(pictured is one of Capt. Chris Hessert from Manhattan on the Fly's clients with a nice tuna)
Northeast Saltwater Fisheries News
Connecticut River Bonus Striped Bass Program
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection is issuing free vouchers to anglers fishing the Connecticut River to take 4,025 striped bass in a size range (at least 22 inches in length but shorter than 28 inches) below the current recreational minimum length for stripers in Connecticut.
* Each voucher allows the angler to keep one “bonus” striper and can be used only on the Connecticut River from just above the I-95 bridge to the Massachusetts border. The vouchers are valid through June 30.
* Vouchers can be obtained at the same DEP Offices where licenses are sold, while fishing along the Connecticut River from DEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police Officers and Riverfront Recapture Rangers and now will also be available from tackle retailers who have offered to distribute vouchers.
* Anglers can obtain two vouchers per day and use a maximum of two vouchers per day to keep “bonus” fish.
* Use of these vouchers does not affect an angler’s ability to keep their regular daily limit of striped bass. Each angler participating in the program can also keep up to two striped bass a day, 28 inches or larger in total length.
For more information, visit:
www.ct.gov/dep/fishing or call 860-424-3474
Northeast Saltwater Fishing Reports
*note the northeast fishing reports work their way up the coast from south to north starting with New Jersey.
New Jersey Fishing Reports
Capt. Byan DiLio from Iowa Fortune Guide Service fishing in and around Ocean City and Atlantic City reported:
The back country is wound tight like a coil waiting to unleash is magic and I confess the wait... it's torturous at times. Hitting the weather windows all week provided us with decent action and no boats the entire week. Even though we still have a trace of last weeks "all or none" fishing pattern which I deemed the "pattern of no pattern" where the Bass would not be in the same area consecutive days, this week they began tracking a bit more predictably. The Bass have been holding in tight groups of 1 to 6 fish and range in size from 18"- 24" and willing to take most subsurface presentations, but still hit and miss with their willingness to crash on any top water plugs or flies. We are due for bruiser Bluefish to make their way into the SNJ backcountry making short time of anything that is put in front of them. These Blues usually range in size from 4 lbs to 6 lbs and the Bass can most often be found, in textbook fashion, stemming the current behind these "Blue dogs," feeding on the left overs. With all the recent heat the water temperatures jumped big time into the low 70's and this in turn should have the backcountry hatches in full bloom on the upcoming full moon. All ingredients combined will translate into some prime springtime sight fishing over the next couple of weeks...let the games begin. That's all for now...let the games begin Capt. Bryan DiLeo
The Beach Haven Charter Boat Association reported in from Beach Haven: The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are looking forward to the next couple of week’s fishing. The water temperatures have taken a hit lately, dropping dramatically. This has had a negative effect on the fluke and black sea bass action. However, with high temperatures forecast this week, it looks like the water temperatures should be back up where they belong. Captain Carl Sheppard on the “Star Fish” fished last Friday with two anglers and found a wreck with some nice sea bass in 100-feet of water. Captain Carl says the bottom temperature must have been cold as they also picked up ling and cod. He tried fishing the Little Egg Reef on Sunday and found the bite to be slow due to the icy water. Captain John Koegler took “Star Fish” out on Monday looking for bluefin and shark. In addition to some big bluefish, he picked up both mako and brown sharks. Recent good reports of yellowfin tuna at the offshore canyons should make for some interesting trips. Captain Lindsay Fuller is bringing the “June Bug” up from Hatteras this weekend for the summer and plans to do some trolling for tuna on his way up the coast.
New York Saltwater Fishing Reports
Capt. John McMurray from one More Cast Fishing Charters from in and around Jamaica Bay area reported:
Wow... What a difference a week makes. Finally some good weather and the sight-fishing just went off. Once the sun came out the white-sand flats were really, really good. Back in the Bay things kicked into high-gear also with fish consistently taking poppers up along the marsh line. It's about freak'n time! But back to the sight-fishing. If you've never done it for stripers it's super cool... It's more like hunting fish rather than fishing for them. By far my favorite kind of fishing. Give us a shout if you want to give it a try.
Capt Brendan McCarthy from Urban Fly Guides checked in with this short to the point fishing report from in and around the New York City area:
Northfork of Longisland flats striped bass fishing is on fire. Montauk and Jamaica Bay are also really heating up with action… Finally!!
pictured above is Brendan McCarthy and a client with a nice striper from this past week
Captain David Blinken from North Flats Guiding fishing out of the Hampton's reported:
The flats and shoals from the Peconics to Gardeners Bay are loaded with stripers in all sizes and in some areas large blues up to 15 lbs.
The creeks and estuaries gave been fishing well on the falling tide.
The sight fishing when the sun is shining has been great.
There are also loads of large cocktail blues in channels, rips and points.
The primary bait is sand eels with a good smattering of spearing and shrimp.
On cloudy days chartruce flies have been a good choice and on brighter days more muted colors have been working well.
Floating and clear tip lines have been a good choice out here, making casting and recasting at fast crusing more effective.
Pictured above is a striped bass that was trying to eat a turtle. Nice picture David, I would not have believed it had I not seen it.
Captain Chris Hessert from Manhattan Fly Fishing reported: Got out Monday to the Texas Tower for the fish offshore...EPIC, flat like a pancake. Clean water, life everywhere!. 3 bft...a 140 class fish and 2 50 class fish. Lines in at 6:30, all fish by 8:30am...ran to the the west Wall of the hudson to search Yellowfin. Cool water, mid 60s...no luck. Back to the Tower. BFT breaching on bait...even casted at few but no luck....back to the barn. 232 mile in 12 hrs and change (with sushi)!
Connecticut Saltwater Fishing Reports
Overall surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the upper 50’s to low 60’s °F.
Striped Bass fishing has improved on the local reefs and rip areas throughout LIS with some nice sized cows over 40 inches in length now being reported on a regular basis. Striper spots include the reefs off Watch Hill and the eastern tip of Fishers Island, lower Pawcatuck River, the Race, Plum Gut, Millstone outflow, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, lower Connecticut River (DEP fishing pier), Long Sand Shoal, Southwest Reef, Falkner Island area, Thimble Islands to the Branford Reefs, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Housatonic River (up to the Derby Dam), Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands.
Bluefish fishing has slightly improved with some larger choppers moving in to LIS. Bluefish spots include the Race, Sandy Point area (Stonington), Millstone outflow, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Bridgeport Harbor, and around the Norwalk Islands.
Summer Flounder (fluke) has picked up with some big slabs being reported in western LIS (Norwalk area). Other fluke spots include Gardiners Bay, the Peconic Bays, and the north shore of Long Island, Niantic Bay, Black Point, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island and off the New Haven breakwaters.
Scup(porgy) fishing is still on the early side.
Capt. Sandy Noyes from Rum Runner Guide Service reported in from in and around Stonington: The squid have finally arrived to our area in full force. The good news is that they brought the bass with them. Our trips this week had excellent results with fish averaging eight pounds all taken on a fly. The fish are scattered around and not bunched up in the same place so you have to keep moving. Both tides have been equally productive. We also saw our first schools of fish in the inshore waters. They were slurping small sand eels and occasionally pushing squid up on the surface.
Rhode Island Saltwater Fishing Reports
Block Island Fishworks reported:
As June rolls along the fishing is very good. Water temperatures are a nice 58-62 degrees and areas like North Light, Old Harbor Pt., and the South Side have great fishing. Light tackle and fly rodders are catching early morning bites, with a second trip in the early evening. Topwater, diamond jigs, and soft plastics in a variety of colors are all working well. Fly fishing? Use olive/wht clousers, chartreuse whitebaits, squidsicles, and white guglers. The dogfish have hindered the fluke bite directly around the island - hopefully they will move out soon. Tuna??? Not yet, but the Cape has been good and water in the Canyons is shaping up nicely. The first scouting trip was a bust - hope to look again in the next couple of days.
Capt. Mike Duclos from Tiderunner Charters reported in from Long Island Sound from the Watch Hill reefs of Rhode Island to Orient Point, New York area:
The season is off to a slow, but improving start. Stripers and Bluefish chasing primarily sand eels making matching fly patterns and soft baits good choices.
The water temps are on the rise and bluebird skies will help with getting the fish and bait together. We are looking for squid to turn on the stripers any day now.
Capt. Ray Stachelek, Cast a Fly Charters from Block Island reports: The first heat wave of the summer this past week; mainland temps in low nineties,
Block Island remains comfortable in the mid-seventies. We’ve completely aborted Narragansett Bay. There are a few stripers around but the success rate is low with plenty of searching, casting, and running around. The bait situation is very poor, oxygen levels low, and water temps high.
Out at Block Island the sand eels can be found almost anywhere. Not as dense as previous years where is would fill the screen from top to bottom, there are scattering of bait around. Enough bait to keep small pods of stripers around. Fishing is improving each day. The biggest determent has been heavy fog; nothing seems too materialized near the surface.
We had good friend and striper fanatic Bob Signorella onboard this week. This was one of those trips you look forward to each year and wish for better weather. Bob comes all the way from Pennsylvania just to fish for linesiders every couple of years. We were blanketed by heavy fog all day that never cleared. Most gulls were floating on the calm waters confused too. Cold southerly winds soon make matters worse. We headed back toward the mainland as thunder filled the skies, a disappointed trip to say the least.
We finally got a break from fog on Joe Herbert’s Wednesday trip. We found gull activity on sand lances all along the North Rip near sunrise with over a dozen boats already there. Smaller size pods of stripers in the 6-12 lbs. class were slashing bait below the surface. Under these quiet conditions, boat started moving up and down the rip line searching, found that the noise soon killed the bite. We left to get away from the fleet and headed south. It took some time to find to find the bite again. We found stripers on bottom structure in 25 feet of water. The bite lasted for over an hour. We stopped at the North Rip again on the way home to find fish running up and down the bar as the tide was filling in. All toll maybe 15-18 stripers with temps being 75 degrees while the mainland hit the low nineties. No really big cows, but it was nice and cool and a good good day to boot.
Massachusetts Fishing Reports
Capt. Alan Hastbacka from Got Stryper Guide Service out of Chatham, Mass reports in: The striped bass are here in good numbers. There are some big ones too. You can see them all over, trick has been getting them to eat a lure, they have been moody. But when they turn on the fishing is hot.
Captain Phil Cronin from Capawock Charters fishing out of Martha's Vineyard reported:
June – the best month of the year for linesiders! If you want the thrill of catching striped bass on light tackle then June is by far the best month of the year to target them. This year has been no exception. Well maybe one exception; the heavy fog that lingered in the sound 2 weeks ago made it difficult finding and staying on the fish. This last week has been blessed with great weather and excellent bass fishing. The linesiders have been keyed into deep water sand eels so the flyfishing can be picky at times but spin fishing throwing sand eel imitation plastics has been incredible. We’ve had some fantastic trips the last ten days.
When it comes to shear power and pull, there are few fish that can match the striped bass. Built by mother nature to hold steady in almost any current, these predators can put an umbelievable amount of pressure on any rod. They don’t make the long runs of albies or the erratic fights of bonitos and bluefish, but they do offer an unmatched tug on your tackle. If you want to know just how these kings of the surf are able to pull so hard, take a gander at the following photo. This fish could have pulled our boat back to the dock if we knew how to train it. It wasn’t a huge fish but it did measure around 36 inches. What is noteworthy is the tail of the fish. That guy had game, and the game was all in its tail.
Now is the time to be on the water trying to locate these wonderful fish. The best way to find them is to watch the birds, especially the gulls. Often times the smaller birds (terns) will be over bluefish and the larger ones (gulls) will be on the bass. As is typical this time of year, the fish move around quite a bit so what happened yesterday is not always going to hold true today. If you want to be successful, you have to hunt down the current location of June bass out on the water. It’s certainly not like shore fishing.
One last thing. Get your kids, nephews or nieces involved with fishing. It’s a wonderful way to teach them how to respect their natural surroundings and understand the cycle of life. Over this past week we saw a pilot whale, a pod of porpoises, a pair of surface cruising blue sharks, acres of fining spiny dogfish, turtles, a basking shark, gannets, gulls, terns, petrels, shearwaters, and on and on. We were never more than a few miles off the coast of the Vineyard. Share these experiences with younger kids whenever you get a chance and pass on the fishing heritage that has brought so much joy to you.
Tight Lines and Singing Drags until next week
New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing Reports
Nothing this week from captains there,I suspect the wind this past week blew them all off the water.
Maine Saltwater Fishing Reports
Captain Eric Wallace from Coastal Fly angler fishing out of Casco Bay reported: This past week we got a short glimpse of the quality of fishing that is at our door steps, with a few days of light southwesterly flow a few warm humid nights the fishing on Thursday the hottest day of the year so far brought the hottest fishing I have seen in years!!!! The fish in the morning where pretty snappy and very willing to eat, the afternoon tide even in the bright hot sun provided some very good sight fishing conditions with willing fish tons of fun.. The amount of fish we saw swimming in big schools swimming near the inner island beaches was crazy, big fish swimming high in the water column,looked like groups of tarpon swimming up a backcountry channel edge during the migration... Well they did not swim to Maines water for exercise they followed the bait and it's here!!!! there is plenty of small juvenile sea herring spread out in the Casco Bay- Saco Bay Area, but the big fish are looking for the Blue Back Herring and they have found it in the Freeport to Portland area rivers in pretty good numbers and I'm sure that area spreads farther north and south just given a first hand report here.. So we have lots of fish, lots of bait and good tides, but one of the big links is missing, stable weather!!!! The past few days the temps have dropped 25 degrees and the wind is bouncing NW- NE putting a little hiccup in the fishing, we are still boating a few nice fish on each trip but working hard for each, weather wise we are looking to be a little bouncy next few days, the fish are going to want to eat again so stay after it and you will be rewarded... RELEASE UM QUICKLY
If you are interested in an archive of all the past Northeast Fishing reports you can find then here . Now stop reading and get out this week and catch some fish!
Chief Anger, TidalFish.com