6 Reasons Why the Connecticut Shore is a Top U.S. Fishing Destination Last Updated 9/16

If you love saltwater fishing, the compact state of Connecticut offers huge opportunities. A world-renowned estuary, more than 100 species, U.S. Coast Guard-certified captains and easy access make Connecticut’s shoreline fishing a top United States destination for any experienced or novice saltwater fisherman.  

1. One of the World’s Top 10 Estuaries

Many experts say that Long Island Sound is one of the world’s top 10 estuaries. Teaming off its shores are over 100 species of fish. Considering Connecticut has 332 miles of coastline, that’s a lot of opportunity jam packed into a small area. Catch striped bass, bluefish, summer flounder, scup, tautog — just to name a few. 

2. Easy Access to Shore

Have a boat? Connecticut offers numerous coastal boat launches for your convenience. You’ll find them listed on page 61 of the state’s Angler’s Guide.

Want to fish from shore? Connecticut’s coastal state parks are second to none for fishing opportunities, camping, hiking, visiting nature centers, kayaking and various other activities the whole family can enjoy. Reference page 55 for a handy list of all the coastal state parks and what kind of fish you can catch at each of them.

3. Great Charters/No License Needed

If you don’t want to go out on your own, Connecticut offers a variety of charters that can “put you on the fish." Connecticut’s party charter fleet is simply top notch — very friendly and super professional. Better yet, if you do go on one of the charters, you don’t need a license. So whether you are a do-it-yourself fisherman or want a little help, Connecticut gives you easy access based on your needs. Here are just a few of the Long Island Sound charter companies operating in Connecticut.

4. Scale-Busting Fish

Not only do visitors catch lots of fish on the Connecticut shore, they often reel in the record breakers. In fact, Connecticut is home to the current world record striped bass. And, last fall the second largest tautog (black fish) in the world was caught off the Connecticut shoreline! So much variety combined with a phenomenal fishery means it’s just a matter of time before that fish of a lifetime takes your bait…

5. Special Programs that Offer Even More Opportunity

To enhance the fishing experience and quality of access for Connecticut anglers, the state’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection offers programs like the Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Program. This program offers additional public fishing access areas with reduced minimum size limits for two of the most popular marine species (summer flounder and scup). Information about this program and site locations can be found on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website.

6. Streamlined Licensing

It’s easy and affordable to get a Connecticut fishing license for residents or non-residents alike — thanks to Connecticut’s mobile-friendly online licensing system. Get your license today.

A Sea of Shoreline Resources

  • Saltwater Fishing Resource Map gives you places to fish, party charter vessels, where to launch your boat, local bait and tackle shops and more. 
  • Angler’s Guide is your source for all things fishing in CT. 
  • Coastal Access Guide designed to help you identify sites for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities. 
  • Weekly Fishing Reports that provide a summary of fresh and saltwater fishing activity in Connecticut collected from tackle stores around the state. 
  • More… Find information about anything from licenses to fishing FAQs here.