You might ask, what’s so special about the Norwalk Islands? The fishing surely doesn’t compare to Montauk, Block Island, Eastern Connecticut/Rhode Island or even the Cape, so what’s the deal.
The answer is that Norwalk Islands are an almost one-of-a kind area in its varied topography that results in a phenomenal, yet difficult, fishing structure. This is an area that has literally every type of structure present in the northeast. Ice-age glaciers 18,000 year ago formed deep canyons rising from 100 feet to 20 feet of water, countless sandbars and shallow rips, boulder fields, and varied bottom composition from gravel to mud surrounding the 13 islands. That doesn’t count the man made structure from mooring fields, wrecks, docks, oyster beds, navigational aids, and dredged channels. It would take a lifetime to learn all the spots in this relatively confined area. In my lifetime of frequently fishing this area I have caught fish in no less than three spots on every island large or small, and that’s scraping the tip of the iceberg. Every year I find more and more spots that hold certain species on certain tide stages or seasons.
The Norwalk Islands are also a hidden gem, are rich in history, and are a beautiful area to spend time. The regions doesn’t get tourists coming to fish, it is not a fishing destination by any means. You don’t have fleets of charter boats hammering the fish population, nor would the fish sustain that pressure. Despite Fairfield County being the most densely populated region in CT, the fishing pressure is actually relatively low. Every year there are 40 pound bass caught in the deep water rips surrounding the islands on bait. 20 and 30 pound bass are not uncommon in the shallow areas of the islands for those who know the secrets, of which there are many, and put in the time. Double digit fluke and blackfish are also caught, and don’t forget the gator bluefish. See the image below as evidence of the fish that the islands hold. This is one of the most notable catches of the Norwalk Islands’ history, a 45 pound striped bass on the fly taken by Pete Kriewald in the 70s in skinny water that was at the time a world record on 20 pound tippet. This is from Lou Tabory’s book “Inshore Fly Fishing: A Pioneering Guide to Fly Fishing Along Cold Water.”