11 June 2009

6/10 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Rich N. joined me aboard Shoo-Fly 3 on Wednesday. I met him at Newtown Bait & Tackle [Newtown, CT] where Rich and wife Jan are the proprietors. The place was jumping with customers.

Jan downloaded a Connecticut Marine Fishing License for me. As readers should know by now, these licenses are required for most folk fishing in the saltwaters of Connecticut…starting on June 15, 2009 [see three articles about the licenses, including one on how to get a license, below].

Rich and I got to the boat around 1:00 pm, in time for the last hour of the incoming tide. It looked pretty foggy out at the mouth of the River, but not dangerously so…so we headed out.

We struck fish on the first flat we hit. I got the 27-inch striper shown in the photo and Rich hooked a large bluefish…maybe 8-10 pounds…that got off the hook right next to the boat. This way of releasing fish is called a “Westport Release” as you unhook the fish without getting your hands dirty. [One has to be familiar with Westport, CT to appreciate this.] In Florida, it’s called a “West Palm Beach Release.”

Fishing wasn’t fantastic. We hit some fish here and fish there…stripers and blues all mixed in together. Rich also got two fluke [summer flounder] that he returned to the water as they were not large enough to keep. But we had to throw a lot of casts-per-fish. The fish were scattered around…not concentrated.

At one point I checked the horizon and spotted some gulls acting as though they were over feeding fish. We took off for the spot.

Sure enough, there was an honest-to-goodness school of bluefish feeding like crazy. It was large school covering several acres of water.

We caught fish on jig/plastic combinations, on topwater plugs, and on flies. The weather had held off for us as not a drop of rain fell…the fog even dissipated enough so we could see all the way from the mouth of the Housatonic to Milford Harbor.

After a couple-dozen fish we checked our watches and decided it was time to head for the dock.

Great day on the water.


Connecticut Saltwater Fishing Licenses…Ad Nauseum

“With plenty of warning but no notice to anglers, the governor signed the bill creating a Marine Fishing License on June 3—effective June 15. All anglers fishing in Long Island Sound (shore or private vessel) and up to the first road bridge spanning any tidal river will be required to have one. Literally, within minutes of the signing, new licenses were being sold to stunned anglers just informed of the news.”

Article in TheDay.com


Federal Fishing Registry and the New CT SW License

“Saltwater fishermen say they're unhappy with a national registry set to go into effect next year. Their complaints are valid, but misguided.

“Starting in 2010, federal law requires all saltwater fishermen in the U.S. to be registered, whether they fish from a boat or from shore. In most states, the registration includes an annual fee of $10 to $25.

“At the close of the state Assembly's regular session, Connecticut lawmakers approved a state registry, approving a bill that charges $10…for saltwater fishing licenses.”

Read more at ConnPost.com


Getting a Saltwater License

Licenses are available now. Simply go to:

DEP’s web site www.ct.gov/dep/fishing

Select "Online Sportsmen Licenses"

Scroll to the bottom of that page and select "START"


DEP Field Offices:
Marine Headquarters (860.434.6043) M-F 8:00 am-4:00 pm
Eastern District (860.295.9523) M-F 8:30 am-4:00 pm
Western District (860.485.0226) M-F 8:30 am-4:00 pm
Franklin WMA (860.642.7239) M-F 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Sessions Woods (860.675.8130) M-F 8:30 am-4:00 pm
DEP Main Office:
79 Elm St, Hartford, License & Revenue (860.424.3105) M-F 9:00 am-4:00 pm
79 Elm St, Hartford, DEP Store (860.424.3555) M-F, 9:00-3:30 pm.


For a list of vendors go to: www.ct.gov/dep/fishing, select "Permits & Licenses" and then "Participating Town Halls, designated vendor (tackle shop)."

Revenue from the Marine Fishing License is required by state law to be used only for Fish and Wildlife Conservation Programs.

Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

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