Anglers are always looking for new waters on which to test their skills. Whether you enjoy dunking bait, tossing lures, or targeting a wide variety of trophy fish, you should have the Connecticut River on your list of fishing destinations. The longest and largest river in New England, it supports a greater diversity of fish species than almost any other water in the region, including hundreds of thousands of American shad that run up the river to spawn every spring, a seasonal population of striped bass, plus abundant, resident populations of northern pike, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, carp, walleye, crappie, bowfin, brown and rainbow trout, and various panfish. It has produced 10% of the trophy fish that have ever qualified for awards through the Massachusetts Sport Fishing Awards Program, making it second only to Quabbin Reservoir for producing heavyweight catches.
The Connecticut River offers miles of public access for shore fishing along both of its banks, plus numerous boat launching facilities both public and private. Favored fishing locations are around and under bridges, and especially around the mouths of major tributaries (see list). Whether you want to fish it intensively casting lures or flies from a boat, or relax on the shore and watch a propped up, baited rod on a summer evening when the catfish are biting, there are few waters that can offer the quality, abundance, and diversity of this fishery. So pick a spot or a boat ramp, grab your equipment and fishing partners, and see if you, like so many others every year, can make the Connecticut give up its piscatorial treasures…
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.