31 August 2009

Big Blues On the Other Side of the Sound

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North Shore Bluefish

“Since bunker is often tightly compact in large schools, you will often see several hundred fish slap the top of the surface as they compete with themselves for the zoo plankton. This becomes beneficial to the angler equipped with a weighted treble snag hook or a cast net; transferring the precious bait to a live lining rig or simply leave the snagged bait in with the school.”

Read more in Examiner.com

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Seaway Brings Plague of Unwanted Sea Life

“No one expected the seaway [St. Lawrence Seaway] to become the key player in a different war, the invasion of non-native aquatic species into the Great Lakes, which has dramatically altered ecosystems and costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year. About a third of the 186 invasive species in the Great Lakes are thought to have entered on oceangoing ships in the ballast water they take on for stabilization when carrying little or no cargo.”

Details in WashingtonPost.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

30 August 2009

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

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Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

“The day started out fine; just the right amount of overcast to keep the stripers and bluefish from needing sunglasses to see a lure moving through the water. The air temperature had dropped considerably from the brain-boiling levels of the previous week. Even better, Long Island Sound was flatter than most of the singers on ‘America's Got Talent.’”

Fun article to read: ConnPost.com

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Beach Closings Rampant


“Nationally, there were 5,400 closings or notices last year. They affected 1,210 — or 32 percent — of all monitored beaches, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported. That was about 5 percent of total beach days, both percentages unchanged for the past three years.”

Read the grim details at Newsday.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

28 August 2009

8/28 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

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Hopped out of bed this morning at 0415 to meet Mal Y. at the dock at 0600. We knew we had to get a fairly early start on this day as Tropical Storm Danny was afoot. The forecast was for a "chance of rain" early morning—rising to a 90% probability of precip, including t-storms, by the afternoon.

Mal managed to beat me to the dock this morning...actually, he usually does that...and he had the canvas off the boat already.

As to the coming storm, first thing to notice was that there was no dew on the boat. Normally I have to warn folk not to sit down on the boat until we dry it off, or they'd get their butts soaked...but today, no problem. The weather-tuned among us know that no dew in the morning is a sign of impending bad weather. Apparently cloud cover keeps the temperature of the air at ground level from falling below the dew point...so...no dew.

Second thing to notice was the sunrise. A red morning sky is another sign of foul weather ahead. As bad weather tends to approach us from the east, where the sun rises, the light of the sun reflecting/fracting through a storm's moisture tends to permit more of the red part of the spectrum show through than the blue part...so red sky/

Also, the winds noticeably were northeast this morning. Everyone on the New England coast has probably heard about nor'easters.

The final thing predicting bad weather, of course, was the Weather Channel which has been blathering about Danny for the past umpteen days.

We lit out through the marsh, and found small bluefish in the mouth of the River. We kept six of them; two went home with Mal and I dropped off four to Bridget & Jody in Oxford.

It was fairly rough out at the mouth. Winds felt 10-15 kts. and chilly. Drizzle dampened us a couple of times, and then a steady rain started as we made our last few casts. Clearly, Danny was beginning to make his mischief.

The temperature of Long Island Sound was 70-71°F, well below the 75° highs we saw earlier in the month.

We heard one report, from another boat, about larger blues being caught further up in the River. We'll have to check that out...

...once Danny departs.

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

Big Blues Starting to Show...Cormorants: Unwanted

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Charles Walsh's Fishing Report

"The National Hurricane Center is saying that Long Island Sound could be on the edge of winds up to 50 miles per hour as the storm passes by in the Atlantic."

Read the report in ConnPost.com

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Cormorants: Once Endangered, Now Being Killed

“Federal and state agencies have waged war in recent years against the large, black waterfowl notable for their orange facial skin and hooked bills. Cormorants can dive up to 25 feet deep and stay under water more than a minute, gorging on yellow perch, bass and other species. Fish farmers in the Mississippi Delta say they devour $5 million worth of catfish fingerlings a year.”

Read more at FederalNewsRadio.com
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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

27 August 2009

Salmon in the Seine...River That Is

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How Ya Gonna Keep ‘em Down on the Sound…After They’ve Seen Pa-reee?

“This year at least a thousand Atlantic salmon passed through Paris along their migratory run—exceeding ‘anything we could imagine,’ Bernard Breton, secretary general of France's National Federation of Fishing, said via email.”

Neat story at National Geographic

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NOAA: Warmest Global Ocean Surface Temperatures on Record for July

“The planet’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for July, breaking the previous high mark established in 1998 according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2009 ranked fifth-warmest since world-wide records began in 1880.”

Read it at: NOAA

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

26 August 2009

Ways to Explore Long Island Sound

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Ways to Explore Long Island Sound

“The University of Connecticut, in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP,) has enhanced a dynamic website that allows users to explore Long Island Sound with state-of-the-art oceanic technology and a host of new video programs.

"The images and videos can be viewed at www.lisrc.uconn.edu/explorelis. The site also describes the various habitats in the Sound, discusses its history and geology, and provides information on how its environment is affected by human activity."

Read details at UCONN/CTDEP

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Catch and Eat…or Not!

“On a simple level, bigger fish generally don't taste as good. Plus, the larger and older they are, the more mercury has built up in the skin and bones. That's reason number one not to eat them….

“Second, any fish that has survived for so long has laid a lot of eggs and is on her way to do it again.”

Fisherperson releases large fish from kayak at CarolinaLive.com

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Connecticut Shellfishing and the Immigration

“Working aboard a Connecticut shell-fishing boat is no easy ride. We're talking hard physical labor, year round in all kinds of Long Island Sound weather, for not much more than minimum wage."

Read more at FairfieldWeekly.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

25 August 2009

Kayaks: Fishing Eskimo-Style

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Kayaks: Fishing Eskimo-Style

“Of course, most kayak anglers fish for the same reason that most other fishermen do: they simply enjoy it as a recreation. And kayaks offer a clean, trouble-free mode of transportation. They don't require much upkeep and don't leave any footprints behind in estuarine areas as boat propellers sometimes do.”

Read in ESPN

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Kayaking Puts You in Touch with Nature

“For fishermen, kayak fishing provides a completely different angling experience. The ability to quietly navigate shallow and narrow waters can give fishermen a chance to tap spots that few others can,”

Article at APP.com

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East River in Madison: Great Place to Kayak

“Seemingly traced freehand through a tidal wilderness, the Hammonassets called it Aigicomock. The Mohegans dubbed it Moosamuttuck. We know it as the East River, the stream that meanders beneath the Clapboard Hill Road bridge. For kayakers, it’s a little piece of paradise.”

Read more in TheDay.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

24 August 2009

East River, Stratford, and On-the-Water Deaths

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Fishing the East River [NYC]

“They offer a number of theories why the water is clean and the fish are healthy. For one, most of the fish are migratory, and do not stay in the East River — which is actually a tidal strait connecting Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound, rather than its own body of water. “They come from Canada and Connecticut,” Jesse points out, “They know that the food’s here, so they come looking for it, but they don’t stay here.” He goes further, saying that the water is clean because a friend who works for an unspecified environmental organization told him that they process the water in a nearby plant. In the springtime, he claims, one can see as far as five feet deep. He even swims in the water when the weather is warm enough.”

Article from TheLMagazine.com
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Stratford Fisherman Turns His Own Lures

“In the garage of his Lordship home, DiCostanzo designs, carves, paints and installs hardware to create lures he knows will catch fish in the Long Island Sound. He’s used them. He’s used what he’s learned casting along the southern Connecticut coast to design shapes and color combinations that make local stripers and bluefish take a bite, and ultimately get pulled in by an angler.”

Read more in AcornOnline.com

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Coast Guard Reports Rise in Recreational Boating Fatalities

“The U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday the publication of the 2008 boating safety statistics, reporting a rise in recreational boating fatalities. The fatality rate, a measure of the number of deaths against the number of registered recreational boats, increased from 5.3 in 2007 to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats in 2008.”

Story at: CoastGuardNews

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

22 August 2009

8/21 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

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Friday's trip with Jim W. was about the same as the last few trips. We probably caught 40-50 small bluefish on about everything we could throw at them: Jigs, poppers, flies; in fact, we had doubles going on the fly rods at least five times.

Biggest fish landed was three pounds.

I did, however, hook up with one large fish that ran the fly line down well into the backing before cutting me off [through an 80-lb. test bite-tip yet]. Never got to see the fish, but most likely it was a good-sized blue.

Water was pretty rough...guess you can see that from the photos...but it was another great day on the water.

Later on I had an e-Mail conversation with Jim:

Jim W.: “I tried out cooking the bluefish fillets on a cedar plank with fresh herbs, lemon and butter – absolutely delicious.”

Me: “I presume you threw away the fish and ate the plank?

Seriously, how'd you cook it with the plank? Place the plank on the grill?”

Jim W.: “Yes – plank on the grill. Using the indirect method with the fire on the outside the plank in the middle. First you soak the plank for an hour. Then put some olive oil on one side and kosher sea salt. Lay the fillet, skin side down on the plank, then put salt, lemon juice, fresh herbs and butter on the meat side of the fillet and put the plank with the fish on the grill and closed the grill top. Done when the fish flakes. The cedar plank imparts a nice smoky flavor. It’s the first time I’ve tried it but they’ve been doing it in the Northwest with salmon for centuries.“

If anyone else tries this recipe, I'd appreciate hearing about the results.

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Fishing Forecast

“Reports of bunker school invading Bridgeport Harbor and at the West Haven sandbar are encouraging, but more sightings are needed…Striped Bass -- It's not exactly gang busters as the water heats to a slow boil….”

Charles Walsh writing in ConnPost.com
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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

21 August 2009

Superfish, Fluke, and Mercury

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How’d You Like the Opportunity to Cast A Line for This Fish?

“… fish that fight like crazy, that jump all over the place, that grow to like 15 pounds and taste really good.” He paused slightly. You’d be excited, he said, with “this guy telling you how vicious these things are, how you have to be careful of their teeth, how they bite anything, everything. They can take your finger off. They’re big! You’d want to get out there and fish right away.”

Read about this exciting fish in NYTimes.com

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Eastern CT Fishing Report—Fluke Now Closed

“The season closed Wednesday in Connecticut and will Monday in New York. Rhode Island is still open, but technically anglers catching fluke in Rhode Island can’t legally land them in Connecticuit waters, so be careful.”

Bob Sampson writing in NorwichBulletin.com

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Survey: Mercury in Fish is Pervasive, Unavoidable

“No fish can escape mercury pollution. That's the take-home message from a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country.

“The toxic substance was found in every fish sampled, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become.

“But while all fish had traces of contamination, only about a quarter had mercury levels exceeding what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for people eating average amounts of fish.”

CSWF: Only 25%? Only! What? Are we supposed to be happy about that?

Study apparently did not cover salt water, only fresh.

Read it all in HuffingtonPost.com

Thanks to Val S. for letting us know about this news item.


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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

19 August 2009

8/19 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

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Charlie W. and I fished the mouth of the Housatonic River on Wednesday.

The weather looked somewhat iffy, especially in light of the weather report which predicted doom and gloom. Apparently the weather folk are taking the tactic of reporting the worst possible weather that possibly can happen for that day...in this case 40% likelihood of rain plus chance of thunderstorms. In this way, if it doesn't rain or lightning & thunder, everyone's happy and no one has anything to blame the weather forecasters for.

So it was overcast when we left the dock at 0700...which is good as the fish will hold in shallow waters longer without bright sun. You can see what the sky looked like in the photo of Charlie battling a bluefish on his flyrod.

We hit the bluefish spot and caught them on jigs, poppers, and flies...even had a double on the flyrods at least once. After a couple dozen of them, we moved, and lucked into some small striped bass...first ones we've seen in several outings.

But as the clouds drifted off and the sun came out, the bite dropped off. We fished the rocks in front of the lighthouse with no luck at all...one hit maybe...but that was it.

Still, we'd caught a bunch of fish, which is not bad for the dog days of August.

Another great day on the water.


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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

18 August 2009

Three Interesting Resources

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1. Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Magazine Online

Have a look: FFSW

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2. A Guide for Evaluating the Quality of Seafood

See it at: Monterey Bay Aquarium

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3. 2009 Connecticut River Migratory Fish Count

See the report at FWS.gov

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

17 August 2009

Fly Reels, Fishing Report, Snapper Blues, Fluke

Fly Reels 101

“When it comes to fly reels, choosing the right one can mean the difference between landing a large fish, or finding yourself cursing and wondering what went wrong. Fly reels come in many different types, styles and of course, price range. There is one line of thinking that a fly reel is simply a storage device for your line.”

Read the text at Examiner.com

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Connecticut DEP’s Fishing Report for 13 August

Read it at WTIC.com

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Snapper Blues in Already?

“On Aug. 6, I had a pleasant surprise. While casting for shad and stripers, I had a few hits from small fish; I thought they were small hickories. After missing about six, I switched to smaller tail and dropper lures. The first cast I hooked and landed a snapper bluefish about four inches long. Then I landed another 10 measuring four to five inches long and dropped as many. All fish were released unharmed. I can’t remember catching a lot of snappers this early. The weather has been unusual this summer, so I shouldn’t be surprised.”

Bob Gregorski writing In Rep-Am.com

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Fluke Season Ending

“Fluke season in state waters will close on Aug. 19, leaving less than one week to catch this popular summer species. At present, anglers are allowed three fish per person at 19.8*** inches. On a side note, all should be aware that fluke season in New York waters closes on Aug. 17, so caution is advised when planning trips to the south side of Fishers Island or Montauk.”

***actually 19.5 inches

Tim Coleman writing in TheDay.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

15 August 2009

8/14 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Hank D. and his son, Jack, went out on Shoo-fly 3 with me on Friday.

Hank is the proprietor of PersonalTrainers.com and has worked with everything from major professional sports teams down to yours truly to develop sports skills, establish effective training programs, and, in my case, to keep my back from giving me fits.

Young Jack is no stranger to this blog having appeared in previous posts, for example, when he caught his first fish, a Lane Snapper [Jack calls it a "Grunt"; this is my fault; I'd originally thought the fish was a Grunt, but later found out it was a Snapper; too late; Jack just wants to call it a Grunt] off Shoo-Fly 2 in Islamorada. He's just four years old, but with his Dad working with him, he's developed some excellent physical skills.

The first thing Jack said upon boarding the boat and inspecting the fishing gear was "I don't see any kids' rods."

He was right. There were no Spider-Man rods, no spin-cast outfits, no 3-foot-long "poles"...only adult equipment. I explained that the fish we were after required heavier rods and reels.

Now, there's a spot out at the mouth of the Housatonic River where smallish bluefish have been hanging out for more than a week. This is an ideal setup for taking out a young fisherperson as, if they were still there, we'd be into enough fish to avoid boredom and ensure some excitement.

We had set Jack up with a six-foot G. Loomis rod and Daiwa Coastal 2500 spinning reel with 10-lb. test PowerPro throwing a 1/8-oz. Newtown Bait & Tackle jig head with a 4-inch. Bass Assassin Sea Shad swim bait in silver over white.

Hank stayed right with Jack during the retrieves, keeping a hand on the butt-end of the rod so a bluefish wouldn't yank it out of the boat.

First cast, a bluefish bit the swim bait right in half. Second cast, one hooked up.

The fish put up quite a battle. Small blues are very strong for their size and even on light, adult-level tackle, they hit hard and don't come easily to the boat. Jack and Hank landed that fish and posed happily for the camera.

Now here's the fun part: Hank showed Jack how to cast the rod. This was a standard, open-faced spinning reel. Jack had to get the line pinched under his index finger against the cork grip...open the bail...take the rod back over his head and then forward releasing the line at just the right moment to make the cast. Next he had to let the bait sink a bit, close the bail, and start cranking the reel.

Twice, he cast the lure out himself and hooked a bluefish himself.

Pretty good for a 4-year old!

So we caught a bunch of these small blues...all released safely back into the water.

Got to see birds over small schools of surface-feeding fish. Saw cormorants, gulls, ducks, swans, and all kinds of boats including Don G. out in his Pathfinder [photo below]; Don reported that he'd just come in from Middleground where there wasn't much going on...just a bunch of large porgies...no blues or stripers.

Back at the dock we adjourned to nearby Outriggers Restaurant where Jack and Hank had New England clam chowder...one of Jack's favorites.

Another great day on the water.



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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

14 August 2009

Fish Attacks Car, Woman Bitten by Otters, Fox Bites Woman on Butt

Remember the “It’s Not Nice to Fool with Mother Nature” Ads?

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio (AP) -- A woman in Ohio is telling a fish story about one that got away - from a bird, and damaged her car. Authorities in northwest Ohio say the fish - a Lake Erie freshwater drum, known as a sheepshead - smashed a car windshield Tuesday when an eagle dropped its catch from a height of about 40 feet....

DRUMMOND, Wis. (AP) -- An Austrian woman on vacation in Wisconsin is getting rabies shots after she said she was bitten by otters while swimming in a lake. Brigitte France, 51, told the Duluth News Tribune that she was swimming on Lake Owen near Drummond last Wednesday when three otters suddenly appeared. Feeling concerned, she swam to shore....

WHITMAN, Mass. (AP) -- Police said an animal control officer has shot and wounded a fox suspected of biting a woman on the buttocks and tearing into the sneaker of a teenager in southeastern Massachusetts. Officer Robert Stokinger said the fox was shot and fled into the woods Monday. He said police officers who pursued the animal did not immediately find it....

You can Google these if you really want to read the full stories

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

12 August 2009

8/12 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

At 0700 it was about 72°F, overcast with winds E at 5-10 kts. Overcast is always good in the summer as the lack of bright sun tends to keep the larger fish in the shallow waters where they've been feeding during the night.

I arrived at the Marina to see someone down on the dock messing with Shoo-Fly 3. It was Don G. [aka: Don, Don the Striper Mon]; he'd arrived a few minutes early and rather than laze in his car he'd gone to work getting the boat ready. He'd disconnected the shore power and taken the canvas off the console and bench seat. He brought the canvas to the car and gave me a hand lugging all my rods and stuff to the boat. As a result, we were ready to push off when Val S. arrived a few minutes later.

We three headed out toward the mouth of the Housatonic River fully intending to motor to Middleground [Stratford Shoals] where, it has been rumored, large striped bass and bluefish have been congregating. However, a couple of spots attracted our attention along the way...which delayed us from starting the 7-mile trek SW to the Shoals. This delay turned out to be good for two reasons:

First, the winds started to blow up to 15 kts. out of the east which would have made the trip back to the River...uncomfortable.

Second, the first spot we went to produced a 9-pound bluefish for Don. This turned out to be the only large fish of the trip [bottom photo].

We did, however, bump into that same batch of smaller bluefish that we've seen on our last trips. They're always a lot of fun and we caught them on swim baits, surface poppers, and flies. Val had a particularly good time nailing one blue after another on his fly rod.

We actually got tired of catching these small fish and decided to look for bigger fish. We checked a few of the usual places, but with no luck.

Next we thought we'd run up the River to see if the big bluefish have worked their way upstream yet. Knew it was early for that, but thought we'd check it out anyway. We did see some bait up river, but could find nothing feeding on it.

So the old maxim of never leaving fish to find fish held true once more. Still it was fun to go back up the River. Checking my records, this was the first time Shoo-Fly has gone above the US-1 bridge since 15 May...about the time the main body of stripers moved out of the Housatonic.

Back at the dock, Don gave me a hand with the clean-up. He got out the environmentally correct soap and the brush and gave the boat a thorough going-over...while I stood there with the hose and did the rinsing.

Boat looked really spiffy when Don was done with it. Need to get him out fishing more often!

Another great day on the water.

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

11 August 2009

Lobsters and Oysters and Clams...

Long Island Sound Lobsters…In Very Bad Shape

” The 1999 die-off that all but destroyed the state’s once-thriving lobster industry continues to reverberate. When the die-off happened, Connecticut had the third-richest lobster grounds in the country, one worth $40 million a year. It employed hundreds of people, fed hundreds of families, put clothes on the backs of hundreds of children.

“Today, there are less than a dozen commercial lobstermen working the Sound.”

Article from Acorn-Online.com

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Long Island Sound Oysters…Best in the World

“…dragging a pair of boomed dredges along the bottom. Whenever he swung one inboard, 700 pounds of shellfish destined for the best hors d'oeuvres trays clattered onto a stainless steel work table. A half-dozen deck hands knocked them noisily apart, sorted furiously and bagged. And so it went, all day long.”

Read the full story at Courant.com

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Ways to Save Long Island Sound’s Oysters

“EAST NORWALK — - Out on Long Island Sound, where Captain Norm Bloom often can be found just outside the Harbor Islands, it now seems inconceivable that some scientists and fishermen were ready a decade ago to write off what arguably is the world's richest oyster ground”

Read it in Courant.com

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Ways to Save the Fishing Industry

“Since 1994, the number of boats in New England looking for groundfish, cod, haddock, pollock and flounder has plunged from 1,000 to 574. Over the same period, revenue has dropped from $116 million to $52 million and the supply of cod has been nearly destroyed.”

Full story at CBSNews.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

08 August 2009

Places to Go: Stonington, Mystic, Martha's Vineyard, and Pakistan?

Stonington, CT: A Bit of Waterfront History

“A short walk from Water Street is the waterfront where Stonington's fishing fleet — the last working fishing fleet in Connecticut — provides much to see….”

Article from Courant.com

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In Case, By Any Chance, You Don’t Know About Mystic

“MYSTIC SEAPORT, Conn. – Throughout history, seaports have played a critical role in New England's history. Nowhere is this impact depicted more effectively than at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.”

Read more at: NashuaTelegraph.com

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Martha’s Vineyard in the Fall

“The draw for me: the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, 35 days of obsessive-compulsive casting and carrying on. Although it's little known off the island or outside angling circles, the derby is easily the most famous fishing tournament of its kind. This year it starts at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 13 and runs 24 hours a day until 10 p.m. on Oct. 17.”

Read the story in WashingtonPost.com

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Yes, But Can You Go There and Get Back In One Piece?

"Saltwater fly fishing is still virgin territory in Pakistan. It is safe to say that game fish have hardly ever seen a fly and are simply waiting for an adventurous angler to try his hand at this pinnacle of sports fishing. All the sought after saltwater fly fishing game fish are present in our waters. Giant trevally, barracuda, mackerel, cobia, tuna, milkfish, bonefish, barramundi, threadfin salmon and a host of others are available in the various inshore and offshore fisheries. A challenge to catch the first official saltwater game fish on the fly awaits those who have an interest in game fishing."

Read more about fishing in Pakistan at Dawn.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

On-the-Water Safety

“Boston — Following the tragic loss of five paddlers and a father and son on a jet ski in the past two weeks, the Coast Guard is issuing a safety advisory for all weekend boaters, paddlers, sailors and fishers in the Northeast. With sunny, comfortable temperatures forecasted for the weekend, the Coast Guard is asking all boaters and paddlers, before they leave the shore, to take a moment for a brief safety stand-down.

“’We’re asking boaters and paddlers to review their safety procedures and make sure they have the required and recommended safety equipment on board,’ said Al Johnson, the recreational boating specialist for the First Coast Guard District. ‘The important thing is to assess the risk, be realistic about what can and will go wrong on the water and be prepared.’

Additionally, the Coast Guard highly recommends that boaters and paddlers adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Leave a float plan with a responsible individual who knows your intentions, location, and who to call if you fail to return as scheduled. If your intentions change, notify the person of your new plan.
2. Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and set the example for your passengers or paddling partners.
3. Be aware of and prepared for the shock of sudden immersion and incapacitating effects of cold water.
4. Maintain situational awareness on the water – be aware of boat traffic and activity around your vessel.
5. Boat safe and sober – save the alcohol for when you’ve safely returned
.
To date this year in the Northeast, there have been 30 recreational boating and paddling fatalities and, in most cases, wearing a life jacket could’ve made a difference, said Johnson.

“The best thing you can do to ensure your safety on the water is wearing your life jacket,” said Johnson. “Remember, when you need your life jacket, you need it on.”

Source: U. S. Coast Guard

O'Sullivan's, Bluefish, and Hurricanes

Clean-Up Complete at O’Sullivan’s Island

“For decades, the island has been off limits to residents. The 20-acre island at the confluence of the Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers has housed a landfill and a regional fire-training academy, but it is now both vacant and environmentally clean.”

Read all about it in ConnPost.com

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An Actual Bluefish Feeding Frenzy

“And there it was! A feeding frenzy in an out-of-the-way cove, where chopper bluefish had locked in a school of peanut bunker. We were actually in search of adult menhaden for the shop when the shallow water exploded! No matter how many times one experiences this type of feeding binge, there’s an adrenaline rush.”

Read the story in TheTimesGroup.com

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NOAA Lowers Hurricane Season Outlook, Cautions Public Not to Let Down Guard

“...NOAA now expects a near- to below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, as the calming effects of El NiƱo continue to develop. But scientists say the season’s quiet start does not guarantee quiet times ahead. The season, which began June 1, is entering its historical peak period of August through October, when most storms form….”

Details at NOAA

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

07 August 2009

8/6 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

That Was A Short Summer!

It was 57°F when I left home on Thursday morning at 0600. The day before it had been high-80s and humid, humid. humid. This change in the weather felt more like late September than early August. Even the water temp had dropped from 74-75° on Tuesday to 71° today.

Not complaining, mind you. Fall weather's absolutely the best, far as I'm concerned.

I donned my insulated vest and never took it off all morning.

Charlie W. was on Shoo-Fly 3 with me this day. Charlie frequently takes a poll of local tackle shops and fisherfolk so we're up to speed on where the stripers and blues will be located when we hit the water.

The downside of that is when fishing in the greater Housatonic River area is slow...we know about it from the start of the trip. So I don't think either one of us expected much from the morning's outing, based on the reports on the way fishing's been out there.

But, of course, you never know what's going to happen until you get out there and flail the waters for a while.

We cruised the breakwaters hoping that the Garmin would spot some activity down below...but no go.

We had decided early on to get out on the big flat at the mouth of the River, but I changed that plan at the last moment, suggesting we should try the area where Mal and I got some fish on Tuesday. And, as luck would have it, as the area rounded into view we could see terns diving on bait...a good sign...usually. Terns are sometimes called "liar birds" as their diving and dipping may be just on bait with no game fish to be found below.

Today, however, they weren't blowing smoke...they were on pods of small bluefish and Charlie and I were quickly into them. Got 'em on swim baits, flies, and surface poppers. They weren't big, but they were hungry and persistent. We caught...dunno how many of them. Kept a few for Charlie to take home to the smoker.

Meanshile, Charlie and I yakked about the terns, trying to figure out what variety of tern the various birds were. My Audubon field guide lists about a dozen different ones...not all of which frequent this area; but there's a bunch of them...and they all look pretty much alike to these eyes.

I suggested to Charlie that with all the different varieties of these birds, to every season, there is a tern.***

After a while Charlie had a hit from a larger fish that managed to throw the hook after just a few seconds of running line off his reel. Then I had a bite and managed to land the fish...a decent 8-pounder.

Could this be a sign that the bigger blues are finally going to start showing up in shallow water? There are a lot, a real lot of baitfish in the lower River; someone's gotta show up and start eating them.

As to our one large blue, I suggested to Charlie that when he cleaned the fish, he should inspect its mouth for hook holes...in case the fish I caught was the same one that had been on his hook.

Another great day on the water.

***...and a time to every porpoise?

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Charles Walsh's Fishing Report

"Striped bass -- Any angler who pulls in a bass in daylight can consider himself or herself among the luckier people in Long Island Sound. Even the night bass fishing has slowed...."

Details in ConnPost.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

06 August 2009

The Fly Rod...

Things Not To Do with Your Fly Rod

“A Long Island angler who went fishing for cash inside a bank's night-deposit box could soon find himself hooked by the cops.”

Read the tale in NYPost.com
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Tarpon and Dolphin on A Fly

Go to Miterclamp.com and scroll to the links at the bottom of the page.

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Angler Takes Great White on A Fly

"’We had no idea until I managed to get its head out of the water and we saw those teeth,’ Patterson said, ‘Then Conway hollered, ‘Oh my god, it is a Great White!’” [Interesting, but appears to be an advert for Abel reels, in thin disguise.]

Read more at Flyfishinsalt.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

05 August 2009

8/4 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Had thought—because of some scheduled health-related events—that Shoo-Fly 3 might be on the dock all this week. As it turned out, one event was cancelled and the other went forward without complication, so we called Mal Y. to see if he was available to fish.

One doesn't mess with Mal's tennis obligations, but fortunately he had none set for Tuesday morning, so off we went.

It was patchy fog all the way down Route 110 along the Housatonic River on the drive to the Marina. At the boat, however, the sun was punching its way through the gloom and the local horde of swans was out for a feed in the marsh.

Mal had the hot hand on that day. He picked up the only striped bass of the trip...and then two or three bluefish before I had even a hit. Not that we caugth that many fish. They were scattered all over the place, although we did see one brief surface-feeding spree at the mouth of the River.

After an hour or so we saw a new bank of fog approaching from the east. First the Milford shoreline disappeared...then Charles Island was lost in the fog. By the time the ground-cloud caught up with us visibiltiy dropped to about 100 yards...so we had to put off thoughts of running to Middleground. Would have been a good day to run there as the winds were, believe-it-or-not, only light and variable.

We hanged around the River mouth picking up a blue here and a blue there. I got a couple on my "Toothy Critter" fly on the 7-weight.

We had a quiet morning as Mal had forgotten to have his usual injection of caffeine, and I was on my second day-in-a-row of getting up at 0500. I think we were both operating at about forty percent of mental capacity. We just threw one lure after another without a lot of discussion about life, liberty, and the pursuit of fishiness.

So, no wind howling...very few UselessCrafts out there throwing wakes at us...catching fish here and there....

Peace and quiet.

Nice.

Another great day on the water.


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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

It’s Plain the Rain Has Been A Real Pain

["By George We’ve Got It!]

“A lot of summer rain means mold growth, and so we're busy with patients with chronic sinus conditions, head pressure and congestion. We've been flooded with walk-in patients...."

“…this summer's endless rains — the combined rainfall for June and July this year of 17.4 inches is the most on record…”

“Since the beginning of June, we have trapped over 167,000 mosquitoes, compared with 107,000 mosquitoes last year.”

“Last week, when central Connecticut had almost 3 inches of rain, the Connecticut River had reached 15 feet, 6 inches by Friday, just 6 inches below flood stage. This raised the public boat docks on both the Hartford and East Hartford sides of the river up over their pilings.”

Read more at Courant.com

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Nova Scotia Resident Murders Large Striper

“While fishing the morning of July 29 up near Weymouth, Owen – on his first fishing trip of the season – snagged a 57-pound striped bass. He was fishing alone so he didn’t have anyone to share his excitement with. But when he came home with the proof people were impressed.”s

Photo and article at: NovaNewsNow.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

03 August 2009

Scup, Stripers, and Skeeters

Notes on Long Island

“Scup continue to make solid showing both inside and outside Port Jeff Harbor and Candy reports those anglers dropping pots of frozen clam chum over the side and employing sandworms and fresh clams on the hooks are scoring heavy on all the rocky lairs between 20 and 30 feet of water. The key is heavy chum and the scup will come.”

Story in Examiner.com

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Comments on Stripers, Blues

“Circle hooks, used these days to minimize catch-and-release mortality from traditional "J-shaped" hooks (at least that's the intention), require some getting used to. Here's how: Once that striper tugs hard, let it run a few seconds. Turn the reel and lock in, ready to go. The fish will tighten the connection, essentially hooking itself. If all goes well, the hook should find the inside of the bass's mouth, lodging there. That's when you begin reeling as the fight ensues.”

Article in Fosters.com

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West Nile Virus Available Again this Year

“The State Mosquito Management Program announced on July 24th that mosquitoes trapped in Stratford on July 15, 2009 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV)….In 2008, eight Connecticut residents were identified with WNV infection. They included residents of Bridgeport (3), Fairfield, Sherman, Stamford (2) and a Greenwich resident infected while travelling out of the state. There were no fatalities.”

Read all about it in StamfordAdvocate.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

02 August 2009

Fluke, Dog Days, and a Bluefish Massacre

Fluke, Fluke, Fluke

“A fluke's chances of winning a fish beauty contest are less than slim. Just having both eyes on one side of its head puts this bottom-dwelling species at a severe disadvantage in the looks department. And those dark blotches, great for matching the bottom, but ugh!”

Charles Walsh writing in ConnPost.com

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Bluefish Massacre

Good part starts at about 4:45 into the video.

See the video on YouTube

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Dog Days’re Here

“With August approaching, you may find the striper fishing becoming a little tougher under the summer sun. Every fisherman loves a good excuse, and that’s evidenced by the fact that New England anglers often refer to this time as the summer doldrums or the dog days of summer, when hot, hazy weather seems to make everything move a little slower, including the fish.”

Story from BostonHerald.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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

01 August 2009

Shad and Lobsters

American Shad from the Hatchery to Our Rivers

“This year's huge egg production is by 240 adult shad – "brood stock" – that were plucked out of the Merrimack River just upstream of the Essex Dam in Lowell, Mass., and now spend their lives circling in a pair of gigantic, 3,000-gallon tanks.’

Story in NashuaTelegraph.com

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Lobster Prices Way Down…in Maine

"Prices for lobster plunged last year to levels not seen in 20 years, leading Turner and a growing number of other lobstermen to sell from the backs of pickup trucks, from garages, and even on Craigslist. By going directly to consumers, lobstermen say they can make roughly $1 more per pound than what they get from lobster dealers. d grocery stores....
"In the past couple of weeks, lobstermen were selling one-pound lobsters for about $4.25 to $5.25 a pound, roughly $1 a pound more than they could get from lobster dealers. At the same time, Portland-area seafood shops and supermarkets were selling one-pounders for about $4.99 to $6.99 a pound. "
Read the whole article at: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ROADSIDE_LOBSTER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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More on Lobstahs

“There are many myths surrounding the lives—and deaths—of lobsters in our local waters. By all accounts, lobsters were in great abundance when Native Americans still ruled the land. One legend of their appearance in local waters can be found in an article from The New York Times that ran in May, 1873. A ship containing lobsters from northern New England broke apart in New York Harbor, spilling its clawed cargo and thus creating a thriving population. But that is obviously a tall tale. The waters of the Long Island Sound were perfect for lobsters, which need rocky environs to grow.”

Interesting read in LongIslandPress.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one for $10.00 from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.

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