Be sure to follow the weekly fishing reports across New England at http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=directory.category&PDIR=24
First and foremost, I’d like to direct you to the news story I posted last week breaking down what took place at ASMFC meeting, specifically in regards to striped bass, at http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=2490&ParentCat=19. I am still seeing incorrect information being spread online in regards to 2020 regulations and circle hooks. In short, the ASMFC set a 1-fish bag limit with a slot 28 – 35 inches for the ocean fishery – those waters outside the Chesapeake Bay. However, states have until November 30 to submit alternate regulations so long as they meet the 18% reduction, which will then be addressed at the February AASMFC meeting before anything further is made official. Regarding circle hooks, the mandatory use when targeting striped bass with bait was passed with implementation to be done in 2021.
Lots of tog this week once again, but I’ll start off with some striper info. Overall things have been kind of slow with some ok catches being made here and there in the surf. The Canal has fish into the 30-inch class, and South County has fish to about 30 inches. This is the time of the year when you might strike out or find small schoolies for half a dozen outings, then happen into the best bite of your season as a pod of big bass makes a pit stop at your beach before heading south. I started poking around the smaller tidal rivers over the weekend with my son, and we found some sure signs of the end of the season being close at hand as there were good numbers of small bass, some big hickory shad and even a few large white perch landed by a fellow angler.
The tuna bite up around the Cape is still going strong for recreational-class bluefin. Capt. John of Fish Chatham Charters had fish of 68 and 71 inches this week, and he has a few spots still open for tuna and/or cod trips in the coming weeks, so call him today at 508-237-7210.
Ok, moving into the blackfish reports, I’ll start off in Connecticut as I received an email from Jeffrey Downes with a good-sized, Long Island Sound blackfish that he caught this week. I fished off Clinton on Sunday morning and we found lots of boats and plenty of shorts with just enough keepers to make it an ok day. There seems to be a lot of 12- to 15-inch fish out there right now as the common and well-known spots are getting hammered.
Up in Rhode Island the bite seems to be a bit better than inside the Sound, and Alan Sharaf fished with the crew of Sound Bound off Newport on Monday with some good results. They had a full-boat limit by 1130 am and released all fish over 8 pounds including a 10.5.
TJ Kopecky sent me his report via email this week and confirms the good tog bite he has been having in the Warren and Barrington Rivers continues. The incoming tide on both Saturday and Sunday produced steady action on Asylum jigs with green crabs. Bassing is slowing down a bit in the rivers but he did hear of some action along Newport on Brenton Reef.
Cindy Rive sent me an email of an 18-inch tog landed by Garret Krzynowek while fishing off Cape Cod. She didn’t give me any other details on the catch but I have been receiving solid reports all throughout Buzzards Bay and out around Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Then, also on Monday, I got word from Snug Harbor that the Island Current produced some mega tog on their trip with several 11s, a 12- and a 13-pounder being caught! The Frances had several double-digits over the weekend as well, so now might be a good time to get on one of the local party boats for tog!
And speaking of party boats, the Black Hawk is running some combo trips where they split the time between sea bass and blackfish at different parts of the trip with a good shot of other mixed species being landed including cod, porgies and even the occasional winter flounder like the one landed by 12-year-old Brandon M. from Vernon, over the weekend.