Thursday, October 4, 2007

TheDay Blackfish Opener A Mixed Bag

  • The best spots for small boaters were Seaflower Reef and Black Rock; for shore anglers, the Gold Star and RR Bridges, Seaside jetties and New London Light. Blackfish season opened with mixed results said Joe Balint at the Fish Connection. He had reports of limit catches for some but others returned saying they caught little or only large porgies.
  • Joe's son Jack is catching false albacore consistently on his charters over to Montauk but sometimes got a very rough ride home in the afternoon winds. Bonito popped in and out of Pleasure Beach, sport for those there at the right time.
  • We also had fishing news from the Thames River from Red at Bob's Rod & Tackle who said there are blues of all sizes in the river chasing bunkers or caught in ones and twos by shore anglers using chunks of frozen bait on the bottom. Most of the blackfish reports talked about the average fish between 18 and 19 inches. Current regulations allow you to keep four fish per day from state waters with a 14-inch minimum size.
  • Porgies are also in the river along with some jumbos to 15 inches on the rockpiles just in and around the river mouth. Bass were caught at night drifting with live eels or trolling the tube and worm during the day.
  • Al Golinski of Misquamicut and his wife Emme have been enjoying good to excellent catches of sea bass off the rockpiles from Misquamicut to Weekapaug, fishing during the slower part of the tide, avoiding the heavy current during the recent full moon. Al hasn't seen many blues in his travels nor has he been bothered by them biting off his sea bass rigs. This is in keeping with the slowdown in blue fishing experienced by Connecticut residents visiting the Rhode Island beaches.
  • Capt. Don's in Charlestown said the beach fishing from Charlestown over to Watch Hill is a lot slower than the last full moon. People are finding some bass in a very crowded Quonny Breachway or here and there from the Blue Shutters to Napatree Point. One Florida visitor caught three bass from 18 to 32 inches at Watch Hill on Tuesday evening but others had little to show for their time.
  • Capt. Allen Fee at Shaffers reported good blackfishing over the past weekend with perhaps the best catch made by Bob Bellerose and wife from Chaplin with nine tautog to 9 pounds at Ellis and Ram Island Reefs. Please keep in mind the blackfish season is still closed in New York waters until Monday (Oct. 1).
  • During the heavy, full-moon tides during mid-week people needed much bigger sinkers to hold bottom trying either for blackfish or large porgies. Bunkers were sighted in both the Mystic River and Stonington Harbor, sometimes with bluefish chasing them around. Bonito were around from Groton Airport to Watch Hill, zooming this way and that, gone some days before people could rig a rod for them. It pays to have a light spinning rod rigged and ready with a Deadly Dick or other productive lure on the boat if bonito show up on the surface.
  • Capt. Tom Clapsadle of M&M Sportfishing sent in an e-mail saying his wife Bobbette landed her personal best striper, a 51-pounder, trolling a tube and worm slowly on the ebb tide off the south side of the west end of Fishers Island.
  • Capt. Brad Glas of the Hel-Cat reported he had to move around this past week to “play the spots” to come up with a good catch of blues with stripers mixed in. On one day everyone on the boat caught a keeper bass as well as some bluefish. Over the weekend the tides picked back up, making it easier to locate fish. Big fish of the week goes to Tom Fix of Valatie, N.Y. with a 19-pound striped bass.
  • Over at J&B Tackle, Roger told me their charter boat had good striper fishing at night on Monday and Tuesday thanks to pickup in the tides. Bonito were sighted and caught on Wednesday by three boats around Bartletts Reef. One of the anglers used a very small Crippled Herring while others stuck with the standard Deadly Dick or Needle Eel.
  • Blackfishing was fair to good in 10 to 12 feet of water over the weekend past and 40 to 50-pound bluefin were trolled or chunked in the Mud Hole on the east side of Block Island
  • Jeff Frechette sent in an e-mail about his latest offshore fishing. They left Niantic for the Block Island Mud Hole around 5 in the morning and landed a small bluefin on a cedar plug after 10 minutes of trolling. That fish was followed by another small tuna and three bonitos in the next hour.
  • Their next move was out to the Suffolk wreck where they landed two blue sharks, lost a legal mako at the gaff and boated another mako that measured 7-feet, 3-inches from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.
  • Richard at Hillyers Tackle said they weighed a 4.45-pound triggerfish caught by Christine Small of Shelton on a green crab in Niantic Bay. It's been submitted to the Connecticut DEP as a new, pending state record for that species.
  • As of Thursday there were both bunker and hickory shad around the Niantic Bridges for bait for striper fishing or sport on a light rod.
  • Down at River's End, Mark talked about bluefish blitzes at the mouth of the Connecticut River and good catches also at times on the flood tide in Plum Gut. Chunkers caught blues from shore in the lower river along with a few smaller bass. Kayakers and small boaters also caught schoolies and blues casting around Great Island early in the day.
  • Porgies remain on all reefs and bonito come and go without any consistency, certainly nothing to plan a day around at this point. Crabbing remains good in the Oyster River plus North and South Coves.
  • We close with another note about continued good to excellent cod and haddock fishing out of Gloucester, Mass. This writer and three others fished with my friend Capt. Jerry Hill, a fellow with 60 years experience, on Tuesday in some stiff southwest winds, filling up a large cooler with 7 bags of haddock fillets, three bags of tasty cod fillets along with cusk and one pollock, mostly caught on bait in 240 to 290 feet of water about 25 miles offshore.

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