April 2018

Tidal River Report

The schoolie striper fishing on the tidal Housatonic River is off to a slow start with the colder than normal air and water temperatures but once the herring spawn kicks off things will get hot in a hurry! Expect to catch plenty of schoolie size bass until then using 6-8 inch soft plastics on jig heads and for larger fish try unweighted larger plastics and crank baits like the xrap and crystal minnow lures. I personally prefer fishing plastics in the spring and my go to lure for action is without a doubt a simple 6 inch white sluggo with a 1/2 ounce jig head. For larger bass in low light conditions I like snaking a 9 inch white or black sluggo across the surface of the water for ferocious topwater strikes for herring eating bass anywhere throughout the river and estuary of the Housy.

Freshwater Report -

It's game on for trout throughout CT and soon the action for fly rodders that crave surface fishing will be on fire. Dry fly enthusiasts will have the much awaited hendrickson hatch starting by the 3rd week of April and it should last until the middle of May, finally ending on the northern reaches of most of our major rivers, it could start a little later this year noting the colder temps recently. Until then hendrickson and stonefly nymphs are a good choice as well as slow swinging streamers.

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



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

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


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!

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