Vt. Fishing Report - Connecticut River, Inland Waters & Rivers And Streams 07/19

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Taken from the Vermont Fish And Wildlife Department Newsletter - July 19, 2019

Vermont Fishing Report - Connecticut River, Inland Waters & Rivers And Streams 07/19/2019

Connecticut River

The Connecticut River offers miles of fishable water and a diversity of fish species, and although it's technically New Hampshire water, Vermont has license reciprocity so Vermont anglers can fish it with a Vermont license.

Brian Ames fished the river and reported the southern section from Rockingham to Brattleboro to be very good this year. He's catching lots of smallmouth bass on stickbaits like Rapalas as well as the tried-and-true nightcrawler.

He has also been catching walleye fishing from his boat and kayak, as well as from shore using jigs tipped with half a nightcrawler under a slip bobber. And he caught some 12" black crappie and other panfish using the same setup. Brain also reported this section of the river has a growing population channel catfish and anglers are getting them up to 15-lbs.

Inland Waters

Pascal Wilkins sent in a report for Lowell Lake and Gale Meadows saying the kayak fishing has been fantastic. The fish were hungry and active, and he caught five different species—largemouth, yellow perch, pickerel, bluegill, and rock bass— fishing around lily pads and weed beds using the same lure, a yellow perch colored crankbait.

Pascal launched his kayak out of Oak Ledge Park at the Burlington waterfront and fished the rocky areas near shore, catching rock bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass using a swim jig. Proof you don't need a big boat to fish Champlain.

Nate Olson, a department hatchery technician at the Roxbury Hatchery, says the bass are active around the thicker emergent weeds on inland lakes and ponds. He has been having his best luck at dawn and dusk on topwater frogs like a Booyah Pad Crasher. Pike and pickerel are hitting them too! 

When the topwater action slows down, he's been catching fish flipping jigs and Texas-rigged creature baits on a ½-oz tungsten weight along weed edges. Texas-rigged Senkos or big 10" worms have been effective too.

According to Nate, the deeper water bass fishing has been picking up as temperatures get hot. He's been having luck targeting isolated rock humps, steep drop offs and points using dropshots and Ned-rigs in 15-40 feet of water.

Mason Alexander has good luck topwater fishing for bass at night.

Mason Alexander of Barre saw Nate Olson's report on night fishing and reached out to say he agrees. This time of year, largemouth fishing can be tough during the day in the blazing sun, so he's been switching over to topwater fishing in the dark. Mason suggests using a red headlamp, which doesn't spook the fish, and for gear he likes to cast black jitterbugs, topwater frogs or whopper ploppers on braided line with a heavy fluorocarbon leader.

Streams & Rivers

Steve Cumming of Lunenburg MA had good luck fishing Waits River from East Corinth to Bradford. Although it was a hot sunny day, he still managed to catch and release 15 rainbows and two brook trout and lost another 6 fish. He caught them all using a small roostertail spinner.

Chris Powers, department fisheries technician in Roxbury, fished the Stevens Branch in Barre and cautions trout anglers to take care when water temperatures start getting hot. Chris always carries a thermometer with him and when water temps are above 70°F he'll look for colder water elsewhere, typically in smaller mountain streams at higher elevations.

Last week Stevens Branch was 67°F so he gave it a shot and hooked five trout and landed three—one brown and two rainbows, including a 13 incher. He was drifting nymph flies through deeper faster runs.

Let's Go Fishing Program coordinator Corey Hart is still having good luck in streams in Rutland County, and recently hit a medium-sized river in late afternoon this past weekend, catching both brook and brown trout. He said he was simply drifting a worm with a small BB-sized split shot while quietly wading the river and casting upstream along the banks. He says he didn't catch any monsters, but the fishing was fun and consistent.

What better way to beat the summer heat than to go wet wading—walking in just water shoes or sneakers—and do a little fishing!

End of Report

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