Holiday Season is Upon Us
It has been obvious for a while that the holiday season has been amplified much earlier this year. Perhaps, it is due in part to the troublesome supply chain and availability of goods, softer confidence in the current economic climate, inflation, etc. However, we have seen a leap in travel and a surge in seasonal purchases in addition to the normal staples and necessities.
Now that Thanksgiving festivities have abated, it is truly time to turn our attention to the traditional and orderly arrival of the Christmas holiday season. For the fisher, fisher’s family and friends, recipients of those fresh fish fillets and the onboard guests whose time it is to replace some of the lost gear contributed to the sea bottom, now is the time to say thank you.
True, there are those who are not fishers and may be clueless when it comes to the fine points of fishing, but in all honesty, it really is the thought that counts — even though there might be a little dig now and then. A fisher is similar to any tradesman. There are tools that are a necessity, those that make life so much easier and more efficient, and then those that fall into a wish list that never seems to come to fruition.
Hooks, line, sinkers, and a quality knife (for example) would generally be considered necessities. A fish lipper, net, hook remover and a pair of pliers or multi-tool would certainly make life easier while a fishing rod, reel, tackle box/surf bag and digital scale fit nicely onto a wish list. For stocking stuffers or tokens of appreciation, choices that are endless could consist of lures, rigs, an array of accessories and, if still uncertain, try a Captain Morgan’s gift certificate.
Clamming and blue crabbing are two of the other extremely popular shoreline activities. For the clammers, there are an assortment of clamming/oyster rakes, baskets, suckers, etc., and for the crabbers who lust for fresh crab meat and Old Bay seasoning, there are always crab traps, nets and hand lines.
This is just a short roadmap to a fisher’s heart — any one of which would be greatly appreciated and readily used. So, for one of the best rewarding experiences, swing by Captain Morgan’s and seek out the advice and assistance from a lifelong fisher who knows fishing, the local waters and many points beyond.
On The Water
Following a few bone chilling few days, high pressure built front the west followed by another weak frontal boundary that passed to the south. High pressure built in time for Thanksgiving Day, elevating air temperatures into the 50’s before a weak cold front pushed through. High pressure briefly returned for the weekend with 50-degree air temperatures waffling before dipping back down into the mid-40s. Long Island Sound nearshore water temps dropped into the high 40s while pockets of mid-Sound temps flirted with the low 50s. Between changing frontal systems, periods of unsettled seas, haze, fog, isolated rain, gusty winds and occasional small craft warnings altered the seascape. However, some unseasonably warm weather did return but overall, normal November conditions began taking hold giving pause to what lies ahead.
The last of the blackfish (tautog) fishers took advantage of the final full day of the 2022 tog season as the weather held together. Although early morning air temps dipped into the 30-40s, daytime waters were nearly ideal, hovering around the low 50s. Except for a hiccup on Friday, both air and water temps cooperated — although winds did kick up, creating some higher seas offshore but northerly winds offered an element of protection for the first half of the weekend when togging closer to shore and by the walls. As far as quality of catches, that did not change much. Numbers of shorts persisted while more fish in the 3-5 pound range were caught as the near-to-offshore reefs (like Southwest, Madison and Kimberly) had a few surprises. All in all, the season wound up with a flurry of small boaters giving their jigs and rigs a workout while togs began moving deeper.
While there remains scattered pockets of warmer water and, for the most part, water temperatures are dropping, there are striped bass feeding along the shoreline and the lower tidal rivers. As we head into December, there are still various schools of forage including menhaden. Our local population of stripers are staging in preparation of heading upriver to their holdover habitats. However, expect to encounter brief periods of topwater action during those few bluebird days left as water temps approach the low 40s. Although days are progressively getting shorter and migratory fish head out, there will be holdover stripers to be caught in the days ahead.
If you care to challenge the elements and there is room enough in your freezer to add some porgy and/or black sea bass, head for the deeper reefs. Squid is the ticket and perhaps, add a few crabs for the sea bass. One has through Dec. 1 for sea bass and Dec. 31 for porgy. As an aside, winter flounder and white perch 2022 seasons are also open through Dec. 31. It is possible that one may run into a few weakfish or bluefish left in the Sound but for now, do not count on it.
Not surprisingly, the fresh water scene is more active with fish than anglers looking to hookup. Trout are biting in the rivers, TMA’s, native brookie waters and trout parks on inline spinners, swimmers, live baits and flies while Atlantic broodstock salmon are beginning to draw more anglers to the Shetucket and Naugatuck. Largemouth bass catches are a little more challenging, but definitely worth some casts. Panfish (yellow perch, black crappie, etc.), pickerel, catfish and limited northern pike catches have been caught on live baits and artificials.
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 the latest gear, flies/fly fishing, rods/reels, clam/crabbing supplies, fishing trips, licenses/permits and much more, 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 and Authorized Penn Premium Dealer, where we don’t make the fisherman, we make the fisherman better.