Plenty of fish; plenty of wind and rain, too
By Tim Coleman
Our waters are full of fish but the downside to that is the weatherman is calling for four days of northeast winds and rain, probably keeping many tied to the dock or the boat kept on the trailer in the back yard.
During the week, people got their four-fish black fish limits said Captain Howard Beers at Hillyers though the majority of the fish were just keeper or medium sizes. The shop did weigh in four over 10 pounds during that period. Those were the exception not the rule.
Albies popped up all over the place and some of the light tackle boats with two people aboard caught and released 24 of the inshore speedsters. The Race is full of blues and bass best for shore anglers from Old Lyme to the mouth of the Thames River at sunrise and last light.
Al Golinski of Misquamicut got out for sea bass off Misquamicut on Sunday. He dropped on three spots, the first full of blues to 15 pounds biting the sea bass in half before he could get them to the surface. The next location produced only dinks and his last drifts over rocks in 50 feet of water produced a limit of just keepers and mediums. As a sign of the times, he plans to pull his boat either today or the weekend and call a halt to the 2009 season.
Captain Allen Fee at Shaffers reported limits of blackfish over the past weekend into Monday. People fished off North Hill and two locals had their limits in two hours on a tiny hump around buoy 13 off Latimer Light. Biggest of the three days was 10 pounds. Captain Bruce Meyers said he is chunking up far less stripers now on trips to Sugar Reef, filling in with keeper to large sea bass on the rocky humps off Misquamicut. Sea bass are closed in federal waters but still open in state waters.
John Cudo of Old Mystic called Allen with a report of large blues chasing bunkers way up in the Mystic River by Old Mystic. John said he didn't need to take his boat out that Monday because 33-inch blues were right in his backyard.
Our charter boat is catching numbers - not sizes - of blackfish said Kyle at J&B Tackle. In the morning and again late in the afternoon, the ablies have been popping up around the rip line and drop-offs at Black Point. He also got news about confirmed catches of cod on Cox's Ledge on the calmer days, fishing through lots of dogfish.
On Wednesday trollers using the tube and worm around the Pequot Bridge caught blues to 38 inches said Joe Balint at the Fish Connection. Up in Norwich Harbor, a mix of small and large bunkers is holding larger blues, schoolies and a few large bass in place. Captain Jack Balint did well this week with ablies, finding them at various times at Race Point, Bluff Point or outside Silver Eel Pond. Black fishermen are taking home mainly smaller keepers with the biggest around 6 pounds.
Bob's in Uncasville told me about a mix of small and large blues chasing bunkers of various sizes around from buoy 27 to Norwich. Find the bait and you find the fish. He also had a report of a couple keeper bass one day at Montville, the only such news the whole week.
Mark down at River's End in Old Saybrook reported the black fishing in his part of the Sound is on the slower side right now with either shorts or just legal fish. Small boaters caught schoolies casting in the lower Connecticut River and shore casters had large blues with range at times around Old Lyme. The beaches offer much better access now than the busy summer with parking tickets galore.
The Hel-Cat closes out our report for another week with news about lots of blues, the boat fishing every day except one lost to gale winds. Blue fishing is excellent with an occasional bass “lucky or fast enough” to beat a bluefish to the bait. Big fish of the week was a 14-pound blue caught by regular Tony Sanchez. They will continue sailing daily 9 to 3 until Oct. 25, their last trip of 2009.
Tim Coleman is The Day's saltwater fishing columnist.