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BigOutdoors
06-28-2009, 07:09 AM
Fishing license bill has yet to be signed

By Martin Armstrong
Special Correspondent
Posted: 06/27/2009 07:20:04 PM EDT
Updated: 06/27/2009 07:20:04 PM EDT






Did you purchase your saltwater fishing license yet? I hope not. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has yet to sign the bill requiring the purchase of a saltwater fishing license into law yet. Interestingly, the bill which required that anglers fishing marine waters possess a Marine Waters Fishing License (MWFL) was to go into effect on June 15, 2009.
A Marine Waters Fishing License was to be required of anyone, age 16 and older, fishing in the Marine District from shore or a private vessel OR landing marine fish in Connecticut taken from outside Connecticut waters. Passengers fishing on a Connecticut registered party or charter fishing vessel are exempt from the Marine Waters Fishing License requirement.
We are required by Federal Regulation to have a formal registration of all saltwater anglers by 2010. All coastal states are required to have a registration system. That does not necessarily mean it has to be a license.
Many anglers, in an effort to be compliant with the new law, scrambled to purchase the new license. Bait and tackle shops equipped to sell the licenses online checked their computer link daily to see when they could start offering the license to their customers. In early June, the licenses were available for sale and then, out of the blue, license sales were halted.
So what happens to those good citizens who purchased their Marine Waters Fishing License as soon as they were made available?
Well, as of Friday June 19, no decision
had been made as to how to handle refunds, or to even make refunds. A call to DEP headquarters last Thursday yielded no other response.
On the DEP website I found the following statement. "If and when the Marine Waters Fishing License (MWFL) bill becomes law, Environmental Conservation Police efforts with respect to the license will be focused on education and outreach during the remainder of 2009."
It seems to me that the DEP is planning not to enforce the new law if and when it becomes law until 2010.
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A new State record common carp was recently caught in the lower Connecticut River by Steven Wasilewski of Norwich.
The huge carp weighed 40.5-pounds and was returned to the river alive. Steve is either an expert carp angler or just darn lucky. He is also the holder of the Rhode Island state record for common carp.
The DEP has some good carp fishing advice. To maximize your chances of catching a carp, you need to find the fish and then attract them.
Look for any jumping or rolling fish. Also look for bubbles that appear to be moving slowly along. Often carp will stir up the bottom and give their presence away with rising bubbles or even clouds of silt.
To attract them, try chumming. The best starter chum is plain old sweet corn. Tossing by hand, using a sling shot or lashing a throwing scoop to the end of a broom stick will get the chum to the fishing area.
Chumming both attracts the fish and creates a competitive feeding frenzy. Carp competing with each other are less cautious and more easily caught.
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When will it stop raining? As I write this column it is drizzling and the humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife. But, fishing is terrific. The Sound is loaded with all sorts of life ranging from porgies to stripers to fluke to porpoises.
Porpoises? In the Sound? Nick at Fisherman's World says that Capt Lauren of the Middlebank Party Boat has been spotting porpoises off Stratford and at 11B. And, according to Nick, it isn't just one or two porpoises that he has been spotting. It's is a fairly large group.
The South Norwalk Boat Club shark fishing team took second place overall in last weekend's Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament.
The team sailed on the boat Freedom captained by Steve Demarco and crewed by 'Bunker' Bill Reed, Reeve Moore, Ed Marcarelli, Brian Lahey and Roger Connell.
On their first day out they caught a 280-pound thresher shark. That earned them the heaviest fish of the day honors and went on to take second place overall.
Fluke fishing is getting hot. Pete Henderson at Fish Tales Bait and Tackle reported that he fished with Scott Denice off Fairfield last week. Using squid and sand eels they caught several fluke including a 5 and a 9-pounder.
Olivia Wilder, 11, fished with her parents, Billy and Jamie, last week in Stamford Harbor. The Wilders caught several fluke including a nice 5-pounder. All of the fish were taken on squid and sand eels.
Fred Bova did some bottom fishing at the Stamford Cows last week and came home with several fluke including a 23-incher. He was using a combination of squid and spearing.
Larry "the Pool Guy" Schmidt and crew caught six keeper fluke while fishing off Greenwich. All of the fish measured between 20 and 23-inches and were taken using squid and spearing.
Terry McPartland caught a 29-pound, 4-ounce striper that was happily feeding below a school of bunker off Darien. Terry used a live bunker to make the catch.
Jim Christenson caught a pair of nice bass while fishing around the Norwalk Islands. His fish weighed 18 and 24-pounds and were taken on bunker chunks.
While fishing in the Middle Passage, Krystal Thivierge caught a 22.5-pound linesider. Krystal took the fish using a chunk of bunker.
Peter Bailey, Blain Hurty and Charlie Hurty worked the waters at Smiths Reef wish some success. The caught six keeper bass including a 37-incher boated by Peter. The fish were taken on sandworms.
Joe Horvath fished a couple of times last week. On his first outing he caught a 35-inch striped bass on fresh bunker while fishing in Greenwich waters. Later in the week he caught his limit of porgies and four black sea bass using clams and squid at 32A.
Pete Miller used super fresh bunker to land a 35 and a 37-inch striped bass in Greenwich waters. Meanwhile his brother, Chris Miller, used prime aged bunker to catch a 32 and a 38-inch striper off Southfield Park.
Also doing well at Southfield Park last week was Tim Hart. He caught and released several striped bass including one that measured 33-inches. Tim was using mackerel chunks and sandworms for bait.
Andy Weis was trolling for stripers in Stamford waters last week. Using a tube and worm combo, he trolled up a couple of fish including a 35-inch linesider.
Freddie Bonilla caught five striped bass including a 42-inch fish while fishing off Greenwich. All of the fish were taken on fresh bunker.
Holly Leva did some fly fishing south of Captain's Island. Using a Clouser Minnow she caught a 36-inch linesider. The big bass weighed 24-pounds.
Rick Kulis caught some nice stripers at a secret spot off Stamford. His largest fish weighed in at 24-pounds. He was using fresh bunker.
Fishing from shore at Shippan Point, Ed Sabo caught and released five keeper bass. His largest fish measured 31-inches and was taken on a sandworm.
While fishing off Greenwich, Andrew Rosa caught a 18-pound striper. He was drifting a live bunker.
The Snow family found some terrific fishing action off the golf course in Norwalk. Carl Sr., Carl Jr., and Doug teamed up to catch 25 bluefish in the 3 to 7-pound range. And as if that wasn't enough, they also caught a 4-foot sand shark. The bluefish were all on the top.
Zef Gjuraj caught his first ever bluefish last week while fishing with Alex "Zan the Man" Mazola. The bluefish weighed 11-pounds and was taken on a live bunker. They were fishing in Stamford waters.
Capt. Joe Piasi fished for blues last Wednesday off Tod's Point and in the mid-Sound. He told the folks at Rudy's Tackle Barn that he caught some choppers but nothing significant.
Pete at Fish Tales reported that his customers are catching some black sea bass around the Stamford Cows.
On the freshwater scene, Ken Pond fished the Saugatuck Reservoir last week and was rewarded with a nice 5-pound largemouth bass. Ken was using live minnows for bait.
Kassie Petrone fished with her dad, Bill Petrone, at a private pond "up the line" last week. Fourteen-year-old Kassie caught a nice 19.5-inch brook trout using a Berkley Powerbait.
Fishing is still very good at Kensico Reservoir. Last week Tommy Flynn trolled up lots of brook and lake trout. Tommy was trolling a stick bait.
Martin Armstrong is a member of the Fisheries Advisory Council , a lifetime member in Trout Unlimited and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association.