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 by it's stripes? 

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

The Feburary mystery fish was a Bowfin ( Amia calva); the last remaining survivor of a family of fish with a large fossil record. This fish has a specialized air bladder which allows it to gulp air at the surface.  The ability to use atmospheric oxygen enables the Bowfin to survive in water with very low levels of dissolved oxygen.

Bowfin are primarily found in the Connecticut River where the population has been increasing in number since 2003.  A strong predatory fish, Bowfin will provide a good fight when hooked. New regulations allow anglers to fish for Bowfin and if desired harvest them (possession of live Bowfin is still prohibited). 
Pack Your Camera
We are accepting your high quality digital photos of your great CT fish catches for the 2016 Angler's Guide. Ideal photos are sharp, well focused, high resolution images representing the great fishing opportunities in Connecticut.  Email your entries to deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov.
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 now!
Wondering what's new in fisheries?  
Get the latest in fisheries through our quarterly reports.

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

Follow Us on Facebook
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
Need a Permit?
P lanning 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 
Caught a Big One?
Be proud of your catch! By meeting the minimum size requirements and rules, you can earn a trophy fish award pin. View the details.
Latest Bites
Welcome Spring (we think)!  While the temperatures in March struggled to reach "normal" on most days, our hatchery staff have been working diligently to stock our waters in preparation for the Opening Day of Trout Season, April 11th.  If you have the itch to get out and fish, check out the great catch and release pre-season fishing in our Trout Management Areas.
Opening Day of trout season is now the second Saturday of April.  This year it is April 11.  We can't wait.  Take a look at where we are stocking by checking out our trout stocking maps.
NOTE for campers:  With Opening Day of Trout season now on the second Saturday of April (April 11, 2015) several DEEP campgrounds will be open for camping on Friday April 10th, weather conditions permitting.
You can book your reservations for Macedonia Brook, American Legion and Devils Hopyard now.

In addition Black Rock, Hopeville Pond and Mashamoquet Brook will open on April 10th on a first come/first serve basis (walk-in).

Check out this short video at Pledge to Pitch It, a campaign to make sure we properly dispose of our plastic lures.  You wouldn't throw your plastic soda bottle in the water, so don't throw your worn out plastic lures in either. Pledge to Pitch It!

Daily Stocking Updates:
Wondering if the Inland Fisheries Division has stocked a water near you?  Get our stocking updates on our Facebook page. (Prior to Opening Day we only post information about Trout Management Areas, after Opening Day we post daily stocking updates for all waters). 
2015 Angler's Guides
Get a printed copy of the 2015 CT Angler's Guide at your favorite local bait and tackle shop, town hall, or any DEEP office.  It is also available on our  website

In addition to the updated rules and regulations section, this year's Angler's Guide includes a key with photos of common freshwater fish, a listing of places with public access, and is packed with helpful fishing related information.  Get your copy today!

Please note any reference to the 3rd Saturday in April (especially in the River & Stream section) should be the 2nd Saturday in April. We apologize for this typographical error.
Family Friendly Trout Fishing
Trout Parks offer good access and a high likelihood of catching a fish as they are frequently stocked with trout.  Remember, the daily limit is 2 trout per angler in trout parks. Many trout parks have clear access to the shoreline and amenities like bathrooms and picnic areas.  Plan ahead:  Trout parks are very popular on opening day and can be crowded: View locations.
Community Fishing Waters are local neighborhood ponds found in municipal parks or recreation areas.  Most of the shoreline is clear of obstruction and readily accessible.  Many are located along public transportation routes, making them easy to get to.  The daily limit for trout is 5 fish per angler:  View locations.
Save the Dates
Free Fishing Day is Saturday May 9, 2015.  On this date anyone can fish inland or marine waters without a fishing license (all other regulations including minimum size and creel limits remain in effect). Details on the events planned for Free Fishing Day will be forthcoming.  Stay up to date by following us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ctfishandwildlife
Free Fishing License Days: New this year are two free fishing license days, June 21 and August 15, 2015.  On each of these days, anyone can fish for FREE provided they have obtained a 1-day free fishing license.  These licenses will be available approximately 3 weeks prior to each date through our convenient online sportsmen licensing system (now mobile friendly!).  
CARE to Learn How to Fish?
Register NOW for a FREE Learn to Fish Class: Our two hour class, followed by a fishing trip to your local pond, is a great way to introduce you and your family to the basics of fishing. No experience or equipment necessary.  We take CARE of you.  Sign up for one of our FREE family fishing classes now:  View Schedule.
Catch and Release Tips

Should you prefer to practice catch and release fishing, we offer the following tips to help ensure the fish are released unharmed:

* Consider barbless hooks or pinch down the barb to facilitate a quick hook removal.

* Carry a pair of fine needle nose pliers or hemostats to help remove a deep set hook.

* Wet your hands before picking up the fish and handle as little as possible.

* If you plan on taking a photograph, have your camera ready to go. Avoid placing the fish on the ground. This is a good reason to fish with a buddy.

* When holding the fish, please support it horizontally by the tail and belly. A large fish held vertically could experience some internal organ damage and later die.

For more information check out Takemefishing.org; specifically the link for catch and release

Enjoy Opening Day

Opening Day of Trout Season is a long standing tradition for many CT residents.  No matter where you will be casting your line at 6:00 am, consider the following to help make opening day a memory to last a lifetime.

* Visit the area you plan to fish in advance.  This will help you to identify parking, access, and any changes that may have occurred since your last visit.
* Prep your rod and reel.  Nothing is worse than making your first cast and having catastrophic failure. Check your rod and reel, adding new line, greasing the gears, and making sure everything is in order.
* Attend a "Fishermen's Breakfast".  Many civic groups offer a delicious homemade breakfast on opening day.  Make plans either before or after your fishing trip to fill up on some delicious food and support the local community.  
* Be considerate of your fellow anglers.  Trout fever is at its peak and sometimes the excitement may get the best of some people.  Please do not crowd your fellow anglers, be polite and courteous, and carry out more than you carry in (pick up any fishing related debris or garbage).
* Illegal Activity.  If you do happen to notice any illegal activity please let our EnConn Officers know by calling 1-800-842-HELP (4357).  
YOUth Fishing Passport Activities
DEEP's free Youth Fishing Passport is your family's ticket to great fishing adventures.  Available to youth 15 years old or younger, the Youth Fishing Passport can be obtained through DEEP's online sportsmen licensing system.  The printable certificate is a favorite among kids as it provides a tangible connection to our outdoor resources. 
By purchasing a fishing license, you help to support conservation and improvement of Connecticut's fisheries.  Thank you!