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This group of Thanksgiving Day turkeys are most likely advocating the eating of fish on this holiday. Photo (Illustration courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Turkeys roost at night and often go unnoticed by fishers, hunters, and nature lovers due to their blending in with the environment. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
A hen that either heard or smelled something that alerted her to a potential danger. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
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Hopefully, you are all enjoying a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday. A few of you may have even had an opportunity to wet a line while escaping the hustle, bustle, and chatter that goes along with this day. It has always been debatable on whether getting out early in the morning before all the preparation gets underway is preferable to venturing out after the irresistible desserts hit the table.
There is something to be said to be able to walk and cast off a few of those extra bites that will quickly turn into an extra pound or two. However, the way this weather has been behaving, hitting a river or stream early in the morning has this skipper’s preference. That option can always bring with it the possibility of a fresh trout for the table, although, quite honestly, those caught are invariably released.
A few Thanksgivings ago, while trout fishing in one of those hidden native brookie branches of a lesser-known river, I came upon a pool that held a few small fish. On this cool early morning, there were light flurries falling that disappeared before they hit the ground. Generally, when you think you are all alone, you are not. This was no exception.
Perhaps, the splashes of a fish not thrilled about being hooked got the attention of the onlooker. Or, it might have been the sound of this stranger slicing air with effortless casts that drew its curiosity. Nevertheless, the feeling of being watched was unavoidable. Scanning the river bank and the trees that served to hide this waterway proved fruitless, as did peering into the dense woods farther back. Could have been an eight-pointer, you know.
It would not have been the first time an impromptu meeting took place where looks were exchanged for more than a glance. Of all the days to look up and see a hen perched in a tree across the way, today was most appropriate. Turkeys have excellent eyesight, a keen sense of smell, and do sleep in trees at night. Evidently, my early morning showing disturbed this feathered friend. Little did she know, reveille could have resulted in a different outcome considering it was still fall archery season. Lucky bird!
There are lists of things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. We, as Americans, can attest to that, as well as understanding that each of us has scribed our own. We have our land, our freedoms, and our lives, including those near and dear to us. Sometimes, there is even a reason to feel thankful that you might not be aware of at the time. From ours to yours, Happy Thanksgiving all.
On the Water
Long Island Sound inshore water temperatures hovered around the high 40s as seas and winds moderated. Late November air temps fluctuated, while days continued to shorten, giving more time for the environment to cool. From the number of vessels being winterized, it is obvious that the season is waning, save for the late fall fishers who are either looking to get their last casts in or soak bait.
Certainly, time is slowly giving way to the holiday season—even more so considering that there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. As one fisher said, “That is all the more reason to grab those last days of fishing in the salt.”
As we saw, a few unseasonably warm days did sneak in, giving life to the season and adding a few more shots at catching blackfish (tautog) before its season closure. Since that was the main fishing attraction, a full-court press was on right through Nov. 28.
‘Togs gradually moved in to deeper water, but not too far offshore to prevent any remaining vessels from reaching them. Their appetite for crabs has not diminished in the least, nor has the quest for catching them. Realistically, they will be around after the season technically closes, leaving fishers left to pursue black sea bass, porgy (scup), and winter flounder.
Striped bass are still in the game and will be for a little while longer. Schoolies, with a few exceptions, are probably the logical target for some late-season catch and release action, but picking your days is important to success. Linesiders are finding hickory shad to cue on, along with some limited menhaden. By now, though, most stripers are keying on running up the main tidal rivers as this season slows.
Your best bet for enjoying some freshwater action is to take advantage of the catch and release management waters and trout parks. The trout that have been stocked are quality fish and have been taking flies, scent baits, floaters, and inline spinners. Second on the list has to be those stocked broodstock Atlantic salmon released in the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers—some reaching 20 pounds.
Note: Email us pics of your catches to share with our USA and international fishing friends who keep up with the latest fishing news and frequent social media.
For all things fishy including permits, swing by the shop (203-245-8665) open seven days located at 21 Boston Post Road, Madison. Until next time from your Connecticut shoreline’s full-service fishing outfitter, where we don’t make the fisherman, we make the fisherman better...
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Get ready to celebrate the holidays with our helpful guide