Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Fishing

Many profess that fishing in the spring or summer is best. I've recently read in a few magazines that fish are fatter and hungrier as the weather gets colder. It makes sense, really. Kind of like a bear that stores up for winter or a squirrel that gathers nuts in anticipation of the advent of the colder winter months.

Through my fishing experience, I have learned that fall is really an ideal time to fish. The weather is milder and the water isn't as warm (so the fish don't go deep in search of colder temperatures). Fish "pop" at this time of year; they "strike" and some strike hard. To me, there is nothing more exhilarating than the strike of a nice fish. The "strike" comes, the line zings, and the race is on.

I have no excuses for not fishing as of late - I live one block from Long Island Sound where, on some weekends, droves of fisher folk flock here to fish. I can remember car doors slamming this past summer at 3:30am. And then brief, low conversation. Ah, the thrill of it. The excitement to get out and fish can "strike" before dawn. And dawn is an ideal time to cast a line in search of that "strike," pull, and reeling thrill. Sheer bliss.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Get Reel!

A couple of years ago, I went fishing with my cousin. It was overcast in the morning and we had trouble catching bait. In Maine, mackerel is used as a primary bait fish. The trick, though, is to catch enough to go into the coves for stripers.

I was using a lightweight shimano rod and reel, which stood up easily to the mackerel. Upon discussing things with my cousin Crit, it was decided that they would not stand up to a strong striper. My poles went underneath and out came his baitcasting reels.

Shimano makes a Calcutta reel. These are designed to feed line fluidly right off the boat. The reel floats the line off of the spool, feeding it out as the bait fish swim. These reels are rarely used for casting, but I suppose it would be possible with chunk bait. The only risk might be back lashing.

Investing in a few good reels is a must for anyone who is an avid fisher. My freshwater equipment is up to par, however I need to make an investment in saltwater equipment. This Calcutta (of which my cousin is an owner) looks like a nice idea.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It has been discovered that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been using funds, which were collected by fining fisherman, to buy expensive cars, lavish boats, and special trips. Senator Chuck Schumer revealed this in a recent NPR Article.

To me, this news comes as quite a surprise. NOAA continues to fine fisherman (and use the money to fund their interests and excursions) while these hard working people continue to toil to provide seafood to the general consumer. Now some would argue against fisherman for over-fishing our waters. Sometimes, illegal fishing methods are used and for these infractions, fines are warranted.

Consider the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. An increasing number of fishing vessels are now required to stop fishing and help with the oil spill clean up. This puts additional pressure on fisherfolk in other areas of the world to produce the requisite amount of fish based on the laws of supply and demand. It is time for NOAA to take a break from over-fining fishermen and start to think globally about the predicament that U.S. fishermen are in at this time. To quote a local legislator in the article, it would be like policemen paying their mortgage using the fines that they collected from speeding tickets. NO-AAA!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What's Scup with that?

Tonight, I wandered over to West Haven to the jetties that typically host a fisherperson or two. Tonight, I came across a dozen on one and two on another. They were all fishing for Scup.

Also known as Porgy, Scup can be found anywhere there are rock formations. Milford and West Haven have plenty of those. But do you know that even with 12 poles in the water, these folks hadn't caught a thing at the time I arrived. We had a brief conversation and I reassured them not to give up as the tide was on its way in.

They were fishing with sandworms, which if you have never seen one, check out the photo at the top! Be careful when thredding these puppies. They do have pincers inside of their mouths!

What's Scup with 12 fisherfolk and no fish?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Today, I was driving around in the high heat thinking about some of the best fishing spots I've experienced. I have to say that the red fishing trip I took with my parents in Tampa Bay tops the list of excursions-de-peche I have ever had.

The experience was cumulative. First, we had to catch some bait. Our guide used a casting net to catch small bait fish and loaded these into his live well. Once we had the requisite amount of bait, our guide tried to get us to hook into some tarpon. There was an area of grove like trees along a waterway (you can actually see the roots of the trees). My mom cast into that area and definitely had a tarpon on. This thing was so strong that it snapped my mom's line.

Next, he took us to a popular flat area that seemed to be frequented by other fishers. Immediately, we caught a redfish. These fish actually have a dime-sized, black dot in their tails. This is a decoy (defense mechanism) against other predatory fish. You see, they approach the redfish thinking that the black dot is their eye when in reality, the dot is on their tail which enables them to sense the vibration of a predator and they are able to escape. You can see the dots in the picture above.

A great fishing trip!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oregon Fishing

I was recently in Oregon (for reasons other than fishing). It was amazing to see all of the bodies of water. The Columbia River Gorge had a few fisher folk here and there but the smaller rivers were scant with fishers. The coast (Cannon Beach and Seaside) was primarily surfers. I didn't see one fishing boat!

While there, I visited Multnomah Falls. It faces the Columbia River Gorge. This natural waterfall is the 3rd largest in the world. At the base of the falls, there was a placard that described the different species of fish in Oregon (salmon and trout). When we were walking up to the falls, there salmon in the river below, swimming north (or trying to!).

My next fishing journey will definitely be in Oregon. And I plan on bringing my little brother whose fly fishing skills are far more advanced than mine. Besides, he is fun to be with and very calming to me!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lake at Dawn

The faint, light mist flows up off the water.
Slowly revealing that the water is warmer than the air
I watch the sun slowly rise in the east. Minute by minute.

As the sun crests over the distant mountains, the mist grows thicker
Prompting the first cast onto the glassy surface in front of me.

Strike - a trout - snaps the early daylight snack and runs with it.
My reel spins out more and more line as I pull and follow it slowly across the mist covered glassy lake. From my kayak.

The mist dissipates slowly as the morning breaks , leaving a colorful rose, coral hue on the lake, indicative that day is here, the mist gone, revealing the vulnerabilities of early morning fishing. The best time of day.

Quiet. Peaceful. Serene. Misty. Vibrant. Real.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Connecticut Angler's Guide

Sometimes, everything you need to know about something you love is right there under your nose. For the past couple of years, I have found fishing spots by searching the Internet or by referral from other fishing pals.

No more searching...

I recently came across the 2010 Connecticut Angler's Guide for Inland & Marine Fishing. This little mag contains listings and descriptions of all bodies of water in the state of Connecticut. It includes information about the types of fish in each pond/stream/lake, as well as accessibility information (motor boat/shore fishing), etc. This little guide is going to make my summer more peaceful - well, at least less stressful in terms of finding a "spot to fish."

To use a term engrained in my mind by my father..."everyone needs their own spot." I look forward to finding many new fishing spots this summer.

(If you're interested in obtaining a copy of the guide... go to the counter at Sports Authority and ask for it).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Change is Inevitable

Writing this blog has been a source of inspiration to me for almost 3 years. Fishing, in its solace, is a lifelong interest of mine and will continue to be for years to come. My writing, which is my passion and lifeblood, continues to change and grow with every new phase of my life.

I am changing my writing venue to a new blog. It is a more introspective blog and will aim at exploring my personal journey, including my professional life, academic pursuits, and even some of my own personal "work." This site will also be used medium through which to present my professional portfolio (including professional and academic work).

If you are interested in accessing my blog, please email me ( and I will send you a link when it is available. You may not find it by searching and I want to be sure to include any loyal readers that I may have at this stage of life.

This site closes at midnight tonight, my 41st birthday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Santa Must Have Gotten Snagged in the Chimney

I have a dismal report on the typical restocking of my tackle box this year. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I didn't receive one fishing lure, pole or packet of hooks. Maybe I have moved on to more sophisticated gifts (like wooden spoons and measuring cups), but last year, I did score one or two things.

I consider it a blessing, really. Most of the time, the fishing gifts that I receive are well-intended but essentially useless. Like a spray container of bass attractant. Um. As a relatively skilled bass fisher, I hope to my spiritual guide(s) that I don't need a spray bass attractant. It is this viscous, slimy, lime-green bottled substance that sprays out in a stream longer than Raid - you know, the can designed to reach the dark, cavernous crevices of your kitchen (well, my southern grandmother's kitchen). If your lure is not lined up exactly with it, well, just hope that your 6 year old nephew isn't standing nearby. Otherwise, he will attract bass - for a week. The note on the bottle states that once applied, it will stay on the lure for countless casts for up to 5 days. Makes me wonder what is in it and the potential pollutants..oh, never mind.

I'll be busy dreaming of spring when I can stand outside and cast freely. Meanwhile, I'm drumming my fingers waiting for that winter invite for some pike fishing through the ice. Upstate anyone?