July 2018

Saltwater and Tidal River Report

Big bass are still in the western LI Sound but are still showing the most activity after dark, BUT we are picking up fish to the mid 30lb. range during daylight hours which isn't too shabby! Live lining and chunking bunker at first light and last light have been good, bunker schools are everywhere from mid sound to every harbor in the western sound! No shortage of bait and I think we will have a lot of big fish stick around right into the fall action which would be the first time in a long while! Expect big bluefish to start working back into our area by early August but right now they are scarce. Fly and light tackle action has its ups and downs lately but first light offers the best change and hooking into light tackle and topwater stripers in shallow water. 9 inch white sluggo is a great choice as well as 8-10 inch flatwing flies on an intermediate fly line. Lots of fish around, that can often be picky, but this is the best showing of striped bass of all sizes we have seen in years...refreshing!

Fluke fishing is starting to slack off until late in August again but Sea Bass fishing is just starting in our area as it was a very slow start due to much colder than normal water temps in June. Porgy madness is also upon us, so get the little ones out for some steady action with these feisty little buggers...tasty too!

Freshwater Report -

About the only good trout fishing right now is the Farmington River as it is a tailwater that has cooler temps due to a bottom release dam. Right now you can catch fish on streamers, nymphs and dries and the best hatches are coming off late afternoon into dark, with March Browns, ISOs and Sulfurs being the only ones you won't need a magnifying glass to tie on!

A 20" survivor strain Farmington River brown trout hooked on a size 12 parachute Hendrickson dry fly!

Interested in Fly Casting instruction for fresh or salt water? Captain Chris Elser is a certified casting instructor and will be offering lessons and instruction throughout the season. Take advantage of one-on-one personalized instruction at any location that is convenient for you! He has all the tackle and can also incorporate a lesson into a trip out on the Sound.

Captain Chris Elser has been writing the Western Long Island Sound fishing reports since April of 2006, you will surely get detailed information on fishing for Stripers, Bluefish, False Albacore and more! Pick up the new isue for the latest info!

Tight Lines!

Heather above with a 52.5 inch striper taken on a red tube and gulp imitation sandworm trolled up on light tackle with a Lamiglas Tri-Flex conventional and Avet MXL reel!


A healthy 16" holdover rainbow trout taken on a pheasant tail nymph in a headwater riffle.

This false albacore was 6 oz. from being a state record at just over 14lbs. and was caught on Sept. 29, 2009 near Milford, CT. It was my personal best fat albert! Let's hope they stack in tight again!

Bonito can be expected in August, it was an epic year in 2009.



My big fly rod fish above was taken July of 2009 on a 15 inch all black spun deer hair pattern tied by Peter Viviano, Jr. - check out all of his selection at www.fishflyes.co

A pristine wild brown trout that fell for a traditional wet fishing the Pomperaug River in early May!

A vew off the stern with twin 250 HP 4 stroke power to get us to the fishing grounds comfortably and fast!

The new rig is finally home - well new to us anyway!
This boat is well kept 2005 26 foot Regulator that will get us to the fishing grounds safely in almost any conditions.

Always take the time to take a kid fishing, nothing like getting kids outdoors and away from all of the electronic distractions these days....enjoy the outdoors and please respect your environent!

Hunter's first Sea bass!

July - CJ with another big bass



All images and text - Copyright 2018 - Elser Guide Services, LLC



Above - Colton's epic 45 inch striper caught on a tube and worm!

July - Heather with a chunky 47lb. linesider in some dense fog!

Captain Elser with a cow bass landed on an eel his final trip of the 2017 boating season at Thanksgiving time!


Big fly rod bass on an 18 inch eel pattern!

TJ was happy after landing his first albie ever!

Hunter finally got to take the helm while Colton wasn't looking!

On the same day he started out with several 32-34" stripers as well, good start to the fall of 2017 fishing action!

A 30+ lb. Striper taken near Stratford!

A 10 lb. fluke taken near Westport, CT

Zach caught this beauty on a tube and worm rig in less than 30 feet of water.

Above is what the 10lb. doormat coughed up when we got it in the boat! Go big or go home as they say!

A gorgeous wild brook trout from a small local stream, we landed over a dozen without even using a hook...just a worm with a knot around it, the ultimate way to not harm them :-)

October - Future "sharpie" or I could almost classify 3 year old Colton as a sharpie already! Proud of my little grand sons!

October - Captain Elser with one of many false albacore landed throughout the month in our local waters!

August - Captain Elser with a 58lb. LI Sound cow bass that inhaled a 2lb. bunker in 10 feet of water!