Getting Ready for Some Great Long Island Sound Fall Fishing

September 4, 2008 at 4:35 pm 1 comment

It’s September and for some anglers, the long-awaited fall fishing season is about to explode. Anxiously preparing for this time of year, fishermen/women are not only looking forward to the coastal striper run, but are also gearing up for the albies, bonito, huge gators, and big cows. Tide tables are scrutinized and a close look at moon phases is normal for timing, from now on, is crucial.

    A call from Mother Nature can come at any time and when it does, all else stops and the casting begins. “We have a little time ahead of us before the serious action, mate,” Cap spoke in low tones. Fish sense the change and, ever so slightly, begin responding. Noticeably, a few seals were close by with fish clenched tightly in their mouths. Soon after their fill they began to casually frolic and bob in the waves with little regard to our close proximity.

    “Time to seek out a different spot,” said Cap. “Where there are seals or dolphins, there’s bait, but the bite will shut down tighter than a rusty hinge.” Without warning, there was the soft swooshing sound as a small school of speedsters creased the rip line—fleeting silversides spurting in all directions attempting to avoid the onslaught.

    “Ease off on the casting and be quiet.” The school circled the boat and then the word came, “Cast ahead of the school and don’t worry about reeling in too fast,” blurted Cap. This was the first of a few days where bonito made their way into the Sound. Those telltale wavy dorsal stripes of an Atlantic bonito were unmistakable, as was their speed.

    Line peeled and melted away as these superior swimming fish refused to give up. Rods bent and pumped as the “bones” circled, dove, and ran. If you’ve ever hooked into a bonito using 10-pound test and light gear, then you know exactly the feeling. It’s hard to determine whose adrenaline was pumping faster, but for these eight- to nine-pound fish, they certainly acted big for their size.

    Anyone who fishes for bonito knows the expression, “bone dry.” These speedsters pop up unexpectedly and disappear just as quickly, giving rise to the above. It pays to be prepared for, without warning, you can be into a feeding school, muttering unmentionables as cast after cast results in empty hooks.

 

 

On the Water

 

    With the bluefish tournament(s) and Labor Day holiday behind us, we now look forward to some great fall fishing. Water temperatures have begun their dip and now range from 68 degrees to the low 70s. A look at the horizon reveals the beginning of a fall painting with dabs of yellows and oranges appearing between the branches and below the water’s surface, fish are starting to stir.

    Bluefish have infiltrated pretty much throughout Long Island Sound with concentrations along key rips—smaller fish, less than eight pounds, feeding within casting distance from shore. Meigs Point is seeing more of those ivory jaws tearing through schools of bait, often mixed in with smaller striped bass. From the rip to N10 to Kelsey and Charles and on to Indian Reefs, schools are popping up more often.

    Faulkner’s Island is also seeing fairly steady action. Cinder Bottom and the North Rip are good bets for a mix of bass and blues with the fish running by the north tip of the island east past the drop off and onto Kimberly Reef. Key reefs like Kimberly and breakwalls like Kelsey have been experiencing a fairly good tautog/blackfish bite. Unfortunately, the season for them came to a temporary close in Connecticut on Sept. 1 before reopening with a four-fish limit on Oct. 1.

    Stripers have perked up recently. Early evening flood tides have brought some larger fish out of the depths and into the shallows. Of course, intermittent schools of menhaden have also caught their attention. Casting eels, bunker, and plugs, as well as trolling T/W’s, have been highly productive. Farther out, reef drifting is producing fish in excess of 40 pounds, mostly during the early morning bite.

    Just before the season for fluke closed on Sept. 2, William Kreitler landed a near-Connecticut-record doormat weighing in at 13.83 pounds and measuring 31 ½ inches. The Connecticut record to date is 14.4 pounds. “I find the bait, then the fish, and then the dinner table,” was his comment when asked what are plans for the fish. What a great way to wind down the 2008 fluke season!

    Porgy/scup and snapper blues are creating a stir on and off shore. Both species are approaching fall size and seemingly eager to be hooked. Except for bottom fish, an angler can’t find much more cooperative fish, making them excellent fish for youngsters to catch. Now is the time to take advantage of the run.

    Note: Congratulations to Lucille Slie of Wallingford for being the shop’s ‘unofficial’ 2008 Captain Morgan’s Bluefish Contest winner with a weight of 13.08 pounds. Unofficially, she placed 13th in this year’s WICC Greatest Bluefish Tournament on Earth.

    When fishing Long Island Sound, think Captain Morgan’s for all things fishy including gear, bait, flies/flyfishing, rod/reel repair, clam/crabbing supplies, and licenses. Swing by the shop (203-245-8665) open seven days located on 21 Boston Post Road, Madison. Until next time, from your Connecticut shoreline’s full-service fishing outfitter where we don’t make the fisherman, we make the fisherman better…   

 

Tight Lines,

Captain Morgan

Harbor News, The Day

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Entry filed under: Get Wet, Natural Waterfront, Region. Tags: , , , , , , .

ROCK OUT WITH YOUR DOCK OUT It’s a night at opera – on dockside

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. david j strang  |  September 12, 2008 at 7:40 am

    where did all the menhaden go last week they were all over the hoboken area then they were gone whats up

    Reply

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