July 19th - The Great Connecticut Mud Plume
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July 19th - The Great Connecticut Mud Plume

July 19th - The Great Connecticut Mud Plume

Stripers and Blues

Well, how about that Connecticut River mud plume, eh? Right around the time last week’s fishing report was being published, the river mouth was injecting chocolatey, log-laden madness into the Long Island Sound. We would be remiss if we didn’t also send our condolences to those in Vermont who lost property and well-wishes for a strong, fast recovery.

Here in the sound, the mud did quite a lot, and we are still dealing with its impacts a week later. The water is stained, even in backwater tidal creeks where incoming tides have pushed coffee-colored water into what are typically quite clear feeder creeks. On the shores, you’re probably going to notice some new decorations in the forms of logs, entire trees, branches, and the odd bit of dock that broke away in the tumult.

So, how did it affect the fishing and our resident summer populations of striped bass? Thankfully, the resilience that these fish display in their annual migration up and down the east coast was again on display, since, as far as we can tell, our resident bass are still here and still hungry. They do, however, seem to be a bit more willing to hit baits when the water is more clear. For those west of the CT River, the water seems to be a bit more clear on an outgoing tide, when the muddy CT River water is pushed east. For those east of the river, the opposite is true, as the incoming tide pushes the mud west and brings fresh, clean water into the Sound. Is this a precise equation? No. But it might help you get your bait into water with 3 or 4 feet of visibility instead of 1 foot, and that generally means a better bite.

Stripers are fantastic night hunters, so finding food in stained or muddy water isn’t as hard for them as we may think. But, we can help them out by using bigger profile baits that move water and create vibration, letting them dial in on the location of our bait with their lateral line. So if you usually use a small soft plastic, try a large-profile bait. If you prefer topwater baits with no knock inside, try one with some ball-bearings to create some noise, or even grab a popper to pull in fish that are curious about all of the commotion.

Generally speaking, our bass and blues are still here. And yes, the blues are still here, even in mid-July. They are usually around, for sure, but it seems the size and number of blues is still reminiscent of the usual early run of them in May. Apparently, they liked our waters so much they decided to stay. If you find yourself in the mix with a bunch of blues, try switching to single hook plugs. It will make your life so much easier.

Seabass and Porgies

Seabass fishing is consistent, though anglers are needing to work through a few spots to find a biomass of good fighting size fish. Deeper water has been key, with the best reports coming from 50+ feet, and up to over 100 feet. Slow pitch jigs, Nomad Squidtrex, bait rigs, and vertically jigged heavy epoxies are doing well bringing in some good fish. Porgies have been plentiful and anglers on boat, shore, and yak are getting them pretty consistently.


Fluke season continues its rollercoaster ride of alternatively solid and bland fishing. The stained water doesn’t help, but these conditions give fluke anglers a great excuse to throw on their biggest, smelliest presentation with all of the accoutrement and go for a giant doormat. Brighter colors and some good scent will very much help bring in these fish in the stained water. Adding a spinner or something flashy doesn’t hurt either. Homemade fluke rig enthusiasts unite!

The strong start to fluke season has meant a good number of sign-ups for the annual BHO Fluke Fest coming up from July 20th to 23rd. The first 50 sign-ups get in on a captain’s bag with tons of good stuff! We are also offering a variety of Calcutta option within the tournament as well. Here is the sign-up link: https://www.blackhalloutfitters.com/blogs/explore/flukefest-2023-is-here

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