29 April 2015

• Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 29 April 2015



Spring appears to be a bit behind schedule this year...perhaps because of the lovely winter Connecticut residents enjoyed in 2015.


Nevertheless, it must be spring. First boat Charlie W. and I spotted on the Housatonic River was racing full bore through the no-wake zone. The first "lunkhead" of the season. More of these will blossom as the season progresses.


Spring also brings down-river some other stuff you'd rather not run into.


Brant have arrived.


And the striped bass are available...


...in great numbers in some locations. Here the Garmin shows a school of striped bass almost four feet thick starting at a depth of about 16 feet.


Lots of fish on the fish-finder, but getting them to bite wasn't always so easy.


Charlie and I found them to be picky and close-mouthed, although we did catch a good number to maybe 23 inches...we were even "doubled-up" on occasion.


I "talked" one schoolie into eating a Lefty's deceiver fly.


Canada geese are already nesting.

Another great day on the water.
Source: ConnecticutSaltwaterFishing.com


• “Drama at Sea”


“After a 110-day pursuit, a pirate fishing vessel sinks with its illegal haul….

”A remarkable adventure came to a dramatic end Monday: The captain of a rogue fishing vessel that had been tailed by activists for more than three months apparently sank his ship off West Africa rather than face arrest with a load of illegally caught fish.

”The pirate fishing ship’s crew was rescued by its pursuers, two ships belonging to the Sea Shepherd fleet, the Sam Simon and the Bob Barker….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


28 April 2015

• Fly Fishing: Setting the Hook

“As soon as your cast hits the water you should have control of the system. The line should be held against the grip with the index finger and/or middle finger of your rod hand. The slack line is held in your other hand behind your rod hand….

”Watch your fly, your indicator, or the end of the fly line. Depending on the situation you will have only a small amount of time to set the hook when the fish takes your fly… be ready!”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


• Recipe: Steamed Whole Striped Bass


“Greg describes stumbling upon a find at a local store: whole striped bass, cleaned, scaled and packed that day.

”From his early years in China, Greg has been fond of steamed whole fish, but can't usually find small whole fish in supermarkets….

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


27 April 2015

• Shad Run Time Approaches


“Shad fishing is a great way to both fill your plate with a great delicacy and have a lot of fun on light tackle. As the herring start moving up the Merrimack River and the water temperature rises to about 50 degrees, the shad will start their spawning run. This usually starts in late April, peaking in mid-May and dwindling out in mid-June. Another correlation is the flowering of the Forsythia and Serviceberry (nicknamed the shadbush for obvious reasons) bushes. When they start to bloom the fish are in!

”The American shad (Alossa sapidissima to you Latin Fans), begin their run up the coastline in early spring….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


• Hudson River: Three Species Making Comeback

”…there are signs that two currently banned species — American shad and Atlantic sturgeon — are beginning to mount a comeback.

”And a third, more populous fish — striped bass — has rebounded after a downward trend in recent years….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


26 April 2015

• “When A Keeper Is Not A Keeper”


“Killing every ‘keeper’ striper makes no sense at all on any level. Pictures of large, dead stripers grotesquely laid out on a dock or being held high with blood coming from their gills once were proof of bragging rights but no longer. Macho driven ego trips are a thing of the past and behaving with such disrespect for these valuable fish is quickly becoming a mark of shame.

”The real heroes are those that brag about the “keepers” they caught and then released not the “keepers” they selfishly killed….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


• Getting Into Fishing? What Gear to Buy?

“The right place is a tackle shop. Go to a department store and you are on your own. There may be a clerk who knows his stuff, and then again you may have someone that knows what the stock numbers are but doesn’t know how to cast.

”Go to a tackle shop and you immediately have someone that likes and knows fishing. That knowledge is part of what you are buying at a tackle shop. They can not only get you set up but also show you how to use your gear and were to go to catch whatever fish are in season…."

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


25 April 2015

• Connecticut Fishing Report


“The CT river is blown out, guys have been apparently catching schoolies in flood zones. The Thames is seeing a lot of schoolies as well. Anglers have been finding success when fishing 5 to 9 inch soft plastics on 1/4oz to 3/4oz jig heads.

”We had a lot of rain early this week so the water is moving a bit. Heavier lead may be needed to maintain bottom contact…”.

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


• “Striped Bass Management Better, But Still Not On Target”


”Simply put, it makes no sense to kill the largest stripers, which are almost all females, since they produce the most viable and greatest number of eggs, thereby increasing the potential for a successful spawn and, thereby, a healthy stock.

”One concept that many anglers have proposed is a slot limit, but the other side of that coin is that by lowering the size limit there will be more stripers killed overall. But slot limits work in states such as Florida where they are often combined with closed seasons, as is the case with snook….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


24 April 2015

Shoo-Fly Now Back in Stratford


Shoo-Fly came off the truck from the Florida Keys on Thursday and is getting ready to pursue the mighty striped bass in the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound.

First trip is scheduled for Sunday, 26 April…we’ll let you know how it goes.

We will fish weekends up to Memorial Day…or when the weekend lunkheads take over the water, whichever comes first. After that it’s weekdays only.


23 April 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 23 April 2015


Striped Bass fishing is fair to good in the Thames River, Niantic River, Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Housatonic River and Norwalk Harbor including the islands. Anglers soaking sand or blood worms have been doing well.

Winter Flounder fishing is fair. Flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area, Niantic River including the bay, New Haven Harbor, lower Saugatuck River and Norwalk Harbor.

Blackfish (tautog) fishing is still on the slow side due to the cold water.

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


• NOAA Says Some Fish Stocks No Longer Overfished


”The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it is removing two stocks — the gag grouper of the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic albacore — from its ‘overfished’ list. The agency is also taking six stocks off of the ‘overfishing’ list, including the Gulf of Maine haddock, the South Atlantic gag grouper, the western Atlantic Bluefin tuna, the snowy grouper of the South Atlantic coast and the jacks of the Gulf of Mexico. The North Atlantic albacore is now off of both lists.

”NOAA considers a fish stock ‘overfished’ when its population size is too small, and the stock is placed on the ‘overfishing’ list when its annual catch rate is too high….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

Drawing is a north atlantic albacore.


22 April 2015

• Trout Hatcheries: "Devastating Populations of Marine Species"


”Trout aquaculture is heavily reliant on pellet feed. The federal and state hatchery production of some 28 million pounds of trout per year requires roughly 34 million pounds of feed. These pellets are derived from herring, menhaden and anchovies harvested from oceans in quantities that the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say are unsustainable.

”We are devastating populations of marine species simply to support a freshwater hobby….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


21 April 2015

• Party Boat Fishing


“If you think that party and charter boat fishing are hobbies for those poor souls without boats, think again. Heading out on Long Island’s ‘pay-to-play’ vessels is entertaining and challenging. Party/charter boat fishing offers the chance to learn new tricks, try different tackle, and fish in waters you’ve never cruised.

”It’s a great way to fish in areas that are too rough or too far away to reach with smaller crafts.

Please visit this link to read the full article [pdf]: LinkToArticle


20 April 2015

• Stripers: MA Cuts Recreational Bass Bag Limit In Half


“Across the board Atlantic striped bass limits have been put in place for both commercial and recreational (private and for-hire) fishermen….

” The state Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) this week announced that they have adopted a reduced recreational bag limit for Atlantic striped bass. Once two fish, the bag limit this season will be one fish….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


19 April 2015

• PCB’s Still Contaminate Housatonic River Fishery


”The level of PCBs contaminating the Housatonic River may have stabilized, but "a substantial portion" of the people who fish on the river are eating contaminated fish, one scientist said Wednesday night during an update on the cleanup of the river by the Environmental Protection Agency.

”It was the first time in five years that the Citizens Coordinating Council has held a meeting in Connecticut on the issue. Most meetings are held in Pittsfield, Mass., where the General Electric plant that polluted the river is located. The EPA has issued a proposal to force GE into a $613 million, 13-year cleanup through a permit/consent decree. The mandate focuses on Massachusetts, where dredging, excavation and capping are needed in several heavily polluted spots along the river in Pittsfield, Lenox and Great Barrington….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

How pcbs get in play...on the west coast at least:


18 April 2015

• Fishing Report: Thames River Area


”Thames River striper fishing is very slow again this year. That is because the once-large striper population has been decimated. The lack of overwintering stripers in the Thames is a reflection of what’s happening down the East Coast.

”This is the reason coastal states from here to New Hampshire have reduced their daily creel limit for striped bass from two to a single fish per day….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


17 April 2015

• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 15 April 2015


STRIPED BASS fishing is fair to good in the Housatonic River, Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), and the Black Hall River. Sand and blood worms will do the trick especially in murky water.

WINTER FLOUNDER fishing is on the slow side. Early season flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area including Baker Cove, Niantic River including the bay, and Norwalk Harbor.

BLACKFISH fishing spring season runs April 1st - 30th. However, with water temperatures in the low 40’s °F don’t expect a lot of action. The New Haven breakwaters are one of the better early season fishing spots for tog.

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


16 April 2015

• “Snowball” Stripers [A Good Read]


“We both knew it was much too early for a fresh bright run striper to be in residence but after a long cold winter with only magazine articles and bait shop discussions about stripers to keep us warm, we decided that come hell or high water we would be fishing on that cold March morning….

” We were in no hurry to leave the comfort of the diner for the sleet and cold water pouring out of the Assonet Bay. It was cold and much too early for stripers, but in a moment of braggadocio I had made a bet that we were going fishing and it was too late to turn back now….

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


15 April 2015

• CTDEEP Alerts Boaters to Dangers of Hypothermia

Cold Waters of Early Spring Pose Risks
“Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds all boaters that with this weekend’s forecast calling for sun and air temperatures in the upper 50’s, state waters are still in the 40’s meaning that immersion into the water can cause serious injury or death due to hypothermia….

”’Boaters are reminded that they are legally required to wear a life jacket while in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31,’ said Captain Ryan Healy, DEEP’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police.

”In 2014 several incidents demonstrated the dangers posed by cold waters and hypothermia:

”A person was pulled from the water unresponsive in April after his vessel capsized at the mouth of Southport Harbor in Fairfield.

”Connecticut had two boating fatalities early in the season. In March a canoe capsized in Long Island Sound, Milford. In May another canoe capsized in LIS, Norwalk, with four males onboard; one male drowned. In both fatalities, life jackets were not worn….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


14 April 2015

• New Jersey: Has the Run Started?


“It's time to grab your surf rods and get on the beach.

”The signs are starting to point that the surf fishing is about to wake up. Dolphins have been spotted off Cape May and bunker have been moving up the coastline, tackle shops and marine experts have said.

”This could jump start the spring striped bass and bluefish run on the beaches….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


13 April 2015

• Stripers: Maybe Head to the Gulf of St. Lawrence This Year?


”In the shadow of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ much-publicized announcement Tuesday, that the Maritime provinces’ recreational salmon fishery will be catch-and-release only, was the extension of the striped bass fishing season in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

”The long decline of salmon runs over the past 20 years has garnered public attention.

”Meanwhile, the striped bass populations have exploded in the southern gulf to numbers not seen in living memory….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


12 April 2015

• New York: Milder Weather to Bring Out Salt Water Fisherfolk

“Striper fans will undoubtedly test their spring spots next week. Striped bass season opens Wednesday and runs through Dec. 15.

”Anglers targeting bass in New York's marine waters south of the George Washington Bridge can keep one fish per day with a minimum size of 28 inches. This applies to all recreational anglers, including open and charter boat fares….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


11 April 2015

• Connecticut: A Fishing Report


“The spring striped bass bite in the Connecticut River has kicked off, but it is still in its early and slow stages. A few fish were reported from Middletown to Rocky Hill and in the Quinnipiac River….

”Blackfish and winter flounder have opened, but reports have been non-existent, other than a few blackfish taken in extremely deep water.

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


10 April 2015

• Saturday, April 11, Is Opening Day for Trout in CT


Opening Day of the Trout Fishing Season is Saturday, April 11th and Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has the State’s rivers, streams, lakes and ponds stocked and ready. Approximately 341,000 trout have already been released this spring into 102 lakes and ponds and 178 rivers and streams throughout Connecticut and are awaiting Opening Day anglers.

DEEP’s spring trout stocking effort began in early March and will continue through mid-May. When the spring stockings are completed, DEEP expects to have stocked over 610,000 trout.

Please visit the CTDEEP website for further information: LinkToCTDEEP


• Connecticut DEEP Marine Fishing Report – 15 April 2015


STRIPED BASS fishing is fair to good in the Housatonic River, Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), and the Black Hall River. Sand and blood worms will do the trick especially in murky water.

WINTER FLOUNDER fishing is on the slow side. Early season flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area including Baker Cove, Niantic River including the bay, and Norwalk Harbor.

BLACKFISH fishing spring season runs April 1st - 30th. However, with water temperatures in the low 40’s °F don’t expect a lot of action. The New Haven breakwaters are one of the better early season fishing spots for tog.

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


09 April 2015

• Poachers: CTDEEP’s Dogs Will Sniff You Out


”Officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are enlisting dogs to help sniff out illegally caught fish.

”DEEP says three of its Environmental Conservation Police officers and their Labrador Retriever partners have received three weeks of special training from a state police K-9 unit….

"The dogs… have been trained to search on vessels, under rocks, and in other places where illegally taken fish could be hidden. Specifically, the dogs will be trained to detect certain sport fish species commonly caught, such as trout and striped bass."

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


08 April 2015

• Too Much Fertilizer Can Kill Our Marshes


“As nutrient-laden runoff from cities and farms flows into temperate salt marshes, it causes eutrophication -- increased plant growth and reduced oxygen levels in the water -- which kills many species of fish and other aquatic animals.

"As marsh populations of fish and other carnivores drop, populations of snails, crabs, insects and other herbivores or omnivores grow. These animals begin overgrazing the marsh grasses.

”As the grasses die off, the marsh becomes destabilized and, over time, may no longer be able to function as it once did...."

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


07 April 2015

• “You Can’t Buy Casting Distance”


”On my beautiful, state-of-the-art “fast-action” graphite Winston $1,000 outfit, I was able to cast the Sharkwave line farther than the $79 Wind River outfit…but only by 6 feet!

”There’s a message for all of us: You can’t buy casting distance….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


06 April 2015

• Ten Android Apps for Fishermen


”Although, fishing is an outdoor sport, that does not mean that your android device cannot play a role or help in some way. Whether you want to brush up on your knot skills, gain insight on new fishing tips or just find a new place to fish, there is an abundance of android apps available to help you.

”To try and offer a brief introduction to the world of fishing apps available, below are ten fishing apps you might want to consider trying….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


05 April 2015

• Fishing Report: Connecticut


“While a few brave anglers are fishing the last bit of ice in the hills, it appears that spring has finally arrived.

”Holdover striped bass reports are multiplying by the day, along with pike in the Connecticut River and trout in all the local TMAs….”.

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


04 April 2015

• Casting Weighted Flies


Casting weighted flies certainly brings challenges.

”An angler might struggle just to get the fly and line out of the water. Then, once the fly is airborne, our favorite rod and our favorite skull are at risk from these sharpened anvils….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle


03 April 2015

• Shellfish...On Long Island Sound

• "A Long Hard Winter for Plying The Waters Of The Sound"


”Your hands and feet get cold, cold,” DJ King said. He was talking about a typical winter day, not about the past winter, which was so numbingly cold that for weeks he couldn’t even venture out to his workplace—Long Island Sound—to work because it was even worse than cold, cold, and his boat was ice-bound.

“DJ is a Branford fisherman, who regularly, throughout normally cold winter days, harvests oysters….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

Photo from Wikipedia


• Clams, Clams, Clams….


”The word quahog comes from the Narragansett Indian name “poquauhock.” Native Americans used quahog shells to make beads that were used as money (called wampum). A quahog can get quite old; each line on its shell is a growth ring. You can count the rings to determine the quahog’s age.

”Researchers estimate that the largest quahogs (about four inches in length) can be 40 years old....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle



02 April 2015

• Blind-Casting With the Fly Rod



”If conditions aren’t suitable for sight-fishing, you can improve your odds of catching fish by limiting the search area and…thinking a few moves ahead.

”Stop to look at your options. Keep your eyes open and watch everything. The nearby land, the surface of the water and the wildlife activity will show you areas where fish might hold near the bottom. If these indicators still do not show you a fish, tie on a fly that will attract fish from a distance.

“We need to offer them more meat….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

Note: Yes, we know that's not a fly rod in the photo...but it was the best we could do on short notice.


01 April 2015

• Taskforce to Curb Dynamite Fishing in Long Island Sound


“A task force has been established to work towards curbing dynamite fishing throughout the Sound.

”Headed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the taskforce also includes officers from the Milford and Stratford Marine Patrol Divisions.

“Acting DEEP Deputy Commissioner Al Bacourt said the work of the taskforce is to monitor and investigate fishermen who use dynamite for fishing.

“’Dynamite fishing has long been a big problem on the Sound, which also causes destruction to our marine resources and also hazardous to human health,’ Bacourt said.”

Read the announcement at CTDEEP


• Angler Smashes World Record By Catching 518-Pound Halibut on 3-Weight Fly Rod


An angler has smashed the world record for the biggest halibut fish ever caught on 2-pound tippet.

The enormous flat fish tipped the scales at a whopping 518 pounds - heavier than a wild gorilla.

It was caught by Barry Chuda who jokingly thought he had hooked into a submarine when the monster halibut took his bait. After taking 9 hours reeling it towards the surface, the 9ft long fish was too big to haul onboard his small boat in Stratford.

“I thought it was gonna snap my little rod in half,” said Chuda. He reported that the fish took an all-white Lefty's Deceiver in size 1/0.

Read the full article at this link: Article