Monday, April 29, 2013

Get Involved with the QRWA

If you enjoy the Quinnipiac River in any way, shape or form, consider joining the QRWA.  They've taken tremendous steps to revitalize this resource for all of us to enjoy.  It's a great place to build memories!
Get Involved with the QRWA

Connecticut and Rhode Island Fishing Report 4-25-2013

Connecticut and Rhode Island Fishing Report 4-25-2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Getting close, but not there yet!

Went out on the CT River today, putting in at Salmon Cove and running north to Middletown. The plan was drop in at high tide in afternoon and fish to the next high tide late tonight/tomorrow morning. I heard some decent reports of nightime stripers, schoolies with some mixed keepers, on the night bite in the area. I obviously threw in the towel on that idea. This was more of a scouting trip, and I was hoping to mark some stripers or maybe be one of the first to see some herring moving up. The weather forecasters around here suck, as despite the 5-6mph forecast, the wind was 12-15 straight up the river. Water temp is in the low 50's, and visibility was only a foot or so. Caught some perch and threw them in the livewell for pike bait as I made my way up river. Stopped and got a few reports from guys fishing along the banks. All were about the same, the occasional schoolie on a sandworm. This does not get me that excited. I just can't sit there and soak worms. I trolled through a number of spots that will hold stripers as the herring move in and marked not a thing. By the time I neared Middletown, my low oil light was on, and I took this as a sign to just call it a day. The new E-Tec is sucking up some oil during the no break-in, break-in period. To explain for those unfamiliar with the Evinrude E-Tec engines, they are 2 strokes that mix the oil electronically, thus no need to worry about all the hours at 1/2 then 2/3 throttle, etc. as with most new engines. It runs richer until the engine is worked in, and Evinrude claims it is maintenance free for three years. I don't plan to test fully test that. Guys and gals, were close, but just not there yet. My recommendation would be hit up your local trout stream or lake for some bass action, and give the stripers a bit more time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Triumph Skiff Review - The Gemma Rose II

I promised a review of my new Triumph Skiff once I'd had a chance to get her out on the water and run her around. I chose this model after considering a number of skiff and inshore types boats including the Carolina Skiffs, Mako Skiffs, Clearwaters, Livingston's and a few others. My list of requirements included the following: an ability to fish skinny waters in coves and salt marshes as well as run around the LIS, lots of space for casting, an ability to haul around my kids and dog, economy of use and maintenance, and price. All of the above met these, with the hull configurations of the Triumph, Carolina and Clearwater skiffs being very similar. The Triumph is not a true flat bottom, but is close and sports a 6" draft and 7 degree deadrise.

What you may or may not know is that the Triumph is a Roplene hull. In other words, it's plastic. It's a floating Yeti cooler. I considered the downsides (it's plastic, heavier, plastic), spoke with some owners, and wrangled a ride on one last season. Triumph evolved from Logic Boats, and their reputation has as well. As advertised, the boat really absorbs the chop without transferring the shock right though you as so many other skiffs will do. It's heavier than fiberglass, and while a 40-50hp will push a similar Carolina Skiff, I'm running a 75 E-Tec. I ran her from Salmon Cove to Wethersfield Cove (roughly 30 miles one way) this past weekend on less than one of my two twelve gallon tanks, and the upriver leg was against a tide and 15-20mph wind. At 3500rpm, she made a nice 24-25mph up river.

Triumph claims to make the worlds toughest boats, and this I have already put to the test in my twelve hours or so on the water. With no docking facilities in place yet on the CT River, I launched in a fast tide and ripping wind from a concrete ramp. The Gemma Rose II was bouncing and banging repeatedly. Backing out, we were pushed against the pilings and I just used one to cantilever myself into the direction I needed to go. Don't think I would have tried any of this with a fiberglass hull. The results? See for yourself. Fiberglass skiffs in the Keys or the OBX with their sandy bottoms? No problem. I reckon I'll be sliding across more than one rocky bottom fishing skinny up here in New England. The Gemma Rose is just like a whitewater kayak in that regard. A few scratches are no big deal. While heavy and by no means a flats skiff, I can trim up my motor and still pole her across some really shallow water.

As for fishability, the Gemma Rose II at 17'8" with an 8' beam is almost entirely fishable space with casting platforms front and rear and tons of room around the center console. She easily has as much deck space as many 20-22' boats. She's nice and stable as well (which is good, 'cause I'm not a lightweight). She has ample storage under the front casting deck and the console seating, and I installed six vertical and four horizontal rod holders, so I should be able to squeak by with gear. Who know, maybe some rocket launchers behind the console seat???

At this point, I'm pretty happy with the Gemma Rose II. Of course the final verdict is a least a season, if not a few, away. However, if you have any questions just give me a shout.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Up the creek.......

Well, I managed a second trip out on the CT River with the Gemma Rose II, after a brief trial run an some tweaks here and there from last week. I managed a few fish, tested out the Triumph's "World's Toughest Boats" claim, and rescued a group off the river.

I wanted to get an idea of fuel burn, and hopefully catch some pike. I put in at Salmon River Cove around 10 am at the peak of the flood tide, with the winds blowing straight down the river at 15mph and the air temperature in the upper 30s. I have no idea where spring went. Launching was a chore, as no docks have been put in yet, the tide and wind were ripping, and the Triumph was banging against concrete. I also drifted into the pilings pretty hard. Good thing she's not glass. Water temps had pushed up close to 45, and Andrew at the Fishin' Factory 3 had some reports of herring down around the mouth and Eight Mile River. The plan was to fish right through dusk.

There was only one other trailer in the lot, and I found its owner after a short run to the canal. To say the fishing was slow was an understatement. Even the crappie bite was off. Rather than spend time in the canal, which I planned to fish on the way back in, I made a run up to the Mattabasset River. The usual weekend crown was fishing the shoreline the first few hundreds yards in from the mouth. One guy did pull in what was easily a double digit cat, and his buddies were taking a ton of pictures. I continued up in to the confluence with the Coginchaug. The wind was pushing me all over, and the 55lb. thrust transom mount trolling motor from the old Gemma Rose just wasn't cutting it. I need to invest in a new 70-80lb. bow mount with foot or remote. Probably won't happen until next season. The tide was rapidly running out of the Mattabasset, and I decided to keep running north to Wethersfield Cove.

To this point, I had seen the one lone boat on the river. I expected to at least see a few folks on Wethersfield, as the whole tree line was out of the wind. Two guys in 'yaks reported no luck as I started to work the blow downs and the drops. I saw a few big swirls in the shallows, but wasn't sure if they were pike or carp. Regardless, I had no takers on my swim baits or the live shiners I threw out. By this time I was getting a bit fed up, so around 4:45 I decided to start back down river. I checked my fuel burn on the way up. My indicator was showing about a third of my first tank left, or about 8 gallons burned. I was running against a tide and the wind the entire northbound trip, and at 3500rpm was making about 25 mph. Running back down on an incoming tide, I was cruising 30mph at 3800rpm. Not going to compete with bass boats, but no too bad.

I was just above the Pratt & Whitney terminal south of Middletown when I saw only the second boat of the day, anchored in the middle of the river with the engine compartment open and the owners frantically waving at me. These folks had been boat owners for four hours, and obviously were not familiar with the expression "up the creek without a paddle." The GRII isn't exactly a tug, but I threw them a line and told them I could town them down river to a dock. Even going down stream their larger cruiser was tough to manage. I missed swinging them to a dock, and had to settle for taking them into shallow water nearby. In the process I ran over a gravel bank and ended up with some cosmetic nicks on my prop. If I hadn't motored past, the Middletown FD would likely have had to make a trip out. My hope is that the good karma will come around in the form of some nice fishing.

By the time this was done, I was just ready to call it a day. A few crappy crappie was all I had to show, but I did run the entire outing on one of my two twelve gallon tanks, and I pulled a few folks off the river. This will have to do until I return from the UK and can get back out at the end of the month.

Monday, April 1, 2013