Spring Run Recap And Summer Strategies

As usual this time of year, I’ve had a long lapse between posts due to the amount of fishing I’ve been doing.  It’s been a weird spring/early summer.  We started off with water temperatures a bit cooler than last year, then we had some extreme heat.  I’ve concluded The striper population in the Norwalk Islands this year has less fish, but generally larger fish.  The endless amount of schoolie bass we usually have to fish for just aren’t around this year, which is slightly concerning to me.  Perhaps they are just somewhere else because of lack of bait prevalence.  The funny thing is that this year there is an influx of what I think are really tiny sand eels.  The only fish on them are really tiny snapper blues, an early arrival this year, but that’s starting to change.  Those small bluefish I mentioned also grow and eat at an extremely rapid pace.  They make an excellent quarry of larger cannabalistic blues, as well as bass and even fluke, so that’s something to think about when selecting lures…

My season was characterized by a really good chunk bite in the shallow island spots I like to target.  Many trips I had multiple fish over the 30 pound mark.  I had a few good trips plugging after dark too, with plenty of action on keeper bass.  However, the topwater / plugging game for me before dusk was weak since May.  Friends of mine have done much better, particularly full time guide Mike Platt, who is solely an artificial and fly guy targeting Bass, blues and Albies.  Mike covers a lot of water and has had a stellar season.  He reports that the fish this year are in the same spots, but often different tides.  He says the bass were basking in the really skinny water after gorging on bunker.  Often times they react and hit the lure not for feeding purposes but almost out of anger or defensive purposes.

Slightly east of us in Fairfield some friends are also reporting a generally stellar season, and a good bounce back from last year which was off.  In that area The fish seem to be coming in waves, where for a few weeks they’re chewing good and then it gets real quiet for awhile. 

I hope that gives everyone a good idea of this season to date.  My fingers are crossed for a good late summer bite, and as I’m typing this I’m getting reports of blitzes in the islands on small bait.  Fingers crossed this keeps up, and we are setup for a good albie season.

2 thoughts on “Spring Run Recap And Summer Strategies

  1. We are having the same sort of luck you are in terms of fishing, although we don’t fish at night or with bunker chunks usually. My buddy just fishes the flyrod and I fish both spinning rod and fly rod. The last two years have been spectacular, mostly schoolie’s and a couple of good keepers.

    We are now seeing tons of bait although that was sparse from May through June. We were out this weekend and saw acres and acres of what looked like rain bait from Sheffield Island to Eaton’s neck to Smithtown Bay to the Housatonic River and back on Saturday and Sunday. It was everywhere but there were no little blues or stripers eating them. Just terns everywhere as far as you could see. We did find some bluefish harassing bunker pods, but there did not seem to be a lot of bluefish, just a few. Very frustrating.

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    1. Hey Mark, I had a similar experience last night although I stayed in Norwalk area. Haven’t seen this much bait all season, and I was happily surprised the water temps were down to the 60s. As sun started going down, the bunker schools got more and more nervous and they were certainly getting pushed around. I had one nice bass but was limited with time. After dark is a good bet this time of year along with sunrise of course, don’t be afraid to come to the dark side and toss flies and artificials at night. The fish stay here all summer even in the heat. At night the water is flat calm, no boat traffic, peaceful, and lots of fish traffic. A lot of the old school fisherman in this area swear by retrieving bombers and SP Minnow type lures after dark very slowly, and I’ve had a lot of success with that technique. Will report back later this week once I put some more time in.

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