May 5, 2011

Get Out and Fish

With fishing season and spring in full swing here in Connecticut there are many opportunities to get out on the water and fish along with opportunities to try and learn how to fish.

Our first stop is the Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) program.   The CARE program offers up many classes geared to learning about water, fish and fishing.  From specific techniwues to target certain species, Ice Fishing to general family fishing learning.

From the CARE website:
CARE will introduce you, your family, and friends to the wonders of water, fish, and fishing.  Expert Instructors pass along information and expertise they’ve gained while angling in many waters for many years.  DVDs, demonstrations, and activities make learning fun for adults and kids alike.  Many times they’ll even take you on a fishing trip!
For a list of upcoming events and classes check out their website.

CARE is also a great way for those who fish to give back to our sport via donations or volunteering and you can contact  the CARE Center at  860-663-1656 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              860-663-1656      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Next Stop is for those looking for information on where to fish or where the fish are being stocked here in Connecticut.  The CT DEP Fishing website offers up many publications and news letters with all the information you need to find those fish and enjoy a day on the water.  Make sure to read the Anglers Guide for a list of rules and regulations as well as a list of open waters for fishing.  Trout Management Areas a great place to fish because of the abundance of fish and many of these are open year round so make sure to check out the Trout Management Brochure for more details.   We can't forget about Trout Parks either.  Trout Parks offer another great opportunity to be on fish that gets stocked on a weekly basis so there are always new fish to try and fool.  A new addition to the CT DEP Fishign website are maps of the stocking points for streams and rivers in both Western and Eastern Connecticut.

All of the above is related to fresh water fishing but Connecticut has many miles of shoreline  and access to Long Island Sound that offers many saltwater fishing opportunities to chase Striped Bass, Fluke, Flounder, Tatoug, Porgy, basically just bout anything that swims or lives in the saltwater. 

Race Rock, Long Island Sound
 Our first stop once again is the CT DEP Saltware Fishing website which is loaded with the same type of great information found on the freshwater site.   The Anglers Guide does have a Marine Fisheries section which is a great start but you can't pass on this handy Saltwater fishing brochure which is specifically designed for the Saltwater regulations. 

For those landlubbers the Connecticut Coastal Access Guide is a must visit.  Here you can look for public fishing and access points and also learn about your rights to use our incredible shoreline resources.

The Connecticut Coastal Access Guide is designed to help you explore the Connecticut shore. Use the guide to identify sites open to the public for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities. Some sites are posted with brown and white public access signs. Use the signs and the map and detailed driving directions in the Coastal Access Guide to find your way to hundreds of coastal access sights.

Connecticut also has State Parks with coastal access that offer up opportunities for enjoy the shoreline and fish.  About half of these State Parks include designated areas for persons with disabilities and a few offer camping opportunities.

Shoreline Fishing and Property RightsConnecticut's intertidal shore belongs to the people. Under the common law public trust doctrine, the public may freely use land and waters waterward of the mean high water line to fish. The "public trust" area includes beaches, rocky shores and open waters along tidal and navigable waters.  Fishing in the "public trust" area is not trespassing; the DEP encourages anglers to enjoy their rights to use the public trust lands for fishing. However, anglers should also respect the rights of adjacent landowners by not crossing private property without permission and by leaving the shoreline clean and litter free.

All of the above is great information but it sure helps to have the latest information on how the fishing is going and you can get that by checking out the Weekly Fishing Report put out by CT DEP which contains weekly information from many of the states Bait and Tackle shops which  means up to date information for us anglers.

One last item and that is respect of our resources.  This means respecting the rules and regulations, access points and  our neighbors but just as important is respect for the fish themselves.  There is nothing wrong with keeping some fish for a meal but practicing catch and release will help ensure that there are fish for the next person and future generations as well.  Check out the Tips for better Catch and Release fishing for more information. 

Now grab a friend and hit the water.  Tight Lines!

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