Worm Time in Southern New England

Worm Time in Southern New England

Well, well its worm time in the salt ponds along the southern New England coast. Yes, the spring has been cool and wet, but the worms are definitely here now. Pick a sunny day with a low tide during the afternoon to warm up the flats. That should trigger the hatch. No cold fronts please! And keep looking because the hatch moves around the pond following the warm water.

Worms

Here’s a look at that those squiggly little devils. Many, but not all, will be about an inch long with a red or pink body and a head tipped in black. But some can be almost white. So its best to have a wide selection of flies, as the fish are apt to be very fussy. Have some floating flies in the mix for sure.

Worm Flies

Still, don’t be surprised if the fishing to be tough at times, even when there are plenty of fish around. Just keep trying. Slow retrieves are the ticket. You’ll get there.

Photo credit Phil Farnsworth

Photo credit Captain Pete Farrell

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The Weather Worries Me

The Weather Worries Me

The weather worries me. Here in Connecticut, 2022 was a drought year. Dry as a bone. Then a switch flipped – 2023 being one of the wettest years ever noted. December, January and February proved  to be the wettest early winter months ever. And rains have continued and continued.

July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet.  Get you some of that! And this winter is the warmest ever recorded in the lower 48 states. What about our wonderful oceans? Global warming has them on the hotplate. And they have been there for over a decade. Ready for more? Today my location weather forecast has a flood watch. And March turned out to be the second wettest month in Connecticut on records going back to 1905. The weather sucks.

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Are Bunker Back???

Are Bunker Back???

It’s a question on a lot of anglers’ mind.  And it’s been there for a long time. Many years ago, a handful of anglers, including myself, got the menhaden trawlers pushed out of Connecticut waters. To do it we had to testify in the Connecticut legislation as to why this was needed. Well it worked. And many other states did the same. It was a step in the right direction.

In recent years, bunker have been more plentiful throughout the Northeast; not quite like the good old days mind you but better.  And there is reason to believe we going to see more in our waters. Why? Because so many people bitterly complained for over a decade, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is finally making a concerted effort to improve how they manage menhaden.  Can’t go into details here, but if you wish to know more, pick up a copy of  the forthcoming May/ June  issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. I spell the whole thing out there.

 

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Dave’s Redfish and Sweet Pompano

Dave’s Redfish and Sweet Pompano

Got a message from my buddy Dave a few days back. He fishes the flats on Florida’s Gulf Coast and knows how to do it right, believe me. I guess the weather had been a bit off courtesy of El Nino. More clouds, more rain, and some cooler air. But he got out recently during a break in the weather and caught some dynamite fish.

Nice Redfish on a Fly

As nice as that fish is, the other fish made me smile. Dave hooked the permit’s kissing cousin – a pompano! If you have ever caught a big pompano on a flyrod rod you know what a hoot that is. When it took off, Dave tells me it made the fly line hiss through the water the way a bonefish does. Get you some of that!

Dave’s Pompano

 

 

 

 

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November “Albies” !

November “Albies”!

A day ago my friend Phil caught a nice false albacore here in Southern New England. Way to go Phil! When they left the dock that morning, the air temperature was below freezing, but the water was around 58 degrees. So how long do “albies” hang around ? Perhaps longer than you might think.

I’ve had the good fortune to fish for “albies” for over 3o years and as you would think seen changes in the fishery over time. The finest years we had were in the 90’s. The schools were considerably larger, 3 or 4 times the size of today. And the average size of the “albies” was bigger.  Yet at that same time the season was often shorter. Why? Years ago, water temperatures here in New England were lower, no question. In the early 90’s “albie” fishing started in the middle of September and tapering off by the middle of October.

Yes, there were exceptions and still are. One warm year I caught an “albie” in December. It fact its was the largest one I ever hooked, measuring a crack over 31″. And I hooked from my drift boat. That’s right I was using a drift boat to reach the action. That fish towed me for 100 yards.  Now there is a catch to this story. Pun intended. This “albie” and his buddies were staying in the hot water release from the Millstone Nuclear Plant. Perhaps that were even trapped there, although it’s interesting to note that like few other fish false albacore can regulate their internal body temperature. Keep fishing for “albies”.

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