View Full Version : Few Keys to Successful Fishing in Long Island Sound

07-18-2009, 05:47 AM
Few Keys to Successful Fishing in Long Island Sound
Posted by Shore Publishing (http://www.cthuntingnshooting.com/members/Shore-Publishing.aspx) on Jul 16 2009, 10:40 AM

Two topics of conversation dominate the shoreline—in fact much of the state: our new marine fishing license and the weather. It’s the middle of July and both were unexpected at the beginning of the season. Sure, in light of the past winter/spring season, the column predicted a prolonged wet and somewhat cooler start to summer, but enough is enough!

With all the rain, grounds are saturated. Cold fronts appear to be the norm and tides are running high and late. This is influencing fishing patterns for both fish and fishermen, especially when the wind kicks in, chopping things up. Daily tides are doing a good job of washing away the “coffee” water and replacing it with fresh salt but these conditions also move both fish and bait around.

The routine of hitting the night bite at a previously reliable spot has been interrupted. To be successful, it’s important now to be able to read the water and be up to date as to where bait is balling up. Stripers are moving in and out of the flats and from behind protective structure. With fewer menhaden, eastern Long Island Sound anglers are having to resort to other means. Even with less pressure from bluefish, bass fishing has been varied.

Knowing, for example, that there are huge schools of sand eels makes the difference as to where and how one fishes. This all-around forage is excellent for many species including bluefish and fluke as well as striped bass. Scouting the shallows can reveal this prime baitfish and clue one in as to what fly or lure to select. When sand eels are present on shoals and reefs, you can immediately hookup switching to three-way baits or adding realistic soft plastic imitators.
Birds or boiling water don’t always indicate what’s actually taking place below the surface. Often one must rely on other conditions like current, tidal influence, water temperature, structure, moon phase, and time of day and year. Learning how, when, and where sport fish feed is key to successful fishing and catching, while paying attention to detail will often reveal Mother Nature’s secrets.

On the Water

Fresh water still loads eastern Long Island Sound’s tidal rivers, repelling many baitfish including schools of Atlantic menhaden. Although mid-Sound water temperatures are in the 66 to 68 degree range, the cool air temps, overcast days, and fluctuating cold fronts are keeping shoreline waters in the low 60s. Other than the weather, most species of finfish are continuing their summer trek. The bites have been inconsistent, though.

Striped bass aren’t only on many of the inshore reefs from Bartlett’s to Faulkner’s but schoolies are also in the estuaries and schooling in pretty much all shoreline waterways. Seaworms, soft plastics, and flies are excellent choices to use during both flood and ebb tides. Southwest Reef as well as East and North rips are producing bass in the 40-plus-pound class while Six Mile has been good to trollers and diamond jiggers.

Bluefish from six to nine pounds are common with some 12-plus-pounders in the mix. Large schools of sand eels are prevalent attracting not only choppers but many bass and fluke as well. For the most part, bluefish have been shying away from shore and feeding on reefs and shoals, but that will change as water temperatures rise.

For those looking for a striped bass connection, try Sound Anglers Striped Bass Club that meets on the second Monday of each month at Guilford’s Maritime Grill on Route 1 at 7 p.m. Informational exchange seminars, club contests, and casual meets are the norm. Their recent inter-club contest with the Milford Striped Bass club wound up in a dead tie with each catching and weighing in 35-pound stripers. The next one ought to quite interesting. Contact Captain Morgan’s or Mike at 203-804-1532.

For all things fishy including licenses, swing by the shop (203-245-8665) open seven days located at 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,