Connecticut's best northern pike fisheries-in Bantam Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir-are closed in March to protect spawning. But there are two good spots where the pike angler can get into early-season action: Pachaug Pond in Griswold and Quaddick Reservoir in Thompson. In both places the state has stocked northerns successfully to create new fisheries. Fish matching the legal limit here, 26 inches, should be prevalent. Early-spring anglers also can find northerns in the Connecticut River. The fish have moved up into the coves and the mouths of feeders, becoming accessible. Because of the tidal action and water flow of the river, however, ice cover is usually gone in March, so early-season angling is on open water, either from the shore or via boat. Specifically, look to Wethersfield Cove, Crow Point Pond, Gildersleeve Island Cove, Salmon River Cove, Silden's Cove, Lord's Cove and others for big pike. Two 24-inch fish a day are the legal take on the Connecticut River. Contact: Eric Schluntz, senior fisheries biologist, Eastern Headquarters (209 Hebron Road, Marlboro, CT 06447; 860-295-9523).