porgies, flounders, seabass, and bunch of others. It was a fun day. I definitely recommend Capitan Joe.
John  A.
John A. Sedgwick, ME
Sea Fever Charters, LLC
Sea Fever Charters, LLC
Fishing charter in East Lyme
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 5 reviews
These guys know their stuff and they're super fun to be with. Can't wait for the next trip
Sea  F.  C.
Sea F. C. Higganum, Connecticut
Nightjack Sportfishing
Nightjack Sportfishing
Fishing charter in Branford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 41 reviews
The best charter I have been on, our entire party had a blast. Caught plenty of fish, which were cleaned and ready to cook up when we got home. Would highly recommend!
Michael  K.
Michael K. Manchester, CT
One More Drift Charters CT
One More Drift Charters CT
Fishing charter in Clinton
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 10 reviews
Captain Joe provided our ten-year boys an amazing and memorable fishing experience. He showed them all the ropes and answered their thousand questions along the way. I would definitely recommend Captain Joe’s charter to other groups with or without kids.
Sean  R.
Sean R. New Haven, CT
Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
Had a great half day of fishing! Brought in over 40 keepers and Captain Joe cleaned everything we caught! Can't wait to book again!!!!
Liz  C.
Liz C. Middletown, Connecticut
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waterford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 20 reviews
The best experience that we had. Capt. Ken was.excellent and can't wait to back.for another day. Thank ypu for.a.geat time and excellent fishing day. See you next time. Thank you
Deborah  C.
Deborah C. Burlington, CT
Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
We took the afternoon trip out into Long Island sound from Stamford with Joe and his mate for our friends birthday and we would all highly recommend this charter. The crew was super helpful, very laid back, very friendly and we definetly did not go home without a ton of fresh fish! Whether your new to fishing or have done it many times, these guys will ensure you catch plenty and have a fun time doing it!
Cori  K.
Cori K. United States
One More Drift Charters CT
One More Drift Charters CT
Fishing charter in Clinton
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 10 reviews
We had a great time. The 3 hour charter was perfect for the kids and Captain Joe was an absolutely fabulous host. The kids learned a lot about fishing from him. He very patient with them. Perfect Captain all around - recommend him for your next fishing trip.
Carlos  A.
Carlos A. Bethel, Connecticut
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waterford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 20 reviews
We had an awesome time catching sea bass and porgies. Captain Ken was so easy to talk to, professional and was a fun host. We plan on booking more trips with him in the future. Thank you Captain for making my boyfriends birthday a one of a kind experience!
Allison  M.
Allison M. Lindenhurst, NY
One More Drift Charters CT
One More Drift Charters CT
Fishing charter in Clinton
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 10 reviews
My 3 friends and I have been going on a yearly fishing trip for the last 20 yrs. With work and busy schedules, it's the one day a year we get to be together and just go out fishing. Captain Joe made our day awesome! He was very knowledgeable and fit in with our group like he has been friends with us for years. We had a great day out, and caught a bunch of fish. We are already planning our trip for next year and it will definitely be with one more drift!
Jason  S.
Jason S. Wolcott, CT
Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
My son and I had a great time! Captain Landi went above and beyond to give my son and I an amazing day fishing. We caught some giant bluefish, porgies and some other species we have never seen before.. Truly a magical day on the water. His first mate was also great to hang out with and helped us throughout the day with fishing tips. I highly recommend this charter
Daniel  W.
Daniel W. New York, NY
Stamford Fishing Charters
Stamford Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Stamford
4.3 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 80 reviews
Captain and mate were very nice. Always had bait on our hooks. Caught a bunch of different fish, even a few sharks.
Kerry  R.
Kerry R. Trumbull, CT
Sea Fever Charters, LLC
Sea Fever Charters, LLC
Fishing charter in East Lyme
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 5 reviews
We had a great day out there. These guys put us right on the fish. Definitely know what they’re doing. Very professional and welcoming. Definitely recommend going out with these guys!!
Jesus  R.
Jesus R. Copake, NY
One More Drift Charters CT
One More Drift Charters CT
Fishing charter in Clinton
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 10 reviews
Great first experience for our daughters, ages 12 and 6. My husband and cousin had a fabulous time and we had a delicious fish dinner that evening! Highly recommend this for anyone!
Leigh  A.  M.
Leigh A. M. Berlin, CT
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waterford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 20 reviews
I would travel from New Jersey all day everyday to experience this charter again! Exceeded expectations! Captain Ken is the fish whisperer. Highly recommended!
Eileen  V.
Eileen V. United States
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Striper Snax Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waterford
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 20 reviews
Captain Ken was a pleasure to work with. He provided everything we needed for a great three hour excursion where my ten year old grandson learned how to fish. He demonstrated expertise with handling his boat and finding where the fish were, and guided both of us in reeling in numerous catches. I would highly recommend Captain Ken, and plan to ride with him again when my five year old younger grandson is ready.
Frederic  G.
Frederic G. New Brunswick, NJ
Nightjack Sportfishing
Nightjack Sportfishing
Fishing charter in Branford
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 41 reviews
Captain John and mate Brian were friendly and accommodating. The boat was clean and spacious. The tackle was high quality and easy to use. We were blessed with fantastic weather. Trolling for blues was a bit disappointing producing only one fish. The bottom fishing was fast and furious however producing 50 or so good sized porgies. Mixed in and released were some undersize Black Sea bass. Overall we had a very good experience and I recommend the Nightjack.
Michael  R.
Michael R. North Haven, CT

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Connecticut

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Connecticut costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $549, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $805. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Connecticut is 28 ft and the most common vessel type is a Center console.

According to customer reviews, Striper Snax Fishing Charters, Nightjack Sportfishing, and Starship Charters are some of the most popular fishing charters in Connecticut. Full list of top fishing charters in Connecticut.

Striper Snax Fishing Charters, Nightjack Sportfishing, and Starship Charters all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Connecticut.

The best way to experience fishing in Connecticut is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Connecticut.

The most popular fish species you can target are Bass (Striped), Seabass (Black), and Bluefish. Top fishing techniques include light tackle, jigging, and bottom fishing. Inshore fishing, nearshore fishing, and reef fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

By December, some of the best fishing in CT is in the streams and rivers. Atlantic Salmon are on the rise, joined by Trout and many other fish. Check availability for local fishing charters in Connecticut.