: north shore still alive
10-23-2000, 09:06 AM
While most of you were in RI Saturday, I took my last offshore trip for tuna, which was a bust. But, after coming in beaten from heavy winds, I got a chance to fish some of the ledges and sandy beaches north of Manchester Harbor with my buddy in his little lobster boat. We got into a great little school of bass off one of those beaches--it was pretty much like flats fishing but in deeper water (8-12'). Nothing huge, up to 24" with some near keepers swimming around, but they were a little choosy. Still, no complaints for late October. There is some beautiful structure up there. Juve patterns produced the best, and the inner harbor is still so thick with them that you could walk on them...
10-23-2000, 09:33 AM
Hmmmm......I was thinking about giving it a go this week.
What a month it's been. The weatherman said no storms for the next 4 days. So it's worth a try. I'd love a few more 24" fish. Did I mention it's going to be a long winter?
10-23-2000, 09:39 AM
thinking about a trip this week before work...let me know if/when you're
10-23-2000, 10:01 AM
Jared: Will do. Thanks again for your help at Quonny. Weather this week looks great for this time of year.
10-23-2000, 10:51 AM
I'm contemplating tomorrow morning, or Wednesday.
Hmmm... tempting! I've got a too much going on this week though, hope they hang until next week. Wonder if the warmth of the estuary is holding them?
10-23-2000, 12:22 PM
Juro: Which estuary?
Terry - I was referring to the harbor in Manchester, the tidal creek and peat banks reach in a good distance from the open water and the mud flats are dark and shallow up inside. As JeffG says, the pogies are still hanging in the harbor so as long as they maintain their relationship and the water is hospitable you'd think they'll stay around.
Roop's report sure is tempting me to look south again... http://126.96.36.199/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif
10-25-2000, 10:25 AM
Got down to Devereux about an hour before high tide last night. Nobody was fishing the ocean side beach, so I walk down with just my head lamp to check things out. The water was dirty & the surface was quite, so I decided to look around some. I crossed the street & went over to the little town boat launch area on the harbor side. When I got there I was greeted by the most incedible sight. Not thousands, not millions, but Billions of juvie pogies. They went out maybe 50 yards & were hundreds of yards wide & very THICK! There is a little concrete pier to the left of the ramp that juts out maybe 50 feet. I walked out on it, so I was maybe in 3-4 ' of water; I looked down with my head lamp, but could not see the bottom through the bait. I got down on my knees & started scooping up handfuls of pogies. The bad news was that they were totally relaxed & unmolested.
I went back over to the ocean side, put on my waders & casted for a while, but it seemed quite dead. I decided to make this more of a scouting trip & find some other access points. I heard (other board) that there was access off Commerial Ave. where people had been getting makrel. But before I left I had to look at the bait on more time to make sure nothing was slamming it, so I drove over.
This time I had my waders on & could not resist. I walked down the ramp into thigh deep water to feel the pitter-patter of bait on my legs. As I was leaving a started to hear some splashes, almost as if my disturbing the bait had started something, then more splashes, then a lot more, so I ran back to the truck & got my fly rod which was already strung with a 4" 1/0 pogie pattern & started casting. The water was boiling, but the breaks seemed very small; I wanted to hook up to see if these were twinkey stripers or Maks. I got a few bumps, but no hookups. It occurred to me that I was basically playing PowerBall; Even if there were several hundred fish, there was still a Billion pogies & even if my fly looked wounded there was already a lot of wounded bait in the water. So I tried everything: dead drift, twitch, slow strip, medium strip, fast strip, extra-fast strip, let it sink, don't let it sink, but all I kept getting was bumps. Remember my fly had a 1/0 hook (but I'm getting ahead of myself).
I finally grabbed my spin rod & put on a small RattleTrap, because I have found this lure can stimulate strikes even when there is a lot of bait around. Also, this lure has very small hooks. After a few more bumps I finally hooked up, not much fight. I landed this 8" thing and looked at it closely. It was beige on top & changed to a gold color on the side; it was a little shinney. It did not have flat sides, but was more cylindrical. It had a rounded head, & rouned & somewhat large pertural fins, & the rest of the fins were small. It appeared to have small teeth. The only thing I could think of was maybe a Whiting, but I thought Whiting were flat sided? I caught a couple more maybe up to 10-11". I was going to keep one, take a digital photo & post it; I should have done this, but didn't. When I left the tide had been going out for less then a hour & there were thousands of dead pogies on the beach. I went down to Commerical Ave & there was two guys fishing from the docks & it looked like they were jigging for Maks, so I called it a night.
Now in hind sight, I think the thing look like a distant cousin to a sculpin. I did a search on the web, but could not find anything that looked exactly like this fish?
10-25-2000, 10:31 AM
10-25-2000, 10:45 AM
That has a triangular head, a small pect. fin & a horizontal line. The things I saw had a rouned head, larger pect. fin & no line.
But, Some fish look very different in their juvenile stage than they do as adults??
What ever these things were, they would make a great meal for larger Stripers. I have an old 7" wooden rappala swimmer that's a pretty good match.
The only fish I found on the web that Kind of resembeled this fish was a Grunion, but that's a west coast only fish??
Damn, I should have brought one home!
10-25-2000, 12:02 PM
The morning we were up in Magnolia, you hooked a few small pollok, but I did not see them. Do you remember what they looked like??
Yeah, that picture is exactly what I caught. From what you are describing it is definitely not a pollack. Pollack have very small scales, almost feels like skin, and are super slimy. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. Slow day at work though means I can do some research. Lets see what we come up with...
10-25-2000, 01:31 PM
I don't suppose there is any chance they were small cod? Similar to a pollock, but brown/beige/gold, more rounded head and that little protrusion under the lip???
10-25-2000, 02:32 PM
It's possible. They did have a pretty soft mouth, a few just fell off the hook as I was reeling them in.
I think it's just a case that it's some type of fairly common fish that just looks different in its juvie stage??
10-25-2000, 02:44 PM
What about Tom Cod. Found close to shore. People usually don't I D them correctly.
10-25-2000, 04:25 PM
I think Tom Cod or Small Cod is the best bet.
Fifteen years ago, I used to unload Cod boats, so I've seen a lot in my time, but I'm used to seeing full grown adults, not these 8-10" things.
However, I am surprised they'd bust bait on the surface; I thought they were strictly bottom feeders??
Well, I guess I'm going to have to go out tonight & snap a few digital pics. One of the reasons I didn't bring one home last night was that I was worried that I may be taking an undersized something-or-other! Also, I didn't have a plastic bag!
10-25-2000, 05:18 PM
Maybe This ??
<a href="http://www.ocean.udel.edu/mas/seafood/croaker.html" target="_blank"><!--auto-->http://www.ocean.udel.edu/mas/seafood/croaker.html</a><!--auto-->