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Brian Boyd, Editor, Shore Publishing/Zip06.com
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Prehistoric fish hooks that were discovered on a Japanese island in Okinawa. (Photo courtesy of the National Academy of Sciences )
One of the fine stocked trout (a golden) that was recently caught and released at a popular local Trout Management Lake by the Austin and Dan team. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is winding its way into everyone’s conversations and monopolizing the discussion. While COVID-19 should clearly be taken seriously, we remain hopeful that this experience will teach us something about ourselves and each other.
Occupying your mind is a step toward avoiding apprehension. Being creative in order to uplift spirits and sweep away boredom can be extremely important in terms of maintaining good mental health. Look for something that is fun to do and within reach.
Lately, there has actually been an uptick in activity at the shop. The weather has been mild, trout stocking got out to an impressively unencumbered start, and the non-stocked lakes and ponds have been bristling with activity. People are still going fishing.
Fishing is one of the few outdoor activities where the practice of social distancing remains feasible. In fact, standing several feet away from the next caster would typically be welcomed on any Opening Day. For example, consider fishing for striped bass that are schooled along the beaches. When the feed is on, having several feet on either side of you makes for a lot of elbow room to load and cast a rod.
As Americans, we are survivors. As fishers, we are creative. We fish for fun, relaxation, food, and to make memories. It is a pastime that has lasted for many millenniums. In fact, the earliest known fishing hook, made from a sea snail shell, was discovered in Sakitari Cave in Okinawa Island, Japan and was dated to be more than 22,000 years old.
Recreational fishing has become an important part of our lifestyle and one that can be considered a comfort activity. As such, it generally relieves stress and replaces it with a sense of calm. In this time of uncertainty, consider breaking up your day by wetting a line. It will take your mind off of things—if only for a few hours—and you will sleep much better at night.
On the Water
Heavy rain welcomed spring, along with fresh breezes and a dip in air temperatures, before climbing into the high 50s. Long Island Sound inshore water temps tripped the 43-degree line, slowly reaching for the mid-mark. A sign of the times, more residents sought comfort in the wide outdoors, availing themselves of activities that characteristically invite separation.
Since the weather has been mostly cooperative, anglers can be seen on the rivers, lakes, and ponds. Trout fishing the management waters continues to be both popular and productive. Trout are taking nymphs and streamers as shorter four- and five-weight setups are proving more than adequate, although six- to seven-weight ones will do. Certain areas are tight with growth, so expect to do a little more roll casting in order to land your fly in that semi-hidden pool.
Wider rivers will be less troublesome and cry out for anglers to do a little wading, so a longer fly rod would be more appropriate. Since insect hatches have not been prevalent and dry flies are generally remaining in the fly boxes, stick with the same patterns already mentioned. In either case, light to medium-light spinning rods are not only working with trout, but also with largemouth bass, pickerel, crappy, perch, and smaller northern pike. Live, scented baits, swimmers, and inline spinners continue to bring strikes.
Can you believe that it is less than one week before the winter flounder and blackfish (tautog) seasons officially open? The regulations have not changed from last year, but the weather and water temperature have. Flatties remain two fish at 12 inches throughout the rest of the year, whereas ’togs start off with two fish at 16 inches and then move into the normal split season. If early spring striped bass fishing is your passion, then put your eight-weight fly rod or 10- to 12-pound class spinning outfit to use and hit the lower parts of the key tidal rivers or stretches of beaches abutting structure. Depending on conditions, the schoolie action has varied with the best results stemming from stripping flies or casting soft swimmers.
Registrations are being accepted for the 15th annual Codi and Bubba Memorial Opening Day Trout Contest. Fish anywhere. Prizes are for the three heaviest trout weighed. Five bucks gets you in. Kids under 12 fish free when accompanied by a registered adult. It’s a good cause and donations are always welcome.
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 reel repairs, call the shop at 203-245-8665. 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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