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.


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;
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