"The fishing is great and getting better." August 1, 2006

As I look back through the years, the local saltwater fishing has undergone many highs, and seemingly more lows. Now at age 34, I grew up in a fishing environment which at one time had no rules, guidelines, or even a sense of preservation. You could catch a lot of anything; keep it all, anytime of the year. Local fish populations began dropping, and regulations were set. We have since dramatically recovered from a sad time in our fishing history. The new generation of fisherman made more aware that it can be harmed. Here we are mid summer 2006 in the thick of almost everything recovered. We now have more striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and large porgies than ever.
I ask almost everyone "How's the fishing?" as they gather their bait, hooks, lines, and sinkers at Shaffer's in Mystic. Often times I don?t think anyone gives much thought to what they are saying. Ones reply lately may go like this; "We fished all day and picked up 30 short fluke and 3 keepers. And those bluefish, you could walk on em." Another may add; "You know we were trolling for bass using a tube and worm, and we caught a 15 inch porgy!" My point is that the fishing is great. There is a lot of fish around, with plenty of food for them to eat. How great is it to go just about anywhere out there and find so many fluke. Big ones are a plus, but when you compare the number caught to times past, it's never been better. As for the porgies, it's as if they are on steroids! One of our charter customers requested a few porgies, so we pulled up to Latimer lighthouse. Every fish was over a foot. And this action lasted a half hour. I must say when they get that large, it puts quite a bend in your rod. The blues this summer have been very abundant also, which is a nice add on to your day on the water.
Capt Allen Fee of Sea Dog Charters took Jamie Matthews and Woody Pryor of Southington, Ct out Sunday am, returning with a 45" striped bass, caught on a live eel. The three released four other nice bass while working the east end of Fisher's Island.
Other charters this week brought several nice fluke catches from the south side of Fisher's, blues at Middle Clump, and porgies at Latimer Lighthouse. "I have a feeling that the fluking will be better at Misquamicut Beach this week."
There are plenty of fish on the inside as well. Cheryl at Shaffer's has received some nice fluke catches near Ellis Reef and White Rock. "The Monastery can be good too, but you'll get run over by boat traffic if you don?t go early."
The snapper blues are in near the bridge at Shaffer's. A good incoming tide is your best bet there.
Many anglers are still waiting for the tuna blitz. I would start looking toward the east off the Rhode Island Shores and don?t assume that the birds behind Fishers Island are following the blues. Have your bonito lures nearby while fluke fishing.
I can't remember a time of such plentiful catches. It seems that all conservation efforts have begun to pay off. Maybe a few more years will bring back the local cod, mackerel, and winter flounder. It's good to hear such high numbers of shorts. The big ones will come, but don?t forget that you're out there for fun.

Catch em up!
Capt. Allen Fee
Shaffer's Bait and Tackle / Sea Dog Charters