30 April 2009

4/28 Lower Housatonic Fishing Report...Part 2

So...although the fishing in the River had been non-productive, we did get in some good bird-watching.

Arriving at the mouth of the Housatonic (where it flows into Long Island Sound [for readers who are not locals]) we puttered around the breakwater with no result. There were a few boats on the east side of the breakwater, hiding out from the wind, fishing the tail end of the winter blackfish season...ends on April 30. Didn't see them take any fish.

All at once hawkeye Charlie spotted a flock of gulls out on the Sound. They were diving...maybe on bait...maybe on bass?

We took off out there.


Sure enough, there were bass feeding under the gulls. We could see the splashes as the fish took whatever the foodfish they were feeding on [we couldn't see any bait in the water]. Most of the bass were down below, according to the Garmin, so that's probably where the bait was...except when some got pushed up to the surface by the pursuing stripers.

It wasn't a large school of bass, and they were well scattered...not bunched up, neither those on the surface nor those down below. But we managed to get the boat in front of them a few times so that the moving school would go right past us...and we caught some fish.

To my experience, in recent years a feeding school of bass, on the surface, in this area of the Sound, is a fairly rare event, and we truly enjoyed taking part in it. These were bright, shiny fish with lots of purple shading on their shoulders...possibly fish that have just moved into the area...maybe from the Hudson. No keepers...all fish caught returned to the Sound in good shape.

As the Bard said, "all's well that ends well," and this was a good end to a fine day on the water.

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Stripers Forever Makes Glum Prediction

“…the data for the recreational catch of striped bass from 1995 through 2008. The number of fish caught by recreational anglers peaked in 2006. This includes both harvested and live release. Since that time it has dropped by approximately 50%. The catch in 2008 was the lowest since 1996….

“These statistics may well be harbingers of real danger for striped bass.”

Source: Stripers Forever

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28 April 2009

4/28 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report...Part 1

Tuesday started sunny but high stratus clouds came in the afternoon; although the sun continued to shine through them, the clouds are indicators of rain to come...in this case, Tuesday night's showers.

Although land temps were near 90°, there was at first a 15-20 kt wind out of the southwest that kept one from overheating. Water temp was 51° near the mouth of the River and 57° above the Merritt Parkway. The winds and cold water temps didn't keep this intrepid kayaker off the water [hope he got where he was going].

Charlie W. and I started out about 1000 hours, making the decision to head up the River. We saw some fish on the Garmin overy by Rivercliff, but looking up, we also saw a flock of turkey vultures circling over our heads. Not a great omen. Sure enough, although we fished spots all the way up to the first marina above the Merritt Parkway, we couldn't entice a fish to hit...well, maybe we had two hits, but no fish in the boat.


So we headed back downstream stopping at a few spots on the way to the mouth of the River...again with no luck.

Did see some birds. There are several Canada Geese nesting on Nell's Island [these birds are correctly "Canada" not "Canadian" Geese]. It's good to see these birds living in the wild rather than hanging around golf courses.

We saw American Coot which are also called water chickens because of the chicken-like way they bob their heads with every stroke of their feet while swimming. And we saw Brant, a goose that has a shorter neck than the larger Canada Goose. Brant have distinctive markings that can be seen as they fly off. You have to take my word at this...had a photo but Blogger refuses to upload it...the markings are a distinct white "V" shape against their dark butts.

There were also at least three nesting pairs of Osprey as we descended the River.

We weren't catching striped bass in the River...so we ventured out, for the first time this year, onto Long Island Sound.

Rest of report in tomorrow's blog.

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Knots are Important

“Then...'POP': The line breaks and the fish swims away. What happened? You didn’t hit a rock. The striper never headed straight for the bottom and rubbed the line. Now you reel in the line and look at the broken tip. Not a clean break. In fact the last quarter inch has a permanent twist to it. A sure sign that you knot began to slip then break. You just lost a big striper because of the weakest section of your rig — a badly tied knot.”

Read the whole article at: HeraldNews.com

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One Year in Jail for Poaching 340 Tons of Striped Bass

Yes…tons!

“ A Virginia waterman was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to one year and one day in prison and a $4,000 fine and was ordered to make $40,000 in restitution for his part in the largest striped bass poaching case in the history of the Chesapeake Bay…Thomas Hallock, 48, of Catharpin, Va., was ordered by Judge Peter Messitte to surrender to marshals on May 22 to begin serving his sentence.

"Hallock admitted to poaching more than 680,442 pounds of striped bass, also known as rockfish, and that 10,474 pounds were taken out of season during a period when the fish spawn. He sold his catch to Golden Eye Seafood in southern Maryland and Cannon Seafood, an upscale market in Georgetown and made $136,884.”

Read the complete story at: BaltimoreSun.com

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Chesapeake Crab Harvest Fallen on Hard Times

“Part of the problem has been pollution in the form of nutrient runoff from farmlands and hundreds of sewage treatment plants along those rivers that feed the Bay.

“Another part of the problem has been over-harvesting by watermen reluctant to admit they are contributing to the dwindling crab population. The Virginia watermen, in fact, have insisted on virtually the same rules that applied to their trade a century ago. Among other changes in the rules, they opposed shorter seasons and they opposed a ban on dredging in the winter.”

Read the whole story at NewsAdvance.com

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27 April 2009

4/24 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report...Part 3

Friday was sunny with hardly a cloud to be seen. Although land temps were near 75°, there was at first a 5-10 kt wind out of the West that eventually became a 17-22 kt wind from the SW, blowing right up the River, that chilled things off substantially. Wind also blew up whitecaps and rollers. Water temp was 44° near the mouth of the River and 51° above the Merritt Parkway.

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Guess the subject of catching fish on this trip has been avoided as long as possible. Have to get to it now:

Val and I knew we were in trouble when we first went out on the River and saw four fishing boats coming downstream past us. If they were coming down toward the mouth of the River, that meant that there weren't any fish to be found, or to be found biting, farther up the River.

I waved to one boater, pointed upstream and gave him the what's happening gesture [shoulders hunched, both palms up a waist level]. He gave me the same gesture in return which, in his case, meant "nothing was happening."

That was hard to believe. It's too early for the fish to be leaving the River. Last year we were catching them up-river all the way into June. Must be these guys don't know what they're doing.

We headed up-river.

There were fish to be found. We caught a few...but the fish were scattered...not laying in windrows, stacked up as they had been for the earlier trips. And they weren't particularly hungry.

Part of the cause of this may have been the tide. We were there two hours before and two hours after the high tide. The current is most slack at these times...especially during the incoming as the tide is slowed by the force of the River's flow.

When the tide is flowing strongly it tends to concentrate the fish as they seek areas out of the main flow in which they can swim easily and save energy...and dart out to pick up their prey: Bridge abutments, bottom irregularities, marsh islands, breakwaters, docks, variations in the River's banks...that sort of thing. During periods of slow tidal flow the fish tend to meander all over the place.

Anyway, it's a good excuse.

So we managed to keep Shoo-Fly's string of 15 straight trips without being skunked intact and Val got a striper on a new fly he'd invented...said he liked it because it was "horrifically easy" to tie up.

A good day on the water.

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26 April 2009

4/24 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report...Part 2

Friday was sunny with hardly a cloud to be seen. Although land temps were near 75°, there was at first a 5-10 kt wind out of the West that eventually became a 17-22 kt wind from the SW, blowing right up the River, that chilled things off substantially. Wind also blew up whitecaps and rollers. Water temp was 44° near the mouth of the River and 51° above the Merritt Parkway.

One of the first things Val S. and I remarked on when we went out on the Housatonic River was the amount a debris floating on the surface. Previous trips the water had been relatively free of flotsam [floating debris] and jetsam [discarded odds and ends], but today we really had to watch the water.

As can be seen in the photo, that 8-foot 4X4 could have done some real damage if a boat hit it at speed. And the thing about a river that's different is that any junk that's in it moves with the current. We were close to this particular hunk of wood three different times, in three different places on the River, in four hours of fishing.

Debris tends to populate the River more when the tides are high: The water rises and floats up wood, dead marsh grass, and other junk off the banks of the River and out of the marshes. Eventually, it all ends up in Long Island Sound.

And the tides, of course, are motivated by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. This pull is strongest when the moon and sun are on opposite sides of the earth ["full" moon] and when they're both on the same side of the earth ["new" moon]. The resulting "spring" tides [nothing to do with the season of the year] are higher and lower than when the moon and sun are not so aligned.

Interestingly enough [to me, at least; may be boring as owl turds to you], the moon was "new" on Friday.

We knocked off early in the afternoon as Val had to get home to see his son receive a "student of the year" award at his school. That's something for a Dad to be proud of, and something a Dad wouldn't miss, even if it means he has to stop fishing.

As you can probably guess because this blog doesn't start out with a brag about how many fish we caught...we didn't catch a lot of fish. We did continue Shoo-Fly's string of 15 straight trips without getting skunked, but the catch was nothing to boast about.

Will tell you more about it in the next blog.

Getting a lot of mileage out of one trip...no?

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Bluefish Move Into Lakes Bay, Near Atlantic City, NJ

“The first show of bluefish moved into Lakes Bay as some 3- to 4-pounders were hooked by bass fishermen.”

Read the whole story at: TheDailyJournal.com

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25 April 2009

4/24 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report...Part One

Primum non nocere*

Friday was sunny with hardly a cloud to be seen. Although land temps were near 75°, there was at first a 5-10 kt wind out of the West that eventually became a 17-22 kt wind from the SW, blowing right up the River, that chilled things off substantially. Wind also blew up whitecaps and rollers. Water temp was 44° near the mouth of the River and 51° above the Merritt Parkway.

*First of all, do no harm is apparently not part of the Hippocratic Oath (although oft attributed to it); however, it's generally accepted as a rule of behavior for doctors of medicine.

It also applies to the water as a rule of behavior for operators of boats: Always proceed at a safe speed so as to avoid collision and do no harm to persons or vessels.

Therefore, just because you're out of the no-wake zone doesn't mean you have the right to go full bore down the river through other, smaller boats...which is exactly what the operator of this boat did on Friday.

Val S. and I had to get into the cockpit and hang on when his wake hit us. Another boat, a small aluminum runabout with two fishermen in it, didn't see the wake coming [although I blew Shoo-Fly's horn to try to warn them] and they got knocked all over the place by the wake thrown by this boat. They could have been injured inside the runabout...they could have been swamped.

Use a little common sense!

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As you can probably guess because this blog doesn't start out with a brag about how many fish we caught...we didn't catch a lot of fish. We did continue Shoo-Fly's string of 15 straight trips without getting skunked, but the catch was nothing to boast about.

Will tell you more about it in the next blog.

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24 April 2009

Sometimes a Bad Day of Fishing Is Not Better than a Good Day at the Office

For example:

"LaRose and his nephew, Brian Smith, were fishing and drinking on a dirt embankment underneath the bridge at Hoosick and River streets around 8 p.m. Saturday. Smith said LaRose took off his shoes and jacket, set his wallet aside and jumped in."

Read the whole story at: TimesUnion.com

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And then there's:

"Conservation and recreational fishing groups and a regional regulatory agency are asking a federal judge to make an example of five watermen who pleaded guilty to poaching millions of dollars worth of striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River when sentencing begins next week…. The five watermen have acknowledged that they knew selling illegally caught fish across state lines was a crime. The maximum penalty for a violation of the Lacey Act is a $250,000 fine, up to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised probation, plus forfeiture of boats and vehicles used."

The whole story ia as: BaltimoreSun.com

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23 April 2009

NY State Saltwater License is in the Pipeline

Just waiting to learn the effective date…

“This time they've got you hook, line and sinker with a new regulation requiring saltwater anglers, that’s you fishermen out there, to get a license from New York State before you bait your line. The new regulation is making its way through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) this week following New York State Governor David Paterson’s signing of the licensing provision as part of the state’s 2009 budget where it appeared as a line item….

“The DEC will be the lead agency in the issuance and enforcement of the licensing provision. Details concerning the licensing provisions are being formulated…. Preliminary information indicates an initial fee of $19 was proposed and rejected in favor an annual $10 fee for all recreational fishermen. Charter boats and party boats will be required to obtain annual permits at a cost of $450. The DEC will offer a seven day permit for $8. A one day permit will be available for $4 if all goes according to plan. Fines for those found in violation are still being drafted as well.”

Complete details at Hamptons.com

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22 April 2009

New Jersey Debating the SW Fishing License

The Question is: Do We Accept a Federal License or Replace that with a State License?

Al Ristorti writing in the NJ.com/Shore/Blogs:

The cost for the federal requirement could be a ridiculous $15 to $25, for something that could be done at a tiny fraction of that cost. Worst of all, that fee wouldn't do a thing to help the fisheries as it would go to the U.S. Treasury. If you feel you're not paying enough in income taxes and are anxious to fund President Obama's deficit spending that may be an attractive idea. Unless the free state registration bill is passed and signed by the Governor, the only alternative would be a state license that would collect the required information as part of the process. A proposed state license would probably be in the same price range of what the feds want for the registry, but it would stay in the state.


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What about a Fee for Each Breath We Take?

"Politicians tend to regard fees as more palatable than taxes, and more focused too. If a state needs to finance an infrastructure to oversee fishing, why shouldn’t fishermen foot the bill? But groups like the nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington worry that governments are now using fees to shore up budget shortfalls rather than cover specific costs incurred by specific users."

Read the whole article: New York Times


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21 April 2009

Housatonic River Clean-Up Projects

Lower Housy Clean-Up on May 2

Volunteers are needed for the annual clean-up of the Housatonic River from Shelton to Milford and Stratford. The event is Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m…. Volunteers can be of any age and may work all or only a part of the day…. For details and sponsorships, call John Valentino at 380-0455 or Valerie Ferko at 391-1811. [Source: Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post]

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Upper Housy Clean-Up Remains in the News

“BioGenesis, a Springfield, Va., company, has developed a way to clean sediment and soil, running it through a kind of giant washing machine that uses a combination of high-pressure water and biodegradable soap to knock the PCBs off the soil and into the water.

"The water is then decontaminated and the PCBs are condensed into a sludge that represents roughly 1 percent of the material run through the machine. The sludge can then be taken to a federally certified landfill, where it will take up far less space than the soil would have.“ [Article no longer available at BerkshireEagle.com]

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20 April 2009

Commericial Dock Coming to Lower Housy

"Stratford is turning to its waterfront…. A task force this month unveiled plans for the town to build a commercial dock on the Housatonic River and take better advantage of one of the community's top resources…. The Waterfront and Harbor Management Commission released a plan to build a $400,000 commercial dock at the Birdseye Street boat ramp to serve the area's commercial fishermen and others who want to make use of the river."

Whole article: Connecticut Post

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Putting Food on the Plate

“…it seems more and more fishermen [are] casting their reel not just for fun, but for food…. In an ailing economy, it's a relatively easy and cheap way to eat. There's been some speculation that the state may add more licenses, such as a salt-water license, or that the state may increase the cost of a license."

Story at: WTNH.com

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Sounds Like a great Day to Fish

Monday: Gale warning in effect through tonight. E winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt…increasing to 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 35 kt late this morning. Seas 3 to 5 feet building to 7 to 10 feet this afternoon. A chance of rain this morning…then rain this afternoon. Visibility 1 to 3 nm....

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19 April 2009

4/17 Lower Housy Fishing Report...Part Two

Continued from Yesterday...



Friday was sunny, then clouding over. Although land temps were near 70°, there was a 15-20 kt wind out of the SW, blowing right up the River, that chilled things off substantially. Wind also blew up whitecaps and rollers. Water temp was 47° near the mouth of the River and 50° above the Merritt Parkway.

There were several boats out including one with two fellows in t-shirts. They must have launched at a spot out of the wind; bet they didn't stay out long dressed as they were.

Charlie W. and I threw flies for a while with no success...think I might have had one bump. Had a full sinking line on and the fly fouled on the bottom a couple times, so it was definitely getting down to the fish...but to no avail.

We switched over to plastic and that changed the situation considerably. We landed a good number of stripers including the 26" fish in the photo above, and the 30" keeper shown in yesterday's blog--that we nevertheless returned to the water unscathed.

We saw a lot of fish on the Garmin; in some cases we could drift for a hundred yards or more and be over fish the whole time, but wasn't a hot bite. Didn't see a lot of fish landed on other boats as well. After a while the chill caught up with us and we headed for the dock.

Good day on the water.
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18 April 2009

4/17 Lower Housy Fishing Report...Part One

Full Report in Sunday's Blog



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Meanwhile, They're Catching Stripers in New York Too

"Currently, the Hudson River is the hot area for stripers, from Piermont to Croton to Tarrytown and Ossining. Here everyone, whether on boat or shore, is limited to a single bass at 18 inches or more. Smaller stripers are following bunker in western Long Island Sound, especially around Little Neck and in Manhasset Bay."


New York Daily News

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17 April 2009

Latest CT Marine Fisheries Regs...Fishermen Attacked by Crocodile


Friday, 17 April:

CT SW Fish Regs Published

Connecticut's final recreational marine fisheries regulations for 2009 were updated on April 7th and are now available at: Connecticut DEP







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Two Dead in Crocodile Attacks

Not in Connecticut, of course.

“A Young Territory boy has been attacked by a crocodile while fishing. He is the third person to be attacked by crocodiles in the Territory in less than a month. But unlike the tragic stories of the two other recent victims, somehow this youngster lived to tell the tale.”

It's fun to go fishing in Australia: Whole Story



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16 April 2009

Massachusetts Changes Two Fishing Regs

Thursday, 16 April:

“The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has instated a new three-year moratorium on the taking of river herring….”

In addition, “The old regulation on the handling of striped bass prohibited anyone from filleting their catch while on the water. The fish had to be intact when you left the water so that an environmental officer could make a quick determination as to whether the fish in your possession were legal or 'shorts.' Charter skippers could clean their catch on the boat, but the racks had to be kept and disposed of at sea on the following day. It created a messy situation for many charter captains and they sought a change.” So the DMF…modified the regulation this year so that these boats, while under charter, could dispose of racks at sea.”

“When asked if the same alteration could be applied to the recreational angler, he felt that it, ‘would be a bit too much for law enforcement to handle….’”

For now, Massachusetts recreational anglers [and, of course, all who fish for striped bass in Connecticut] must be sure that any striper they keep is intact when they head for home.

Complete article: PatriotLedger.com

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15 April 2009

No LNG Terminal on Long Island Sound

Wednesday, 15 April:

Shell Oil has lost it's battle to place a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.

"After a four year battle, the US Secretary of Commerce released their long awaited ruling yesterday on Broadwater. In a stunning victory for New York, Connecticut and the public, the Commerce Secretary’s decision supports New York and upholds New York’s ruling -No Broadwater."

Full Article at: StamfordPlus.com

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14 April 2009

Trout Season Opens Saturday

Tuesday, 14 April:

"If there is a dark cloud hanging over the opening day picture, it is the state's new online system for purchasing fishing licenses. Some bait and tackle shops are reluctant to shell out the $1,800 or so required to purchase the license-issuing computer from the DEP. Even shops that might spend the money are hesitant, fearing their lack of computer skills will make operating the system a huge headache. So in some cases anglers are going into tackle shops to buy licenses only to be told that have to go elsewhere. Most cities and towns have the license computers, but some do not. In addition, the DEP did a less-than-adequate job of alerting the fishing public to the new licensing system, so many anglers have no idea they cannot just drop in at their local tackle shop."

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

Note that saltwater anglers in Connecticut still do not need a fishing license...unless they venture into fresh water; on the Housatonic River, that means above the Merritt Parkway bridge.


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13 April 2009

Commercial Fishermen...NY SaltWater License

Monday, 13 April:

Many Commercial Fishermen are Hanging Up Their Nets

"Gloucester, MA — At America's oldest seaport, few new boats have entered the commercial fishing business in decades, and few young people are entering the profession. Veteran fishermen — including many following the trade of fathers and grandfathers — are unhappy and angry. They say they're not catching enough fish, they're not getting paid enough for what they catch, and they blame government restrictions for destroying their livelihood."

Whole article: USAToday

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New York Closer to SaltWater Fishing License

“For the first time, saltwater anglers in New York will be required to obtain a fishing license under the new state budget.

“The requirement would take effect Oct. 1 if the budget passes.

“The fees for residents would be $10 a year, $8 for a week and $4 for a day. These are lower than proposed by the governor, and the money generated would go to marine conservation and regulation rather than the general fund under a compromise advocated by Assembly members and fishing groups.”

Whole article: Newsday

Related article: EastHamptonStar.com




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12 April 2009

Fluke Rules for '09...Slot Limits for Stripers

Sunday, 12 April:

Connecticut DEP Issues Fluke, Sea Bass Rules

1. Summer Flounder Recreational Fishery Rules: Effective on May 1, 2009:
Minimum length: Unchanged at 19.5 inches total length.
Daily Creel Limit: 3 fish.
Open Season: June 15 – August 19

2. Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishery Rules:
Minimum length: 12.5 inches total length excluding the tendril.
Daily Creel Limit: Unchanged at 25 fish.
Open Season: Unchanged – Year Round.

3. Commercial Fishery Possession Limits for Summer Flounder May 1 – July 31 Period

No holder of any commercial fishing or landing license or registration permitted to take summer flounder from the waters of this state or to land summer flounder in Connecticut, regardless of where such fish are taken, shall possess summer flounder in excess of the following possession limits that are based on Connecticut’s summer flounder quota specified in the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, herein referred to as "the plan":

• Between May 1 and July 31: 100 pounds until a total of 97% of the Connecticut quota specified in the plan has been landed in Connecticut, at which time the limit shall be zero pounds;

• Possession limits apply to the aggregate of all persons on board the vessel per trip or per day whichever is the longer period of time. Transfer of summer flounder between vessels at sea is prohibited.

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Areas in NC Have Slot-Limit for Stripers

“The daily creel limit within the Roanoke River Management Area is two striped bass per person. The minimum length limit is 18 inches, and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches may be possessed at any time. Only one striped bass larger than 27 inches can be included in the daily creel limit.

The Commission also encourages striped bass anglers to use small, non-offset circle hooks, preferably ones with the least amount of distance between the hook point and shank. 

Studies show that striped bass caught on small, barbless circle hooks are usually hooked in the jaw, which means they have a much greater chance of survival after being released than fish hooked in the throat or gut."

Whole Article: GarnerNew.net



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11 April 2009

4/9 Fishing Report

Val S. and I went out on the Housatonic River on Thursday from about 1100 to about 1400 hours. Sunny day, air temp in the 50°s, water temp 42-47°, winds blowing from the SW circa 25-30 kts at their worst.

Good old NOAA [the federal agency that does the marine weather forecasts] zapped us again. The forecast was for 5-10 kts. As you can see from the photo, however, the wind was blasting right up the River. It was blowing so hard that with a fetch of only 0.5 miles it was generating whitecaps and 2-3 foot rollers. It was nasty out there.

Val had hit Stratford Bait & Tackle on the way to the boat so he could pick up his Connecticut fresh-water fishing license—necessary if you're going to fish above the Merrit Parkway bridge, which we thought we'd be doing. But we never got there. We rounded a bend lower down in the River and found 8-10 boats stacked up over schools of striped bass.

There were, unusually, several fly-fishermen on the boats...and from all appearances they were catching most of the fish. This included Capt. Jeff Northrop of Westport/Norwalk Islands fame. He was throwing a Jim Teeny 350 sinking line with a chartruese half & half fly on a 3/0 hook and landing some nice fish. Jeff's the premier salt-water fly-fishing guide in Fairfield County if not the entire northeast of the U.S.

Val and I threw some flies but had no luck; we were both fishing sink-tip lines rather than full, heavy-duty sinking lines. Between the wind blowing the boat up the River, and the outgoing tide rampaging in the opposite direction, we were just not getting the fly down to the fish. So we switched over to plastic on jig heads.

I caught the first six fish and then Val started catching. He ran a string of 17 straight stripers before I caught another one. We were using similar lures on similarly-weighted jig heads, but he caught 18 of the 25 fish we landed. I'm always happy when a guest on Shoo-Fly 3 catches a lot of fish...but that was overdoing it.

Just kidding. Really!

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Saturday, 11 April:

Today: Clinic on Fly-Fishing

Newtown Bait and Tackle is holding a fly fishing clinic on today, April 11. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.
Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

10 April 2009

NOAA Report Shows Rich Diversity Across U.S. Fishing Communities

Friday, 10 April:

The Fishermen's memorial in Gloucester, Mass.

“A new report by NOAA’s Fisheries Service detailing the diverse demographics of 222 American saltwater fishing communities will help the agency design management strategies that will lead to more sustainable fisheries.

“’Fisheries management depends on an understanding of how people in coastal communities interact with marine ecosystems and how their economies work,’ said Jim Balsiger, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. ‘This report gives a clearer picture of the people living in America’s fishing communities and their needs.’”

Complete story at: NOAA

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Stripers Can Get Pretty Big in Fresh Water Too

McConnell, a 55-year-old auto repair shop owner from Eastonolle, Ga., has broken his own South Carolina state record for striped bass with a fish weighing at least 63 pounds.

McConnell's fish, which was 49 1/2 inches long and had a 34-inch girth, was weighed on certifiied scales at 63 1/4 pounds, which will easily eclipse his previous record catch from Lake Hartwell seven years ago. That fish weighed 59 pounds, 8 ounces.

Full Story at: GreenvilleOnline.com

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April 11 Fly-Fishing Clinic

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

09 April 2009

“The bad economy is creating a flotilla of forsaken boats.”

Thursday, 09 April:

“They often sandpaper over the names and file off the registry numbers, doing their best to render the boats, and themselves, untraceable. Then they casually ditch the vessels in the middle of busy harbors, beach them at low tide on the banks of creeks or occasionally scuttle them outright.

Whole Story: NYTimes.com

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Fly-Fishing Clinic in Newtown Saturday

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.
Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

08 April 2009

Stripers Running at Mouth of Housy

Wednesday, 08 April:

"Stripers, mostly in the 14- to 22-inch size, have moved into the lower Housatonic River in good numbers. Fly fishers and spin casters are having a ball catching and releasing the lively bass wherever access to the river can be had. A few keepers in excess of 28 inches have been reported. Medium-sized Clouser flies in chartreuse and white are working well as are four-inch soft plastics in white and silver colors. Starting this weekend, expect to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the hordes of anglers migrating from New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts in some locations.

"Blackfish season is open but no reports of catches have been received. Good luck to anyone who decides to try for winter flounder."

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post


April 11 Fly-Fishing Clinic in Newtown

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

07 April 2009

Striper Fishing Picking Up in the Hudson

Tuesday, 07 April:

“Stripers move into the river for two reasons. Primarily, they are following their urge to spawn. The big bass also are tailing the spawning run of their favorite food, the herring. Shad, bluebacked herring, and alewives move into the Hudson to spawn each spring right along with the bass. Stripers pursue these fish the whole time they are in the river.”

Full Story: TimesUnion.com

Fly-Fishing Clinic in Newtown

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

06 April 2009

Striper Run Off to Good Start Down South

Monday, 06 April:

“Striped bass catches are making it interesting at certain spots from Delaware Bay to Barnegat Inlet. Pat Harris at Longreach Marina on the Maurice River and Rusty Zeigler at Capt. Tate's Tackle Box in Dennisville said decent striped bass catches have started earlier than they had the past couple of years in Delaware Bay. And Basil Shehady at Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle said the first striper have been caught on the beach at the north end of Long Beach Island. Anglers fishing Graveling Point and Pebble Beach on Great Bay have had off-and-on good days.

“Well, it's just the beginning, but striper action sounds pretty decent for early spring.

“Zeigler said the good start this year is better than the how the last two seasons began.”

Full Story: Press of Atlantic City

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Kayak Dangers

"Kayak anglers who are tempted to paddle out to cast in Long Island Sound, on a lake or river would do well to note the warning of Michelle Sorensen of Sound Kayakers. April, she says, is one of the most dangerous months for cold water immersion and hypothermia injuries (not to mention deaths). While air temperatures can reach well into the balmy 60s, water temperatures are still in the 40s. A person wearing street clothes who gets dumped in water that cold will reach exhaustion or unconsciousness in 30-60 minutes, Sorensen says.

"Expected time of survival is 1-3 hours."

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

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April 11 Fly-Fishing Clinic

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

05 April 2009

Feds "Repo" Third Madoff Boat

Sunday, 05 April:

“The feds have reeled in another Bernie Madoff treasure: a luxury fishing boat belonging to the Ponzi scum and his wife, Ruth.

“FBI agents found the Shelter Island Runabout sport fishing vessel christened Sitting Bull in a slip at the Montauk Marine Basin near the tip of Long Island.

“The Madoffs bought the 38-foot cabin cruiser in July 2003 for about $430,812.”

Read the article at: New York Daily News

Pictured boat is not the one mentioned above, but Madoff's 55-footer that was grabbed by the feds earler. Photo is from the New York Daily News.

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If You're Big on Contests, You May Want to Check this Out

“All prizes in the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Gear Up Giveaway are tailored to saltwater fishing, such as a MotorGuide VariMax Saltwater 70-pound-thrust trolling motor. The complete prize package is valued at more than $3,000.

“The grand prize package will include items from OPTIMA Batteries, Berkley, Costa Del Mar, Gill North America, MotorGuide and Quantum.

“Beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on April 1, one entry per day per person will be accepted. The sweepstakes continues through April 30. Fans can enter the contest once per day by clicking here”:

Saltwater Contest

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Fly-Fishing Clinic in Newtown

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

04 April 2009

Fishing's Great in a Lousy Economy

Saturday, 04 April:

“Looking for some good news on the economy? Well, maybe there is no need to look any further than your local tackle shop.

“With more belt-tightening going on in the country than in a prison hunger strike, one activity that doesn't deplete the wallet is fishing.

“Forget the expensive vacations, dinners at fancy French restaurants and pricy electronic gadgets. Just a few bucks can buy a can of meal worms or minnows and a day of outdoor fun on a lake, pond or stream (when the season opens, of course).

“If you don't have a rod and reel or the other equipment needed to wet a line, any tackle shop can take care of that for well less than $50. Of course, it is still possible to spend thousands on fishing gear. But the point is there's no need to.”

Read the full article: Charles Walsh Writing in the Bridgeport Post

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Fly-Fishing Clinic Coming Up

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly-fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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

03 April 2009

Winter Flounder...Newtown B & T Fly Clinic...Smelts

Friday, 03 April:

ASMFC Hearing of Draft Addendum 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Winter Flounder

The DEP Marine Fisheries Division is hosting a Public Hearing of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to take public comment on Draft Addendum 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Winter Flounder. (N09-05)

The Draft Addendum will propose a suite of management measures to reduce fishing including zero possession limits; commercial trip limits; recreational bag/size and seasonal limits; and measures to prevent an influx of effort [1] in state waters.

Click here for information on the Public Hearing to be held April 14, 2009

[1] “influx of effort” is DEP-speak for boats that normally fish other waters coming into state waters.

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Newtown B & T Fly Clinic

Newtown Bait and Tackle will hold a fly fishing clinic on 11 April. Casting demonstrations will be held at their casting pond at the store. The clinic will allow anglers to see the latest in fly fishing equipment and a chance to speak with company representatives. For more information, call Newtown Bait and Tackle at 203-426-6629.

Newtown Bait & Tackle

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The Tide May Have Turned for Smelt

"Neal, a resident of Wareham, says getting the free permit is now more of a tradition and symbolic gesture than anything else especially since the smelt seem to be gone and fishermen “haven’t gotten any [smelt]. That’s why a lot of the guys don’t go [anymore].”

"But Neal remembers when they all did go fishing for the tasty silvery pan fish with groups of fishermen gathering at night north of the Horseshoe Mill to catch the 8-inch long fish, often referred to as shiners, running during the twilight hours."

Mattapoisett News


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Long Island Sound Resource Center;
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02 April 2009

3/31 2009 Fishing Report

Charlie W. and I fished for about three hours on Tuesday. Didn’t get a lot of fish, but we officially opened the season for Shoo-Fly 3 and preserved Charlie’s record of catching at least one striper in March each year. Charlie was out with me for the last trip in 2008, so he got to help take everything off the boat on November 28. Photo: Here he is, four months later, helping to put it all back on again.

Airtemp was 52°, watertemp 46°; sunny with west winds 10-15 kts. Last three hours of the incoming tide.

It was certainly good to be back out on the Housatonic River again. Although it’s been less than three weeks since we were last on the water [in the Keys], it felt as though a lot of time had passed between trips.

In early spring we usually have to watch the water very carefully for debris; however, this year Charlie and I noted a definite absence of flotsam. There was one...what appeared to be an entire tree floating down, and one other large piece of wood, but very little garbage and junk. This is probably because there hasn’t been that much rain. Also, need a good spring tide to float a lot of that stuff up out of the marshes and into the River’s current. Or, could people possibly be throwing less trash into the River?

We were also reminded as to how cold it can be on the water. Coming down Route 8 earlier, the thermometer in the car said it was 60°…but by the time I got to Stratford it had dropped to 52°. Then, with the wind at 10-15 kts blowing right up the River in our faces, by the time we decided to call it a day we were both feeling the chill.

We weren’t the only crazy people on the water. Don G. was out in his boat and reported that the bite had been good earlier in the day when he and two friends had come out. There were perhaps half-a-dozen other boats on the water as well.


The local crew teams were also on the River…getting ready for their new season.

We saw lots of fish on the fishfinder, but getting them to eat was another story. We worked hard at it, changed lures, changed retrieves, change lure weights. Suffice it to say we both caught stripers…just not a lot of them. And, no keeper-sized fish.

But, the season is off to a successful start.

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

01 April 2009

Surfer Lands on Duck...Man has Fish Growing Out of Head...New NOAA Chief Abreast of Problem

Wednesday, 01 April:

Huge Wave Lands Surfer on Duck in Short Beach Parking Lot

An unusual combination of tide and wind Tuesday conspired to hurl surfer, Stoner "Hang-seven"[1] VanDude, through the air at Short Beach, Stratford, CT, and land him solidly on a DUKW [2] located in the Short Beach parking lot. Asked if he had been frightened as he flew over the sand and pine scrub, Mr. VanDude said, "Heck, no; s'coolest thing's happended to me since I got into that bad batch of Panama Red."

[1] Lawnmower

[2] Wikipedia: "The designation of DUKW is not a military pun - the name comes from the model naming terminology used by GMC; the D indicates a vehicle designed in 1942, the U meant "utility (amphibious)", the K indicated all-wheel drive and the W indicated two powered rear axles. Although technically a misnomer, DUKWs are often referred to as 'duck boats.'"

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Man Has Fish Growing Out of Head

As can clearly be seen in this photo, Capt. Bertram Bilgewater of the charter boat Drainplug [a 27-foot UselessCraft] has a redfish growing out of the left side of his head.

There's also some assorted eelgrass involved in this unusual appendage.

Asked how the fish came to be in his head, Capt. Bilgewater responded, "Durned if I know...but I sure wish it'd leave; 's beginning to smell somethin' fierce."

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New NOAA Chief Abreast of Groundfish Controversy

"Jane Lubchenco, the newly confirmed administrator of the nation's fisheries, promised yesterday to put her personal stamp on the final draft of the fiercely disputed, one-year Interim Rule for New England's commercial groundfish industry.


"'We are going to be moving relatively rapidly,' Lubchenco [3] said in a telephone interview with the Times last evening after she held separate hour-long meetings with fishing interests and afterward environmental groups."

Whole article: GloucesterTimes.com

[3] Photo is not of Jane Lubchenco; rather, it's Anna Rekczyk of Bulgin, OH...we thought she'd fill out the article nicely. Found her photo on an Internet site about the use of plastic jugs to hold up the tops of gillnets.

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