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Posted By Toby Lapinski, April 20, 2020
Pheng Kouch of Boston proudly hoists up the first flounder of the year on Little Sister!

While there have been some rumors of winter flounder being landed here and there for the past few weeks, I received the first confirmed catches in southern New England for the 2020 spring season this week from Capt. Jason Colby of Little Sisters Charters while sailing out of Quincy, MA. Jason reports four keepers in four hours spread between three anglers, so it’s not like they hammered the fish, but it’s a start nonetheless! I also saw a couple flounder catches posted on Facebook on Sunday, and the Connecticut reports include reference to catches being made from Niantic to Norwalk.

Elsewhere on the fishing scene, the same cast of characters as the past few weeks—trout, tog and striped bass—filled-in the reports once again. Trout fishing has been a shining light, perhaps because where is it easier to socially distance yourself from your fellow angler than at the local trout stream? That said, I have seen far too many occurrences lately of anglers not following that 6-foot guideline in the heat of the moment when a fellow anglers hooks up; be smart people unless you want this thing to last into the summer and beyond!

Striper action has been good in the tidal rivers on holdovers, and some of the ocean spots near those tidal rivers are starting to give up fish. Over the weekend I received reports of salty stripers landed near Boston, on the Cape, along the Rhody beaches (keep off those state beaches, though!) and along the shoreline of Connecticut. Sea lice have been seen on many of these fish, but with the majority being sub-keeper-size, my guess is that they're not actually "fresh fish" but instead those who either spent some time in the salt before being landed or they wintered over in the salt.

Blackfish season has been another highlight of late, especially in Connecticut waters, as the mild winter and somewhat warm spring so far has produced the best April season seen in many, many years. Sure the limit is only 2 fish in Connecticut, but many "limit catches" are being strung together with anglers playing catch and release along the way, too. Look to the shallow breakwalls for your best success, but I did hear of some fish coming from more open-water locals this weekend.

Last up, haddock season opened on the 15th. While there was a lot of talk of boats planning on sailing, only a few made it out that I heard of thanks to strong winds. On a positive note, they report decent success for the early season so we have something else to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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