You’ll find good fishing around Niantic if you focus your efforts on the many prominent points and reefs where striped bass, bluefish, fluke, porgies (scup) and blackfish pile up throughout the season. The action kicks off in early May with stripers leading the charge. Schoolies to 10 pounds or so arrive first, followed quickly by larger fish that may top the 30-pound mark. According to the folks at J&B Tackle in Niantic, most of these early bass are taken on parachute jigs or shad rigs trolled on wire line. The key is to keep the lures close to the bottom, as there is little in the way of surface action until June rolls around.
With thick schools of baitfish migrating through the area from mid-September through mid-October, fall action can be explosive off Niantic.
Any of the local points and reefs will hold fish. Hatchets Reef, Black Reef, Bartlett Reef and Goshen Reef are all great starting points, and they will hold bass throughout the summer. Fishing is best when the tide is running, but keep your baits and lures near bottom if you want to score. There are also blackfish to be had on the bottom at these locations, with clams being the best bait for the spring season. By June stripers and blues begin pushing bait on the surface and can be taken on topwaters in black or mackerel patterns in the warm water around the Millstone power plant.
Fluke arrive by Independence Day, with flatfish action building steadily into mid-August. While shorts are typical, there are enough keepers and doormats available to produce a limit. Niantic Bay, the Dumping Grounds and the waters off Old Lyme are the usual hot spots. For a better chance at keepers, but fewer bites, fish the 80- to 100-foot depths off Black Point. Squid-and-spearing combos are the standard offerings, but Spro bucktails tipped with squid or spearing work well in the shallows.
Another summer option is porgies (scup), which invade the local waters at the end of July and swarm around just about any hump, high spot or mussel bed off Bartletts Point, Hatchets Reef or Black Point. Use strips of squid or pieces of clam fished right on the bottom.
Bluefish can be abundant in July and August, or they can be missing in action if the bait hasn’t arrived. When bunker and hickory shad are present, the choppers are, too. Look for schools of 3- to 6-pounders to provide exciting surface action, or you can try to target the larger blues by drifting a live bunker or shad around the points and reef edges.
With thick schools of baitfish migrating through the area from mid-September through mid-October, fall action can be explosive off Niantic. The fluke fishing tends to slack off as the water cools, but the bass and blues explode on the surface, and porgies and blackfish cover the bottom. It’s possible to score all day long, but the smart anglers will fish early and late to maximize their chances.
Bait & Tackle:
- Capt. Blaine Anderson, Anderson Guide Services (860-667-4523)
- Captain John’s Sport Fishing (860-443-7259)
- Osprey Charters (860-739-4129)
- Black Hawk II (800-382-2824)