11 Awesome Fishing Locations in Connecticut: Lakes, Rivers & More

Once upon a time, finding the ideal place to fish was a piece of cake. The sprawling wilderness of yesteryear offered many bountiful fishing holes. But these days, people often have to drive far to discover alluring locations that will guarantee an incredible connection with nature, as well as the chance for a bountiful meal.

Thankfully, access to cars and others forms of transportation means that anglers can venture further than ever before. Here are the best fishing locations in Connecticut to ensure you have an abundant catch.

Connecticut is one of the most beautiful places to fish across the northeast, which is saying quite a lot considering you have absolutely beautiful states like Maine, Vermont and many others.

Let’s jump in and look at our 11 top fishing locations in more detail.  Each location you will find contains different types of fish for what that area is famous for.  There are better places to go after Brown or Rainbow trout than Northern Pike or bass.  Plan carefully, and you’ll be sure to take advantage on your next outing.

1. Farmington River

Farmington River Connecticut Fishing

Located in northwest Connecticut and southwest Massachusetts, the Farmington River is a versatile location that is excellent for boating, fishing, or exploration of the wooded area. You can benefit from around 81 miles of land. This means you will never feel crowded if you want to enjoy the solidarity of fishing. You can expect to catch the following species of fish:

  • Brown, Rainbow or Brook Trout
  • Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Common Carp
  • American Eel
  • Northern Pike

Covering over 609 square miles, the Farmington River has played an essential part in Connecticut’s history. More specifically, the region influenced small-scale manufacturing in towns surrounding it. To protect and further cherish this location, the Farmington River Watershed Association, a non-profit organization, handles the preservation and conservation of the site. This makes it one of the best the best fishing locations in Connecticut.


2. Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake Connecticut
By Morrowlong [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
If you’re looking for the typical fishing experience that offers both excellent fish variety and a stunning location, Crescent Lake is one of the best fishing locations in Connecticut. Set away on top of the hill next to Shuttle Meadow Road, this area is as expansive as it is rich in autumn-hued colors. Offering 56 acres of land, the lake is – as the name suggests – in the shape of a crescent. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon boat lunch, the chance to teach your child how to fish, or a stocked river full of fish, Crescent Lake will deliver. Here’s what you can expect on your hook:

  • Lake Trout
  • Catfish
  • Calico Bass, aka Black Crappie
  • Smallmouth or Largemouth Bass
  • Yellowfin Tuna
  • Thresher or Great White Shark
  • Amberjack

With such a vast area, there is a guarantee you will be able to bring a boat and even find a tree to give you shade during your fishing expedition. Should isolation call, there are numerous trails in the wooded area around the lake to explore and fish. There is no better way to spend your time fishing than surrounded by Crescent Lake’s stunning display of nature. In addition, you’ll need a state-mandated license for fishing and boating in this area.


3. Connecticut River

Connecticut River

The Connecticut River stretches over 11,260 square miles, encompassing one Canadian province and a staggering five U.S. states. Its sheer mass means that it produces over 70 percent of Long Island’s fresh water. Flowing south into northern New Hampshire through Western Massachusetts and central Connecticut into Long Island, the Connecticut River is a true sight to behold. In this river, you will be able to snag these types of fish:

  • Common Carp
  • Bluegill
  • White or Channel Catfish
  • American Eel
  • Largemouth, Rock, Striped or Smallmouth Bass
  • Rainbow, Brook or Brown Trout
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Sunfish
  • Northern Pike
  • White or Yellow Perch

The largest river in New England, the Connecticut River runs a total length of 407 miles, making it easy to find a spot to fish or enjoy a boat ride with your family. Due to its size, there is a large number of different species you can catch, making it the best fishing locations in Connecticut. The natural, wild and untamed scenery has transformed this location into a national landmark, providing drinking water and supporting recreational activities for millions of people. Featuring healthy, organic landscapes, as well as essential fisheries, there is no denying the Connecticut River has enhanced the region’s cultural heritage.


4. Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake
By Tichnor Brothers, Publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Few know that Candlewood Lake is a man-made body of water the Army Corporation of Engineers and local power company created during the 1920’s. Back in the day, they designed the location to generate hydroelectric energy, a strategy they successfully implemented.

Stretching over an area of 8.4 square miles, Candlewood Lake touches Litchfield County in the Appalachian Mountains of western Connecticut. It also borders five towns, including Sherman, New Milford, Brookfield, Danbury and New Fairfield. In addition, people often compare its irregular shape to the letter “H.” Here’s what you can expect at the end of your line:

  • White Catfish
  • Rainbow, Brook or Brown Trout
  • Smallmouth or Largemouth Bass
  • Calico Bass, aka Black Crappie
  • White or Yellow Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Chain Pickerel

In 1929, the New York Times named Candlewood Lake as one of the “10 most beautiful lakes in the world.” As one of the last and largest man-made lakes in America, the river proudly stands for all locals and visitors looking for a quiet and serene fishing experience.


5. Quinnipiac River

Quinnipiac River

The Quinnipiac River is an ecological treasure with a rich history behind it. It formed at the close of the last ice age about 21,000 years ago, and the river offers a nearly 40-mile long corridor to explore stunning settings and wildlife. Excellent for fishing, the Quinnipiac River also welcomes enthusiasts of paddling, bird watching and even hiking. You can catch the following fish here:

  • Common Carp
  • Northern Pike
  • American Eel
  • Rainbow, Brown or Brook Trout
  • Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass
  • Chain Pickerel

A long time ago, the water suffered from human-made pollution. However, today, efforts to restore this historic river to its health are a top priority. With many non-profit organizations behind the movement, there is a vast number of conservation programs to ensure the Quinnipiac River will the always be one of the best fishing locations in Connecticut.


6. Bantam Lake

Bantam Lake
By John Phelan [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Bantam Lake is a large lake in Morris and Litchfield, Connecticut. It is also the widest natural lake in Connecticut. There are many species of fish in the lake, but also a wide array of birds. The lake has multiple campgrounds and lots of places for water sports. You can also visit the Morris Town Beach and Sandy Beach, along with the Bantam Ski Club. There are many activities around Bantam Lake. However, fishing is one of the best with so many species in the lake. Below are the most common fish you’ll see:

  • Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass
  • Brown Bullhead
  • White or Yellow Perch
  • Northern Pike
  • Sunfish

People have had excellent results catching all types of fish on Bantam Lake. So, expect to find any one of these species without a problem. It’s also a beautiful place to visit during the spring when the ice melts. Head to Bantam Lake and set off in a kayak or in a rented boat. You shouldn’t have a problem catching your haul in a lake this large.


7. Ball Pond

Ball Pond State Park

Ball Pond gets its water from several bottom springs and the surface runoff from the surrounding area. There are many residential areas nearby, with some sitting right along the lake’s edge. Anglers can find fish as deep as the maximum 51 feet or in the shallower 24-foot water. There are plenty of available fish in Ball Pond, even if this isn’t the largest or deepest fishing area. When you’re fishing, expect to find these types of fish:

  • Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Brown or Rainbow Trout
  • Yellow Perch

You’ll find different fish depending on the time of the year. However, expect a large number of trout onshore in the spring and many trout everywhere else during the fall. In the summer, the bass will be onshore, while the trout are offshore. Winter, on the other hand, has everything. You can also rent a boat to go out on the water, but remember, you cannot use a boat with a motor. As for all other vessels, you can use the public launching area.


8. Burr Pond

Burr Pond State Park

Burr Pond is part of Burr Pond State Park, a public recreational area that sits near the Paugnut State Forest and Torrington, Connecticut. The park itself surrounds the pond, which is a man-made body of water that allows people to swim, boat or fish. People have found the following types of fish at Burr Pond:

  • Largemouth or Rock Bass
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Sunfish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Pumpkinseed

Pickerel and Largemouth Bass are the most common types of fish you’ll find in Burr Pond, as well as Perch. The fish aren’t unusually large, but many of them are active whenever you want to go out on the water. Head over to Burr Pond for a comfortable and fun afternoon of fishing. This is a great family area too, with multiple activities, making it one of the best fishing locations in Connecticut.


9. Lake Saltonstall

Saltonstall Lake
By Morrowlong [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Right in south-central Connecticut near New Haven is Lake Saltonstall. Lush forests and mountains surround the lake. It’s also part of the local water supply for the surrounding towns, which the South-Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority owns. The water company regulates the boats that go out on the lake. So, you will need to rent from them, rather than use a private boat. Head out on this long and narrow lake to find the following fish from 41 to 113-feet deep:

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • White or Yellow Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Brook, Brown or Rainbow Trout
  • Walleye

You’ll see Interstate 95 running along the southern edge of the lake, connecting East Haven and Branford. Rent your boat to get out on the water, but if it has a motor, only use it if the motor is small and sterile.


10. Bashan Lake

Bashan Lake
By Lisa Jacobs [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Flickr
Bashan Lake is in Middlesex and is a little larger than the others with 272 acres. Although they allow public fishing, you are only able to catch two bass over 16 inches. Not only that, you’re only allowed to catch six bass a day when you’re out fishing. The season goes from the last Saturday of April until February, with the lake opening at 6 a.m. This natural lake includes many species of fish you are able to catch until 8 p.m., when the lake closes.

Here are the most common types of fish you can catch:

  • Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Yellow Perch
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Sunfish
  • Brook, Brown or Rainbow Trout

Although you can catch any of these types of fish, most anglers often encounter bass between 12 and 16 inches. A fish finder can be helpful. There are a few restrictions on using this lake, such as opening and closing times. There will also be days when you cannot boat faster than 35 miles per hour. Additionally, make sure you’re careful to watch out for any risky channels you steer your boat through.


11. Amos Lake

Amos Lake
Located in Preston, Amos Lake is a prolific place to fish. Much of the lake backs up to residential properties who don’t have any buffers between their houses and the lake. You’ll also see a dam at the southern end that raises the water level, which increases the maximum to 20 feet. The water is calm, so check out the location if you have the chance. Come to this relaxing lake for a day out after you launch your boat. You will be able to find these types of fish with ease:

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Brown Bullhead
  • American Eel
  • Yellow Perch
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Sunfish
  • Brook, Brown or Rainbow Trout

Expect to find trout and bass most of all, but be aware of the 12 to 18-inch protected slot limit for the largemouth and smallmouth bass. You are only permitted to catch six bass in one day. Also, only one of those six can be 18 inches or more. You will usually find a lot of trout in March. Additionally, the lake is open beginning at 6 a.m., from April to March. Keep your boat speed down to eight miles per hour for a quiet day on the water.


In Conclusion

These are the best fishing locations in Connecticut, and thanks to conservation efforts, they will only get better. Connecticut is a historically-rich area that offers a wide range of fishing opportunities, regardless of the types of fish you want to catch. Surrounded by numerous bountiful lakes and wooded areas, Connecticut is renowned as one of the most stunning destinations in the United States.

Any serious angler will be interested in these lakes this list has outlined above. You can find a traditional fishing experience or you can expand your horizons and catch some species you’ve never laid your hands on before. With diversity by its side, Connecticut is a place where you can enjoy fishing and boating anytime.

 

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