Many readers know that for the past several years we’ve made an annual trip to the Florida Keys…for fishing, and to escape Connecticut’s winter. This year, despite increased age and advancing decrepitude, we’re doing it again.
Day one found us driving I-95 from Connecticut [14°F at 0730] to Virginia [49° at 1500] where we’ll stay overnight before boarding the Amtrak AutoTrain. The traffic…it being the day before New Year’s Eve…was horrendous. Worst part was going through Maryland where it was three lanes in both directions…all lanes full of cars and 18-wheelers…all doing 70-75…without enough space between bumpers to insert a miser’s charity list.
I may be exaggerating slightly.
Thank goodness, we saw no accidents and arrived in VA in one piece…although a bit frayed about the collar.
We got into our hotel room. Checked for bedbugs [Caryl apparently has studied up on how to do that]. Found none. Went across the street to the town pasta & pizza place which turned out to be a Greek diner disguised as a store-front. I had fresh salmon, grilled…Caryl a fettuccini/marinara that was also very good. We then hoofed down four store-fronts to the Baskin & Robbins for desert [I passed on that].
Just hoping now that the slight bubbling in my stomach is not going to turn out to be the Grecian Grumbles.
Back at the hotel after a shower I was feeling substantially less frayed. This place has the best shower. The showerhead is made by Kohler…can’t find a model number…and am thinking seriously of sneaking it out of the hotel in my baggy cargos.
Tomorrow we’re off to Amtrak where we’re stuck riding in coach for the first time [I called too late], and although we started out in position #2 on the waiting list for a private room, we’re still second in line. Can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in a coach full of revelers on New Year’s Eve.
Can always catch up on sleep once in the Keys, I guess.
There won’t be an Islamorada Journal for Day Two as we’ll be on the train and there’s no Internet connection…so check back with us early next week for the exciting conclusion to our three-day travel story and the first of our Journal entries directly from the Keys.
First project once we get settled? Go get Shoo-Fly 3 from the marina and bring her to the dock in front of our rental house. Should be interesting as the only boat I’ve ever run in the Keys has been little 17-foot Shoo-Fly 2. Three is a 22-footer and weighs twice as much as -2…and with so much shallow water on the Bay side…am looking forward to seeing how it works out.
30 December 2010
“I met up with Phil a couple weeks ago to learn all about small, family-owned commercial fishing operations in the New York area. For 7 hours, I watched as Phil and his grandson Carl dragged for fish in the Long Island Sound. It's a lot of manual labor for a 2-man operation...a lot of nets, gear, fish sorting, fish gutting and fish packing while exposing yourself to whatever elements Mother Nature decides to bring that day.”
29 December 2010
January 15, 2011: (www.nrainstructors.org/SignupStudent.aspx?id=36475)
February 5, 2011: (www.nrainstructors.org/SignupStudent.aspx?id=36476)
March 12, 2011: (www.nrainstructors.org/SignupStudent.aspx?id=36477)
This class is required to obtain your Connecticut CCW [carrying a concealed weapon] permit.
Click on the included links to sign up for one of these classes. Sign up before December 31, 2010 and receive a $20 discount on your tuition.
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 December 2010
“Marine ecologists at Oregon State University have shown for the first time that tiny fish larvae can drift with ocean currents and "re-seed" fish stocks significant distances away – more than 100 miles in a new study….”
27 December 2010
“The Coast Guard is looking for help from paddle sports enthusiasts in an effort to help save lives and taxpayers’ dollars.
“Capt. Joseph Vojvodich, Commander of Sector Long Island Sound, New Haven, Conn., wants to emphasize a campaign that encourages kayakers and canoeists to label their boats, paddles and safety gear with their names and contact information. This campaign helps the Coast Guard to determine if gear was accidentally lost, or if someone is in real danger, when it is found adrift.”
26 December 2010
“The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis interdicted a go-fast vessel carrying more than 1,100 pounds of cocaine and also detained five suspected smugglers off the coast of Nicaragua, Dec. 3.”
• 2011 Connecticut Angler’s Guide Available Soon
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection announced that the 2011 editions of the Connecticut Angler’s Guide and the Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide will be available online on the agency’s web site in early January. The guides can be found at www.ct.gov/dep/hunting and www.ct.gov/dep/fishing. The print versions of the 2011 guides will be distributed in late March.
25 December 2010
24 December 2010
• Trying to Find Something Good about Them
“An invasive sea squirt is increasingly being found spread like batter on the ocean floor off New England, but new research shows that's not all bad news, despite fears about damage the animal could cause.”
The Wall Street Journal
• Nothing Much Good about This One
“This unique freshwater fish, with sharp teeth and a ravenous appetite, can survive out of water for several days. Using their gills and muscular bodies, some snakehead species can climb out of the water and wriggle along the ground for hundreds of yards a day in search of new lakes and new prey. Snakeheads are even more worrisome because they breed rapidly—a single female can release 15,000 eggs, five times a year—and so can quickly take over lakes and ponds. They’ve been spotted in at least nine states—most notably Maryland….”
23 December 2010
“’Nine hundred and eighty four offshore wind turbines are spinning right now in Europe and not one in the Atlantic,’ said Curtis Fisher, Offshore Wind Initiative Leader at the National Wildlife Federation. ‘The six gigawatts of proposed Atlantic offshore wind projects are a great start, but we need a coordinated and comprehensive effort of government and the market to bring these and other projects over the finish line in a way that values the precious Atlantic Ocean ecosystem and its fish and wildlife resources. This new industry holds great potential to create jobs, cut pollution, and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.’“
22 December 2010
“•Always check the weather and ice conditions before any trip out onto the ice. Ice thickness is not consistent, even over the same body of water.
•Always tell family and friends where you are going and when you are expected to be back, and stick to the plan.
•Use the buddy system. NEVER go out onto the ice alone.
•Dress in bright colors. Wear an exposure suit, preferably one that is waterproof, and a personal floatation device.
•Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people that you are in distress; carry a cell phone and/or a VHF-FM radio in order to contact the nearest Coast Guard station in the event you see someone in distress.
•Carry two screwdrivers or a set of ice awls. If you fall through the ice you can use these items to help get yourself out. They are more effective than using your hands.”
Coast Guard News
21 December 2010
“The following public notices have been posted on the CT DEP website:
“(New Haven) Notice of tentative determination to renew a permit for Sargent Manufacturing Company to discharge to the sanitary sewer. To view this public notice, please visit: www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2586&Q=468808&depNav_GID=1511.
“(Wallingford) Notice of tentative determination to renew a permit for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to discharge to the sanitary sewer. To view this public notice, please visit: www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2586&Q=468842&depNav_GID=1511.”
• Taking Out the Trash…Brooklyn-Style“Four people and four businesses at a Brooklyn shopping center face criminal charges over the dumping of raw sewage and restaurant grease into Shell Bank Creek in Sheepshead Bay, home to bluefish, crab, striped bass and other fish, in addition to a marina.”
20 December 2010
“A Connecticut-based Coast Guard cutter is scheduled to deploy to the Great Lakes Nov. 29, 2010, to assist in the service’s icebreaking mission there throughout the winter months.
“The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug, will arrive in the Great Lakes region a few weeks after it departs its homeport of New London, Conn.”
Coast Guard News
19 December 2010
|Charles Walsh in the Connecticut Post with some more year-end reflections on fishing Long Island Sound and the Lower Housatonic River….|
“A pair of fishing industry leaders, WFN: World Fishing Network, North America's only 24-hour television network and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the leading authority on angling pursuits and the keeper of the most current world record fishing catches, are teaming up to present IGFA Saltwater Adventures - a 30-minute weekly fishing travel show airing on WFN beginning in April.”
18 December 2010
“A state court has ruled that New York State cannot require residents of several Long Island towns to have state saltwater fishing licenses if they are fishing within town waters.”
17 December 2010
“Researchers experimenting with juvenile salmon and steelhead at a Washington fish hatchery say fish raised in circular tanks with a swift current are faster and tougher than fish raised in the commonly-used rectangular raceways.”
“Get your boots and gloves ready. There's an increasing threat for a coastal storm to produce snow in Connecticut later this weekend.”
You’ve got 150 yards of 30-lb. braid that you want to put on your reel…but 150 yards will not fill the reel to capacity. So, how do you figure out how much 12-lb. mono you have to spool on first so that when you add the 150 yards of braid the reel is properly filled? Two methods:
First, you can buy an extra spool for the reel. Put on the braid and then fill the spool with mono. Then attach the mono to your reel and reverse the line from the spare spool onto your reel.
Second, let’s say your reel has a capacity of 260 yards of 12-lb. test which is usually .014” in diameter.
1. Multiply the spool-capacity yards by the diameter of the specified line size: Spool capacity X mono diameter = 260 yards X .014 = 3.64.
And, let’s assume that the braid has a diameter of .011.
2. Multiply the number of yards of braid by the diameter of the braid: Braid yards X braid diameter = 150 yards X .011 = 1.65.
3. Subtract the braid number from the spool-capacity number = 3.64 – 1.65 = 1.99
4. Divide the result by the diameter of the mono = 1.99/.014 = 142.1.
You need to spool on 142 yards of .014 diameter 12-lb. test mono…and then add the 150 yards of .011 30-lb braid to fill your reel to capacity. To measure the Mono you can buy a mechanical line counter or measure the distance between two objects out in the yard and use that to determine how much mono you’ve put on.
Source: International Angler [International Game Fish Association], Sep/Oct 2010, p. 34
16 December 2010
“The flood-clearing project completed this month at a cost of about $200,000 has returned the river to its appearance in 1959, the year the Army Corps project was completed.”
• U S Fish & Wildlife Publication Available
“Eddies seeks to inform its readers of the work – past, present, and future – of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation. Each issue has several feature stories and five regular departments. Assistant Director, Bryan Arroyo, leads each issue with his Headwaters column. Watermarks covers the newsy and noteworthy, including a column by the curator at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery. If you like Antiques Road Show, you’ll like Randi Smith’s stories.
“American Fisheries covers the life history of an important fish, from catfish to the cutthroats, each story written by those who know the fish well. Readers learn about the men and women of conservation from the past – those Pioneers who have worked in fisheries for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1871.
“Meanders closes each issue. There, readers find sinuous thoughts and mature and evocative writing – some good story-telling – that pushes at the edges like a mature river wanders a valley floor. The back cover is reserved for a parting snapshot of data that point up the work of the Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation.”
15 December 2010
• 2,731 Pounds of Poached Striped Bass“At approximately 4:00 a.m., the officers confronted Janda Jr. and the two other occupants on the vessel, Jerome William Janda, 3rd, 28, from Tilghman, and Burton Robert Curtis, 25, of an unknown address. The officers found the individuals loading untagged striped bass onto a truck. The Officers seized the 2,731 pounds of untagged rockfish.”
• Tow Boat Captain…Towed
“JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A missing operator of a Tow Boat U.S. vessel was rescued Monday approximately one-mile east of St. Augustine, Fla., near Anastasia State Park following a joint search and rescue by the Coast Guard, St. John’s Fire and Rescue, St. John’s Sherriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.”
Coast Guard News
Photo is not related to this story
14 December 2010
“What’s the perfect answer for your holiday shopping needs? Do you have a family member or friend who seems to have everything? Are you trying to buy “greener” gifts this year? Do you want to encourage outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, biking or kayaking? If you can answer “yes” to any of the above then the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Store is the place for you to holiday shop this year.”
13 December 2010
“If you fished mostly deep water reefs and structure like the buoys outside Bridgeport Harbor or off Branford using bunker or mackerel chunks on the bottom, you are probably pretty satisfied with the season. The bass may have been sparse, but the big blues lurking there pretty much made up for it.
"If, however, you were a wade fishermen or a boat guy casting swimmers and poppers into the Long Island Sound shallows….”
Charles Walsh in CTPost.com
• License Fee Credits Now AvailableDuring the 2010 session of the General Assembly, legislation was approved and signed into law in April reducing many of the fees for sportsmen’s licenses and permits. This was followed in June by legislation authorizing a credit to be applied against the fee for any 2011 sportsmen’s license, permit or tag when purchase of a license, permit or tag had been made at the higher prices in place between October 1, 2009 and April 14, 2010. The credit amount will be the difference between the higher amount paid during that time period and the amount set by the new fee structure established April 14, 2010.
For information about these credits, please visit the DEP website license fees and credits page
12 December 2010
|Note: This report is from 2010; for the latest information, please go to:http://www.connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com|
• 78 Acre Facility on Housatonic River Back Up for Sale“STRATFORD -- The old Army Engine Plant is back on the auction block, evidence of the federal government's recently galvanized efforts to purge stale properties from its national real estate inventory.
• Out at Montauk…“The snow that flew on Monday morning signaled the switch from surfcasting to cod rods. Although small “rat” bass were still being caught toward the end of last week just before sunset, striped bass have essentially flown the coop, at least for beach-bound fishermen.”
• A-Scolloping We Shall Go….“Commercial scalloping has been a dicey proposition since the East Coast scallop population inexplicably crashed between 1984 and 1987. No one has been able to explain why the scallop fishery collapsed or why, in a given year, like 2009, the scallop harvest rebounds to glut the market.
“Achieving a consistent harvest from year to year is the goal for fisheries managers.”
The Martha’s Vineyard Times
• New Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Issue“Ask Lefty Q & A…
“Q: I frequently use a fly with hackles tied in at the bend of the hook. It is a very effective pattern, but the feathers tend to foul on the hook when I cast, particularly if I double-haul....”
11 December 2010
“When the work was done, the biologists had averaged 5.6 juvenile striped bass per net haul. That was less than half the long-term average of 11.6. After all of their field work, they had reached the same conclusion as Martino.
“His model, which was developed with data from the Maryland DNR, confirms what biologists have thought for years: The weather during any given spring plays a huge role in determining how many larval striped bass survive to be "recruited" into the overall population.”
10 December 2010
“A Stamford man was killed and three Stratford men injured after they were struck by lightning on a fishing jetty at Seaside Park. Police said the deceased is Romeo Briscoe , 29. The three other men -- 43-year-old Yogananda Powell , 44-year-old Burtley Banner, and 39-year-old Winston Powell , all of Stratford -- were taken to Bridgeport Hospital . All of the injured men were....”
09 December 2010
"So instead of a list of the best new gear for the guide, I decided to do a list of what I believed to be the all-time greats. After all, if you’re looking for a gift, don’t you want to find the 'best-ever' as opposed to just the 'best this year'?
• Fly-Casting for Breast Cancer Recovery“’I discovered this Zen feeling about fly-fishing that I never would have experienced otherwise,’ she said in a recent telephone interview. ‘But I got hooked on it.’
“Ms. Carey was one of 556 breast cancer patients participating this year in the 42 free retreats coordinated by Casting for Recovery. Lori Simon, the group’s executive director, said the program had grown significantly; in 2005, it had 331 patients in 30 such events.”
08 December 2010
“I dropped the fly where he directed. I hadn’t yet seen the fish, which isn’t uncommon in bonefishing. Their silver-gray bodies blend into the ocean making them almost transparent. Often only the guide, who stands on the boat’s elevated platform, can spot the fish.”
07 December 2010
“…at the Sunnyside boat launch on the Housatonic River in Shelton, the Micinilio brothers, Jim and Michael, are all bundled up for a long, cold day of striper fishing. For them, winter is just another season to catch fish.
“At precisely 8 a.m….”
Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report
06 December 2010
Charlie W. says we should go to reel-time.com and check out the video of the Montauk striper blitz.
05 December 2010
“Over in Long Island Sound, the Island Current IV will be making its final local trip for blackfish on Sunday. That's the day Connecticut's blackfish season shuts down (in N.Y. and N.J. it continues into December), thereby spoiling the fun….”
04 December 2010
“Your boat may be out of the water and properly winterized, but you don’t have to wait until spring to begin planning for the next season of enjoyment on the water. Why not take advantage of the winter lull to refresh your boating skills…or learn new ones…in courses conducted by the local flotilla of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary?”
Coast Guard News
03 December 2010
“Juliana Merighi may have set a world record when she recently pulled in a striped bass that had her fishing-loving father and brother looking on with envy.
“But it's hard to say whether the soft-spoken and diminutive 13-year-old Vineland resident knows what a big deal that is in the world of fishing.”
02 December 2010
“Sturgeon populations across the world have been threatened because of overfishing, pollution and dams that prevent the fish from reaching spawning grounds. Earlier this year, the Washington, D.C.-based Consortium for Ocean Leadership reported that 85 percent of sturgeon populations worldwide were at risk of becoming extinct.”
01 December 2010
“He talked about how he surf casts for stripers in Rhode Island. He is one of those guys that you hear about -- you know, the ones who consistently catch large stripers in the 30-40-pound category. It was interesting to hear how he gets to them.”
30 November 2010
“Three teenage boys have been found alive after being lost in their boat in the Pacific Ocean for 50 days.”
BBC Story: BBC.co.uk.com
Further information: CNN.com
29 November 2010
"In the first case, a man on the sailboat Boom De Yada sent out a distress call stating his sail was torn and a line was fouled in the boat’s propeller, causing the boat to be adrift, but he could not accurately report his location….
28 November 2010
27 November 2010
|“…Long Island Sound blackfishing remains terrific from Pea and Huckleberry islands to Rye and Norwalk along one shore side and from Sands Point to Smithtown on the other. Best bait is crabs, no matter whether fiddler, Asian or green. Best depths are 20 to 30 feet - even at 40 feet as the water gets cooler.”|
“Browse photos of some great catches sent in by Salt Water Sportsman readers....”
26 November 2010
|“Tides are most important for inshore fishing due to the simple fact that predator fish feed into the current. Fish will always face into the current to keep their positions for ambushing prey swept in by the tidal currents. This is predominantly true with low, or outgoing tides.”|
25 November 2010
“the notes of William Bradford of the Plymouth Plantation come as no surprise:
“’They begane to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against the winter [. . .] For as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, and bass, and other fish of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion.’”
• Thames River Area“Normally, by Thanksgiving, hordes of striped bass have begun to collect, if not move up, into the Thames River.”
NorwichBulletin.com [in the right frame]
Ask Lefty Q & A
“Q: I am new to saltwater fly-fishing. Everyone tells me that sand eels represent a good fly imitation for stripers and bluefish. But I've been casting them with little success....”
Fly Fishing in Salt Waters
24 November 2010
|“NIOSH recently completed an in-depth study of commercial fishing fatalities in the United States during 2000-2009. The purpose of the study was to identify the most hazardous fisheries around the country and to describe the unique safety issues in each. For this study the US was divided into four fishing regions: Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico. This document is one in a set of four reports summarizing fatality data for US fishing regions….|
“During 2000-2009, 165 commercial fishing deaths occurred off the East Coast of the US, an average of 17 per year (Fig. 1). During 2002, the number of fatalities was unusually low, with only three deaths. No explanation for the single-year decrease has been identified. 2009 was an especially tragic year with 29 fatalities.
“About 60% of the total deaths were caused by drowning following a vessel disaster (e.g. sinking, capsizing, fire, etc) in which the crew was forced to abandon ship (Fig. 2). About one-quarter (22%) of fatalities were the result of falls overboard. The remaining fatalities were due to traumatic injuries sustained on-board, on-shore, or while diving.”
Fatal Occupational Injuries in the U.S. Commercial Fishing Industry: Risk Factors and Recommendations / East Coast Region [PDF 1,036 KB]
23 November 2010
“EquiPower Resources Corp. has signed an agreement with Milford Holdings LLC to buy the Milford Power plant, on Shelland Street near the Housatonic River, north of Interstate 95.”
• Naugatuck River: We’re from the Corps of Engineers and We’re Here to Help You
“When you walk or drive by the Palmer Street Bridge area in the south part of the city, you may notice substantial clearing along the banks of the Naugatuck River.
“The clearing was done recently by the city, in collaboration with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. During the past month, some residents have questioned the clearing project and why it is being done, claiming the riverbank is being destroyed along with animal habitats.”
22 November 2010
“Last August, more than 70 environmental groups petitioned the EPA under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act to ban the manufacture, use and processing of lead in fishing sinkers, shot and bullets. The EPA denied the ban. As such, lead sinkers and jigs are here to stay.
Article 1: WiltonPatch.com
Article 2: Wilton.Patch.com
21 November 2010
“The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently completed its 2010 autumn trout stockings. From early September through late October, DEP released nearly 30,000 trophy and adult sized trout into selected waters throughout the state.”
• October: 8th Warmest on RecordOctober ranked the eighth warmest October on record. The first 10 months of 2010 tied with the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record. The global average land surface temperature for January–October was the second warmest on record behind 2007. The global ocean surface temperature for January–October tied with 2003 as the second warmest on record behind 1998. La Nina continues to be a significant factor in global ocean temperatures.
• Look for the Heart at the Supermarket“Shoppers in Connecticut will soon notice little heart-shaped signs next to fish at the supermarket…
“The heart will indicate which fish are the healthiest for everybody to eat.”
20 November 2010
Eastern Long Island Sound Report
“Another fishing season is coming to a close, the closings pushed along by a string of windy days that is driving most of the remaining anglers to plan on pulling their boats, getting ready for the holidays and the winter. In the meantime, there is still a little fishing going on, both from the boat and from the local beaches.”
Tim Coleman in The Day.com
• No Luck at Montauk
“He stood outside the Montauk 7-Eleven on Monday morning re-rigging his surfcasting rod, wearing camouflage waders and a beret, and bemoaning the weekend’s dearth of fish.
“’I fished hard, from Split Rock to the Point. I used wood [surface lures], scented bio-baits, secret baits. I flew 7,000 miles and spent 4K, and not a fish. It’s the seals, too many seals,’ Gunduz opined.”
• Western Long Island Sound, NYC Report“On the Long Island Sound…local blackfish - mostly in the three- to five-pound class, were caught in 35 to 50 feet of water, anywhere from Pea and Huckleberry islands to Rye and Mamaroneck.”
19 November 2010
18 November 2010
“A husband-and-wife team of fish researchers is using baby striped bass as the test subjects for one of the riskiest experiments of their professional careers….
“The Valentis' Amagansett-based business, Multi Aquaculture Systems, took a year and a half to acquire rights to a lease of a 200-acre water column in Gardiners Bay, near a fast-moving current of water called "The Race." Multi Aquaculture Systems secured the rights to the 35-foot-deep column through the New York State Office of General Services….”