Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eastern LIS Report 6-30-13

My fishing has been so hit or miss.  Only able to get out 1-2 times a week, and with the current weather and a few billion gallons of fresh water dumped into the sound, it's been hard to figure out patterns.  My brother came up from Philly this weekend, and we got skunked today. We ran out of Old Saybrook at 4:30am, but couldn't find the bunker in the mouth of the CT River in any large concentrations. Headed west to Clinton again. Got down there and still couldn't spot any bunker.  Both places were crawling yesterday.  Decided we would have to rely on artificials. The second we tried to move, fog rolled in. We were down to 100ft of visibility in minutes. This was 6:30 in the morning. We crawled back to Saybrook as I didn't want to get run over in my skiff. It sucked. We threw some topwaters on the flats. Zip. By 8-8:30 we discussed calling it a day, but the fog started lifting. Forecasts still had thunderstorms moving in around 10-11am, but I wasn't seeing anything on radar.  I decided to take a peek at Long Sand Shoal. Nothing. Not a bird in the air. On the way back in, lo and behold, big bunker all over. We debated whether to snag a few as the tide was crapping out, and ended up grabbing a half a dozen. We ran over to Hatchet's, but had no tide. I threw one on a line and let it swim. We sat there for forty minutes and drifted a few yards. I told my brother we weren't likely to do much until the tide got going, which meant waiting, and he wanted to get on the road. I started ditching the rest of the baits in the livewell. As I dumped the last one, I caught a big swirl out of the corner of my eye. I had just provided a free meal to a big striper. I quickly reeled in the last bait and pitched it in the area. It was taken in about ten seconds. I let it run for a bit then engaged the reel and came tight. Fish took off down the edge of the reef. It broke me off in the rocks. That was it. Day over.

Reports from a few other boats were that Bartlett's and the Niantic area was also tough, though Valiant Rock in the Race yielded some small bass.  The Blues are MIA, and I worry that many just continued past the LIS as there was so much fresh water dumped in.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Waterford PD rescue sinking yacht in Waterford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Tried to run through Goshen Reef.  OOps!

Waterford PD rescue sinking yacht in Waterford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Eastern Long Island Sound Report 6-22-13

What a great day on the Long Island Sound!  The weather was beautiful, and the water is starting to clear up.  I launched out of Niantic around 4:30 Saturday morning, with a plan to fish towards the west, a bit of a change for me.  I had a flood tide on the Super Moon, which didn't seem to make much difference at all.  After the last two weeks, things could only improve.  I started at Bartlets, but it just wasn't firing early, and that's when I threw the plan overboard.   I ran up the north side of Fishers, stopping by the Clumps and on to Wicopessette Pass.  No birds, no bait.  I ran out to Sugar and Watch Hill, figuring that might be turning on again.  I've not had the success fishing the flood tide out there as I have the ebb over the last season or two.  Heading a bit further east, the fluke fleet was in full force, and I saw numerous boats hooking up and bringing fish over the rails.  Fluking is not my thing, so I went back inside Stonington to Jeff's spot that produced last week, and sure enough, landed a few small stripers.  The tide began to ease, and before it quit, I wanted to take another look at Watch Hill.   I could see birds working from the point to the red can as I approached, and was soon hooked into blues busting on the surface.  I was fishing white Zoom Flukes on Kalin jig heads, and landed a number until the tide completely died.  I would loved to stay as the ebb picked up, because I had the sense that Watch and Sugar were primed for some good fishing, but I had to start back.  I hit into more blues at the east end of Fishers, hooking several in the upper 20"-30" range on the same baits.   Flukers were all over the south side of Fishers, and again, were landing fish.  Running out of time, I started back for Niantic.  I got some good reports of bunker and stripers west of the CT River, still up in the Thames and Easter RI to the Cape has just been on fire.  School is now finished, so I'm ready for some serious fishing trips! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finding a 50 Among the Blitz

Finding a 50 Among the Blitz

Great night of fishing on the Blackhawk with Capt. Greg Dubrule and crew!

The forecast was for rain and a good ebb tide.  We headed out to Race Point at 8:00pm, and I personally was hoping to finally get in some better fishing, with a shot at some big stripers.  I love going out on the Blackhawk's night trips a few times a month, as it gives me a chance to fish areas I otherwise wouldn't in my skiff, and always holds the opportunity for some really big fish.  With a limited number of angler on these trips, more time is spent fishing and less dealing with tangles, etc. I probably went out on 4-5 of these trips last season, as well as a few Happy Hour 4-10pm excusions, and a Diawa Demo trip.  I can tell you that I came home with a cooler of striper fillets on every one of them, and on three brought home the pool as well.

We had a pretty good group headed out, with several of the guys having done a lot of night drift fishing.  It's not as easy as it seems, or some make it out to be.  If you've fished the Blackhawk, you've heard Capt. Greg's pre-game speech.  Keeping your rig feathered on the bottom during fast drifts without hanging up or collecting other lines takes practice.  Some guys will snag and lose $10 worth of lead and jigs every other drift.  Others will never stay in the strike zone after initial contact with the bottom.  Last night, I think all but 1-2 of the 18 anglers on board had multiple fish.  While I've been on trips where we caught a greater number of fish, I've never been on one where the quality was better. 

I came back with a cooler full of striper fillet's, but I swear Capt. Greg was drifting me over the guppies!  My biggest keeper at around 40" wasn't even going to put me in the top 10.  We had about an hour stretch where each fish over the rail seemed to get bigger than the last.  A guy with a 45 pounder was looking pretty good, and nine nights out of ten would be collecting the pool.  Out of the water comes a 48, followed by a 56 to 57 pound fish.  A few more in the upper thirties and lower forties weren't even in the running.  I can tell you, the mates Matt, Nicki and Alex did an awesome job, as not one of the big fish was lost to tangles, angler inexperience or at the net.  For some reason, Matt just got left out of all of the pictures! 

Thanks for a great trip, and I look forward to fishing with you over the next few weeks.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Eastern LIS Report 6-16-13

Sunday, June 16th
The morning’s trip began much the same as last weeks, with the exception of the fact we now had an outgoing tide as opposed to incoming.  My buddy Jeff and I launched from Avery Point a bit before 5:00am, with the intent of starting the day between Wicopessette and Sugar Reef.  Storms Thursday night had dumped another 4” of rain in the region, and the water remained stained the color of coffee.  The wind was 5-10knots out of the SW, and seas were calm.  Given my last trip, I anticipated tough fishing, and was not disappointed.  This time of year is all about stripers and light tackle fishing.  I’m not that interested in the livelining , and running an 18’ skiff, not in a position to drift the rips looking for fish holding deep.  We were soon sitting on Sugar Reef with a growing number of boats, marking a few fish but not getting any hits.  One or two boats picked up schoolies in the 45 minutes or so we hung around.  Running back inside the reefs towards Fisher’s, I noticed a school breaking the surface and we pulled up for a few casts.  My sudden stop drew the attention of a couple of additional boats who were soon motoring in our direction.  The glimmer of hope didn’t yield any results, and over the next few hours we worked Fisher’s Island Sound to Race Point, and over to Bartlet’s.  A repeat of last week, with the exception that I wasn’t even marking any bait balls above Bartlett’s.  We headed back east and give Watch Hill a last look on the incoming tide, which was about as productive as when we left.  In a final Hail Mary we decided to try back in the salt marshes around Stonington, some of Jeff’s yak haunts.  With an electric motor and push pole, I can fish some skinny water.  The HM paid off, as we finally found fish that wanted to play. While not fifty pounders, these schoolies were ready to smash some topwater poppers.  For the last hour to hour and a half we threw Gibbs Poppers and picked up an number of fish.  While none landed were keepers, it definitely salvaged the day!

Jeff can only stretch his arms so far.  Maybe if I had a macro lens. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Product Reviews

I promised product reviews of new stuff and local manufacturers this year.  I've been out fishing with 247Lures made right here in CT, some interesting saltwater flies, and a few other goodies.  I've got additional gear that I just haven't had time to get to yet with the end of the school year and lousy weekend weather.  All of that will change in the next few weeks, so don't forget to check back.  I'll be posting reports as well as some short video how to segments as well.  Check out my Facebook page for daily updates! 

Tight Lines,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Nice day, crappy fishing in the eastern Long Island Sound.

Went out a 5:00am with a buddy and fished the flood in the eastern sound from Watch Hill back west to Bartlett's. The fishing sucked. Thanks to Andrea, the water was the color of black coffee throughout most of the area inside Fisher's. There were a bunch of boats out around Valiant Rock in the Race, as per usual, but I don't fish my skiff out there. Only real signs of life were the bait balls above Bartlett's, but nothing biting. There were a few small blues around the outflow, but I really didn't feel like spending time there. It looks like 4-5" of rain did a number on the bite. Took my friend sightseeing up the Thames and called it a day by 10:00a.m. Maybe it got better on the ebb tide. Hindsight being 20/20, maybe I should have launched in RI and tried for some cleaner water. Maybe I should have just stayed in bed!  Now I have to go rinse everything down:( Hopefully I can sneak out an evening this week, or next weekend's weather will cooperate enough for an Saturday night/Sunday morning trip.

The best part of the day.  It was down hill from here, but hey, I promised to post the bad with the good.  Not even a little fish to make look like big fish!   


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fisher's Island Report 6/1/2013

The Long Island Sound is quickly filling with bass and blues, with fish close to 60lbs. being taken this past week.  Drifting 3-way rigs with bunker has been the way to go.  While I like to get out and do this every once and a while, it's typically at night and looking for monster bass.  I much prefer light tackle and fly fishing from my skiff, targeting top water bites and fish on the smaller rips and reefs.  I simply can't safely venture out onto the big rips when the tide gets moving, and find it more fun to catch a bunch of 20-30 pound bass on 12-20lb. line setups or my 8wt.  Fisher's Island and its surroundings are usually my go-to spots.  

Saturday morning I overslept, waking at 4:09 a.m., about the time I had planned to arrive at the launch to catch both the start of the outgoing tide and predawn.  By the time I gassed up, stopped at Dunkin Donuts and got on the water it was after 6 a.m.   I decided to bypass the Clumps and make straight for the reefs around Watch Hill.  The wind was finally cooperating, and the run out was smooth.  I arrived to find more than a dozen boats on Sugar, including Jack Balint and Steve Burnett, both with charter trips.  As I mentioned in the past, Jack has been my go to captain when chartering in the LIS, and I'll be headed across to Montauk again with him this fall. 

The tide was flowing nicely, but the fish that you often see breaking on the surface were nowhere to be seen.  I marked a few bait balls, but fishing this reef solo in the Gemma Rose II is tough as I can't let her drift stern first back into the rip.  It's nice when I've got someone aboard so we can take turns casting and holding the boat in position.  I wasn't there long when both Jack and Steve took off west.  This was a clear indication that nothing was going on around here or Watch Hill, as neither would be leaving fish with customers on board. 

I decided against continuing the battle with the current, and started west along the north side of Fisher's.  Last year from mid-May to late July, this area produced solid action along the many reefs and rocky shores, particularly on the ebb.  On this day, the water was filthy and I got nothin' at any of the stops I made until a short fish at North Point.  I worked back along the south side with the same results.  (The fluke fleet was out in force, anchored south of the island.)  By the time I'd circumnavigated Fisher's, Jack and Steve were back on Sugar, and then east to Watch Hill.  I managed another short bass off of Catumb Rocks as the ebb tide was finally giving way. 

I wasn't ready to head in, as despite the slow fishing, it was a really nice day on the water.  Just for the hell of it, I decided to run over to Bartlett's.  By this time, the tide was completely slack, and there were only a few boats anchored fishing scup.  It was time to head back to Avery Point and call it a day.  On the way back, I landed my best catch of the afternoon!  My favorite Bud-n-Mary's (Islamorada, FL) cap blew off.  I motored back around, and as I don't carry a landing net, I leaned over the bow to grab it as I idled forward.  I had my hands on it, but then lost it under the boat.  The prop wash sent it down and I figured it was lost.  I cut my engine and let the Gemma Rose drift with the current.  Sure enough, after a couple of minutes it came up not 20 ft. from the boat.     
Mostly Sunny
Wind SW 5-10knots
Seas less than 1 ft.
Outgoing tide
Water Temp 58-59 degrees, dirty
Gear Used:
12-20 lb. spinning gear setups
7" Hogy's in amber, pink and white
White Zoom Super Flukes w. Kalin jig heads
247 Squid-Zee in amber