11-12-2001, 09:35 AM
I stole a couple of hours on Saturday to go down and fish the coast at Milford, CT for the first time. The tide was coming in, and it was the last few hours of daylight. Gulf Beach has a reputation for producing big bluefish when the bunker are around, so I had my big striper and blue arsenal with me. I started out in Gulf Pond, a large salt pond that fills and empties behind the narrows of a bridge. The rip of the incoming tide was strong, and the back eddy on my side was full of hickory shad. I had a strike every five or six casts, but the size of the flies that I was using were on the larger side and keeping these fish hooked was tough. Those that I did bring to hand were healthy and very good sized (16-18"). And boy, some of them jumped a couple of feet out of the water! I've caught shad on the fly before, but they were American shad on the coast of Maine, and they didn't strike or fight nearly as hard as these hickories. Great fun, and plenty of amusement for myself and my wife who came along to take pictures. The fly that worked the best just happened to be the smallest that I had with me, a #2 chartreuse surf candy.
Next time I'll know better. I'll bring along an extra box of flies that are the correct size for shad in case I come across them again. I talked to some other fishermen, and none of them had seen any action with the blues or stripers, even chunking bait.
Adrian, sorry we weren't able to hook up. Hope your golf match went well, and that you got out to do some fishing.
Anybody else make it out to the CT coast this weekend?
11-12-2001, 02:38 PM
Sound like you had fun on Saturday! Sunday proved to be just about bearable for golf but all thoughts of fishing went out the window with the cold weather.
Hickory shad sure are fun! A trip down to Milford with the 7wt and a bunch of small clousers might be on the cards if the wind and tides are favorable this coming week-end. ;)
11-12-2001, 03:18 PM
What a coincidence. Just came back from Milford yesterday (Sunday) on a fishing trip. Figured it would be my last time at boating for bass. Needed one more fix before winter set in. Made the trek down to Milford, CT. to join striper (aka Mike Mayo) on his latest new toy. Mike runs a new 20 foot Triton with a 130 HP. Honda. Man is that motor quiet. Something to be said for them four strokes engines. Chasing that proverbial open water striper into the winter months consumes my passion to continue the season as long as possible. Yes, holdovers bass can be caught, but they lack the spunk of ocean migrating fish. Besides, we have all winter to sit around and procrastinate. If there a chance to fish, especially now that the charter season has ended, I'll take any conditions.
The day was blustery and cold, temperature of 40 degrees. With 20-30 mph northwest wind, the wind chill factor made it feel like we should be at a football stadium. The surface temp gauge read out at 50 degrees. Our strategy was to lee the shore. Mike had done his homework like a good student. He had located a school of bass Saturday. And maybe with a little luck, they might still be holding.
Mike was right on with his assessment, but his estimate time of arrival was a few hours off. We fished the reef the first time, our drifts were fast. His machine registered zilch, but we still managed one schoolie. We did some sightseeing for a couple of hours. When we returned the tide had changed and so did the fish conditions. We located school size bass while drifting from depths of 4 feet to 10 to 20 feet. Every drift was consistent and the fish held for a few hours. Most fish averaged 16-22 inches. Had multiple hookups several times. As we left, Mike had a three bang'er going with three consecutive cast. Tempting his fate he tried for a four peat. You know the rest of the story.
There were plenty of 2 lb pogies in the harbor. A sight that I haven't seen in many a year in Rhode Island waters. Up until this week, there were plenty of 10 lbs plus bluefish around. With bait like that you could see why. Had one brute bluefish take about a one pound bite out of a four pound striper.
The day symbolized more than catching a few fish. The waning days to another season sadly gets me prepared for long cold nights of inside hibernation. The last few memories with fish and friends preserve the fishing images till next spring.
Ray the bunker were still in the harbor ?
11-12-2001, 04:34 PM
Joe, I can't speak for Ray, but people were snagging bunker in the breachway leading to the marina while I was at the salt pond.
11-12-2001, 07:30 PM
I can vouch for the fact that the bunker are still in the harbor as of yesterday, I live on Gulf Pond which dumps into the harbor and I am down at the beach often when not out in the boat. These bunker should stick around for at least another few weeks if history repeats itself. They have historically hung around until Thanksgiving time and longer. If there is any info you need concerning this area just ask and I will try to answer any and all ?'s. I grew up in this area and know the waters intimately, they are not comparable to waters east of here but can produce pretty well at times. Thanks to Capt. Ray for a very fun and enjoyable cold November day of fishing yesterday, maybe we will do it again Ray before the snow flies, I have not yet decided to take the new rig back to the dealer for warranty concerns and winter wrapping so I will be ready for action at least for another week or two.
11-13-2001, 10:08 AM
That is encouraging and the weather prospects for this coming week-end look pretty good. It would be great to wet a line again before the season closes down completely. I live up in Newtown so it's only about 30 mins South for me.
Sounds like Shad or Blues could be targets - maybe Stripers too. If anyones up for it Saturday or Sunday could work for me.