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BigOutdoors
02-01-2009, 05:38 AM
ICE FISHING REPORT NUMBER 1
1/22/2009

SAFETY REMINDER: DEP reminds winter anglers that SAFETY COMES FIRST! Be aware that ice thickness varies on all water bodies due to a number of environmental factors including in-lake water circulatory patterns, snow cover and the type and amounts of recent precipitation. Please check the ice carefully before venturing out and check repeatedly to make sure that ice thickness is sufficient. Always let someone know where you are going and when you’ll return.

ICE FISHING REPORT

A recent Arctic chill really jump started ice fishing in Connecticut, providing an extensive list of active species and productive locations. Winter camaraderie on the ice is in full swing, with fishing and cooking dominating the day as friends get together and socialize. It’s also a great time to introduce children to the sport.

TROUT - For trout fishing try the following locations, Candlewood Lake (4-lb brown), Mashapaug Lake, Crystal Lake (6-lb brown), Highland Lake, Coventry Lake, West Side Pond, Mohawk Pond, West Hill Pond (25" brown), Beach Pond and Mt. Tom Pond.

ATLANTIC SALMON – Many fish have been caught and released at Mashapaug Lake (including a 33 inch,15 lb beauty), Crystal Lake (catches up to 35") and Beach Pond (several 5-6 lb salmon).

WALLEYE – Anglers have been having good luck at Mashapaug Lake (27.5" walleye), Coventry Lake and Bigelow Pond (24" walleye).

NORTHERN PIKE - Fishing for these monsters has been excellent with many fish being caught. Best reports are from Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Bantam Lake (a 32" pike among the catches), Winchester Lake (fish over 33"), Pachaug Pond (38", 16.5 lb pike among the catches), Wrights Cove (40.5" pike), Wethersfield Cove and White Oaks Cove.

PANFISH - Panfish are being caught in good numbers, with diligent early risers having especially good success between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 am. Jigging with corn/grubs on your favorite lure and moving from place to place is the way to go for these delicious fish. Locations to try include Wethersfield Cove, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Candlewood Lake, Beseck Lake, Bolton Lake, Silver Lake, Bantam Lake, Highland Lake, Bashan Lake, Bolton Lake, Black Pond (Middlefield & Woodstock), Burr Pond, Halls Pond, West Side Pond, Stillwater Pond, Bishop Pond, Messerschmidt Pond and Park Pond.

LARGEMOUTH BASS - Bass are being found at Wrights Cove (5 lbs.), Wethersfield Cove, Lake Wintergreen, Candlewood Lake (4.5 lb bass), Waramaug Lake, Ball Pond (6 lb bass), Squantz Pond, Burr Pond, Halls Pond, Bishop Pond, Brandford Supply Pond, Mt. Tom Pond and Stillwater Pond.

NOTICES

DEP has recently received a number of questions concerning the use of gaffs to help bring fish in through the ice. Currently, there is no specific prohibition on the use of a gaff in the freshwater regulations (except for striped bass). However, note that a gaff cannot be used to actually capture the fish as fish must be taken by the legal methods as listed for that species in the Angler's Guide (also note that spearing is prohibited for most species). Also, any fish that is not "legal" (due to length or quantity restrictions) must be "...without avoidable injury, immediately returned to the water from which taken." So using a gaff on a fish that can't be legally kept (examples include a 30 inch pike at Bantam in January, or a large trout when you are already in possession of your limit for trout) would be considered as inflicting avoidable harm on the fish, and would be a violation. Considering the above, it would generally be best to avoid use of gaffs.
DEP ICE FISHING REPORT
CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106
www.ct.gov/dep