CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection                             January 2015
   CT Fishin' Tips
   Your source for Connecticut fishing news, pointers and tips

E-Tackle Box
(links to fishing info)
Mystery Fish
Do you recognize this fish found in many CT rivers and streams? 

Email your guess to DEEP.inland.fisheries@ct.gov

The December mystery fish was a Hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus).  
A small right-facing flatfish, hogchokers can be abundant in many of our tidal rivers and throughout Long Island Sound.  They rarely grow larger than 4 -5 inches in length.  Like other flatfish, the hogchoker will lie buried in the sediment waiting to ambush it's food, small crustaceans and worms.

Are you 16-17 years old? 
Get 50% off fishing and hunting licenses
All 16 and 17 year old Connecticut residents can purchase 2015 fishing and hunting licenses, tags, permits, and/or stamps at 50% of the full resident cost. Get your license here
Learn to Ice Fish for FREE
Come and join your neighbors and friends at a free DEEP ice fishing class available in a community near you.  We take care of the instruction and equipment, you bring the family.  Check out our video.

Need a License?
Budding Angler in Your Family?
Youth Fishing Passport

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Connecticut Wildlife Magazine

Every issue of this bi-monthly publication includes great wildlife photography, in-depth feature articles written by DEEP biologists, information about hunting and fishing, and natural history articles.

Connecticut Wildlife Magazine is published six times each year.

Subscriptions are $8 for one year, $15 for two, or $20 for three years.

Report a Violation
Help to protect our natural resources for future outdoor sports enthusiasts.  Report suspected violations by calling DEEP Environmental Conservation Police at 1-800-842-HELP
Teach Fishing With CARE
If you would like to share your passion for fishing and help to inspire the next generation to get hooked on fishing, then we need you!

All CARE fishing programs are offered at no cost due, in part, to our core of hundreds of State certified volunteer instructors.  Join CARE today. Contact Tom or Justin at 860-633-1656 for more information.
Need a Permit?
Planning a fishing tournament or derby? Would you like to stock some fish in your pond? You can now take advantage of our new on-line permit application system, ezFile.  To get started, download Google Chrome, create your user account, and submit an application.  If you have questions, give us a call at 860-424-FISH (3474). 

Missed an Issue of CT Fishin' Tips?
Find every issue in our archives.
Have a Tip or Photo You Would Like to See in CT Fishin' Tips?
Email your tip to DEEP.Inland.Fisheries@ct.gov 
Latest Bites
Happy New Year!  You may think fishing slows during the winter months, but that's not true!  With safe ice, our lakes and ponds provide great opportunities to try fishing from "on top" of the water.  For the latest ice fishing conditions, good tips, and supplies, please stop by your local bait and tackle shop.
Update on proposed fishing regulation changes:  On February 24, 2015 the Legislative Regulation Review Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to vote on final approval of the proposed fishing regulations changes as detailed in the 2014 Angler's Guide. We will provide notification when we receive confirmation of their action. 
Don't Miss Out
Family Ice Fishing Classes:  FREE!  Check our frequently updated schedule and then sign-up.  Ice fishing is the perfect low-cost outdoor winter activity for the entire family.  Try it and you will be "hooked".
Family Ice Fishing Derby - Coventry Lake, 
Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 9 am to 12 noon at Patriot's Park, 172 Lake Street, Coventry.

This derby is designed to introduce families to all aspects of ice fishing. Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Instructors will provide one-on-one lessons on how to drill a hole, set up a tip-up and jigging rod, and provide bait.  Dress for cold weather, wear waterproof boots, and leave your sneakers at home!  Check out our introduction to ice fishing video.

No Child Left Inside - Winterfest, Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10 am to 2 pm at Burr Pond State Park, 384 Burr Mountain Road, Torrington.

Families are encouraged to come out and participate in ice fishing (equipment, bait, and instruction provided), snowshoeing, animal tracking, ice rescue, canine search & rescue, a bonfire, and a variety of other winter activities. Waterproof boots and warm clothing highly recommended.
Be Safe on the Ice
Ice fishing is a unique way to spend quality time outdoors, enjoying the winter season.  Please be sure to check with your local bait and tackle shop to get the latest "pointers" and places with safe ice thickness.  
Below are a few recommended safety items to bring along.
Spiked footware:  Walking on the ice can be challenging. There are a variety of over the boot, traction assisting devices available.  
Throw Rope:  A pre-coiled section of rope in a throwable bag that can be used to help pull someone out if they have broken through the ice.

Hand spikes/ Ice Claws: A pair of hand spikes can be a life saver and it is a good idea to keep some handy while ice fishing.  
To pull yourself out of the water and back onto the ice, drive the hand spikes into the solid ice and pull yourself out.
Cell Phone: Many of us use fishing as a way to go off the grid and disconnect from day to day chores. However, a cell phone is an important piece of lifesaving equipment should you see someone break through.
N"ICE" catches!

Samantha was very pleased to let us know that on her son's first ice fishing trip, they landed a great bass. Thanks for sharing your memory with us.

Evan with his jumbo Yellow Perch caught at Black Pond, Meriden.  Keep it up!  The Yellow Perch is featured in our species spotlight below.  
Ice fishing is a great family friendly activity. Dress warmly, wear waterproof boots, pack a picnic, and head out onto the ice for a fun-filled day. 

Sarah is proud of this lunker largemouth bass caught and released back through the ice in Stafford.  That is a great fish to start the season.
Species Spotlight
Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) is a small but tasty freshwater species. Native to the northeast the adult Yellow Perch is easily recognized by the distinct vertical bands, yellow belly, and bright orange fins. Juvenile fish look nearly the same but usually do not have the bright coloration. Yellow Perch typically grow to be 8-12 inches in length. Yellow Perch are abundant in many of our lakes and ponds and larger slow flowing rivers.  The perch is a favorite of ice anglers as perch actively feed throughout the winter. Interestingly, Yellow Perch belong to the family Percidae, a varied group of fish which contains some of our smallest fish, the darters, and one of our more popular gamefish, the Walleye.
How to fish for Yellow Perch: Yellow Perch feed upon smaller fish and invertebrates.  Yellow Perch can be caught using a variety of live bait like worms and minnows or by using small jigs and lures. When ice fishing, thread a "moussie" (a fly  maggot) onto a small jig, drill a series of holes in the ice, and spend 5-10 minutes jigging in each until you find the fish. Yellow Perch are a schooling fish, so once you catch one, chances are you will catch more. Classified as a panfish (a group of fish that include sunfish, perch and catfish), there is no minimum size limit or daily limit but please keep only those you intend to use.
Good Eats- Give Perch a Try
Yellow Perch are a very tasty fish, as their flesh has a nice firm texture. When you are fortunate to catch a few jumbo perch, give this recipe a try (poor man's shrimp).

1. Fillet the perch, remove the skin, and cut the meat into several 3/4" strips

2. Boil 1 quart of water with a touch of Old Bay seasoning

3. Drop the perch strips into the boiling water and cook a few minutes until the meat turns opaque.

4. Immediately remove and place in ice water.

5. After a few minutes, remove and cool for 1-hour or until the meat becomes firm.

6. Serve with cocktail sauce and enjoy! 
Have You Fished Here?
Wethersfield Cove, unbelievable but the cove has it all! 

Fishing the cove is like a "BOX OF CHOCOLATES", you never know what you're going to get! 

Some species commonly caught through the ice include: Black Crappie, Yellow Perch , Northern Pike, Walleye, Carp, Bowfin, and even Striped Bass.

The best advice when fishing the cove is to try to set up over some structure, sunken dingy's, mooring ball anchors, or weed lines. It's all good.  Most of the larger fish will bite on large shiners or White Suckers (live or dead), or if you are feeling up for the challenge try catching your own on micro jigs and spikes (the cove is full of shiners).  The freshly caught shiners can be put right back down as bait for the larger predators. 

(Thanks to Gary Brummett of CT Outfitters for the info).
By purchasing a fishing license, you help to support conservation and improvement of Connecticut's fisheries.  Thank you!
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