CT Fish Guides offers the opportunity to both novice and longtime anglers to strengthen their fishing skills. We pride ourselves on angler’s accomplishments of their own, by giving you the tools and information to land and identify high-quality fish. CT Fish Guides offers lessons on fly casting, on the water surfcasting and fly rodding from the CT shore to RI. We also offer info on destination fishing with tips and friends to visit before you hit the water. There’s a time and technique for everything and to ignore one method or another is only a way to limit yourself. Our philosophy is simple; there is never any one way to do anything and a successful angler should never stop learning. Open mindedness and thinking outside the box can help develop new and deadly skills. Learn what techniques are best suited for certain applications and make them work for you. Let us bring you to the next level.
Fall In The Western Sound 2010
For the past few years, a reoccurring question among surf anglers is: “What happened to the Fall Run?” First, unless you’re thinking of Montauk, get the nostalgic images of birds diving into a froth of bass, blues, and bait out of your head. Simply put, Connecticut and Rhode Island anglers don’t experience consistent fall fishing like they once did. Whatever the reason, whether it’s crashing stocks or offshore bait migrations, times have changed and surfcasters must adapt.
Surfcasters and fishermen in general can be a stubborn bunch. If you’re not experiencing the fall action that you used to, swallow your pride and rethink your spots. This is not the spring herring run, so the places that treated you well in May and June may not show the same love in September and October. The same goes for tidal phases. A good plan is to come up with a solid rotation of spots to hit at different tides.
When reevaluating your bass haunts, think of current and structure with depth close by. In some cases, these spots may have very short windows for when they are primed for taking cows. I try to concentrate on specific holding lies where there is strong current. I like to think the large opportunistic feeders will set up in areas where it’s hard to ignore an offering drifting by them at the right speed.
Another thing to keep in mind is that striped bass don’t wait until the Autumnal Equinox to start their fall migrations. Many fish will begin moving in late August and early September. Sometimes anglers get into their hardcore fall-mode too late and miss large waves of migrating bass. Overall, September has been my most successful month in Connecticut waters for the past few years. This is when I encounter many bass in the 30-pound class locally.
This past fall, friends and I followed the old adage of not leaving fish to find fish. We were lucky to experience some great early-fall action in our home waters, which cut down on drive times and gas money. We had a string of consistent fishing that lasted nearly two months. Live eels and large soft plastics accounted for dozens of stripers between 15 and 30 pounds, but never an ounce over. On one night in late September, more than 24 bass over 15 pounds were landed, four surpassing 24 pounds. The larger fish remained elusive, but we went without a skunk in September and October. It was epic only because of its consistency.
As good as early-fall fishing can be, don’t make the mistake of hanging it up too early. Atlantic herring move into tidal rivers and harbors in late November and early December, and pursuing striped bass are never far behind. Unlike summer when it’s strictly a night game for surfcasters, fall is a great time to get out during the day.
The great fall migration of striped bass still occurs every year, although it might not be as visible as it once was. Discounting holdover populations, all stripers have to migrate and you can bet they put on the feedbag before starting their long journeys. We don’t frequently witness bass blitzing on football fields of peanut bunker anymore, but there is still plenty of feeding going on right under our noses. Who knows, maybe the fall blitzes of yesteryear will return someday. In the meantime keep an open mind out there and good luck.
Skin Plug Video
Heres a video on how to rig a skin plug. Once you swim these plugs for the first time it will become evident why sharpies take the time to skin eels and drape them on all ready effective plugs. Before you know it you will have a few skins in your arsenal.
Targeting water that many shore-bound anglers would neglect or overlook. Fishing spots knowing that you are there for that one bump. Casting and retrieving for hours to no avail, yet still having confidence that your hit could come at any moment. And shaking it off when you go home fishless. This should be the mindset of the angler who regularly plies trophy bass habitat.
Every method has its time and place in the surf (This article originally appeared in the New Haven Register on 8/1/2008)
By Kierran Broatch
Surfcasters have a dizzying array of choices when deciding on which method of fishing to employ each time on the water. Spinning rods, conventional bait-casting rods, and fly rods are the main tools of the trade, but even within these applications, there are countless combinations of natural baits and artificials an angler can present to hungry fish. Knowing when and when not to use each tool is just one of the many keys to successful surf fishing.
I have been very successful striper fishing from a boat for many years. A few years ago, I unfortunately sold my boat and needed to learn how to fish from the surf. I realized very quickly that I needed some serious guidance. This past winter, I went to one of the workshops that Derrick gave and was blown away. I then booked a 1 on 1 surf lesson with him at which I took over 8 pages of notes! With what I learned, I am happy to say that I have caught more large bass this spring alone than I did the last 3 years combined! There is no doubt in my mind that I owe this success to what I learned from you Derrick, so I thank you greatly.