Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Connecticut

Candlewood Lake 

Farmington River

Squantz Pond

Pattaconk Lake

Mashapaug Lake

Fort Trumbull Pier

Bantam Lake

Connecticut River

Lake Wononscopomuc

Lake Mcdonough

Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Connecticut

Connecticut has relatively mild weather, with the temperature ranging between 21 to 84 °F. The temperature rarely drops below 6°F or soars higher than 92°F, making it a great fishing state year-round. We’ve narrowed down Connecticut’s 3,000-plus lakes, ponds, rivers, and reservoirs, to a list of ten of the best fishing spots in the state.


Types of Catch Available


raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

brook trout

Brook Trout

brown trout

Brown Trout

yellow perch

Yellow Perch

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

northern pike

Northern Pike

walleye

Walleye

Carp

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Bluegill

Bluegill

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

State Fishing Records

GET YOUR CONNECTICUT STATE FISHING LICENSE HERE.

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Connecticut

Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake, Litchfield and Fairfield County, CT

No list of top fishing locations in Connecticut is complete without Candlewood Lake! This lake covers an area 8.4 square miles in size, and its shorelines stretches for 90 miles, making Candlewood Lake the largest lake in Connecticut.

Candlewood Lake is locally known for its healthy trout population, with most fish measuring at least 12 inches in length. Gently sloping grassy and tree-covered hills surround the lake and offer a beautiful backdrop for anglers.

Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, largemouth bass, crappie, perch, catfish, rock bass, and smallmouth bass are plentiful, making it a good fishing spot for beginners and kids! The bass at Candlewood Lake are plump and juicy.

 Anglers have found the greatest success with using crankbaits, rubber worms, and ultralight jigs at Candlewood Lake. Several businesses offer boat fishing tours for groups.

Squantz Pond State Park

Squantz Pond State Park, New Fairfield, CT

Squantz Pond is a popular spot for all kinds of water sports and activities, such as fishing, kayaking, boating, swimming, and even scuba diving. Trout are regularly restocked in the state park. Beautiful, tree-covered hills and sandy beaches make Squantz Pond a great place to take your family. Visit the pond in the autumn to watch the trees turn gold and red.

Locations for boat launch are easily accessible, where the water is deeper (and the fish bite more readily!), and conveniently set farther away from swimmers.

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, common carp, yellow perch, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and walleyes call Squantz Pond home. We recommend live bait, such as worms, shiners, and alewives.


Mashapaug Lake

Mashapaug Lake, Union, CT

Mashapaug lake is a sprawling 297 acres of water. It is a relatively shallow lake, with an average depth of 15 feet, making it easier for shore and boat anglers to spot fish in the water. It is a popular destination for fishing and boating. The lake is frozen in the months of December through March, and it is known for its ice fishing.

 The lake is home to sunfish, yellow perch, chain pickerel, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, brown trout, and rainbow trout. Despite its low cover from aquatic weeds, the fish here bite readily. Two state records—one for the heaviest largemouth bass, and one for the heaviest channel catfish—were set on Mashapaug Lake.

Bantam Lake

Bantam Lake, Litchfield, CT

Bantam Lake sprawls over an area covering 950 acres, and it’s located in the northwestern corner of Connecticut, in the city of Litchfield. The shoreline stretches for 10 miles, so there’s plenty of space for an angler to go fishing.

The lake is home to many species that aren’t found as commonly in the other lakes in our top ten list. Some of the species you will catch here are northern pike, chain pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, rock bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, redbreast sunfish, bluegill, brown trout, rainbow trout, black crappie, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass.

 Bantam Lake offers many amenities for fishermen, including boat launch ramps, campgrounds, and nearby bait and tackle shops. If you want to go boat fishing, you may have to bring your own kayak or boat, as there isn’t a readily available boat rental service at Bantam Lake.

Lake Wononscopomuc

Lake Wononscopomuc, Salisbury, CT

Visitors and locals fish and kayak year-round at Lake Wononscopomuc. Evergreen and deciduous trees hug the shoreline around the lake, and offer a gorgeous view for anglers. Wononscopomuc is one of the premium fishing lakes in Connecticut, and it is maintained regularly by the Lake Wononscopomuc Association.

April marks the start of the busy fishing season, and dozens of boats gather on the lake at the crack of dawn to get a head start on the day’s fishing. Trophy-sized fish are recorded at the Town Grove office annually. The record for the heaviest lake trout caught at the lake was made in 1918, and nobody has beaten the record since.

Trout, chain pickerel, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish are found in abundance at the lake. The Connecticut Bureau of Fisheries takes excellent care of the lake and annually restocks the lake.


Farmington River

Farmington River, Windsor, CT

The upper stretch of the Farmington River is known for its incredible pike, bass, trout, and carp fishing, and the fish are known to get quite large. The limestone base of the river offers excellent cover for insect larvae, and fish will swarm to these bug hatches.

The Farmington River’s geography is marked by rocky shorelines, large boulders, and small cascades of water. The water is crisp and clear, and trees hug closely to the shoreline.

The water quality of the river as improved dramatically since the 60’s, and the brown trout population has been healthily increasing. Grab your fishing rod and some flies, and head down to the Farmington River if you want to catch brown trout and brook trout. Migratory fish such as the blueback herring, American eel, Atlantic salmon, American shad, and alewife spawn in the lower corridor of the Farmington river.


Pattaconk Lake

Pattaconk Lake, Cockaponset State Forest, Haddam, CT

Cockaponset State Forest is a 17,186-acre span of wilderness. It is the second-largest forest in the Connecticut state forest system.

Pick up your tackle and cast your line, and you’re likely to reel in a largemouth bass, sunfish, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, bullhead catfish, or channel catfish. We recommend live mealworms as bait, but many anglers also swear by Berkley PowerBait Trout Nuggets.

 There are lily pads and weeds leading into the slopes along the water’s bank, which provides excellent cover for bass. Boat fishing may prove a bit difficult, as it’s a relatively long walk (fifty yards) to the water, and a kayak or shore fishing may be your best bet. Once you reach the water, however, it’s definitely worth it. Launching your kayak from the sandy beach is easy, and kayak fishing will provide some distance between yourself and other lake visitors.

Fort Trumbull Pier

Fort Trumbull Pier, Fort Trumbull State Park, New London, CT

Fort Trumbull State Park offer over five hundred feet of shore-based access to the best sport fish that Connecticut has to offer, including striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, and tautog. The bait fish that swim at the mouth of the River Thames provide plenty of food for these fish. You may also catch flounder, blackfish, and porgy at the pier.

The Fort Trumbull Pier has 24-hour access, and offers plenty of bright, well-maintained overhead lights and individual pole holders for anglers. Spring and summer are ideal months to go fishing at Fort Trumbull State Park. During the spring, the fish spawn in the lower river, but if you prefer winter fishing, you can catch white flounder from the pier, even in the colder months. If you don’t want to launch a kayak or a boat into the water, the Fort Trumbull Pier offers one of the best spots for shoreline fishing.

 The depth of the water at the pier varies, from 10 to 15 feet deep at the mid-point of the pier, 20 feet at the end of the pier, and up to 40 feet deep if you cast your line far out enough.

Connecticut River

Connecticut River, Middletown to Hartford, CT

Out of all the fishing lakes and rivers in Connecticut, the Connecticut River offers one of the most breathtaking views, with its winding, meandering shorelines and tree-covered cliffs and hills. While it’s possible to go boat fishing on the Connecticut, the Connecticut River is more well-known for being an amazing river for fly fishing.

The Connecticut is known for its abundant population of trout, salmon, stripers, and sturgeon. We recommend baiting with smelt patterns such as Royal Coachman or Red Gray Ghost, or using bead head nymphs during the early fishing season.

Early mornings and early evenings to nightfall during the summer is the best season use to go dry fly fishing, but trophy-sized fish can be caught as late as fall. Rainbow salmon, brown trout, and brook trout move upstream for spawning season in the fall, and they will greedily bite on dry flies. The fishing season on the Connecticut River spans from January 1st through October 15th, and fish must be quite sizable to be taken home (12 inches for trout, and 15 inches for salmon

Lake McDonough

Lake McDonough, Barkhamsted, CT

There are grass-line trails near the lake that will take you close to the water. Just start walking down a trail until you reach the perfect spot to cast your line. Be aware that there is an admissions fee to visit or fish in Lake McDonough, but the fee goes towards upkeep of this beautiful state lake, and the small entrance fee is well worth it if you catch yourself a nice bass to bring home for dinner.

Lake McDonough is a local favorite for boat, canoe, and kayak fishing. Brown trout, brook trout, chain pickerel, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass call this river home. Many anglers have landed a bass or trout successfully using spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, plastic worms, and jerkbaits.


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