Season Review & Transition Time

As usual, I get way too caught up fishing, working etc., and I am way behind on keeping up this blog. I do publish weekly reports via Rex & Cove Marina’s ‘Harbor Talk,’ so feel free to reach out if you’d like to be added there. Since I have a lot of time and reports to cover, I’m going to summarize the fishing from May until now, and get to the present report as, I imagine, everyone is excited to see what’s happening now.

1. The boat went in later than usual this year, mid May. This was due to new docks and lots of boat improvements for me. Anyway, off the bat I had good fishing for schoolies. As usual the action starts in the rivers and estuaries where the warmer water and bait is focused. Nothing crazy in terms of notable catches.

2. We had an early run of big fish feasting on Menhaden in mid sound, despite a snowy, rather cold winter. May 23rd was the first time I found fish feeding in this pattern.

3. In addition to the big bass mid sound on Bunker early, there were more blues cruising on the surface than I have ever seen to my knowledge. This lasted until about mid/late July.

4. Until about late June, all the bunker were in the middle of the sound, as opposed to the rivers. At least not in the Norwalk river which is my home port. If they were around, they must have been down deep. Even mid-sound the bunker schools seems at time isolated. If you could find them, then almost certainly you found bass and blues on them. And, this resulted in some truly wild afternoons and mid mornings.

5. By mid July, this all changed. The bunker showed up thick in the rivers. We also had a pretty rainy July, which displeased a lot of people. But, it certainly resulted in a good July fishing-wise. The nasty weather created some great fishing conditions, and the bunker abundance helped as well. In fact, this was one of the better years for summer fishing. It is a trend I am noticing the last few years… where the island bite doesn’t seem to be heating up until late June to early July- a time when traditionally the summer heat slows bassing down. Even until early August, good fish are being taken – on topwater, in sunny midday conditions.

6. We are also seeing more blues mixed in with the bass inshore. All those blues we were catching in the middle of the sound are moving into the shallows it seems. I hope it keeps up.

Fast forward and here we are in mid-August. The bassing is still pretty decent. We are starting to see an influx of smaller ‘peanut’ bunker. Presumably, because bunker have just finished spawning. To our east we have seen the first arrival of exotic species, Spanish Mackerel. Farther east and offshore we have Bonito. We hope these fish continue west into our wheelhouse, and are supplemented by our friends the False Albacore. The ‘Albie’ bite was pretty crappy last year, aside from a one or two day period on our side of the sound. So fingers crossed for a rebound by our favorite speedsters. There is a lot of small spearing around, and the adult Menhaden seem to have thinned out. Admittedly, I haven’t spent as much time on the water as usual the last two weeks, but this should be changing. It’s also a good time to mix it up and do some bottomfishing for Porgy, Fluke and Black Sea Bass. I had some lackluster results in spots where I typically land some big Sea Bass, but I’ll be putting more time in there soon.

I hope everyone is having a great summer, and I’ll see you around on the water catching. Mahalo!

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