TBO Fishing Report 2019 – April 17

TBO Fishing Report 2019 – April 17

Josh at Three Belles Outfitter says there is a lot going on around the state, as water temps are pushing or exceeding 50 degrees just about everywhere the TBO fishing team has looked in the past week. The heavy rain over the weekend has put the Connecticut River flow at 85,900 CFS and it is quite turbid. It will be a while before that is back to normal. Other rivers are still quite high but should be subsiding by the weekend.

The holdover striped bass in all the tidal rivers have really woken up in the past two weeks with the influx of river herring. Schoolies are taking a wide variety of presentations from panfish jigs to topwater plugs, and some bigger fish are being caught in low light and after dark on jigs or weightless soft plastics and swimming plugs. They are looking for the warmest, clearest water they can find, and having a few herring or alewife swimming through the area they are holding can’t hurt your chances.

Schoolie striper caught while yellow perch fishing on ultralight gear.

Pre-spawn largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has been very solid. The best presentations are skirted jigs with trailers, jerkbaits, soft plastic cigar style baits, and search baits like spinner/crank/chatterbaits. Smallmouth are geared more towards taking jerkbaits and smaller offerings such as a finesse jig or tube jig, and even a downsized jig and plastic much like you would use for schoolies. When looking for largemouth, look for weeds and wood, and fish shallower than you may think to find them. When searching for smallies, look for rock adjacent to hard bottom flats.

Connecticut River smallmouth.
TBO team member Corey Pelletier with a chunky largemouth bass!
TBO team member and employee Josh Rayner with a nice bass that hit a jig in some heavy wood cover.

Yellow perch and calico bass have been active in the local ponds and river coves and provide non-stop action when you find the big schools. Small panfish jigs are the way to go. Calicos up to 18” are being reported from the river coves.

Pike fishing has been on the slower side, but once they are out of their post-spawn funk, which should be any time now, they will be back on the feed. Don’t think that stripers are the only ones that take notice of the river herring. Larger presentations such as jointed swimbaits and trolling spoons are a good bet for solid pike at this time. White and silver are good color choices.

The “Hobie guys” are anticipating the arrival of that first wave of migratory bass just as much as anybody else, but setting hooks on decent freshwater fish is keeping us busy for now. A kayak is a great way to hit the water in the early season before the boats are everywhere. Whether you are buying a kayak or accessories, if you need a fishfinder or lights installed, or if you need repair work done, Elliot and Josh at Three Belles Outfitters have you covered!


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