The Connecticut River’s fish population is healthy and abundant— evidence that the river’s water quality has made a dramatic comeback.
Connecticut River anglers can expect to find a rich diversity of fish in the river, including small and large mouth bass, Northern pike, catfish, striped bass, perch, bluegill, walleye and carp. For Connecticut fishing regulations and license information, visit the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s website.
“Through Hartford, flows one of the best bass fisheries in the Northeast -- the Connecticut River,” wrote Frank McKane, Jr. in Bass Fishing Magazine. This river runs for 410 miles from its headwaters in Canada to Long Island Sound. The last 60 miles of river has built a special reputation as a superb largemouth and smallmouth bass fishery.
William Hyatt of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Fisheries agrees. The combination of abundant smallmouth and largemouth bass, and variety in habitat and scenery, make the Connecticut River one of the region’s best bass fisheries, Hyatt says. The best fishing for large-mouths is found in the coves and backwaters from Hartford downstream to the mouth of the river. Smallmouth fishing is truly exceptional in sections of the river north of Hartford to the Massachusetts state line. Navigation north of Hartford, however, can be hazardous because of rocks and sandbars. Boaters should exercise both caution and patience when traveling north of the railroad bridge in Hartford.
Bass Fishing Magazine also noted the river’s amazing array of bass habitat. There are numerous small back creeks and bays that are lined with boat docks and fallen trees. The main river itself offers deep ledges, gravel bars, ancient wharf pilings, islands, weed beds and current eddies.