Be sure to follow the weekly fishing reports across New England at http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=directory.category&PDIR=24
I’m here alongside my Old Town Predator PDL kayak, which is finally rigged and ready to go after a combination of bad weather and just plain being busy delayed my pans a bit. As you can see I’ve got it all tricked out with accessories from Humminbird, YakAttack, YakLights and a big help from the guys at Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme. I finally splashed her this week, and while blackfish had been my target species, some trouble with my anchor system made me opt for plan b as albies started blowing up around the boat while I was trying to get tight on the rocks. I chased them for a good 2 hours, hooking but dropping 3, while landing a pair of small bass and a bluefish before calling it a day. Stay tuned as I am working on editing a rigging video series which will show you how I went from the stock Old Town Predator PDL to this fully tricked out fishing machine.
Blackfish season kicked off last week in Connecticut, following suit with RI and MA which have been open for a while now, and despite a wet and windy start the fishing has been quite good. I got out on Monday and found steady action on 12- to about 17-inch fish with the two big fish on the boat for the day going 7 and almost 8 pounds. One thing we noticed was that while cut greenies caught, Asian crabs seemed to have an edge for us.
Over the weekend the 6th annual Tog-Tober Tournament was held in Connecticut and it attracted anglers from well beyond the borders of the Nutmeg state including blackfish world record holder, Ken Westerfeld. Fishing was good for numbers but big fish were tough to come by as no double-digit fish were weighed-on over the 2-day event. In the end the crown of King of the Tog went to Scott Schneider with a 3-fish total of 24.26 pounds comprised of fish weighing 7.63, 8 and 8.63 pounds. Big congrats to Scott on the win and to all who participated.
Moving up the coast to Rhode Island, the Seven B’s ran their first dedicated blackfish trip of the season on Tuesday with very good results. As of the 15th the limit went up to 5 fish per angler in RI, and they had a full-boat limit. Keep in mind that in both MA and RI there is a private boat limit of 10 fish regardless of the total number of anglers onboard, but this does not apply to for-hire boats.
TJ Kopecky didn’t have a chance to shoot a video for us this week, but he still checked-in with a report for the East Bay. He said that blackfishing is very good in the Warren and Barrington Rivers and he and his friend limited out in 2 hours, landing 3 keepers each on Sunday along with a handful of shorts. Both of those rivers are also full of schoolie striped bass feeding on small bait. The Coles River in Swansea is producing both schoolies and keeper bass with bigger fish coming around dusk and dawn. He went on to say that there are still albies being caught around the Sakonnet River, and for freshwater anglers, trout have been stocked in Rhode Island with the full list of spots available at the DEM website.
This leads me to a note on trout stocking across Southern New England as Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are all in the midst of their annual fall stocking programs. I have a full rundown posted right now at http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=2473&ParentCat=19 which links directly to each state’s info. For CT anglers, there is also the bonus of broodstock Atlantic salmon which are being stocked in the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. Be sure that you make note of and follow the special salmon regulations which include catch and release seasons as well as gear restrictions, all of which can be found through the link at TheFisherman.com.