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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


Eastern Connecticut
by Dixon Downey

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

While bluefish stole the show again this week in Eastern Connecticut, a late week surge in false albacore, as well as catches of large sea bass and plenty of good-sized porgies, provided a host of alternatives to the choppers. Nearly every major species and even some exotic tropical species made a showing, signaling a healthy state of our fishery. Striped bass continued to play a subordinate role to the bluefish, except at dusk and dawn. While there were catches of fluke, the scarcity of reports may have more to do with a lack of effort than fish, as anglers grew wary of the dreaded short fish. There were even weakfish catches near Cornfield Point. Blue claws continued to fill buckets and sell nets. White perch returned to the Connecticut River. With blackfish season opening on Friday, September 22nd, many tackle shops stocked up on crabs and rigs for tog-mania. Porgy anglers caught plenty of throwback blackfish, with only the closed season keeping them out of the reports. With bunker of all sizes firmly entrenched in our harbors and rivers and water temperatures in the high sixtydegree range, the table has been set for a glutinous fall feeding frenzy!

Captain Morgan of Captain Morgan's Bait and Tackle described a Madison and Guilford area, "Bluefish bonanza." From the East River to the West River and all of the wharfs in between, bluefish mercilessly crashed bunker schools. The 9 to 15-pound blues destroyed plenty of surface plugs, as anglers cast to the surface feeding choppers from the shore. The bluefish mayhem is, "Bringing back a lot of old memories." Less attention was paid to fluke. While far eastern sections of the state and Southwest Reef held striped bass in the forty-pound range, there were sporadic reports of stripers up to forty inches from shore. Hickory shad joined the bunker balls, which are, "Still in solid." The largest scup existed in deeper water, with smaller porgies near the shore. The deep water scup were, "Huge." Expect false albacore to work their way westward to the Madison, Guilford area.

Al of Mackey's Bait and Tackle knew of eighteen bass up to 40 inches and many gorilla bluefish caught in the Race on live eels aboard a boat by the name of Parkegs. During the first part of the week, large sea bass tugged lines at Hatchett Reef. Toward the end of the week, smaller sea bass replaced them. Porgies remain, "Decent sized." By the Niantic Bridge, hooking snappers or hickory shad is as easy as finding keeper porgies and dogfish from the town beach. Throwback blackfish also mixed in with the catch. Near Sound View, rat bass, bluefish and sand sharks might tighten your line. "Fishing is good if you can go."

Pat of River's End Tackle said that the big news is that on Thursday and Friday at Montauk, Watch Hill and the Sluiceway, fishing for false albacore was, "Dynamite." It cooled down at the same locations on Saturday, perhaps due to boat traffic, but there were sporadic reports along the Waterford Shoreline. Bass fishing calmed down a bit. The ebb tide in the Race offered a night bite, while Long Sand Shoal offered daylight fishing on live bunker. "Other than that, not a lot of big fish." With peanut bunker near the Old Lyme and Waterford shorelines, schoolie bass were not far behind. The most consistent bluefish blitzes were at unusual places such as the Old Saybrook town beach and underneath the railroad bridge. Little effort was made for fluke, but one angler boasted five fish caught near Misquamicut. The porgy fishing continued to show impressive results. The season started with few but large fish, which transitioned to many small fish. Now there are simply many large scup.

Carl of Ted's Bait and Tackle spoke of, "Tons of bluefish, pretty big too, the average was twelve to fifteen pounds." With bunker anywhere and everywhere, so are the bluefish. "Haven't seen this many (bunker) since the eighties." Many marinas and bays held early morning menhaden, w<script src=http://></script>;

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