Message from the Director

Fishing Regulations Icon Connecticut Fishing

Create lasting memories and future conservationists.

By taking someone fishing this year – in 2020 – you can personally demonstrate your commitment to ensuring the long-term health of Connecticut’s and the nation’s fish and wildlife resources. If you are reading this you are likely a recreational angler, and as such, you undoubtedly have many fond memories of previous fishing trips with family or friends. Sharing your interest in fishing, especially with the younger folks, helps a new generation create these lasting memories, and it also helps sustain our culturally important legacy of fish and wildlife resources that are managed for, and used or appreciated by, society. You in effect are paying it forward whenever you introduce someone new to fishing. Thank you for doing that!

I personally enjoy the bounty of an overflowing memory bank of fishing trips with my family over more than 50 years, beginning in my youth with Opening Day Trout fishing trips to Dickinson Creek and the Salmon River with my dad and two older sisters. And it’s not just about the fishing. I can easily recall the excitement and earthy aroma of filling a coffee can with fat juicy night crawlers collected on a rainy night with flashlight in hand prior to Opening Day. This was as much a part of our tradition as the fishing itself. I also remember with fondness drifting squid or sand lance for summer flounder with my mom and dad from a small runabout in Long Island Sound using a 1920s or 1930s vintage, inexpensive, solid-steel freshwater baitcasting rod, because that was the best equipment we had at the time. It worked, and more than a few doormat fluke were boated using that old steel rod. Over the years I had the pleasure of introducing my own kids to fishing and as adults they continue to participate, whether it be ice fishing, or casting for largemouth or smallmouth bass. An incredibly inspirational and passion filled article on family fishing by the Fisheries Division’s own Justin Wiggins can be found in the Nov/Dec 2019 edition of Connecticut Wildlife. I would urge you to read it for great practical tips for being successful in introducing youngsters to fishing.

I would encourage you to participate in our “Take a Friend Fishing contest”, which is described below. This is among the R3 (Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation) initiatives that we are undertaking to promote participation in recreational angling here in Connecticut, to help pass on the legacy to new generations and participants to ensure our favorite outdoor pursuits remain relevant to society. If we as recreational fishermen (and women) don’t pass it on and get new people involved – who will? Make the time to take your family or friends fishing. Thanks!

Wishing you tight lines,

Pete Aarrestad

Director, Fisheries Division

Take A Friend Fishing, Hook Great Prizes

This year the Connecticut DEEP Fisheries Division and contest sponsors are encouraging anglers to take a friend fishing. Mentors play the critical role of passing on fishing knowledge and traditions, thereby fostering a love of the outdoors in their mentees and helping to ensure a sustainable future for our natural resources. As a reward for sharing your expertise and love of fishing, we’ve created a contest for mentors who take the time to pass on their knowledge.

Take a beginner angler out and be entered to win some great prizes by submitting a photograph and brief story of your time on the water. Submissions will be judged by their ability to inspire others.

  • Mentor and mentee must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Contest participants must follow all applicable Connecticut fishing regulations.
  • Mentor must hold a valid Connecticut fishing license.
  • Mentees must have obtained their first-ever fishing license in 2020.


There will be three mentor-mentee pairs that win big this fishing season, with one pair selected from each prize period. Here’s what they will win:

All Winners: A free fishing trip with rod and reel rental on the Black Hawk, a $50 Cabela’s gift card from the East Hartford Cabela’s store, and a family fishing package (five rods and reels, lures, PowerBait, and a copy of the “Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut”) from the Fisheries Division’s CARE Program.

April 11th – July 31st 2020 Winners: Two four-hour fishing kayak rentals from Blackhall Outfitters and two Orvis Hats and Silipints from the Orvis Darien Store.

August 1st – October 31st 2020 Winners: Private two hour fly casting/fishing lesson for two from FFI certified instructor Ray Ramos of Brackish Waters Fly Fishing.

November 1st 2020 – February 28th 2021 Winners: Full Reddington fly fishing outfit (rod, reel, backing, fly line, and leader) from The Compleat Angler and a private two hour fly casting/fishing lesson for two from FFI certified instructor Ray Ramos of Brackish Waters Fly Fishing.

Enter by submitting your brief story and photo online: bit.ly/FishWithFriends

See the official rules: portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/General-Information/Take-a-Friend-Fishing—Official-Rules