31 May 2011

More Fishing Reports

Western Long Island Sound Report

”Long Island Sound is loaded with bass, and they're being caught from the bridges to Steppingstone Light. Steppingstone is where Marco Soeiro caught his 50-pound bass that was weighed in at Jack's Bait and Tackle on City Island. The western Sound also is ripe for porgy action and local rental boats from City Island have been on top of them.


Eastern Long Island Sound Report

”We have a nice run of bass in and around The Race plus some now on the inshore reefs. Fluking is best off Misquamicut with a few keepers caught some days off Millstone and Isabella Beach. Porgy season has opened but no one is fishing for them yet and you still have three days over the weekend to catch winter flounder, maybe a day saver if we get windy weather.”

Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

30 May 2011

Looking for Places to Fish?

Charles Walsh On Access to Fishing

”Signs with stern warnings that parking areas and beaches once open to the public are now for "town residents only" go up at the entrances to every town and city shore facility.
"And so it goes from Greenwich to Stonington...."


Connecticut DEP Fishing Report

STRIPED BASS - Memorial Day weekend is the usual kick off time for major league “cows” to frequent the reefs and rip areas in LIS. Live lining Atlantic menhaden (bunker) or eels and fresh cut chunk baits hooked on three way rigs or fish finder rigs are the ticket for that linebacker size of a striped bass. Besides the reefs, striper spots include the Thames River from Norwich down to Groton, the Race, Millstone Outflow, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (Hamburg Cove down to the breakwaters), Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island, Thimble Islands, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Housatonic River, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands.
BLUEFISH fishing is still on the early side. Choppers are “harbor” size (about 4 to 6 lbs). Fishing spots include the Race, Peconic Bays (New York), Sandy Point area (Stonington), Plum Gut, Millstone power plant outflow, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Bridgeport Harbor, and the Norwalk Islands.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (Fluke) is open although the not so ideal weather conditions with easterly winds has made fishing a tough go at it. The Peconic Bays (New York) and the north side of Long Island which are normally red hot at this time of year have been just OK. Closer to home fluke spots include Fishers Island Sound by the Stonington breakwaters to the mouth of the Mystic River, Niantic Bay, and Black Point.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing remains slow. Last day for flatties is May 30th.
SCUP (Porgy) fishing is open! It’s time to hit these reef slammers on the local reefs and rock piles. The minimum size is 10 ½ inches and the daily possession limit is 10 fish per person.

29 May 2011

29 May 2011

Salt Water Sportsman Newsletter Online


Groton Man Invents Boater Safety Device

”falling into the water and becoming separated from a speeding vessel was the No. 1 cause of fatal boating accidents nationwide. In Connecticut alone, 34 deaths on recreational boats were reported over the latest five-year period; nationally, 736 boating deaths were recorded in 2009, the latest period for which there are Coast Guard statistics.

28 May 2011

27 May 2011 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

0630 hours on Friday morning and the sun was trying to break through the fog during the drive to Stratford.

But down at the lower end of the Housatonic River it was still as thick as sea poop.

Look closely. There's a boat in there somewhere.

Hang around the River long enough and you're likely to see most anything.

Friday was the first day of Memorial Day weekend, and some of the non-competents were already heading out on the water.

We should be allowed to shoot these things.

Police were heading out in their rigid-hull inflatable, but too late to catch that bunch of personal watercraft that blew through the no-wake zone.

Ms. Swan was well-behaved...no wake at all.

Val S. and I got into some large bluefish and smaller stripers [sorry, no photos], but the fish were scattered and not that aggressive.

Sun finally broke through...it was another great day on the water.

26 May 2011

25 May 2011 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Charlie W. and I got off to an early afternoon start on Wednesday...which was probably not a great idea as that time of year seems now to be at hand where the fish are difficult to find in the middle of the day.

The marina is now lined with boats...some of which may actually leave their slips over Memorial Day weekend.

The Coast Guard should be aware of the condition of the base of the 2A marker in the mouth of the Housatonic River.

Looks as though the marker could tumble off the breakwater and into the drink at any moment.

This four-pound bluefish went home with Charlie to check out his grill...and grilling techniques.

The fish probably won't be available to give us a report on it, however.

Another Uslesscraft slashing its way through the no-wake zone. In this case it was just below the Route 1 bridge...an area that's been designated as no-wake for years.

Looked like the weekend was getting off to an early start. Going to be lots of...boats...out for sure.

We got into some small stripers, but the fish were scattered and not much interested in eating our offerings, still it was good to be out there...

Another great day on the water.

25 May 2011

25 MAY 2011

April Was 7th-Warmest on Record

The Earth experienced the seventh warmest April since record keeping began in 1880, as the climate phenomenon La NiƱa continued to be a significant factor.

NYC Fish Tale

”It was late morning, a few rainy hours into the Manhattan Cup, a catch-and-release fishing tournament that has been an annual competition in New York Harbor since at least 1999.

“Monte Burke, a reporter for Forbes and one of the country’s better outdoor writers, was on the bow of Mr. Crescitelli’s boat, holding a fly rod, looking for prey.”


24 May 2011

How Big Stripers Behave...Charles Island Off-Limits

Behavior of Big Stripers

”Large striped bass adopt specific behavioral patterns depending on the season. Understanding bass behavior in Cape Cod Bay can help an angler in establishing a smart starting point.”

Charles Island Off-Limits

”The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that Charles Island in Milford and Duck Island in Westbrook will be closed to the public starting May 26 and continuing through September 9. The closure is necessary to prevent continuing human disturbance to several state-listed nesting birds at these islands, including snowy egrets and great egrets (state threatened species), glossy ibis and little blue herons (state special concern).”

23 May 2011

Still More Fishing Reports

CTDEP Marine Fishing Report

STRIPED BASS fishing is steadily improving with the influx of bunker (western sound) and squid (eastern sound). Fishing is improving with coming full moon. In any case striper spots include the usual: Thames River from Norwich, Montville down to Groton, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Eastern Breakwater, Long Sand Shoal, Millstone Outflow, Ash Creek and the Housatonic River.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing is a real slow pick. The usual flounder spots include Norwalk Harbor (Maritime Aquarium docks, and Calf Pasture Point pier) and around Sprite Island, Niantic River including the Bay, Pine Island area (lower Thames River), the Brothers and Poquonock River (Bluff Point State Park).
BLUEFISH are right around the corner….Peconic Bay and JFK.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (Fluke) opens May 15th.
SCUP (Porgy) season opens May 24th.

More Eastern CT Info

”A white half-ounce lead head with 4-inch twister tail was working well as was a 6-inch Slug-Go in alewife pattern rigged on a 3/8-ounce lead head and fished in shallower waters in the back bays and ponds.”
Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

22 May 2011

More Fishing Reports

The Herring Rush Is On

”Two types of herring spawn in Connecticut waters, alewives and the aforementioned bluebacks. Collectively, they are known as river herring. Both alewives, which begin migrating in March, and bluebacks, which head inland in May, are anadromous fish, born in freshwater and migrating to the open ocean to grow up for two to four years. When the irrepressible urge to spawn strikes, they migrate back to the same freshwater location where they started.”
Charles Walsh in GreenwichTime.com

Western Sound Report

” Despite all the rain, saltwater anglers have something to smile about as the fishing season moves into more positive territory. Fluke fishing is a good bet for fishermen on the north and south shores now and stripers are also around in healthy numbers, but the big cows have yet show....”

Connecticut River Area

” A rainy wet week in August is what anglers want, but during May it can put a damper on the freshwater fishing action. The ocean is a totally different story — it’s pretty much impervious to the constant fluctuations in temperature that take place this time of year.”
Bob Sampson in the NorwichBulletin

21 May 2011

Bluefish Have Arrived

”Bluefish: They're here. Thanks to the...bunker influx, eyewitness accounts tell of surf casters at Sherwood Island nailing 6-pound blues there on an assortment of plugs. Anglers casting poppers and swimmers from the beaches near the West….:
Charles Walsh in CTPost.com

Eastern Sound Report

” Billy Silvia, skipper of the charter boat Can't Imagine, found menhaden on the east side of Prudence Island this week, as well as striped bass as large as 40 inches, said David Henault of Ocean State Tackle. Bobby Jett caught a 42-inch striper at India....”

20 May 2011

Protect yourself from Skin Cancer

”Saltwater flats guides who spend their days in the sun in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California know a thing or two about skin cancer. That's why they cover up. Even on the hottest days, they wear long but lightweight, light-colored pants….”

Business Wire

Stripers Already in New Hampshire

”For much of my lifetime of striper fishing, we never got serious about the fishing until at least mid-June, and often not until July.

“We were convinced that the big fish were not here yet in numbers.”


19 May 2011

Mr. Clouser's Deep Minnow

The Clouser

”The Clouser Deep Minnow is one of the top five flies used for fly fishing in fresh and saltwater. Originally developed by Bob Clouser for small-mouth bass, this fly has been tied in all sizes for all species of fish. Lefty Kreh has caught dozens of species all over the world on Clousers so that also shows how versatile these flies are.”

Herald News

CT DEP Publication Article on Long Island Sound’s Biology

Click here to read

18 May 2011

ASMFC Calls for Reducing Bunker Catch

”Current management strategies of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission call for allowing 9 percent of the spawning stock to survive until they have a chance to reproduce. ASMFC's Menhaden Management Board called for amending current management plans to allow 15 percent of the spawning stock to reproduce.”
Bay Journal

Fluke Tips

”Attach a sinker to a fish-finder rig that allows the line to slip so that the angler feels even a slight tap below. Bait a medium-sized hook or a bucktail jig with clams, squid strips, sandworms or large shiners (our preference).”

Charles Walsh in Connecticut Post

17 May 2011

Cold Water...and a 10,000-lb. Fish

Coast Guard Cautions re Cold Water

”The spring can be particularly dangerous as many boaters in their haste to get underway only consider the weather report and overlook water temperatures. A good guideline to follow is to always dress for the water, not the air.”

55-Foot-Long Fish Found Off China

”A 55 feet [sic] long fish has been found in the seashore of Guangdong, China.
According to a local newspaper, the big fish weighs at least 10,000 pounds.”

Would have been fun on a 9-weight. Must have been caught near a Chinese nuclear facility.

Read more: IBTimes.com

16 May 2011

Meanwhile, On Cape Cod...

Of Stripers, Seals, and Captain Quint

”I was fly fishing on a remote section of South Beach in Chatham, standing waist deep in crystal clear water enjoying the beauty of a true ocean wilderness setting. The big stripers were swimming all around me, darting across the smooth ocean floor searching for sand eels.”

Cape Cod Project Restores Salt Marsh and Fish Passage

”…assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries, joined officials from the town of Brewster, Mass., and other partners today on the shores of Cape Cod’s Stony Brook to celebrate the completion of a American Reinvestment and Recovery Act project that restored natural tidal flow to 20 acres of salt marsh and opened passage for fish to nearly 400 acres of ponds for spawning.”
Read in NOAANews.NOAA.com

15 May 2011

Fishing Reports

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

”Striped bass: Will the first person to spot a sand eel in Long Island Sound please send up a smoke signal? With only scattering of silversides to hold the stripers, the bass fishing has slowed down considerably.


Western Long Island Sound

”As the sun gets higher, saltwater fishing gets hotter for a number of species that have surrounded the waters around New York and Long Island. Striped bass have taken over in the west, with both New York Bight and western Sound offering good fishing. The fluke is under way with....”

Eastern Long Island Sound

”The upper reaches of the Bay are loaded with bass, but most of the fish are small. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle has seen a few fish in the 28- to 32-inch class, but most of the stripers being caught are too small to keep.”

Stamford-Area Fishing

”Catch of the week honors goes to Fred Bonilla. While fishing at Bruce Park, he casted a nightcrawler and let it drift. A few minutes later he felt a sharp tug. After a furious battle he landed a large black cormorant. The big bird was diving where the bait was and grabbed it.”


13 May 2011

13 May 2011 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Jim W. and his friend Mark, from around Buffalo, NY [he just dug his way out of the snow up there] joined me on Shoo-Fly on Friday.

Perhaps fisherfolk should know better than to venture forth on Friday the 13th?

We covered a lot of the lower Housatonic River and found only scattered fish. Oddly enough, the closest thing we found to a "school" of striped bass was within a tenth of a mile of the dock where we'd started out.

It was tough fishing...but we got some stripers. Takes dedicated anglers to hang in under those conditions, but it paid off at day's end.

Did you know that cormorants are totally fearless?

Either that, or they're dumb as fence posts.

Actually, they can be whatever they want, as long as they don't poo on the boat.

S' funny. All the larger fish were caught by Jim; all the smaller ones, down to one you could've put on an English muffin, were caught by yours truly.

I don't know the correct names for these egret-like birds. The two are different species, one large, one small, and they were scrapping over who had the rights to those minnows off the shore there. The little guy held his own and didn't take any beak from they big guy.

Do know, however, that it seems very early in the year for these birds to be appearing in these parts.

It was another great day on the water. Could've used a few more and larger fish...but still another great day.

12 May 2011

Decline in Striper Stocks…”Scary”

”A drastic decline in striped bass stocks has state and federal officials scrambling to protect the fish, but many recreational fishermen say the government isn't moving fast enough. ‘It's really scary….’”
Fly Rod & Reel

Meanwhile, CT DEP Permits Keeping Short Stripers!

”Fishermen will have an opportunity through June 30 to keep striped bass smaller than the usual legal size.The state Department of Environmental Protection is offering free vouchers anglers can use to….”


10 May 2011

A Trip in Fresh Water

Don G. and I fished a local freshwater lake for trout on Tuesday

I picked up two nice brown trout on flies...chartreuse/white clouser minnows...and missed four or five others that tried to eat the fies.

I was using my saltwater-size clousers which was probably a mistake. Next time I'll take some smaller ones...about the size used for bonefish.

Don landed five or six fish and missed a bunch of others on spin gear using a small jig intended for panfish.

All fish were safely returned to bite again another day.

Don said this was a slow day on the lake, but it was fine with me.

Nice, clear day...nice, clear water. A bit windy but not as bad as it would have been with that same wind down on the Lower Housatonic.

Forgot to mention, Don also landed two pickerel and a yellow perch.

09 May 2011

Monday 09 May 2011

Rescuers tend to whales stranded off Florida Keys


Two Pilot Whales Released

”Volunteers and veterinarians caring round the clock for stranded pilot whales were buoyed Saturday evening by news that two were released off the Florida Keys.

After being transported by boat, the males swam away in the Atlantic Ocean about nine miles off the lower Florida Keys shortly before 6 p.m….”


SaltWater Sportsman

Latest issue now online…

SaltWater Sportsman

07 May 2011

06 May 2011 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Readers know that we brought Shoo-Fly to the Florida Keys this winter.  After we returned north, however, Shoo-Fly sat ignonymously in the trucker’s storage yard waiting for a shipment to be put together.  Normally, we’re back on the water by the end of March…this year…not so.

Stratford Fire Department was out on the water exercising their emergency boat

In the meantime, the weekly report from CTDEP said, “Striped Bass fishing action has been extremely variable. Fishing is hot one day the next day - it’s not.”  Well they’re right about that.
Some things never change.  Jerks still ignore the "no-wake" zone at the mouth of the River.

So, Friday,  when Charlie W. and I went out on the lower Housatonic River…Shoo-Fly’s first day back on the water…we ran smack into one of those “it’s not” days. Oh, we caught some fish, but not in the volume or size we’d hoped for.

Here's Charlie bringing in the first striped bass of the season...on Shoo-Fly that is; he got his first striper back in March.

Not to complain, however.  It was a beautiful [if chilly and windy] day out there….
Several times we saw "rainbows" in the clouds; probably caused by the sun refracting ice crystals in those high cirro-stratus clouds.

The brant [small geese] were out in big numbers on Friday.

This jet made so much racket on its approach to Bridgeport's airport that it spooked all of the geese into the air.

Don G. was out on the River in his Pathfinder.

We also saw two brave kayakers out there...they must find some way to keep their butts warm in that water which varied from 49-54 degrees F. depending on where you were on the River.

06 May 2011

Friday 06 May 2011

Fishing Report

”Striped bass: Spin and fly casters are still doing well on schoolie stripers in the lower Housatonic River from just above the Merritt Parkway Bridge to….”

SW Connecticut Fishing Report

”Billy at Sportsman's Den said that his customers are catching schoolie bass in the Mianus River out in front of his store. The largest bass he heard about last week was a 27-incher."

05 May 2011

Early Bluefish Reports

Bluefish Allegedly Arrives at Martha’s Vinyard

”George Moran of Oak Bluffs caught a bluefish Tuesday afternoon fishing from Wasque Point on Chappaquiddick. I'll tell you it was a shock,’ George told The Times fishing columnist Nelson Sigelman. ‘It's the earliest I've ever caught one.’”

Read at: MVTimes   

Bluefish Already Showing Up in NJ

”The bayside action on stripers has been very good from a variety of locations, while there continues to be a pick of bass on the beach.

“Secondly, the bluefish bite has improved over the past several days, and many local experts predict the best is yet to come.:
Read at: APP    

04 May 2011

Wednesday 04 May 2011

Illegal MD Net Held Three Tons of Fish

”Officers from the Maryland Natural Resources Police took several hours to reel the illegal net out of the water off of Tilghman Island on Tuesday. The net had likely been in the water since the beginning of the year, authorities said…."

Another Recipe for Fish Filets

”Branzino is a Mediterranean sea bass with shimmery, silver skin. Caceres says other skin-on fillets such as red snapper, striped sea bass or black bass can be substituted.”

Orange County Registe

Sorry about the unfortunate grouping of these two articles.

03 May 2011

Using Soft-Plastic Baits

”Soft-plastic lures, in all their sizes, shapes, colors and styles, can be almost as effective as natural baits. Built-in scent and a variety of configurations — shrimp and fish imitations, eels and shad-style bodies with different tail shapes for lifelike action — can be deadly over a wide range of water types and fishing situations. Tuna on the continental shelf, stripers on the jetties, snook and tarpon in the inlets, and redfish and trout on the flats — there is scarcely a situation in which soft plastics can't do the job.”
Click here to read:  SaltWaterSportsman 

CT DEP Publication Article on Sturgeon

 Click here to read:  CTDEP 

02 May 2011

Connecticut CT DEP Fishing Report

STRIPED BASS fishing action has picked up in the tidal rivers. Striper spots include the Thames River from Norwich down to Montville, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), and the Housatonic River.
TAUTOG fishing has improved in the shallows and inshore rock piles. The breakwaters off New Haven are prime spring spots. However, time is short. The tautog fishing season is closed May 1 through June 30.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing remains on the slow side. The usual flounder spots include Norwalk Harbor (Maritime Aquarium docks, and Calf Pasture Point pier), Niantic River, Pine Island area (lower Thames River), and Poquonock River (Bluff Point State Park).

Stratford’s Long Beach

One of Connecticut’s longest stretches of barrier beach is Long Beach West in Stratford, nestled between Lewis Gut and Long Island Sound. In a rare reversal from development to nature, Long Beach West is being restored to its natural state with assistance from several financial sources including federal stimulus money, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds and a challenge grant from the Long Island Sound license plate fund.”

01 May 2011

Housatonic Needs Help with Cleanup Project

"I took a ride up the river the other day and was horrified at what I saw…. Literally, both sides of the river were covered in blue from all the plastic junk that has drifted down."
Information on how to lend a hand can be found in the following link:

O’Sullivan’s To Get Fishing Pier

“The Valley Council of Governments, which serves the communities of Ansonia, Derby, Shelton and Seymour, received$39,074 to construct a half- acre rain garden and bioremedial ‘superswale’ to treat highway, bridge, boat ramp and parking lot runoff at O’Sullivan’s Island, a 20-acre peninsula on the Housatonic River in Derby. The swale and rain garden will capture suspended solids, oil and grease, trash, hydro-carbons, bacteria, road sand and other pollutants. The grant will be matched by $325,000 from the Housatonic River Restoration Subcommittee, which will be used to build a handicapped-accessible fishing pier along the bank of the Housatonic River. The project will include educational signs and programs about the water quality problems that will be remediated."