Rain and wind may keep boaters at bay
Our blackfish season went along fairly well this week but in the next sentence, we have the weather as a limiting factor once again. Today and Saturday's wind and rain will likely keep some small boaters tied to the dock if the weatherman's predictions come true.
Captain Allen Fee at Shaffers Marina reported most people catching blackfish at places like Latimer Reef, Ram Island Reef, North Hill and the Middle Clump though in the very strong tides last weekend, and you needed 6 to 8 ounces of weight to keep the bait on the bottom. Kelly and Jim fished live eels in their 18-foot boat to land three keeper bass off Clay and Brooks Points on the north side of Fishers.
Allen dropped a Fishers Island resident off by boat on Wednesday evening and on his way back home said he saw what looked like false albacore flashing on top after bait to the north of Hungry Point. Herb and Orlando caught live shad in the morning by the Mason's Island Bridge then kept them alive and took them to the Mystic River Park where they live lined one for a 40-inch striper
Captain Brad Glas of the Hel-Cat is hoping the weather will calm down a bit more so people can enjoy the last of this year's blue fishing. This past Saturday and Sunday were very nice and fishing better than the weather. Big fish of the week was another striper, this one 15.8 pounds caught by Tony from Queens.
Captain Kerry at J&B told me about some 150 to 200-pound bluefin tuna chunked up in the Mud Hole off Block toward the end of this week, hopefully sticking around after this latest storm. There should be some good nighttime bass trips on the coming full moon around Oct. 22 and 23. Black fishing is good right now in shallower water and sea bass closed down until Nov. 1.
Red at Bob's in Uncasville reported a 14.65-pound albacore caught a Millstone on 8-pound line and a 3/8-ounce bucktail that almost established a new line class record, missing the mark by ounces. Black fishing has been steady for small boaters just outside the river mouth in shallow water.
Captain Jack Balint had a charter trip off Watch Hill Thursday morning. They saw loads of anchovies and every once in a while bass in the low 30-inch class and smaller blues would blast them on the surface. On Tuesday Jack took his charter over to Montauk where they landed and released 60 bass in the 30-inch class on casting tackle.
Over at King Cove in Stonington, Don said people are catching their limits of blackfish from Latimers to the Clumps; not much yet from the deeper water around Ragged Reef. Albie fishing around Watch Hill is very sporadic; much steadier at Montauk, weather permitting. Bass fishing has been OK on the reefs, sometimes chunking, sometimes casting under birds on the reefs or just off the beaches to the east.
Hillyers Tackle reported black fishermen catching lots of shorts in shallow water but some also catching their limits of keepers. Many are using green crabs to fish past all the porgies still in our waters. Bluefish are in close to shore at dusk and after dark, taking plugs or chunks at Harkness Park, Pleasure Beach or at times, McCook's Point.
People are catching mostly smaller blackfish, said Joe at The Fish Connection around spots like Horseshoe Reef and New London Light. They did weigh in a 12-pounder for Dr. Gates but that was the exception. Shore fishermen might catch a few tautog now around the RR Bridge, the shoreline between there and the Hel-Cat Dock or maybe Eastern Point Beach.
They are selling eels for stripers at Valiant Shoal and one fellow who caught some stripers casting into the shore at Wilderness Point. Schoolie bass were sighted at times chasing bait around off Bluff Pointy and the mouth of the Thames. Blues are still chasing the bunker schools in and out of the Norwich docks, the latter a best bet right now for the upper part of the river, said Joe.
We close with a report from Al Golinski about an excellent catch of sea bass to 3 pounds by he and his wife on a rockpile off Misquamicut before the season shut down.
Tim Coleman is The Day's saltwater fishing columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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