Quarantine Angling Report #2

Quarantine goes on, the first round of the pandemic is supposedly waning slightly, and fish are still chewin’. Weird times is all I can say. As I said in my last post, we are lucky this hobby of ours can be done safely while distancing, just make sure to use common sense.

Onto the fishing. We had a burst of really good fishing (big fish for this early too). Bass are still around but the big ones have eluded me for a few weeks. The weather has cooled down. This was the first morning on my boat ever that I was breaking a thin layer of ice pulling out of my slip. Per usual stripers are in the rivers, marshes etc. Find fast current and/or some kind of structure in these environments, and work the water column. Three essentials you need are an unweighted soft plastic (slug O, albie snax, hogy), a weighted soft plastic on a jighead (1/8-3/4 oz depending on depth), and a swimmer (bomber, mag darter, crystal minnow etc). On Fly rod, a clouser or streamer on intermediate or sinking line. Pics below.

For those of you who do some bottomfishing, I put one day of blackfishing in. I fished a handful of spots from 40-70 feet, the deeper water (60-70) is where I found fish, and even then they were a little reluctant. I managed one quality fish. Those who I talk to have said the same, shallow water has not been producing. The mouth of the housatonic river and new haven have been producing in shallow though, due to warmer water temps outside the river.

Thank you to frontline workers and particularly healthcare workers. If any of my readers are in that category or know an angler who is, please reach out to me directly.

A Spring we will not Soon Forget

Well, it’s a sad time as we’re living through a pandemic of a magnitude our country hasn’t experienced in the last hundred years.  Theres no two ways about it. I hope all my readers and their families are healthy although I know it’s unlikely the COVID hasn’t touched some of you or your friends/family.  

I’ve tried my hand at fishing the local trout rivers, and fishing for holdovers in March, Without much luck on either front. I’m not experienced in either of those fisheries so it’s not much of a surprise I didn’t do well, and frankly It doesn’t excite me much.

The good news is the bass have arrived in Western CT. Cormorants, ospreys, egrets and a variety of waterbirds are are starting to filter in.  Herring have been making their way upriver to safe spawning grounds for weeks, and small baitfish/shrimp are filtering in as well. I caught my first fish on Saturday the 29th, the earliest I’ve ever gotten a local (non holdover) fish. This couldn’t come any sooner in these trying times, and I’ve welcomed the opportunity to get fresh air with a purpose. If you’re wondering if it’s time to start fishing in the saltwater, the answer is yes. Way upriver on incoming rides for bass chasing herring, and in the estuary mouths on the outgoing. If you read my stuff you know the story.   The warm days/nights are best right now, but by all means get out there, and let me know what you’re seeing. This time of year in Fairfield County you’ll have equal opportunity from shore and vessel.  The bite under dock lights, bridges and drain culverts at night is going to heat up soon too.

It may go without saying, but guided trips with me are on hold for the time being. Please keep your distance to fellow fisherman, and it’s best to ride alone or only with others you’re isolating with. If you need to buy gear, have it shipped or shop beforehand online and pickup at Fisherman’s world. My heart goes out to those affected by this terrible disease, hospital employees, first responders and others with essential jobs on the front lines.

James

No Bad News!

As the title states, I don’t really have bad news to report. Fishing this Past weekend was on fire. The bass have been blitzing for weeks. Mostly small fish, sure, but fun easy fishing. From the rivers and estuaries in your backyard to out front in the sound around islands shorelines and open water. If you want big fish, skip the blitzes under birds and find the rips and fast current areas, nastiest rockiest most treacherous ones you can find. The full moon turned things on for us this past week. Now we have another storm rolling in making it unfishable until the weekend (nice how it worked out that way 2 weeks in a row!).

The blackfishing was pretty great for me on Saturday. I only know what I know, but it was good for me. 15 feet of water roughly, mostly incoming tide. Limit to 21 inches / 8 lbs and threw back keepers . Had a spot in mind, it was packed with boats. Tried a new one (albeit close to a very well knon spot), had some really good structure on the fishfinder, gave it a shot and did well.

As for Albies, they’re still here but they are on the ‘strong island’ side of the pond. I hope they come here, I’m tired of the long bumpy runs and refueling every few days with my small tank. I’ve spotted a few really sparse pods on the CT side but that’s it.

Tight lines, send me your reports if you got ’em, and enjoy the fish porn