We are having our 10th Annual TogTober, a 4-day tournament that will commence on October 19th, and run until October 22nd at 3 PM. The heaviest blackfish will win a cash prize, and the second heaviest blackfish wins a rod...
June 17th - Full-blown June Run Time
Stripers and Blues
It’s full-blown June run time out there folks. Just like they love to do, the stripers went from sporadic and finicky to all over the place and hungry! They’re still a bit picky, which is typical for these early season fish- they have plenty of bunker to choose from, so putting up the effort to chase a topwater plug or paddletail isn’t something they’re always really interested in doing. However, if you can get some live bunker (which has been all over the place), you are likely in for some drag-peeling excitement. The CT River bite has been stellar as of the past week or so, with larger and more fish being caught every day. Those fish have been obliterating plugs, but are more likely to slurp a big old bunker dancing around the bottom. Either cast-net or snag a bunker, rig it on a big (8 – 10/0) circle hook, and get it back out there. In deeper water or stronger current, using a 2 or 3-ounce weight isn’t a bad idea to make sure the bunker is in the strike zone. In shallow conditions or light current, feel free to let that thing free swim…and hang on!
Other baits to try are big spoons in silver or chartreuse. Spoon fishing for stripers has caught fire in the Northeast, and we are stocked up with a variety of sizes and styles. Spoons are quite simple to use: Drop it to the bottom, then lift your rod tip 2-5 feet and let the spoon fall on slack line. It’s important to let the spoon fall on slack line, or else it won’t be able to do the fluttering, flashing action that make it so enticing. With spoons, you’ll often feel the hit on the drop, and when you do, set that hook!
Best times for the epic early season bites are overcast and cloudy days with a decent breeze and during moving tide. Sometimes, slack tide can make the stripers more disorganized or less willing to eat, so if things slow down at slack tide, hang on for another hour and see what happens when the tide flips and starts cruising again.
The big bluefish seem like they’re fully back, with another strong run this year adding to last year’s fun. Some anglers prefer to keep their fingers unpierced and their leader line un-chewed, but on days when the bass are being finicky these acrobatic, yellow-eyed demons will be a welcome sight. Look for them sunning on the surface and beating up pods of bunker. They will be more than willing to chase down your topwater plug for some explosive hits. If you want to make life easy, use single inline hooks on your plugs. Since they’re here to stay, we might as well enjoy them.
Seabass and Porgies
It’s been a strong start to seabass season, with limits coming in thick and fast as knot heads fly over the rails. For now, they seem to be a bit deeper as the water continues to warm up, so start off around 60 feet and move out there. Slow pitch jigs and bait rigs have been working well, with the Daiwa SK jig continuing to be the favorite of local anglers. If you haven’t tried slow-pitch jigging, come by the shop and let us run you through it. There’s not a much more fun way to target seabass, not to mention fluke, stripers, and porgy as well.
Porgy seem to be a bit deeper as well, but have been found heavily in shallower water than the seabass so far. Start your search around 30 feet and go deeper from there. Squid and clams will get you on a decent bite.
The fluke bite in the Sound has started strong for the second year in a row. Local anglers are pulling in some eye-popping fish, including a new state record 15.2-pound, 32.6-inch monster doormat brought in by angler Bill Proulx on June 8th. The photos are pretty incredible, and it’s one of many double-digit fluke being found locally. They’ve been a bit shallow, with nice fish coming as shallow as 25 feet. Avid angler and Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi, the owner of a new and fully rigged up Old Town Auto Pilot 136 kayak, went out last Sunday with the BHO kayak fishing crew and landed himself a whopper of a 7.03-pound fluke in 35 feet. White, chartreuse, and bunker-colored bucktails are great options right now especially given the number of bunker and peanut bunker schools around. Pink is great out deep where those fluke are more likely to be preying on squid.
HUGE SAVINGS on our entire fleet of KAYAKS and PADDLEBOARDS! HURRY in for the best selection during our end-of-season blowout sale! Starting 08/25/2023, Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme and Westbrook will be hosting our end of season blowout sale...
Join us for an exhilarating day of adventure on the water as we proudly present the highly anticipated Old Town Sportsman ePDL at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook, CT. Be among the first in New England to experience the groundbreaking...