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Ed Rubino of Guilford shows just how good the Long Island Sound black sea bass fishing has been this season. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Gary Wahl of Killingworth hooked into this 28-inch fluke on squid in around 65 feet while fishing the Sound. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Steven Greenbacker (right) joins his son Jack, 6, a budding young fisherman who shows how it’s done by catching this one of many schoolie striped bass. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
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Fishing has provided a welcome break from all of these COVID-19 complexities. Now that summer has officially arrived and the weather is really taking hold, many fishers have taken to this activity with the same enthusiasm they had when it was their first time. In fact, many first timers recently took the plunge.
As the state settles into accepting a new way of doing business, residents all along the shoreline are suddenly realizing how much there actually is to do. We’re seeing a trend of getting away from indoor activity (when applicable) and gravitating to the outdoors, where fresh sea breezes are welcome.
Experienced fishers, for example, understand the value of the summer solstice. With the added benefit of a new moon, being on the water during this phase typically means good fishing. Baitfish are on the move and various species are aggressively feeding on the natural forage as it attempts to move away from the feeding spree.
If you’re fishing shortly after sunrise and look up to the sky, it wouldn’t be unusual to see a bird of prey with a fish in its talons. This sight might give one pause, because that species could be the one being evasive. Some of these birds work in tandem, while others will attempt to steal the freshly caught meal in flight.
To be tuned into nature and its surroundings is something that unfamiliar folks are beginning to understand—a positive byproduct of this pandemic. To have a grasp on the seasonal happenings is the first step in becoming a successful fisher. Relationships between the seasons and the food chain, along with the related habitat, are essential when considering the species of fish to catch, where to wet a line, and when to do it.
Birds of prey capitalize on their keen eyesight and agility. For instance, when fishing the Sound, fishers need to rely on many other aspects such as tides, currents, moon phase, and time of day. Occasionally, diving gulls and top-water blitzes will give up a secret, but overall, much of what we fish for is sight unseen.
Spring to summer, fishing is at its peak. Water temperatures are about optimal and many of the visiting species have arrived. Fish can be found on the reefs, in the bays, and feeding in many of the lower tidal rivers. No matter what type of vessel you have, or if you pedal or walk, fishing is at your disposal and a great activity to rejuvenate all parts of the body. So, go for it and enjoy!
On the Water
A cold front swept through, squeezing most humidity from the air, leaving in its wake a very comfortable few days. Shortly thereafter, air temperatures rose with humid air, while Long Island Sound water remained in the low- to mid-60s. Sea conditions varied with the shifting winds, at times setting the stage for challenging drifts and awkward moments. All in all, fishing on Father’s Day weekend was a success.
A surge of larger striped bass cruised the shoreline during the low light hours of the day. Fish in excess of 40 inches began feeding on live eels, plugs, and bucktails, surprising fishers who have been used to a barrage of schoolies. These shallow-running bass have also responded to soft plastics, even though they were pursuing small schools of scattered menhaden. Fly fishers throwing 8 weights at times wished they had cranked it up to at least a 9 as some of those bass topped 40 pounds.
Black sea bass came back from their short hiatus and picked up from where they left off. Deeper water still returned quality humpbacks, but not as many as before. Overall, there were plenty caught to secure limits and provide some good meals. Hi-lo rigs, jigs, and squid were top producers.
The porgy (scup) bite keeps getting better. Scup to 17 inches are being caught while porgy-pounding the offshore reefs. However, there are also substantial fish being caught from shore in the shallower reefs and rock piles. A few blackfish (tautog) are in the mix, but Connecticut fishers need to wait until Wednesday, July 1 to taste them again.
Many seasoned fishers have been focusing on the summer flouder (fluke) bite. Winds and overall sea conditions have complicated drifts, as has the numbers of seasonal shorts. However, some doormats in excess of 28 inches are being caught farther offshore, while throwbacks are more prevalent inshore. Hi-lo rigs, three-ways, and bucktails dressed with squid and teasers have been successful.
The seasonal sea trout (weakfish) bite slowed down and then picked up again as scattered schools of harbor blues continue to pop up along the rip lines and the Faulkner’s Island area. Bottom fish like sea robins, skate, sand sharks, and northern kingfish are increasing in numbers and being caught regularly. As the air and water temperatures increase, sauce-making and meat picking catches of blue crabs are seeing a hike and clam mining has been aggressively pursued.
Conversely, the low water levels and slow flows, along with the increase in temperatures, are slowing the trout bite. Whether fly or conventional fishing, target the deeper pools and riffles for the best results. Lake and pond fishing has been good for the basses, pickerel, black crappie, catfish, perch, and sunfish.
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 rod repairs, 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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