Fishing Milford, Connecticut

Porgies (scup) are major draw for Milford-based bottom fishermen throughout the season. Photo by ##https://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

There’s some great fishing to be had in the waters off Milford, which offers a wide variety of habitat and species. Anglers can fish the open Sound, the quiet marsh creeks and up inside the Housatonic River. The excellent launch ramp on Milford Harbor offers quick access to Long Island Sound, although you can often find good action right inside the harbor itself.

Schoolie stripers arrive inside the harbor in early May, about the same time they enter the Housatonic River a few miles to the west. These early bass aren’t very big, but make excellent targets on light fly or spin gear. Schoolies will readily hit small, white Slug-Gos and Zoom Flukes rigged on half-ounce leadhead jigs or fished weightless and twitched on the surface around structure. While it’s possible to catch bass on a falling tide right inside Milford Harbor, most anglers score better just outside, along the sandbar that stretches from Charles Island toward Silver Sands State Park. The rocky structure around Charles Island holds plenty of fish for pluggers and fly casters, and the period from mid-May through late June is tops. Gulf Pond also holds stripers early in the season, but the waters there are very shallow and best fished by kayak or shallow-draft skiff.

Fluke fishing takes center stage during the midsummer months, with most anglers heading 2 miles east to work the bottom off New Haven…

Bigger stripers can be found well inside the Housatonic, where they chase herring and alewives (and bunker if available) into late June before dropping back to the deeper waters of the Sound. The mouth of the river always gives up some trophy fish in the late spring, especially around the jetties. Later, in midsummer, night fishing with eels is the way to score a keeper.

Bluefish arrive shortly after the stripers, encircling Charles Island and cruising out toward the “Barber Pole”, a mile south in 40′ of water. Like the stripers, most of the spring blues are on the small side, weighing 2 to 4 pounds—“harbor blues” in local parlance. Ferocious feeders, they’ll hit a variety of poppers, jigs, swimming plugs and metal spoons. This is a great fishery for kids, as the action is usually fast-paced and easy to find.

Fluke fishing takes center stage during the midsummer months, with most anglers heading 2 miles east to work the bottom off New Haven, where the flatties can run 6 to 8 pounds. You can also find plenty of action with fluke up to 4 pounds near GC “12” off Pond Point, only 2 miles east of the Milford Harbor entrance. Keepers can be caught here in June and early July, but the big fish get cleaned out pretty quickly. By mid-July you’ll need to work through a lot of shorts to limit out. Bucktails work well, especially when tipped with strips of squid. If using strip baits or live mummichogs, add a squid skirt and flashy blade to draw more strikes.

While fluke are a local favorite, a legion of bottom-fishing fans turn out to chase scup around the rock piles and humps off Pond Point, or in 20 feet or water off Anchor Beach. The same spots, along with the New Haven breakwater, also hold blackfish up to 9 pounds in October and November; however, by then most anglers are focused on fall-run bass and bluefish that can be found blitzing beneath diving gulls and terns. Fall fishing can be awesome off Milford. Bass and blues can be stacked from top to bottom over the reefs and shoals, and usually smash anything you throw at them, from poppers to diamond jigs.

Bait & Tackle:

  • Southern Connecticut Tackle Co. (203) 874-4159
  • Bobby J’s (203) 876-1495

Charters:

State License Requirements, Catch & Size Limits:

State of Connecticut Requirements