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At the shop, this is the time of year where inventories are evaluated, workshops are given, fishery meetings are attended, rods and reels are serviced, and new products evaluated. One such product received for evaluation is a GPS navigation application from Navionics, an international firm with locations in the USA, Italy, the UK, and Australia. It boasts of having the "world's largest database of marine and lake charts," many of which have been developed through their own proprietary surveys.
The apps reviewed were easily installed on an iPhone and an iPad. Although similar, the one for the iPad is in high definition, affording the screen more punch. If you are at all familiar with GPS navigation, you will find all the basics at your fingertips as well as some fringe benefits such as commentary on searchable locations of interest and the ability to place your own named markers on a chart and share them with others including syncing between devices.
A little assistance from the "help" section of the menu and you will be on your way to plugging in 99 waypoints per route, 1,000 routes, 1,000 tracks, and 200 unique markers-more than the average angler will need, although some might consider 200 markers a little light if their fishing takes place in many locations. The app installed covers US marine and lakes with good detail and the ability to select various viewing map options. There is also the ability to center your current position on the chart or have it rotated to indicate the direction one is facing.
Selecting navigation options like distance, speed, depth, fuel consumption, and how they will be displayed (nm, feet, gallons, kts, etc.) is a snap. Pick a location and weather/tide information is readily available. Furthermore, Navionics's in-app Nav Module purchase adds additional display data including ETA, distance to arrival, heading to waypoint, etc. The more one experiments, the more one finds, such as the ability to tag photos. This is a powerful GPS app for a mobile device-they have done their homework! It and their iPad app are definitely worth checking out at the App Store.
On the Water/Ice
Another cold front passed, causing wind gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour and air temperatures to drop below freezing. Following last week's January thaw, that did little to rebuild ice to safe standards in the majority of southern Connecticut lakes and ponds. Although there were a few hard water destinations, most had some, if not all, open water unless traveling upstate. Long Island Sound is still maintaining water temps in and around 38 degrees, however, some portions of tidal rivers have managed to ice over.
Those who were determined to find ice found the action below varied, with perch, largemouth bass, a few pickerel, and the occasional northern pike flipping flags or falling for the slight twitching of a jigging stick. Farther north, the action was more intense, but limited due to strong winds and the sudden drop in temperatures.
Winter striped bass catches in the upper tidal rivers was slow until the blow passed. Then, it became hit or miss, depending on whether or not timing coincided with their feeding cycle. Generally, the ebb was best when fishing slow and deep to reach tightly schooled fish. Soft plastics, casting mini umbrella rigs, jigs, and tubes garnered most hits. Similarly, trout fishing was very weather-dependent with small swimmers, nymphs, streamers, and some select baits catching mostly browns and some rainbows. Low, slow moving water seemed to be the ticket at the Shetucket, where 28- to 30-inch Atlantic broodstock salmon were, at times, extremely active while at other times, the pickings were frustratingly slow.
Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, shell fishers found this past weekend's tides extremely inviting, considering the last quarter moon brought very low water. That meant clammers could be on and off the beds before noon with their limit of freshly caught clams and oysters.
For all things fishy including licenses, 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.