Striped Bass Kill on Cape Breton Island
A little over a week ago, a large number of stripers were found dead on Dingwall Beach on Cape Breton Island. Biologist are working to find the cause of this striped bass kill. It could be a toxic agent in the water. It could be a virus or a bacteria. The most likely cause, however, is a two fold shock – a sudden drop in temperature coupled with a sudden drop in salinity courtesy of heavy rains.
This type of environmental one-two punch is a known killer of fish in winter. For example, here in southern New England, it has caused die-off’s of menhaden. Typically this occurs where fish are wintering over in the lower end of a coastal river. Fish holding over in the warm water release of a powerplant are also vulnerable. If the plant temporarily shuts, say for maintenance, those fish are exposed to a rapid change in temperature. This very scenario happened in Nova Scotia four or five years ago. The Trenton powerplant in Pictou Harbor shut down killing a small number of bass.
First off, happy New Year. Lets all hope for a fun, safe, and rewarding 2022. Man, we really need it.
You are Made of Stardust
Got out of the house this morning. Very foggy and warm. Just down the street, where a small backwater flows to the Connecticut River, I saw this message scrawled on the bridge. Ummm. Hit the brakes. Climbed out of the truck to get a closer look. Not a big fan of graffiti, but this seemed to resonate with the New Year. It was a reminder of where we came from and where we are all headed. Puts our lived into perspective. I believe Carl Sagan coined the phase. Is there any truth in it? Was Carl right? Are we stardust? Well the earth was formed inside of stars. So there is no avoiding it. In fact scientists now figure humans are 97 percent stardust. Wow. Face it, you’re a star.
My friend Dave has been on a roll lately. For one thing the red tide has dialed back on the Gulf side of Florida. Which is great news. Red tide has been a persistent problem for several years from Tampa south to Naples. Between that and the blue-green algae, water quality has sucked. But Dave has been hanging there and fishing as always.
Recently he got himself a brand new motor – a Suzuki 25. Yeah he got a lot of hours out of the old mill, but it was ready to retire. This new one is much more fuel efficient and dependable, allowing him to travel farther in his search for reds. And that new motor just took him to a new redfish. Its a honker. Great going Dave!
Redfish on the Sandbar
Redfish feed around sandbars, but they are not often on the bar itself. More likely you’ll find reds cruising the outside edge on the ebb, or along the inside edge during the first two hours of the flood. In both cases this puts them in prime feeding territory.
A couple of day ago, my friend Dave, down Florida way, sent me this picture of a nice redfish he caught. He saw it sitting up on a sandbar. So he pitched it a crab fly on his Scott Meridian 8wt. Bingo hookup. I asked Dave why he felt redfish sometimes sit up on the bar. Dave feels the sandbar’s shallow water provide a safe place to hangout, offering shelter from predators such as sharks. Sounds reasonable.