31 August 2011

Man Went Overboard…Was Wearing Life Jacket…Survived!

”A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Wood’s Hole 41-foot Utility Boat crew launched immediately. The Jayhawk crew located the man and deployed a rescue swimmer who safely recovered him from the water at 3:16 p.m. The man was wearing his lifejacket.”

30 August 2011

Charles Walsh re: Fluke

”One angler, just back from a phenomenally successful fluke trip just outside the mouth of Black Rock Harbor, said he caught so many fish he envisioned the bottom carpeted two-deep with toothy flatfish.”


Remember when Maurice Chevalier sang, “Thank heaven for little fluke, for little fluke get bigger every day!”?
[or something like that]

29 August 2011

IGFA Status Report on Record Striped Bass Application

“News has spread quickly of Greg Myerson’s recent striped bass catch in Connecticut, USA as a potential contender for the All-Tackle title. This application is causing quite a buzz; if approved, Myerson’s catch would break a 29 year old record for one of North America’s most popular inshore saltwater species.

"Myerson’s application has arrived at the IGFA and several IGFA staff, including the President, will review all materials and testimonies before making a decision.”

28 August 2011

Fishing Reports Fishing Reports Fishing Reports Fishing Reports !

Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report

BLUEFISH fishing doesn’t any getting better in eastern LIS. Over this past weekend, a triangle area from Black Point, to the Race over to Plum Gut and back again to Black Point were loaded with bluefish crashing the surface slashing at baitfish. The Race continues to provide the most consistent bluefish action. Snapper blue fishing has dropped off in some of the tidal rivers due to the rain and freshwater runoff.

STRIPED BASS fishing is still on the slow side. Fishing spots for stripers and bluefish include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound....

SCUP (porgy) fishing is prime time throughout LIS. Any rocky reef, submerged structure or pilings will harbor these panfish of the sea.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing remains fair to good but there are a lot of sublegal throwbacks around the 17 inch mark. Try fishing deeper water (60+ ft) over hard bottom with boulders or near dropoffs for keeper slabs....

BLUE CRABBING remains on the slow side.
Connecticut DEEP

Fishing Report: New London

”In fishing news, he saw lots of blues coming back from The Race but not many bass. You can catch blackfish on the reefs in Fishers Island Sound but you must secure your own bait as no shop is yet carrying green crabs. Snappers are biting well in the river, also porgies caught on worms from shore at Mystic River Park.”
Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

Fishing Report: Rhode Island

”There are bass mixed in on the top-water action with more bass beneath all the bluefish. Diamond jigs seem to get past the blues. Fly fishing has been equally fun but cost me two fly rods that snapped above the first eye”

26 August 2011

Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 24 August

0600 and the sun's not up yet.

"I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can - I think I can - I think I can I think I can--." [Watty Piper]

Sun will show any moment now.

This pesty gull kept trying to grab our lures when they hit the water.

Is this photo right-side-up?

Charlie W. and I caught about 20 bluefish...again, nothing huge...maybe 5-6 lbs.

Actually, 20 was pretty good for the water we were fishing: It was rough out there...spent a lot of time trying to stay in the boat.

"To everything - turn, turn, turn. There is a season - turn, turn, turn." [Pete Seeger and the Book of Ecclesiastes]

Charlie and I were discussing why a party boat is often called a "head boat." The term's confusing as the loo on a boat is called a "head."

Wiki, however, says: that a head boat is: "A fishing boat that takes recreational (sport) fishermen out for a fee per person. Different from a charter boat in that people on a head boat pay individual fees as opposed to renting the boat."

In other words, they charge fees per head...in this case, per fisherfolk's heads.

On the way back to the dock.

Capt. Skip's first rule of weather watching: Bad weather arrives earlier than forecast.

I love Irene God knows I do
Love her to the day I die
If Irene turns her back on me
I'll take morphine and die.

[Huddie Ledbetter aka Leadbelly]

In reality, I'll click my heels and jump for joy!

Irene’s Going to Hit Us Right on the Nose


Coast Guard Cautions: Stay Off the Water

”Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. That is why boaters should heed weather watches, warnings and small craft advisories.”

Historical Hurricane Tracks

” Would you like to know about historical storm activity for your hometown? Are you looking for a specific storm track? Are you curious to know where Hurricanes Katrina, Iniki, or Karl made landfall? NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks mapping application can easily generate customized maps based on more than 150 years of Atlantic hurricane data.”

Fishing Report: Thames River Area

“It appears that the adult bluefish were successful at spawning this year based on what shops are saying about the number of snappers in the area this summer. Snapper bluefish are an excellent species for a kid starting to fish in saltwater.

”The fish are abundant when present off a jetty, dock or bridge, are super aggressive, and can be caught easily on small baits or artificial lures. Using snapper poppers and flies is one of the best methods for catching these fun little fish.”
Bob Sampson in NorwichBulletin.com

Irene Could Be Good for Fishing

”If you’re a shore-based fisherman, a little change might do you good. Many surfcasters have been complaining about the summer slowdown in the striper fishing; there’s plenty of bait piling up in the harbors and estuaries, but warm inshore water has been keeping big bass offshore. As the storm approaches, onshore wind and waves could create the kind of roiled conditions that disorient baitfish and lead to all-out striped bass and bluefish blitzes along the beachfronts.”

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

”As of press time, the two-day WICC Bluefish Tournament, with its top prize of $25,000 for the heaviest fish, scheduled to start at dawn on Saturday, is still on.

”A decision on cancellation, with Hurricane Irene expected to cross Long Island Sound on Sunday, will be made by 4 p.m. Friday, according to a recorded announcement on the official tournament phone line (203-366-BLUE). The decision will be announced on WICC radio.”

Hudson Commercial Fishing Ban Extended

”The legislation, which Governor Cuomo signed today, prevents any reopening of a commercial striped bass fishery on the Hudson River until at least 2015. CCA's special thanks goes not only to Governor Cuomo, but also to the sponsors of the bill….”

25 August 2011

Horseshoe Crabs and a Boat Fire

Horseshoe Crabs…Not Exactly a New Development

”Long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, hard-shelled, spear-tailed sea creatures crept along the ocean floors. Four hundred million years later, their form and lifestyle is virtually unchanged.

“A Fairfield researcher has studied these primordial beings for more than a decade -- and whether the tides of time are turning against them.”

Boat Destroyed by Fire Off Westport

”Marine units were reportedly unable to extinguish the fire, and the vessel burned down to the water line. Arrangements are being made to salvage the vessel. The incident is being investigated by the Westport Police Marine Division.”

Don’t Panic…but Here Comes Irene

"The state's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said Wednesday afternoon that Irene will be a "strong Category 1" hurricane Sunday at 5 p.m. when makes landfall in southeastern Connecticut near the Rhode Island border.

“Lessor said another model, released by European weather agencies, shows the storm striking land farther to the west , "right over Danbury."

“Irene could bring heavy rains and sustained high winds to the state Sunday.

"’We could be seeing 4 to 6 inches of rain and more to the eastern part of the state,’ Lessor said.”
Danbury News-Times

Dangerous Algae Bloom Blights NY Bight

”…a huge algae bloom in the New York Bight, which extends from Montauk, NY, on the the tip of Long Island, to Cape May. The bloom has turned the normally blue ocean water green.”

24 August 2011

Fly-Fishing: Slack in the Line Kills Casts

”Slack line may very well be responsible for more poor casts than all other faults combined. You simply cannot load a rod until the slack is out....”
Fly Fishing in Salt Waters

To Catch Stripers You Have to Know Where to Fish

”…these waters are like a desert, where stripers are concerned, and that a few ‘oases’ attract the majority of stripers. Those are the places to fish….

“So the stripers will concentrate in areas that can be football field-sized down to pool table-sized structure.

“Those are the places you need to know and fish hard.”

Some Areas Closed to Shellfishing

”Due to heavy rainfall over the last few days, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a temporary closure for shellfish harvesting in Nassau and Suffolk Counties along the coast.”

23 August 2011

Charles Walsh: Time to Do Something About Bunker

”…the menhaden (a.k.a. bunker) are still as scarce as snake legs in Long Island Sound. In fact, if anything, there are fewer adult bunkers in Long Island Sound this season than last. Only an influx of small bait like sand eels and silversides has kept the inshore fishing scene alive with small bluefish and stripers hanging around for the feast….”

21 August 2011

Of Bluefish and Fly Rods

I caught my first bluefish on a fly rod sometime around 1970…plus or minus a few years. Remember it distinctly: It happened one fall evening down the end of Cedar Beach in Milford, CT near the bird sanctuary…off the beach, on the Long Island Sound side of Milford Point.

Up until that fall I’d fly-fished only fresh water, but a chapter on salt water fly fishing in Joe Brooks’s Complete Book of Fly Fishing [published by Outdoor Life in 1958] had intrigued me. We’d been catching big bluefish off the beaches in Milford using popping plugs on spin gear, and I thought it would certainly be a blast to get one of those on a fly. So as an experiment, I’d whipped up some shiny flies on trout hooks and caught snapper blues with the trout rod [HDH line] off a breakwater at Milford’s Laurel Beach…which was fun, but not exactly thrilling.

I decided to get serious about it.

I acquired an 11-weight fiberglass fly rod [maybe it was a Browning Silaflex?], and a big Pfleuger Medalist [1498?] knuckle-buster reel with an 11-weight floating line that was about as thick as plastic clothesline. [Today I’m not sure I could even pick up that outfit, never mind cast it.] Tied up some Blondes using a photo in the Brooks book as a guide...a simple fly to construct that will still catch fish today.

I was ready for the bluefish.

On the evening in question I put on the waders and marched down to the water, fly rod in hand.

A crew of surf casters was already down there, slinging poppers with spinning rods…but nothing was going on fish-wise.

I felt a little self-conscious, so I angled away from those fellows, down the beach where my activities might come under a bit less scrutiny. Didn’t work. As soon as I started false-casting I could hear some guffaws from the spinning-rod crew. Maybe their glee had nothing to do with me…but it felt as though it did.

Made a cast or two…nothing. Spin crew wasn’t getting anything either.

Made another cast…blam! A bluefish hit the Blonde so hard he hooked himself…jumped completely out of the water rattling his gills and splashed back in.

I was amazed. I glanced over at the spin crew…the spin crew were amazed.

Finally got my wits about me, got the fish on the reel, and a few minutes later skidded a 5-6 lb. bluefish up on the sand. Removed the Blonde from his jaw and slid him back in the water.

Looked over at the spin crew. They were busy casting…they didn’t look back at me.

I didn’t hear any more guffaws.

Today, things aren't all that much different; fisherfolk still catch bluefish off Milford’s beaches. But saltwater fly-fishing has become much more popular…and accepted…and lots of fishermen catch blues on flies. I throw a 7-weight now [having quickly progressed from the heavier 11- to 9-weights and now to the lighter 7-] and use mostly sinking lines when fishing from the boat. For flies, most anything will attract bluefish; you can’t go wrong with a plain, white Lefty’s Deceiver. Tip: Don’t use a wire leader on a fly...even for bluefish; sure, you’ll get some cut-offs, but you’ll hook a lot more fish and the hook-up and that initial run are where a lot of the fun lies.

My record for a bluefish on a fly: 16.5 lbs.

Capt. Skip

20 August 2011

Asian Carp Attacking…Wisconsin!

”Even as the federal government is spending $20,000 each day to operate and maintain an electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in a desperate attempt to keep Asian carp from colonizing the Great Lakes, the super-sized leaping fish apparently are finding other ways to continue their inexorable migration north — not into Lake Michigan, but into Wisconsin’s inland waters.”

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

”Porgies: The porgy fishing is fantastic. They are big. They are tasty. And they are mild. (No, that's Pall Malls) They are everywhere just waiting for your squid, clam or worm offering. From the New Haven breakwaters to the Norwalk islands, and beyond, the porgies bite is on. For shore fishers, Bridgeport Harbor and St. Mary's have porgies within easy casting distance. Inside the Charles Island bar is another hot porgies location.”

Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report

The sturgeon full moon over this past week made for some swifter currents than usual making fishing difficult at times.

STRIPED BASS fishing remains good especially during dawn and dusk. The usual locations for stripers include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, humps south of Wilderness Point off Fishers Island, Millstone outflow, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Pigeon Rip (area north of Plum Island), Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Southwest Reef, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Guilford and Branford, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Charles Island area to Milford Point, Buoy 20 off Stratford, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and the reefs off Stamford.

BLUEFISH fishing remains consistent in the Race and Plum Gut. Other fishing spots include the same areas as for stripers. Snapper blue fishing remains good to excellent in the tidal creek and coves with fish measuring about 4 to 8 inches in length.

SCUP (porgy) fishing is good to excellent on the major reefs and rock piles throughout LIS.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing remains fair to good. Fluke fishing locations include the south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach and off Wilderness Point), Stonington area south of the breakwaters, north shore beaches of Long Island, lower Thames River to the Dumping Grounds, Twotree Island Channel off Waterford, Niantic Bay/ Black Point area, Hatchett Reef area, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, south off the New Haven breakwaters, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground area and Cable and Anchor Reef.

HICKORY SHAD fishing in the Connecticut River can be slow one day and red hot the next.

LITTLE TUNNY and ATLANTIC BONITO have arrived in LIS. Tuna spots include the area between Bluff Point and Pine Island, Millstone Point area, Bartlett Reef, Hatchett Reef, and Sixmile Reef.

BLUE CRABBING is on the slow side.
Connecticut DEEP

Fishing Report: New London Area

”Mark at Hillyers Tackle reported The Race loaded with blues, all the fish drawing people to the local party boats even during our rainy days. Porgy catches are good on any rock pile from the mouth of Jordan Cove over to Black Point….”
Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

Fishing Report: Long Island

”Bluefish have quickly become a dominant force in a competitive search for food, often making it difficult for anglers to connect with other species like striped bass. This past week has been especially productive for fluke, porgies and sea bass, while anyone wanting to fish for bluefish has had no trouble finding them”

Fishing Report: Rhode Island

”Bass as long as 35 inches and many big horse-bluefish have been feeding on squid on the reefs of eastern Long Island Sound, said Mike Wade. Austrian anglers Henry and Oscar Ernst caught some monster blues, fishing with Ron Mouchon of Breachway Bait ...”

Fishing Report: Cape Cod

”Tales of lockjaw bass have become much too common on when fishing Cape Cod Bay this year. Strategies that worked incredibly well over the past few years have not produced as well this summer. New techniques and trains of thought have been required in many instances.”

Fishing Report: Stamford Area

”Fishing has been slow the past week and with last Sunday's soaking rain it kept everyone off the water. Bluefish are still your best bet with some monster fish size fish being taken. Snappers are getting bigger….”

Bluefish Tournament

”This year's WICC Greatest Bluefish Contest on Earth is scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28.”

Of Hurricanes and Warm Weather

Hot July Wasn’t Warmest on Record

” Persistent, scorching heat in the central and eastern regions of the United States shattered long-standing daily and monthly temperature records last month, making it the fourth warmest July on record nationally, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.”

Hurricane Season Will Accelerate This Month

” NOAA issued its updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane season outlook Thursday raising the number of expected named storms from its pre-season outlook issued in May.”

18 August 2011

Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 17 August

Under construction...
Foggy in Hometown, CT at 0500 on Wednesday.

But it cleared before Mal Y. and I headed out toward the mouth of the Housatonic River.

We picked up a few small blues at the mouth, then made a 7.5-mile run and were immediately into larger bluefish.

We caught an estimated 40 bluefish...but nothing huge...biggest was 6 lbs.

This lunkhead saw us catching and pulled up so close I had to watch the backcast with the fly rod to be sure I wasn't going to hit him. I asked him, "we're not in your way, are we?"

He didn't catch the sarcasm.

Final fish of the day was a 23" striper on the fly rod.

Removing the hook.

Another great day on the water.

New York City’s Waterways [good read]

”I told him I was traveling around New York City by boat this week, to meet the people who work and play on its waterways. Monday’s expedition was in Rockaway Inlet, off South Brooklyn, and into Jamaica Bay in Queens.”

17 August 2011

Lives Saved...A Life Lost...How to Prevent It from Happening

Three Rescued Off Martha's Vineyard

”Three people were rescued after their 20-foot boat took on water and sank south of Martha’s Vineyard Saturday. “U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a mayday call at 2:24 p.m. from the operator of the pleasure craft Cynthia Z stating his boat was awash with three people on board….”

Body of Kayaker Found…No Life Jacket

”A Suffolk Country Marine Bureau boat crew recovered the man from the water and transported him to Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y. The body matched the description of the man who went missing Friday afternoon.”

Using YouTube to Communicate Man Overboard Safety Information

“The recently released NIOSH video, ‘Man Overboard: Prevention and Recovery,’ is now available on YouTube. Through the use of YouTube, NIOSH has a greater potential to raise awareness of the second leading cause of death in commercial fishing and how to prevent and effectively respond to overboard events. This video is approximately 17 minutes long and was available only on DVD until recently. To view the video, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT17QGVd4jc. To learn more about Man Overboard: Prevention and Recovery, contact Ted Teske at tteske@cdc.gov. To stay apprised of occupational safety and health issues in the fishing industry, follow the NIOSH Fishing Program on Twitter: @NIOSHFishing.

16 August 2011

Striped Bass, Bunker, and Lobsters

”ASMFC [the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission] was designed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats to decide how to manage coastal species. Each East Coast state is represented by not one, but three individuals, who may not be of a single mind on an issue. If that weren't too many passengers for the lifeboat, the federal government has two representatives and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission is represented.

“You recall the chaotic stateroom scene from the Marx Brothers movie, "A Night at the Opera?"

‘It's like that, but without the hard-boiled eggs.

“Getting a proposal from point A to point B can take years, and getting all the way to Z defies the human life span.

“This week [ASMFC] tackled three interconnected species — lobster, striped bass and menhaden — with very mixed results.”

The Last of Long Island Sound Lobstering...and Lobster Salad...Not!

"No matter his age, a Long Island lobsterman, thinking back to the good old days, will always describe the same years. That would be pretty much any of them before 1999.

”It has been 12 years since a great die-off of lobsters in Long Island Sound rocked the local industry….”

Lobster Salad…Had All but the Lobster

”Due to the keen eye of a New Orleans writer, a famous destination for Manhattan foodies is now changing the name of its ‘Lobster Salad.’

"The upscale Zabar's (ZAY'-bahrz) deli had used that term for 20 years, but it turns out there was no lobster…the ingredients…label read(s): wild fresh water crayfish."

15 August 2011

Fishing Report- Cape Cod

”Striped bass never cease to amaze me. Often times this summer, we have drifted eels and trolled tubes through these massive schools, literally bumping our offerings off the backs of stripers, without enticing a single bite. Then, almost magically, something changes and the bass go on the feed. Suddenly, as if someone flipped a switch, the bass chow down on our offerings, when moments before they would not budge.”

New Issue of Salt Water Sportsman Talks About Record Striped Bass

”He was fishing a 6-½ foot St. Croix rod, and Quantum Cabo reel spooled with 50-pound-test Berkley Gorilla Braid. The striper had another hook and a length of leader in its mouth when he landed it. Once it was in the boat, Myerson continued fishing, and didn't get around to weighing the striper until the next morning....”

[Note: This article is not as up-to-date as the one by Charles Walsh that precedes this in the blog.]
Salt Water Sportsman

Charles Walsh on the Record Striped Bass

”The fate of Myerson's world record is in the hands of the International Game Fish Association, a group that does not grant its imprimatur lightly. Jack Vitek, IFGA world records coordinator, confirmed that he received Myerson's application Thursday, and the validation process, which can take two to three months, had begun."

13 August 2011

Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 12 August

Friday, 12 August 2011 was a forerunner of September.

At 0430 it was 54°F in Hometown, CT.

At the dock in Stratford, it was a bluebird morning, not a cloud in the sky; there was a light riffle on the water; the sun had not yet up in an appearance.

Don G. and I made a run of about 7.5 miles hoping to find some larger bluefish...and...maybe...a striped bass.

No luck on both accounts.

At this start of this video, it's hard to hear, but Don says, "I'm going to show you my best side."

Then you can hear the bluefish rip line off that trout reel he's using.

Click on the triangle bottom left to start the vid.

Gulls weren't very interested in what we were doing.

The two with the black heads are probably Common Black-Headed Gulls although there are several gull varieties that have the black head; needs a better birder than I to define for sure. The white one is probably a Herring Gull and the brown an immature Herring Gull...but I would't put a lot of money on any of these identifications.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

But we were into 3-5 lb. bluefish constantly. On our light tackle, they were a lot of fun. We caught 40-50 fish and had a lot of cut-offs as we don't use wire leaders.

Grabbed this shot as this boat was really moving and throwning a lot of water off its bows.

All the fishing reports are prognosticating the arrival of bigger bluefish and the return of the striped bass to the shallows.

If the cool weather we enjoyed on Friday is any indication, then September may be nearer than we think.

The best fishing of the year is still ahead of us.

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

”…now comes news that a sand tiger shark was caught off Milford (details Sunday in the Post).

“Sand tigers and brown or sandbar sharks are not uncommon in Long Island Sound in the summer. Both species have sharp teeth but are not known to be aggressive. Spiny and smooth dogfish sharks are also common. While dogfish have tiny teeth, they are the nice guys of the shark world. If they had legs they would sit up and beg.”

New London Area Fishing Report

”Many of these fish have been smaller harbor blues, but a few larger fish are beginning to show up along the coast. Bluefish action will improve through the fall as these aggressive predators invade the coastline, terrorize the smaller fish around local reefs and feed their way for miles upstream into major rivers and estuaries...."
Bob Sampson in NorwichBulletin.com

Eastern Long Island Sound Fishing Report

”Boaters can find almost anything they are looking for since bounties from inshore and offshore are not difficult to locate unless the weather is terrible. No boat? Docks, piers and jetties (really too soon for much surf action….”

Thames River Area Fishing Report

”…casting is better now from Race Point to the Sluiceway, both small to medium bass and blues of various sizes are chasing one to four-inch butterfish around, sometimes on the surface. There has also been more surface feeding under birds around the west end of the Watch Hill Reefs.

Best chance for keeper fluke continues to be in deep water….”
Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

Eastern Long Island Sound to Rhode Island Fishing Report

”On Long Island Sound, Pat Abate of Rivers End Tackle reports that large bass have been taking eels and scup in deep water near the Race, Bartlett Reef and Plum Gut.”

New York City to Long Island Sound Fishing Report

"Right now, the bays and harbors of New York and Long Island are filling up with snapper bluefish. They grow to about a foot, fight like heck and are easy to catch. Snappers can be caught from piers, harbor beaches, bulkheads and almost any backwater area, so they are easily accessible."

Connecticut DEEP Salt Water Fishing Report

STRIPED BASS fishing is pretty good considering all the bluefish that are around are gobbling up fresh cut baits and live menhaden and eels intended for linesiders. Keeper bass are still being caught during daylight hours but after dark fishing is more successful.

Fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, humps south of Wilderness Point off Fishers Island, the Race, Millstone outflow, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip (area north of Plum Island), Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Southwest Reef, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Guilford and Branford, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Charles Island area to Milford Point, Buoy 20 off Stratford, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and the reefs off Stamford.

BLUEFISH fishing is consistent in the Race with bluefish slashing butterfish and herring on the water surface (just look for diving terns). Other fishing spots include the same areas as for stripers. Snapper blue fishing remains good to excellent with fish measuring about 4 to 8 inches in length.

SCUP (porgy) fishing is good to excellent with jumbos 15+ inches being reported.

Overall, SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing remains fair to good although reports of fish weighing in the double digit have been reported over this past week. Live lining snapper blues just off the bottom on fish finder rigs are the ticket for that elusive doormat.

Fluke fishing locations include the south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach and off Wilderness Point), Stonington area south of the breakwaters, north shore beaches of Long Island, lower Thames River to the Dumping Grounds, Twotree Island Channel off Waterford, Niantic Bay/ Black Point area, Hatchett Reef area, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, south off the New Haven breakwaters, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground area and Cable and Anchor Reef.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is hit or miss in the Connecticut River depending if marauding bluefish are around or not.

BLUE CRABBING is slow along the coastline (but good reports for some of the tidal creeks).
Connecticut DEEP

Fishing Report: Western Long Island Sound

”Saltwater fishing remains very good throughout the Western Sound. Striped bass, bluefish, porgies and fluke are all providing plenty of action."

Milford Point: Where the Housatonic River Meets Long Island Sound

”A meeting of three diverse ecosystems where freshwater from the Housatonic River merges with an 840-acre salt marsh, and Long Island Sound is just a few hundred yards away. ‘We are on an incredibly important, unique and very rich barrier beach here….’”

12 August 2011

Man Fishing Off Long Island Beach Dies

A 21-year-old Queens man who was rescued Saturday from the waters off Mastic Beach has died.

Dolphins Spotted in Long Island Sound

”Historic sightings of dolphins and porpoises within the Long Island Sound can be dated back to pre-World War II times when pods of dolphins were a familiar sight to mariners and residents along the north shore of Long Island. Over the last few decades these sightings have become less frequent….”

New Sonar Technology Finds...a Cadborosaurus???

New Sonar Reveals Enormous Schools of Fish

”We immediately radioed the news of our UFO sighting to colleagues on another ship that was equipped with conventional echo sounders, similar to the kind countless boaters use to check the depth of the water and to locate schools of fish. It took that ship hours to reach its target, but when it finally did, shouts came back over the radio: 'It's fish!'

"We were seeing a massive shoal—a community of oceanic fish—in its entirety for the first time. The echo-sounding equipment available on most ships has a limited range and is able to sense only tiny bits and pieces of such large shoals. So until that time, nobody knew what such a large shoal looked like.” Spectrum.IEEE.org

Cadborosourus in Alaska

” Alaska may have its own version of the Loch Ness monster, according to prominent cryptozoologists who say a video shows a mysterious marine animal, which they believe is a Cadborosaurus.” MSNBC.com

11 August 2011

Zebra Mussels in the Housatonic River

”Zebra mussels have been detected in the Housatonic River as far downstream from Laurel Lake in Lee as the Connecticut state line and beyond, according to a report from….”

Woman Drowns in Long Island Sound

”Ms. Johnson, who couldn’t swim and was not wearing a life jacket, attempted to stay above water by floating on a seat cushion....”

Fishing Report: Stamford Area

”Bluefish are still the top dog of the Sound this week with reports of all sizes being caught everywhere. Porgies are still biting good at the Cows and on all the rock piles. Fluke fishing has still been slow for many anglers with some nice fish mixed ...”

New London Area Fishing Report and the Record Striped Bass

”The reason is the western end of Long Island Sound consistently holds schools of adult menhaden, even during periodic population declines of this extremely important forage species. Menhaden can be difficult to find some years in this part of the state, though there are usually at least small schools in all the state’s major rivers by mid-May.”
Bob Sampson in NorwichBulletin.com

Sustainable Seafood...and Lobstering for A Living

Is Sustainable Seafood a Myth?

”Stroll by any Whole Foods seafood counter and you will see color-coded fish: Green for fully sustainable, yellow for partially sustainable, and red for fish threatened by overfishing or grown on polluting fish farms. Buy a "green" fish and you eat guilt free, confident that you are doing your part to save the ocean and its inhabitants.

“Put down your fork -- Whole Foods is not telling you the whole story….” http://www.grist.org/sustainable-food/2011-08-01-the-sustainable-seafood-myth

Making a Living at Lobstering?

”To be legal in Connecticut, a lobster must now measure 3-3/8 at the carapace (the section of a lobster from the eye socket to the middle of the back), and the vent in the lobster pot has to be 6 inches long by 2 inches wide. That’s such a big gap, Theiler says, that sometimes even legal lobsters escape. Combined, the two rules have seriously diminished the size of Theiler’s haul.

“’Out of every 40 [lobsters trapped], we might keep one or two,” he says. “This year was not a good year for lobsters.’” WaterfordPatch.com

10 August 2011

Of Long Island Sound Cod and Weakfish

”“The highlight of the week was catching a cod in Long Island Sound in August….

“Last week we told about a weakfish caught in Mt. Sinai Harbor by a fisherman on a kayak. Certainly are some interesting fish tales being told out there.”

Record-Breaking Striped Bass Angler Will File with IGFA

”He said that he's been getting about a 100 calls a day "easy" about the fish. On Tuesday, he did an interview with The Fisherman magazine, which is putting his story on the front page. And he is setting up another interview for today with Coastal Angler magazine. He spent another part of Tuesday filling out all the paperwork to certify the fish and the world record with the International Game Fish Association.”

Angler with Potential Striper Record Tells His Story

”Myerson started his drift about 8 p.m. He favors slack tide at dark's approach for the biggest fish. His reel was a Quantum Cabo and his rod a short, stout St. Croix, at six-and-a-half feet. The eye at the tip of the rod had been removed and replaced with a roller.

"'I use braided line. It wears at the eye,' he explains.

“He used a three-way swivel rig with an eel, pretty standard except that he opts for super-size eels, figuring they attract super-size fish.

“As the drift progressed, Myerson felt a powerful strike. He lost half an eel and the fish. He began the drift again.

"'I expected the fish would be still there, especially if it was hungry,' he says."

09 August 2011

Long Island Fishing Report

”Essentially fishing has picked up in the cooler weather. Warren's Tackle Center in Aquebogue described the Long Island Sound beaches as “typical for August” with porgies in close and short fluke distributed in the inshore areas and the bays….”

Stratford Group Wants to “Gentrify” Long Beach

NOTE: This report is from 2011; for the latest information, please go to http://www.connectiicutsaltwaterfishing.com


"Topping Stratford’s list of proposed improvements is the expansion and beautification of the parking lot and entry area to make Long Beach West more amenable for visitors….

Another top proposal was to build a boardwalk designed to let visitors walk among the dunes without disturbing the piping plover nests….

Other proposals include adding good quality beach sand to improve the bathing beach areas…. StratfordPatch.com

Not Only Drunk, but Also Stupid

”An underway rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fire Island, N.Y., was waved down by three people in a 22-foot vessel, adrift and out of gas, at approximately 8 p.m.

“The Coast Guard boarding officer recognized the three persons as being heavily intoxicated after pulling alongside the vessel. The boarding team conducted field sobriety tests and administrated a chemical breath analyzer test to both the boat operator and his passengers, which they all failed.

“The vessel owner was cited for boating under the influence of alcohol. In addition, the boarding team conducted a vessel safety check and cited the vessel owner for failing to equip his vessel with navigational lights, Type IV personal flotation device and for having unserviceable life jackets.” CoastGuardNews.com

08 August 2011

Bluefish and Striper Fishing Tips

Bluefish: Fall Fishing Tips

”A slower retrieve will often catch bluefish that have cruised to the bottom underneath the mullet and menhaden schools. A really fast, zippy retrieve will catch bluefish when they are cutting through the schools of baitfish near the surface. If what you are doing isn't working just a little change in speed can put you on the blues.”

Stickbaits for Stripers

One of my favorite artificial lures to throw at striped bass and bluefish in the summer months is the stickbait. Sure, it doesn’t look like much — a roughly cigar-shaped plug with two sets of treble hooks — but impart the right action and it tempts otherwise lethargic fish into attacking.“

07 August 2011

Stamford Area Fishing Report

”The hot sun that sun worshipers have been enjoying has kept many anglers and boaters off the water recently. Surface temperatures on the Sound have been measured to 80 degrees or more in some areas.

“But fishing is good. Blues, bass, and porgies are all providing lots of action locally. Fluke fishing has slowed down a bit.”

Charles Walsh Reporting on Hickory Shad

”There are indications that a solid hickory shad run is developing at the moment in the Connecticut River and those fish may spread to the Housatonic and other local estuaries.

”Because they are considered poor eating (some say inedible) fish, the hickory shad is not a valuable commercial species, so the runs belong to recreational anglers.”

Field & Stream Reports on Record Striper

”Though the catch has not yet been certified by the IGFA, angler Greg Myerson brought in a bass that supposedly pinned the needle of a Westbrook, CT, tackle shop scale at 81.8-pounds. Immediately Internet rumors began to fly, some claiming the catch was a hoax, but many claiming to be eye witnesses to striper-fishing history.”

06 August 2011

Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 05 August

Want to catch big bluefish? Here's how:

1. Make up a batch of chum [click here for recipes]
2. Get some fresh or frozen bunker
3. Anchor up off Buoys 18, 20, or the Bridgeport Harbor buoys
4. Get a chum slick going...keep it going
5. Throw in your line with a chunk of bunker on the hook
6. Open a beer.
7. Wait

I swear that one of these days I'm going to try it myself.

Problem is, just don't care for that sort of fishing...nor do any of the other anglers that regularly tread on Shoo-Fly's decks.

We find it much more fun to hunt for fish...try to figure out where they're feeding...match the hatch...use very light tackle including fly gear.

Problem is with that approach, some days we don't find the big fish...and that's the way it was on Friday...no big fish.

You can tell that because of all the photographs of the sunrise in this report...no picture fish caught this day.

Doesn't mean we didn't catch fish. We were into small bluefish for three straight hours.

Val S. is never quite so happy as when he has a fish on the end of his fly line.

We talked with Ed. J. as Val has a new Hobe pedal kayak [MirageDrive] and he wanted to see how Ed had his boat rigged for fishing.

Guess these little boats are quite stable...and they're certainly perfect for hunting fish in shallow water.

I have a story to tell you about bluefish and wire leaders, but will leave that to a later report.

Another great day on the water!

Western Long Island Sound Fishing Report

”Long Island Sound porgy fishing also remains solid, especially for rental boat anglers from City Island. The open boats from City Island also report healthy catches of scup as these guys head further up the Sound for their fish.”

Rhode Island Fishing Report

”School stripers were nailing flies throughout the ebb tide Wednesday evening on the Narrow River…. Everyone caught fish…. Pink Hi-Tie and gold-and-yellow shrimp patterns were the most effective flies. Skipjacks and shad moved in at dark, so there was a lot of action.” ProJo.com

05 August 2011

Record-Breaking Striped Bass Caught in Connecticut?

Note: This report is from 2011; for the latest information, please go to:

Connecticut Man Breaks Striped Bass World Record?

”A Connecticut angler who appears to have broken saltwater fishing’s most coveted world record might decide not to register his catch with the International Game Fish Association.” HamptonRoads.com

Record Striper Caught in Westbrook, CT?

”A striped bass that could break the world record was caught in the waters of the Long Island Sound in Westbrook.” WTNH.com

Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report

Ya Gotta Take This with A Grain of Salt

Bluefish seem to be everywhere! Even the major tidal rivers are giving anglers awesome fishing action for “jumbo” blues. The lower Connecticut River has been red hot! Snapper blues are about 4 to 6 inches in length now and are in thick in the tidal rivers and creeks.

“Striped bass fishing is a lot tougher with all the bluefish around. That means it is the “midnight shift” for anglers seeking linesiders. Other fishing spots for bluefish and stripers include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, humps south of Wilderness Point off Fishers Island, the Race, Millstone outflow, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip (area north of Plum Island), Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Southwest Reef, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Guilford and Branford, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Charles Island area to Milford Point, Buoy 20 off Stratford, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and the reefs off Stamford (Smith Reef and the “Cows”).

“Slammer scup (porgy) are on the major reefs and rock piles along with blackfish (tautog).

"Summer Flounder (fluke) fishing remains fair because of all the sublegal fish but some doormats are still being had by anglers willing to put in a lot of time. Fluke fishing locations include the south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach and off Wilderness Point), Stonington area south of the breakwaters, north shore beaches of Long Island, lower Thames River to the Dumping Grounds, Twotree Island Channel off Waterford, Niantic Bay/ Black Point area, Hatchett Reef area, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, south off the New Haven breakwaters, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground area and Cable and Anchor Reef.

“Hickory shad fishing is good to excellent in the Connecticut River, but, if bluefish are around - forget it!” CTDEEP

Charles Walsh's Fishing Report

”It looks as if the weather will cooperate for Sunday's Interclub Bluefish Tournament and all indications are that the bluefish will be there, too. Excited crews from 13 area boat owners associations and yacht clubs will take off at the crack of dawn to vie for the title of Top Boat and/or Top Club.

"Top Boat goes to the crew that brings the heaviest three-fish combo. Top Club goes to the association or club that has the 25 heaviest fish. The tournament ends at 1 p.m. sharp, but the anglers start bringing their bags and buckets of fish to be weighed in by Chief Judge Jimmy Orefice at Captain's Cove Seaport well before that.”

Cape Cod Fishing Report

Warm Water Doesn’t Help Striper Fishing

” Striper's optimal feeding range is about 55-65 degrees, depending on who you ask. And it's warmer than that all over, with water temps reported as high as 75 degrees this week.” CapeCodOnline.com

Thames River Area Fishing Report

”This is the time of year when our waters warm to the point where we see southern fish in our catches. Small mahi were reported last week off the Block Island Fairway buoy and other the years we've seen cobia caught by striper fishermen, sheepshead and triggerfish by bottom bouncers and this week, a 35-pound red drum caught from Weekapaug Breachway.” Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

Bunker Menhaden Bunker Menhaden Bunker Menhaden Bunker Menhaden

To Save the Striped Bass Regulators Must Save the Bunker

”… Omega Protein… which has a fleet of 10 vessels and eight spotter planes working in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake, has done a superb job of protecting its interests, greasing the palms of elected Virginia officials, packing legislative hearings in Annapolis and mounting a public relations campaign that included a video endorsement by the executive director of ASMFC, Vince O’Shea.

"Omega grinds up menhaden at its Reedville, Va., plant for use in heart-healthy Omega-3 products….” BaltimoreSun.com

Bunker: An Essential Atlantic Fish

” The Atlantic menhaden is one of those big things that come in small packages. It’s a pipsqueak of a fish, but it feeds some of the most important fish in the ocean. If it vanished, marine biologists say, the ecosystems of the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay could come crashing down.

“As the population of this once abundant fish dwindles in dramatic fashion, that theory might be put to a test. Humans don’t eat the oily and bony menhaden, but it’s caught by the metric ton each year, ground into meal and fed to farm fish and livestock.” WashingtonPost.com

Bunker Talks Critical…

”…fisheries managers and corporate entities along the Atlantic Coast are busy preparing for a week of heavy bunker discussion. “

The reduction of menhaden, widely dubbed by Dr. Bruce H. Franklin as "The Most Important Fish in the Sea," is such a concern that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) is meeting to consider whether its harvest should be significantly lowered for the first time in years. “

This meeting is of particular importance to the Omega Protein Corp., which fished about 160,000 metric tons of menhaden in Atlantic coastal waters which represent 80 percent of the total catch (the other 20 percent is allotted to the bait industry)….” NYPost.com

04 August 2011

Back on the Water Friday

Shoo-Fly has been in dry dock this week having her bottom sanded and painted…but we’re scheduled to be back fishing at 0600 on Friday, 05 AUG, and hope to have a fishing report soon after.

Jigs: A Most Useful Lure

”The one I find myself using most frequently is one of the cheapest and most basic lures in the tackle box, a jig. I use jigs ranging from one-sixty-fourth of an ounce (BBs on a hook) for bluegills to three-quarter-pound diamond jigs designed to pull cod, striped bass and bluefish out of deep water and strong currents.” Bob Sampson in NorwichBulletin.com

12 Million Lines in the Water

”Beneath recreational fishing’s bucolic veneer of a solitary angler alone with his thoughts—and perhaps a striper or two—on a desolate beach, the reality is that sportfishing is big business. Still, the perception remains that the effect of this hobby on the environment is far below that of commercial fishing despite the overall quantity of fishermen on the water.

“According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, nearly 12 million Americans went sportfishing annually from 2005 through 2009, making about 80 million saltwater sportfishing trips per year. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire population of the five coastal New England states getting out on the water seven-and-a-half times apiece.” AmericanProgress.org

03 August 2011

Herring: Also An Endangered Species?

”…in individual rivers where millions once swam, returning river herring number in the thousands, or even hundreds. To cite just a couple of examples, counts in Connecticut River fell from an average of 5.4 million from 1981 to 1995, to an average of 1 million by 2001, to an average of only 300,000 by just 2008.

"And in the Susquehanna River, which drains into Chesapeake Bay, blueback herring passed by the Conowingo Dam East fish passage dropped from almost 285,000 counted fish in 2001 to just 4 fish in 2010.” Switchboard.NRDC.org

What to Do During the Fishing Doldrums?

NOTE: This report in from August 2011. For the latest information, please go to: http://www.connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

”With the fishing action now fully into the mid-summer doldrums, anglers find ourselves with time on our hands as we wait for cooler weather to bring the stripers back inshore areas and the trout out of their hiding places. We can find ourselves spending more time ashore than we would prefer.

“One way to pass non-water time (after taking the wife out to a nice steak dinner) is to surf the Internet for interesting fishing sites.

“With that in mind, here is a list of just a few of our favorite Internet blogs and websites.” Charles Walsh in CTPost.com

Striped Bass Population in Decline

”Depending on whom you ask, seal predation, overfishing or poor management are to blame. But the real culprit for the current decline of striped bass may lie far to the south of the Cape. In the Chesapeake Bay, where most striped bass spawn, environmental conditions, both natural and man-made, have been conspiring against their success for at least eight years.” CapeCodOnline.com

02 August 2011

Commission Delays Action on Striped Bass

”A plan to reduce next year’s striped bass harvest by up to 40 percent along the Eastern Seaboard was shelved by regulators who worried that the move would be seen as premature without the science to back it up.” BaltimoreSun.com

Flounder Primer

”Flounder are generally caught by drifting bait along the bottom through the use of a bank sinker. A 1-ounce to 3-ounce weight will do in normal conditions. A combination of squid and shiner is the bait for most, but new artificial baits, particularly the Berkley GULP! 4-inch swimming mullets in pearl white, have proven to be effective, especially when trolled slowly.” Delmarvanow.com

Politics and Funds for Fisheries

”It’s a fact of nature that fish, like people, need a healthy habitat to survive. It seems logical, then, that if one’s goal is to bring back fish stocks, one might want to start by protecting the areas where the fish live. And yet this bill halves spending for habitat management and restoration.” AmericanProgress.org

01 August 2011

Fishing for Stripers

”One night, a few years back, I arrived on the beach at about 1 a.m. About 45 minutes before high tide, I could feel the tip of my rod jerking gently. It was smaller bass, unable to take the huge glob of clam that was baited on the hook. They merely tugged as small bits of clam. Just wait, I told myself.

“A few minutes later, the rod tip jerked violently toward the sea. I set the hook and then held on, as the drag (which allows a fish to take out line) began to sing. I was on to a good fish.

“Perhaps a minute later, I walked down to where the waves crashed upon the beach and reaching down to grasp the fish’s lower lip, carried the striper to dry land. I removed the hook from its lower jaw, then I took the measuring tape from my front pocket. Thirty-one inches.” VTDigger.org

Putting Snakeheads on the Menu

” When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.”

“When man puts northern snakeheads -- a nasty invasive fish from Asia -- into Maryland's waterways, chefs make sushi, stir fries and grilled fillets.” BaltimoreSun.com