31 October 2013

• Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 30 OCT 2013

On Wednesday as we caught lots of fish in…wait for it…zero wind conditions. Yes folk, there was no wind out there. We could actually fly fish without risking our ears and rears and we scored a boat-load of striped bass and bluefish.

In the Housatonic River we got a look at Housie…the River’s version of Nessie.

Nope, wait a minute, it’s only a loon. Click on photos to enlarge.

We found a few stripers at the usual locations in the mouth of the River, but decided, as there was no wind, to head for the bluefish grounds. The River was at 55° which is marginal for blues, but the Sound was still a hair over 60°…so we thought we’d find fish.

At our destination the blues were scattered all over the place in small pods.

Practically anywhere you looked there were small splashes…one over there…another there…one right next to the boat. Problem was, if you didn’t drop a lure right on the fish’s head, right after the splash, it was gone.

Turns out they were feeding on tiny baitfish. The photo sort of shows what they looked like, but the thing was partially digested having been ralfed-up by a blue, and it’s hard to see what it is…but it’s small, about 1.5” long.

Still we managed to hook several bluefish including a few on the fly rod…good fun.

We got tired of chasing bluefish pods after a while and decided to go back to the mouth of the River where we found schoolie stripers hungry to grab our flies. Charlie used a chartreuse/white clouser, I had on an all-white deceiver. We could have caught a disgusting number of fish but we had to pack it it after about twenty as I had a doc’s appointment that afternoon.

Another great day on the water.


• “How to make Crispy Colorado Striped Bass”

“Choose the best striped bass fillet, skin on, from the fish counter. (The freshest will have almost no odor.

Don't be afraid to ask the fishseller if you can smell it, they always get a kick out of that.)

”Heat your oven to 375 degrees….”

Read the full article at this link: DenverPost.com

30 October 2013

• “Cold-Water Fish Food Not Adapting To A Warming World, Study Says”

“Tiny sea creatures that play a big role in the ocean food chain are unable to adapt to warming oceans, according to a new study that may have profound ramifications for fisheries.”

Photo and the full article at this link: NBCNew.com

29 October 2013

• Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 28 OCT 2013

It was one of those fishing trips born from desperation. Shoo-Fly hadn’t been out for days due primarily to the winds which had been howling down Long Island Sound. And Monday was no different: During this trip winds hit over 25 mph out there…but being from the west, they allowed our smallish boat to hazard forth…as long as we stayed within the confines of the Housatonic River and didn’t venture into the whitecaps.

Workboats on the Sound seem to pay no attention to the winds. Of course, their bigger size, higher gunwales, and protective superstructures allow for more comfortable operations through wind and wave.

After an on-the-dock consultation as to what our prospects might be, Geoge T., Charlie W., and I fished the early afternoon. Sunny, air temp in the high 50°s, water in the River was 55°, which is marginal for bluefish, but 60° out on the Sound, so there was a possibility that a few hardy blues might still be hanging about.

There were a half-dozen wade-fishermen on the bars as it was dead low tide. Didn’t see them catch anything, but we marveled at one fly fisherman on the Milford side casting directly into the 20-kt wind. Life would have been a lot easier for him had he gone over to Short Beach in Stratford and had the wind at his back. But fly fishermen are a different breed.

We trolling-motored along the breakwaters where we could do so safely and picked up schoolie striped bass at several locations. They didn’t appear to be massed in any particular area, just a few here and a few there, probably because the currents were either slack or slow-moving at that stage of the tide…but we found fish in most places we looked.

George set a record for Shoo-Fly 3: He’s now the oldest angler to catch a fish on our boat. At 91 years, he’s amazing…spry…sharp…and a good fisherman. In fact, George put both Charlie and me to shame by catching about 60% of the fish that came aboard. He had this ugly, green plastic thing on a jig-head that the stripers seemed to love. I thought about changing to a chartreuse plastic, but didn’t, stayed with the silver Zoom fluke, and ended up netting fish for George all afternoon. But as most captains would agree, we’d rather have our anglers catch fish any day…even if we personally don’t land a thing.

I sent an email to Charlie telling him that George has changed my ideas about living to age 90. If we can do it the way he's done it, in such good mental and physical shape...maybe it’s worth considering.

So a trip begun in desperation turned out pretty well. Lots of schoolie bass around and, although we didn’t see any of them, hopefully the bluefish have not all been sent south by the chilling waters.

Another great day on the water.

Source: ConnecticutSaltwaterFishing.com

• Lionfish Taking Over Atlantic Coastline

“Florida pet owners are blamed for their release into unfamiliar waters. Believe it or not, DNA evidence traces all lionfish in the Atlantic back to only six to eight female lionfish.

” They produce 30,000 to 40,000 eggs every few days and are sexually mature by 1 year old.”

Read the full article at this link: PIX11.com

28 October 2013

• Selecting “the Right Hook”

“Go to any tackle shop and look at their selection of hooks. In a good shop, that selection can be mind boggling to the novice angler.

"Online tackle shops can be even more daunting to anglers, because there is no one to answer questions about certain styles of hooks and their use. What’s an angler to do?”

Read the full article at this link: SaltFishing.About.com

27 October 2013

• Housatonic Impoundments Experience Record Algae Blooms

“Instead of shining blue New England lakes, think murky pea-soup green.

”The three lakes along the Housatonic River -- Candlewood, Lillinonah and Zoar -- sustained significant blue-green algae blooms in their waters this month.

”It's not unheard of. But the size of this year's bloom surprised lake experts.”

Photo and the full article at this link: NewsTimes.com

Related story eScienceNews.com

• Herring Update: Dams, Runs, Bans…Excellent Read

“ This past spring the first river herring in nearly 200 years was spotted upstream of the former Hopewell Mills dam site. Sea-run fish play a major role in the ecology of Narragansett Bay, and restoring the connections between these saltwater and freshwater ecosystems will bring benefits throughout the region….

”To help protect dwindling river herring populations, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, along with Connecticut, North Carolina and Virginia, have banned harvests of river herring with zero-tolerance policies for recreational and commercial fishing.”

Photo and the full article from this link: ECORI.org

26 October 2013

• Fly-Fishing Not As Complicated As Most People Think

“The choice of a fly-fishing outfit is only slightly more complicated than selecting a spinning outfit. Fly-fishing tackle is manufactured to a standard that was developed by the American Fishing Tackle Association in the 1960s. They developed a numbering system for fly-fishing equipment that allowed anglers to match lines to rods and to pick the appropriate-sized equipment for the type of fish they were after.

"The smaller the numbers, the more delicate the outfit, with numbers three to five best for small fish in streams, six to eight best for larger sized fish in bigger water and the heavy weights nine to 11 for larger fish such as salmon, or for fly-fishing on big lakes, rivers or the ocean.”

Read the full article at this link: CapeBretonPost.com

• Charles Walsh’s Fishing Column – 25 October 2013

"Janie Surfcaster Proves Not All Keeper Bass Have Left region"

“’When I was weighing it on Jimmy's scale out on the sidewalk, some guy pulled his car over and asked me where I caught it. I said right here.’

”Flinn then hooked her finger in the corner of her mouth and pulled.”

Read the full article at this link: CTPost.com

25 October 2013

• Is the Ocean Broken?

“It was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it.

”Not the absence of sound, exactly.

”The wind still whipped the sails and whistled in the rigging. The waves still sloshed against the fibreglass hull.

”And there were plenty of other noises: muffled thuds and bumps and scrapes as the boat knocked against pieces of debris.

”What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded

”The birds were missing because the fish were missing.”

Read the full article at this link: TheHerald.com.au

Thanks to Val S. for the tip on this story

24 October 2013

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 24 October 2013

Tautog (blackfish) and Scup (porgy) fishing continues to be good at any of the breakwaters, reefs, wrecks, and areas with structure throughout LIS! Fall fishing is about at peak!

The major tidal rivers are still holding bunker (Atlantic menhaden) and other baitfish and that’s where you will find Bluefish and Striped Bass in hot pursuit! The lower Connecticut River from the Baldwin Bridge down to the breakwaters has been the hot spot. It is prime time for surfcasters to hit the beaches and coastal state parks for excellent fishing action!

Hickory Shad fishing remains excellent in the Connecticut River especially by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier.

Black Sea Bass fishing remains good on the local reefs and areas with gnarly bottom. Best time to fish is a half hour before and after slack tide.

Read the full article at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

• Burning Question: Why Do Gulls Like Parking Lots?

“Why do…gulls like suburban mall parking lots so much, even when they are nowhere near the ocean?

”The birds that ornithologists call gulls, not sea gulls, do not strictly live by the sea and often find the open spaces of parking lots a bounteous refuge, said Jessie H. Barry of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.”

Read the full article at this link: NYTimes.com

Photo from Flicker.com

• Recipe: Spicy Soy-Ginger Grilled Striped Bass with Asparagus

“Variations of this dish make frequent appearances at the Linkery, a San Diego restaurant known for its craft beers and farm-to-table cooking.”

Read the full article at this link: MyRecipes.com

• Fishing Knots for Braided [or Any Other] Line

“After all, you’ve most likely spent a good amount of time and money acquiring all of the valuable tools in your arsenal: rods, reels, baits, etc...

"A good knot, that in which you can rely upon time and time again, is something that comes along with practice and, in time, confidence.”

Read the full article at this link: SaltWaterEdge.com

• “NOAA Announces End of Traditional Paper Nautical Charts”

“NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, today announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts.

”Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.”

Read the full article at this link: NOAANews.NOAA.gov

• Fishing Report: Massachusetts Coast

“In Buzzards Bay, scup and tautog are dominating the action for bottom fishermen who know rock structure and how to fish bait, especially crabs, for the tautog.

"Impressive schools of menhaden around the Elizabeth Islands should attract some good blues and bass. False albacore fishing there has been poor.”

Read the full article at this link: Telegram.com

23 October 2013

• Blackfish: Val S. Reports on “Tog” Fishing from A Kayak

“Last week I had 2 trips to my secret Blackfish haven, about 1.5 miles by
kayak from the…beach.

”1st trip on Oct 15: 4 hours, 4 doz. crabs, one barely keeper Tog.

”2nd Oct 19: 1 hour, 1 doz crabs, 10 keepers, 1 near 7 Lb.

”What a difference 4 days make. I found handmade Blackfish jigs at this little hole-in-the-wall bait shop. They always land on the bottom hook up. Also, I picked out the crabs for my 2nd trip by hand, so they were very lively. That led to a hookup ratio close to 90%, whereas on my first trip it was about 5%.

”It's a lot of fun to fight a 7 Lb Tog out of a kayak. He literally tows you around the anchor. Plus, when you bring him to the surface you almost butt heads.

”The biggest one escaped though. He was on top of the other 3 keepers in the Home Depot bucket that I use as fish box. He managed to wriggle out of the bucket and jumped ship, so to speak. I don't begrudge it to him though as I caught his slightly smaller cousin within a minute from his escape.

”Then I caught and released several more keepers.

”A fleet of a dozen 'real' boats that assembled near a popular local reef (rock pile) a quarter mile away got skunked. At least they appeared to be listless, the nets remained in their holders, and there were no usual cheers greeting every new fish. Most of them left while I was having a non-stop action. One came close to me to investigate, but I pretended to be skunked too. So they left.

”I admit to feeling superior, out-fishing a bunch of big boats out a small plastic kayak.

”It was such a perfect trip that I left early, just to avoid getting jaded.”

Photo of resulting blackfish filets also provided by Val.

• Maryland Reports Chesapeake Spawning Success Increases Over Last Year But Remains Below Average

“The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today announced that the 2013 Striped Bass juvenile index - a measure of Striped Bass spawning success in Chesapeake Bay - is 5.8, a substantial increase over last year's results of 0.9, but below the 60-year average of 11.7.

”The survey is conducted to track the reproductive success of Maryland's State Fish, which is known to be highly variable from year to year.”

Read the full article at this link: DNR.Maryland.gov

See also the related Virginia report we posted on 20 OCT 2013

• Maryland Again: Watermen File Suit Re Bunker Allotments

“The suit seeks to overthrow the menhaden catch limits placed on Maryland’s watermen by DNR.

”The catch limits allot approximately 80 percent of the entire catch among all Atlantic coastal states and Puerto Rico to one company.”

Read the full article at this link: Baltimore.CBS.Local.com

22 October 2013

• “Stripers Find Squid Flies Irresistible”

“It was the perfect night to fly-fish. A few days past the new moon, so it was not totally dark and a light but constant wind coming in from the southeast kept the last of the fall bait against the shore….”

Photo source and read the full article at this link: HeraldNews.com

• Angler Shot to Death in Tackle Theft

“Johnson discovered someone burglarizing his boat. The shooting took place shortly thereafter.

”Authorities are looking for a black male suspect that was captured on security camera footage, reports the paper.”

Read the full article at this link: CBS.News.com

• Tackle-Theft-Murder Suspect Arrested

“Jackson police arrested a teenager in the fatal shooting of bass angler Jimmy Johnson.

”Shaun Brown, 17, is charged with capital murder. Police say he has confessed to the crime.”

Read the full article at this link: ClarionLedger.com

• Safety During Fishing Trips

“The advent of high-dollar electronics has been particularly enticing to the bad guys--with some big-screen sonar/gps units now going for $3,000 new, and some tournament boats equipped with two, three or even four units--and mounted on quick-release brackets--these are an easy target.”

Read the full article at this link: AL.com

21 October 2013

• Accused of Spearing Stripers…Arrested

“Three East End [Long Island] fishermen are facing felony charges after they were discovered illegally spearing striped bass in Block Island Sound for commercial sale, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Tuesday.”

Read the full article at this link: BeaumontEnterprise.com p

• Latest Issue of This Is Fly Now Online

“This is Fly magazine is excited to announce the release of issue 43. We would like to report partnerships with two of the most important and popular conservation organizations, Trout Unlimited and Bonefish Tarpon Trust.

"This news will be valuable to our readers as they can expect more stellar content from both. This edition includes fantastic stories from Steven Brutger of Trout Unlimited along with photography from famed Louis Cahill. Alex Lovett-Woodsum from Bonefish Tarpon Trust reports on their latest tagging mission on the island of Abaco….”

Read the full article at this link: ThisIsFly.com

20 October 2013

• Stratford Mayoral Candidates Mumble Their “Support” for Shakespeare-On-Housatonic

“It is easy for candidates for mayor to say they ‘support Shakespeare’ in Stratford as a general concept, but potential voters may wonder specifically what they are supporting.

”Mayor John Harkins has said that ‘sure’ he supports Shakespeare, ‘but it has to make sense….’

”This approach contrasts with those of the three candidates challenging his re-election. Joe Paul and Ken Bruno suggest that being a strong proponent of reopening the Shakespeare Theatre on Elm Street is the way to start working toward a successful operation, and the details can come later. George Mulligan has ideas of his own.”

Read the full article at this link: StratfordStar.com

This has little to do with fishing, but as we go along the bank of the Housatonic from which the building is clearly seen, my angler guests typically ask "what's going on with the Shakespeare Theatre?"

• “Juvenile striped bass up from 2012 …”

“The initial results of a monitoring program of striped bass hatched this spring in Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay suggest the bay’s most coveted game fish is rebounding from one of the worst juvenile survey results on record.”

Read the full article at this link: TimesDispatch.com

19 October 2013

• Charles Walsh’s Fishing Column – 18 OCT 2013

“Commercial fishermen understand importance of Magnuson-Stevens act:

”Recreational anglers are generally an independent bunch, so when the subject of government regulation of fishing (or anything else for that matter) comes up, the groans and hisses often rise with them.”

Read the full article at this link: CTPost.com

• Blackfish Are Available…Stripers…Eh!

“Blackfish have a reputation for being a tenacious and challenging adversary, and once caught they make for delicious table fare. While striped bass and bluefish have been slow to gather momentum along the North Shore this fall, the Long Island Sound remains a very fertile tautog fishery.

”The game of catching blackfish is one of precision.”

Read the full article at this link: NorthShoreOfLongIsland.com

• Fishing Report: Stamford Area & Salmon Update

“Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam.”

Read the full article at this link: StamfordAdvocate.com

• Fly Fishermen: Interview with Chico Fernandez

“He was a fly fisherman and when I took him to the mouth of the Jibacoa river, a little creek, to fish for snook and baby tarpon, and I took my spinning rod and my yellow jigs and all of that, he brought his Orvis Battenkill bamboo rod and a Medalist reel and Ashaway line, I believe, and Joe Brooks streamers, which were feathered streamers with a hackle up front, not like a Seaducer—everything was tied up front and chenille on the body —and caught snook on fly.”

Read the full article at this link: MidCurrent.com

18 October 2013

• Fishing Report: Cape Cod

”Stripers are tourists. They aren't from around here; they just come to visit when it's warm. Before they return to their Chesapeake Bay winter spawning grounds, they have to load up for their arduous journey. So they feed. And with a season to fatten up, they are at their biggest this time of the year.

“The fabled Fall Run this year is happening or already happened or is about to happen, depending who you talk to.

Read the full article at this link: Cape Cod Times

• Fishing Report: Striped Bass Can Be Found…On Long Island’s South Shore

But… “Over on the North Shore, striper action is still hard to come by at most ports, but blackfishing and sea bass have really picked up the slack…the 'tog have been hitting well in 20- to 40-foot depths off most prominent points as well as Caumsett State Park.

”For the sea biscuits…suggested trying the bar a little to the east of the Eatons Neck brush piles. Porgy and sea bass fishing has also been super at Port Jefferson, Mattituck, Orient Point, Greenport and Robins Island in Peconic Bay.”

Read the full article at this link: Newsday.com

17 October 2013

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 17 October 2013

Tautog (blackfish) fishing season reopened this past week with a big bang all along the coastline! Any of the breakwaters, reefs, and areas with structure will do. Shore fishing spots include all of our coastal state parks, all of which have great tog habitat. Hermit crabs, green crabs, and Asian shore crabs are the baits to use. Fishing in shallow water (10-25 feet) has been producing some good catches with fish weighing over 8 pounds.

The coastal tidal rivers and harbors remain full of bunker, hickory shad and river herring. That’s where you will find both Bluefish and Striped Bass, in the rivers feeding voraciously. The Connecticut River is especially loaded with baitfish.

Hickory Shad fishing is also excellent in the Connecticut River and “alligator” blues are right on their tails. From shore try the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier.

Scup (porgy) fishing remains excellent at any of the major rocky reefs and shoreline areas with structure. Scup up to 18 inches in length have been reported this past week.

Black Sea Bass fishing remains good to excellent and can be taken in the same areas where tog and scup hangout.

Read the full article at this link: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

• Fishing Report: Eastern CT

“Fluke and black sea bass, species that are not very cold-tolerant have apparently moved out of the area for the winter. However, porgies are still present around nearly all the area’s reefs, wrecks and other structure that provides some cover from currents and a source of food.

"...customers have reported catching scup from shore in both the Thames and Mystic Rivers and boat anglers can still readily catch them around the areas numerous reefs, rock piles and wrecks.

Read the full article at this link: NorwichBulletin.com

16 October 2013

• Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 16 October 2013

Once again the bluefish wore us out.

And, once again, it was the birds who told us where the fish were.

Was a bit rough out on Long Island Sound despite the promise by NOAA that winds would drop...so we fought some of the fish from a seated position.

Roy landed enough blues to feed family, friends, and neighbors.

I gripe quite often about lunkhead boaters who mess up the fishing for everyone else...so it seems right that when a boater uses common sense and courtesy, I should mention that. These boaters were trolling and went around the outside of the school...not right through it. Then they were casting at the fish and stayed a respectable distance from our boat...didn't cut off any of our drifts, or otherwise carry on in a lunkhead fashion. Some other boaters could learn from these fishermen.

Another great day on the water.

Source: ConnecticutSaltwaterFishing.com

• “Salmonella Outbreak: 5 Tips for Cooking Chicken Safely”

I know this has nothing to do with fishing, but some fishermen actually have to resort to eating something other than fish...once in a while...and this article contains good information that may keep one of our readers on the water rather than in the bathroom.

”While the current salmonella outbreak may have people concerned about eating chicken, experts point out that raw meat products always carry risk.

"Chicken in general carries risk, whether it's part of this outbreak or not," said Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist and assistant professor of food science at North Carolina State University.

"There's pathogens on raw chicken regardless of where it comes from," he added.

For Example: “Although some people have been taught to wash raw chicken, this practice really promotes cross-contamination, Chapman said. Washing poultry can spread juices around, and sometimes spread bacteria up to three feet away, according to the University of Wisconsin–Madison.”

Read the full article at this link: News.Yahoo.com

• Is the Gowanus Canal A Sign of Our Future Waterways?

“What Would Happen If You Drank Water From The Gowanus Canal?

”The story of how one of the most polluted waterways in America came to be located in one of the country's most expensive neighborhoods. Also: dysentery, cancer, and arsenic poisoning….

”The Gowanus Canal is a 1.8-mile-long waterway connecting Upper New York Bay (the bay in between Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey, and Staten Island) with the formerly industrial interior of Brooklyn.

"Originally it was fed by the marshland and freshwater springs in Brooklyn and drained into the Atlantic Ocean in Upper New York Bay; the brackish water lent by the mixture of the cool fresh springs and the salty Atlantic made it a perfect home for oysters, which were massive and delicious and pretty much sustained the early residents of New York City….”

Read the full article at this link: Popular Science

14 October 2013

• Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 14 OCT 2013

We caught so many bluefish today that they wore us out and we had to quit.

The birds told us where the bluefish were.

We got at least a hit, if not a hookup, on practically every cast.

These were mean, nasty, jumping, fighting bluefish that gave us a tussle on our light tackle.

Mostly in the 4-5 pound range.

This one hit Charlie's fly rod popper and ended up going home for dinner.

The fly I caught this chopper on is laying on the side of the fish's head and was rendered unusable by the bluefish's teeth. You can see the remnants of the fly if you click on the photo which will enlarge it.

They also hit underwater plugs and surface plugs.

Suffolk County police boat was cruising around. Didn't seem much interested in us.

Source: ConnecticutSaltwaterFishing.com