30 November 2016

• Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 28 November 2016

Click on any photo to enlarge...see a slide show:



On Monday Charlie W. and I ran into one of the most amazing three hours of fishing either of us can remember. We were working the breakwater with jig/plastics when Charlie spotted birds out over the Sound. We lit out to see what was going on:

Birds working all the way from the mouth of the Housatonic to Charles Island.



The Garmin showed what was going on below the birds.



From that point on we were constantly into fish.


They weren't big fish, largest was 25 inches, but they were on the feed and hitting about anything we threw at them.


I got out the 7-weight and caught a bunch with it.

Got this photo by setting the Canon for a delayed exposure and then putting it on the top of the console...explains the tilt.



The traditional chartreuse/white Clouser minnow did the trick. This one's looking a bit bedraggled after being worked over by a half-dozen stripers.



Maybe the largest fish of the day.


We were doubled up on several occasions.

Did have to keep moving Shoo-Fly to follow the action which slowly dissipated as the afternoon went on.



They say you should never leave fish to find fish...but on this day we left fish because they'd worn us out...at least they'd worn me out.

It would appear that this is part of the annual fall pattern as the stripers return to the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, and to a lesser extent the Housatonic River for the winter. Hopefully, it's just the start of a long migratory season.

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29 November 2016

• The Tuesday Rant: Connecticut Job Picture Continues to Falter

“With an estimated loss of 7,200 jobs in October, Connecticut's labor market may be headed for its worst year since 2009, according to a monthly report released by the state Department of Labor…

“If these monthly reports are sustained when more data comes in, Connecticut will have added just 3,200 jobs over the past 12 months....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: HartfordCourant

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

28 November 2016

• Maine’s Worms Go On Your Hooks

“Working a couple of hours on either side of low tide, the state’s 700 or so licensed worm diggers wade out onto tidal flats along the coast and harrow the mud searching for two different kinds of polychaetes, bloodworms and sandworms…

“Last year, the diggers landed some 396,000 pounds of bloodworms worth about $6.25 million and 206,000 pounds of sandworms worth about $1.57 million. That’s just about $7.8 million for marine critters that most people have never heard of, or thought of, unless they angle for saltwater fish....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: MDIslander

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

27 November 2016

• How To Work A Pencil Popper On Stripers

“Pencil poppers are one of the most effective lures for mimicking large baitfish, such as menhaden or shad, splashing on the surface. But unlike standard short-body poppers, pencils take a little more than a nudge of the rod tip to make a joyful noise…

“Follow these steps to whip a pencil like a Northeast sharpie....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: FieldAndStream

Popper photo from Cabelas.com

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

26 November 2016

• Fly Rods: How To Break One

High-sticking…hand assist…fly impact…unseated ferrules…

“You wouldn’t believe how many rods get slammed in car doors or snapped by a power window because the tip is hanging out or broken by trying to yank a fly off a log or a branch…

”Rods only break for one of three reasons: they’re either injured, stressed beyond their design limits, or defective….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: AmericanAngler

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

25 November 2016

• Maybe Why You Lost That Big Striper

“When a rod gets hit on the troll, many anglers’ natural reaction is to grab it and set the hook,” says Allen (striperslayers.com). “Stripers are powerful fish, and setting is the fastest way to break the line or pull the hook…

“Pumping lets slack into the line, which can cause the hook to come loose, and it also widens the hole in the fish’s mouth....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: FieldAndStream

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

24 November 2016

• Fishing Report: Norwalk Area

“This cold air may call for hot coffee, hand warmers and heavy jackets for humans, but beneath the surface, fish will continue to feed and migrate...

“Water temperatures will drop more quickly now, limiting the opportunities in local waters but also signaling some fabulous fishing in western Long Island Sound as striped bass skirt Long Island’s north shore to move into Manhattan and ultimately up the Hudson River to their winter quarters....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NorwalkHour

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

23 November 2016

• Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 23 November 2016

Catching Up On Photos From Recent Trips:

Click on any photo to enlarge...see a slide show:



Dave M. joined me on Shoo-Fly one day last week. We got into schoolie stripers using both spin gear...


...and the fly rod. No picture-worthy fish though.


Later in the week Charlie W. and Jim W. [not related] came on board.

Day started slowly but we eventually found fish around the bridges.



We were drifting with the incoming tide and picking up several fish on each drift.


Once again, all schoolies although this near-keeper was worth a photo.


On one drift we actually had three fish on at the same time.



We were casting up under the I-95 bridge but the work boat came over and told us not to go so far under as there was work going on above and if they dropped something!

We got out of there.



Caught a bunch of fish.


Nice photo that Charlie W. took earlier in the month.

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

22 November 2016

• Speaking of Dying Fish…

“Long Islanders thought winter had arrived early when they walked near the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays, New York, on Monday…

“The water looked like it was covered in a thick sheet of ice, but upon closer examination, residents could see it was actually thousands of silver bunker fish wiggling on top of each other, struggling to survive....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: CBSNews

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

• The Tuesday Rant: Malloy Says More Taxes Possible…Blames Rell, Rowland!

“As state budget red ink piles up, Governor Malloy is not ruling out another tax hike. More budget cuts are in the future as well, and the Governor says it’s not his fault…

“I get blamed for tax increases. You know who should get blamed? My predecessors....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: WTNH.com

Photo from WNPR.org

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

21 November 2016

• How To Land Big Fish With Light Tackle

“Using brawn to set the hook with 20-pound-class or lighter tackle is counterproductive…

“Since light lines part easily from sudden shock, rather than rearing back on a large, surging fish, let the fish hook itself....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: SaltWaterSportsman

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

20 November 2016

• More Bunker To Be Netted Commercially


“The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) 75th Annual Meeting wrapped up last week and meeting summaries are available on their website at www.asmfc.org. The ASMFC regulates migratory species on the east coast, many of them we fish commercially and recreationally…including striped bass, summer flounder (fluke), black sea bass, bluefish and tautog to name a few…

“One of the meeting highlights was the Atlantic menhaden board’s meeting. Atlantic menhaden are an important forage fish for striped bass, bluefish, tuna and other species…The Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved a total allowable catch (TAC) for the 2017 fishing season of 200,000 metric tons, a 6.45 percent increase from the 2016 TAC....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: CranstonOnline

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

19 November 2016

• Fishing Report: Guilford Area

“Once again, it was an unbelievable week. Sure, the wind blew, gusting at times to more than 40 knots while the seas kicked up. However, when it was out of the north or relatively calm, fishing was fantastic. Water temperatures in the Sound edged downward to 58 degrees and air temps, although cool at night and warmer during the day, remained mostly comfortable…

“We saw more related activity between birds, bait, and bass than previously—even where the blues were concerned....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: Zip06.com

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

18 November 2016

Wall Street Journal: “What is the most important fish in the sea?”

“The answer is—surprise!—menhaden… By weight, it’s the largest catch pulled from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s earned at least $300 million in revenues this year for the reduction industry, which turns the fish into animal feed, fertilizer and food supplements…

“And it’s at the heart of a debate that is roiling conservationists who want to protect the species and fisheries that want to profit from it....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: WallStreetJournal

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

17 November 2016

• Fishing Report: Norwalk Area

“Snappers are pretty much gone and bigger blues are definitely showing signs of a slowdown, but reports continue to be good for bluefish. Porgies (scup) are definitely slowing down — enough so most bottom bouncers have made the switch to winter flounder and blackfish…

“Black sea bass are also better than they should be at this time of the year, with sharpies finding them on deeper structure as the water cools. Blackfish anglers are already predicting a banner fall season...”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NorwalkHour

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

16 November 2016

• Fishing Report: Block Island

“The main attraction in the fall is obviously the striped bass. Fishing mostly at night, anglers have been seeing really good numbers lately all around the island. Snake Hole and Black Rock have been good using eels lately reeling them in slowly.

“There are some large schools of bass circling the island right now, so it hasn’t been hard to find them....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: BlockIslandTimes

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

15 November 2016

• The Tuesday Rant: Connecticut’s Budget in the Hole by $46MM

“With the Connecticut economy still stuck in a slow-growth mode, forecasters predicted Thursday that the state's tax collections will be $46 million less than projected in the current fiscal year – before getting worse over the next three years…

”The bigger problems will come in the future, as tax revenues are expected to drop in the three fiscal years starting in July. The projections call for net drops of nearly $200 million in the 2018 fiscal year, $286 million in the 2019 fiscal year and $359 million in 2020….

Please visit this link to read the full article: HartfordCourant

Related article: CTPost

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

14 November 2016

• Fly Fishing: Maybe A Shorter Rod Would Be Better?

“A 9-foot length is considered most practical for all-round saltwater fly fishing. It’s also well-suited for bass bugging…

“But it is not necessarily better for short- to medium-range casting, and can even be a hindrance in close quarters, such as a tree- or brush-lined pond, mangrove creek, and others. Also…most short rods are terrific fighting rods....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: FloridaSportsman

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

13 November 2016

• Three Fishing Reports: Norwalk, Old Saybrook, Eastern LIS


• Fishing Report: Norwalk Area


“Fall is the best time of the year to fish artificial lures. I always have two rods rigged, one with a bucktail or soft plastic lure to fish bottom and a bigger stiffer rod to toss poppers to breaking fish…

“Fall is ideal for fly-fishing. A 9-weight fly rod, reel and line and a supply of bucktails, small popper flies and shrimp imitations is the most fun working the shore and the Islands for schoolie bass....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: DanburyNewsTimes



• Fishing Report: Old Saybrook Area


“Long Island Sound is still brimming with a practically full fishery as its water temperatures hang in around 60 degrees. Typically, the wind is creating obstacles for fishers as it makes it difficult to hold bottom or set up a drift.

“On calmer days, though, fishing has been exceptional for this time, even during those foggy morning starts....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: Zip06.com








• Fishing Report: Eastern LIS


“Bluefish and striped bass fishing are still very good along the southern coastal shore from Watch Hill to East Matunuck with very large bluefish and school bass with keepers mixed in. We had one customer weighed in an 11.6 pound striped bass,” said Elisha Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina.

“The Atlantic menhaden showed up big time this week and last with blues and striped bass pushing them up against the shore, in some cases they were jumping in the surf and onto the beach....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: ProvidenceJournal

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/


12 November 2016

• In the News: Housatonic, Hammonasset, Jeremy River


• Dam Removed On the Jeremy River


“…with 4,000 dams, the Connecticut River watershed is the most dammed in North America. And the DEEP and The Nature Conservancy have the daunting task of removing the dams whenever funding is available…

“You are talking about a dam that goes back to 1726. That's nearly 300 years of having a barrier preventing fish going downstream and migrating upstream. With the dam, you have less aquatic diversity....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: HartfordCourant




• Housy Spoil To Fill Hammonasset Beach


“The state has allocated close to $10.3 million…for a…dredging project that will deepen the lower end of the Housatonic River and nourish approximately one mile of the state’s largest beach…

“The project, slated to begin in October 2017 and last until March 2018, will allow for up to 300,000 cubic yards of sand to be removed from the bottom of the Housatonic, taken by barge 33 miles up the coast, and then pumped onto the western end of the Hammonasset Beach State Park...”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NewHavenRegister

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

10 November 2016

• CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report 10 November 2016


• Final CTDEEP Regular Report of the Season


• BLACKFISH: fishing is very good. Time to fish deeper (40-80 ft) around slack tide, especially with the full moon approaching. Rapid Rock, Race Rock, Sarah’s Ledge, inner Bartlett Reef, Two Tree Island (flood tide), various smaller locations east to Watch Hill are still fishing well. You may want to try rock piles or reefs that are away from the more popular areas to increase your chances of finding a keeper sized fish. Green, Asian or Hermit Crabs will work, especially on jigs.

Consider putting the crab (bait) on a chartreuse and orange jig (1.5 – 3.0 ounces in weight/depending on tide and wind). The lighter the jig the better...feel more bites. Use braid in 30-50 lb class and/or a 50 lb fluorocarbon leader (sensitivity to feel the bites is important). Also use a 4/O Gamakatsu hook (Octopus style) when using bait. I would highly recommend planning a trip on a party/charter boat trip to fish for tautog this fall.

• STRIPED BASS fishing is excellent. The Housatonic River is red hot, along with the CT River up to Wethersfield Cove and the upper Thames River (north of Montville). Fish have been moving into the estuaries and tidal rivers to feed heavily on the bait. The reefs in Long Island sound are still producing fish that have begun their annual fall migration. There is still plenty of Atlantic menhaden (bunker) or hickory shad around that can be used as bait. Live bunker on a three-way or slider rig on the local reefs and rip areas can still provide some results.

Other striper spots include the lower Mystic and Thames River, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, the “humps’ south of Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River (Dock & Dine shore fishing access), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (Breakwalls) and the upper reaches, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Milford Point, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

• BLUEFISH fishing is still very good. Especially inshore along the beaches (coastal state parks) and fishing piers. If you’re looking for these “choppers” now’s the time before it’s too late. They can be found throughout the Sound (find the bait/birds). The top-water bite is fantastic.

Bluefish fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, the Race, Thames River, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, lower Connecticut River, CT DEEP Headquarters, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor and upper reaches, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, Norwalk Islands and Cable and Anchor Reef.

• ATLANTIC BONITO & FALSE ALBACORE fishing is amazingly very good. These tunas are getting bigger, with many topping 10 pounds or more. Niantic Bay to Watch Hill is your best bet. You can also find large schools from Millstone Point to Race Rock and the western shore of Fishers Island. Fish the current brakes and choppy water...be ready for a quick strike. Dawn and dusk is typically the best time to fish for these inshore tunas but they can be caught during the daytime. A quiet approach and finding birds (gulls/terns) actively feeding is the key to a successful trip.

• BLACK SEA BASS fishing is red hot on all the major reefs and wrecks throughout Long Island Sound. Fish deep (80’ -120’) with 8 to 12 ozs of weight. When releasing fish suffering from “barotrauma”, a buildup of swim bladder gases, try using a recompression tool to help get them back to the bottom quickly. Moreinformation is available at FishSmart.org.

• PORGY fishing has started to slow down as fish start their migration to offshore overwintering grounds. Some scup can still be caught on the local reefs or from shore. Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”.

• HICKORY SHAD fishing has really picked up. Large schools can be seen on the surface feeding in lower rivers and estuaries. Your best chances are in the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Housatonic River, East and West River, Lieutenant River, and Black Hall River.

CTDEEP will post the complete report at this site, eventually: CTDEEP

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• Kids’ Fly Fishing and the Biggest Salmon Filet You Can Imagine


“…Sky Pony Press is pleased to release a revised and updated version of Orvis Kids’ Guide to Beginning Fly Fishing, by Tyler Befus…

“The book will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: FloridaSportsman







• Would Have Made Some Awesome Filets


“Giant, spike-toothed salmon that weighed almost 400 lbs. once made their home in the ancient coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean, according to new research…

“The now-extinct salmon species spawned in California rivers approximately 11 million to 5 million years ago, the scientists said. The fish measured up to 9 feet long, with spike-like teeth that were more than 1 inch long....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: FoxNews

Drawing made by Ugh, famous caveman artist.

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

09 November 2016

• Now What? Micro-Fishing?

“Catching the biggest fish usually comes with the biggest bragging rights, but now there's a new breed of anglers working to hook those at the other end of the spectrum, and while the catch might not be as big…

“It's a hobby where instead of trying to catch the biggest fish, you target the smallest fish and the largest number of species, a process known as life-listing. It's like what birders do, but for fish caught with a rod and a reel....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: KQED.org

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

08 November 2016

• The Tuesday Rant: Connecticut’s “Sputtering” Economic Growth

“Connecticut’s sputtering growth can be attributed in large part to hesitance among businesses about investing more in the state…

“They don’t feel comfortable putting some investments in Connecticut because they’re concerned about our fiscal future, business costs and a seemingly business-unfriendly attitude from policymakers….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: DarienNews

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

07 November 2016

• Housatonic Dredging and Zebra Mussels


• Housatonic Dredging Postponed


“A long-awaited project to deepen a channel in the Housatonic River will have to wait nearly a year because there aren’t any dredging ships available this fall that are are big enough for the job…

“The project was supposed to start in November, but officials said that because of a lack of dredge ships, it won’t get under way until October 2017....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: CTPost


• Housatonic Zebra Mussels


“Fears that zebra mussels might enter Candlewood Lake have reached new heights with the recent discovery of the invasive species attached to the foundation of the Rocky River power station…

“Several handfuls of adult mussels were removed in October from the foundation and from boulders along the Housatonic River shoreline near the station,...”

Please visit this link to read the full article: DanburyNewsTimes

File photo not related to story

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06 November 2016

• See Your Fishing Grounds from Outer Space...More


• See What Your Fishing Grounds Look Like from Outer Space


“At night, the bright lights of the Eastern Seaboard show major population centers along cities and interstate highway.

“During the day, New England is easy to find thanks to unmistakable hook of Cape Cod....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: WestportNews


• U.S. Recreational Anglers Caught 161 Million Fish in 2015


“On the recreational side of our fisheries, U.S. anglers took more than 60 million trips in 2015 and caught more than 350 million fish, 57 percent of which were released.

“The total recreational harvest was estimated at 151 million fish weighing 188 million pounds....”

Please visit this link to read the full report [25-page pdf]: NOAA











• Latest Issue of Sound Outlook Available from CTDEEP


A Newsletter from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Exploring Long Island Sound.

“Another Long Island Sound Report Card was issued on October 6, 2016 by researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. They issued the first report card in 2014 that reflected the health of the Sound as measured during 2013. The new report card reflects the health of the Sound during 2015. And it appears that there has been some improvement....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: CTDEEP

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/

05 November 2016

• Fishing Report: Norwalk, Long Island's East End, NYC Area, Madison, CT


• Fishing Report: Norwalk Area

“As we get closer to winter, many police marine units either close up shop or transition into off-season status where officers are on call with less equipment at the ready…

“With more than 25 years in law enforcement and several seasons working in or supervising a police marine division, I witnessed way too many people in big trouble and the most serious of those incidents usually occurred either before or after the regular boating season....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NorwalkHour


• Fishing Report: Long Island’s East End


“With 60-degree weather and striped bass blitzes off Montauk Point, it’s hard to believe that soon striped bass will leave our shores for warmer southern waters to complete the cycle that began last spring.

“The striped bass will leave behind anglers who want just one more tug at the end of their line before they are left to clean their rods and reels in concession to the approaching dark days of winter, when thoughts turn from fishing memories to fishing hopes....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: EastHamptonStar


• Fishing Report: NYC Area


“In Long Island Sound headliners now seem to be blackfish in the waters to the east while porgies remain hot in the west…

“However from one end of Sound waters to the other, captains are keeping their customers busy pulling in freezer-filling quantities of porgies, blackfish and also sea bass....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NYDailyNews


• Fishing Report: Madison Area


“All of this fall weather may have kept vessels secured to their moorings and dampened fishing, but that was only temporary. In between weather fronts, fishers were still able to pull fish from the Sound, bays, and rivers, especially under the new moon….

“So far, there’s no indication that fishing is slowing down. Menhaden are still here in numbers, hickory shad are having a run, and there’s ample rain bait around....”

Please visit this link to read the full article: Zip06.com

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URL: http://connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com/