August 30, 2006

"The Resident casts off aboard the Sea Dog."

I can't seem to put my finger on what's going on with the weather this year. Either the summer barely arrived and quickly left, or I'm getting older and time is moving faster. I'm inclined to believe the latter of the two. It seems as if I have been yapping to everyone about the warming water temps so long, I didn't notice the seasons end was quietly approaching. The sight of September on your calendar is like a hearing your snooze alarm. It's an early warning that if you haven?t done it yet, you better wake up and fish, before it's too late. Surface water temps on Block Island Sound are presently near 68 degrees. Three weeks ago they spiked at over 71, with inshore shallows at over 80. It's a fair guess to say that it probably won't warm back up again. This past weekend was a turning point in the number of fish caught. Like this one most fishing reports will only mention the successes rather than the losses. However this week there seemed to be a lot of boo-hooing around the dock. Strong East winds and rain have been mostly to blame on the decreased catches. Too much wind makes for a lousy drift. The lack of sunshine cools down the water too soon, intern pushing out the bait along with some species of fish. Fluke seem to be the most sensitive, so go grab what you can for your winter stock. On the other hand, striped bass, and blackfish will get better well into October.

Just a little reminder on the dates. NY fluke fishing closes 9/12, NY black fishing doesn?t open until 10/1, and CT blackfish will be closed from 9/8 - 9/21. RI blackfish is currently open - 10/21, got it?
(See the Sea Dog website for all listings),

It was the most beautiful sunny afternoon when Alexis Ann and friend Buck hopped aboard the Seadog. Leaving the safe and very shallow waters of Shaffer's behind, we headed down the Mystic River. Cruising through Noank felt more like being political figure on a parade float. Its fun living in a small community, after waving to everyone we passed, you are reminded how well we all know one another. The knife-edged hull of the 1975 Sea Craft parted the seas as we headed south. With Morgan Point at our stern, a few minutes out we hailed a wave to the Argia, while photographing her full sails. I was approaching one of my favorite local areas to fish, Middle Clump. "You have to turn yourself into a cat when you're looking for fish." Your visual senses become very acute to any kind of surface activity. Mostly birds, or birds and fish; hence a cat. A lonely pair of circling terns was the only telltale sign of a fish today, but that was all that was needed. As I throttled back near the "can 21" buoy, Buck hauled off a cast right into the rip line. After about six revolutions of the handle, a bluefish batted at the popper like a cat with a ball. They are so pumped up that they often miss the lure, making for unmatched entertainment. The next strike was a hookup! The 12# line buzzed off the reel like a scream. At that stop we caught and released three blues. A later stop at the rock at Watch Hill Reef, brought us numerous schoolie striped bass and some more blues. "Every day is different out here, there are many methods and even more locations to try. The weather and the tides are everything. Combining that with ones schedule can make some days better than others."
A pleasant ride home into the setting sun over Mystic makes any day complete.

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