My 2021 season in review


Higher late than by no means.
Or perhaps not, relying in your perspective.

Right here it’s greater than a month into 2022, and I’m lastly getting round to posting a wrap-up of my 2021 season!

Final 12 months began off with no fishing. I used to be tentatively scheduled for surgical procedure in January, so for the primary time in greater than 15 years, shortly after Christmas, I winterized the boat and put it away for the winter. Then the surgical procedure was postponed indefinitely because of an upswing in Covid circumstances, however actual winter climate hit onerous early in January, so I simply let it sit. Thanks Covid!

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It wasn’t till March eleventh that I lastly acquired out on the water for the primary time in 2021. I used to be nonetheless fishing alone, identical to in 2020, and had a fairly good day on the Housy.

It was a brief outing. Respectable success with numbers and one slot fish. Apart from being about 70 days farther into the 12 months, it wasn’t too not like this 12 months’s first journey.

As soon as April rolled round, for a number of journeys, my fishing was all in regards to the jerkbait. Then the topwater motion kicked in. If I can get bit on high, that’s what I’m going to do each time doable.

Whereas I all the time had the jerkbait to fall again on when the topwater exercise slowed, after my first topwater fish of the season, I invariably began with an unweighted gentle bait first, then a tough topwater, and then the jerkbait, as my third and ultimate possibility. The often productive, gentle plastic on a jighead would most likely have nonetheless caught loads if I’d taken it out of the rod rack and thrown it. However once you’re getting fats ladies on high, why would you do this? The Slug-Go or Fin-S Fish — onerous topwater — jerkbait routine held just about unchanged so long as the massive topwater and jerkbait fish have been accessible within the Housy.

April and Could have been just about a blur of massive fish on topwater and jerkbaits from the Housy. Most years, a while in June, I shift my striper consideration to the Connecticut River. ’21 was completely different, although. I switched it to St. Vincent’s Hospital for the vascular surgical procedure that was initially purported to occur in January.

SIGH.

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A freshwater break

After fishing stripers just about continuous for 2-1/2 months, I couldn’t go in for surgical procedure that will doubtless hold me off the water for one more 2 months, with out getting out and chasing some recent water bass. So 2 days earlier than coming into the hospital, I went recent water bass fishing for the fist time in ’21.

The freshwater journey referenced above additionally led to one among my extra memorable sidebars and most intriguing mysteries of the 12 months…

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After shedding all of June and July to surgical procedure and restoration, I used to be lastly able to get again on the water — no less than for a fast journey. Simply as my final journey earlier than the layoff, I made a decision to go recent water bassing for the primary journey after I acquired again. Might need been the mistaken alternative. I imagine Jimfish and I acquired about 15 bass between us in a brief half day at Hatch, however solely 3 have been sufficiently big to confess to catching. And even these three have been nothing to write down dwelling about.

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Then in mid-August, it was again to the recent water, with a visit to Tyler Lake in Goshen. Tyler was so-so at finest, which isn’t out of character for it, particularly on a sunny, breezy day. It was sunny. And breezy means too windy. Predictably, the fishing was robust. Looks like it’s robust at Tyler most of the time, no less than for high quality fish. However the reality is, the explanation I hold going again there, is that three of the largest bass I’ve caught in CT waters — together with my private finest flipping fish and private finest dropshot fish — have come from Tyler.

Sticking to the sweetwater, our subsequent tour was to Lakeville. Fishing was rather a lot higher than it had been at Tyler, and we managed to catch a number of good ones every, and added a pair good brown trout (one about 3 and one shut to six.)

Again to the salt

A pair days later, I used to be again within the salt, because of a message from Captain Chris Elser, cluing me in to an ongoing striper chew early within the incoming tide close to the mouth of the Housy. I didn’t get on the identical chew in the identical space that Chris informed me about, however I did get into energetic fish that lasted me a number of journeys, catching largely first rate schoolies, with a pair rats, a pair slot fish and a bluefish or two within the combine.

The third week of August, Zig talked me into taking some saltwater day off from my native waters and head out to Niantic with him. We had a improbable morning on the water, catching one good fish after one other, all on high.

Just a few days later, Steve & I hit the Housy and native environs to the tune of “What the heck have been we pondering?”

A while in August, my spouse and I made a decision to check the house promoting waters. A giant deal for us, as we purchased the home in October of 1967, and had lived there for 54 years. I point out it right here largely as a result of the cleansing, fixing and different sundry actions related to promoting our dwelling and ultimately transferring, interfered with fishing time via the autumn months. Quite a lot of gaps in fishing and consequently, the reviews of identical, within the August via October time-frame.

In late August, Steve invited me to affix him out of the 4 Mile River ramp for a shot on the Japanese Sound waters. It began out horrible, however as soon as we began chasing birds, the fishing –– topwater fishing particularly — acquired higher. Tons higher! Blues and stripers have been each within the combine. And when that died off, we ended up banging away at a bunch of black sea bass on jigs.

Freshwater diversion

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I went to Lakeville over the Labor Day weekend. It was chilly and drizzly to begin. Thought it might be a topwater day. It wasn’t.

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I ended up chasing small pods of largemouth referring to small colleges of alewife in deep water. A dropshot setup with a 4″ alewife coloured Freaky Fish was my sizzling deal. I caught fish on that sample from 11:00 or so till I needed to depart at 3:45. No giants, however largely 2 to 2-1/2 pounders with no less than one effectively into the three pound vary nonetheless made for a satisfying outing.

A combined bag from the Sound

Didn’t get to fish for nearly 2 weeks after that outing, and this time I joined Zig, out of Niantic once more. It was not the day we have been searching for, or the one we anticipated. I acquired a lone striper on high, however hammered smaller ones on a jerkbait. We weren’t planning on fishing for a smorgasbord, however that’s what we caught. Stripers. Blues. Blackfish. Seabass. Porgies. Sea robins.

Subsequent journey out, Jimfish and I caught a good variety of stripers and blues within the decrease Houastonic. It was a good journey, however marred by the full failure of the steering field on my Minnkota Terrova. Ordered the half after I acquired dwelling and was again in motion three days later.

October began off with a bang. Right here’s 4 of the 6 slot and overslot fish I caught on the primary journey of the month.

After that nice journey, I couldn’t assist it. The inside voice saved telling me that I HAD to go once more the following day.

I shouldn’t have listened.

Worst journey of the season. SIGH

Home emptying, exhibiting and negotiating actions saved me off the water for a pair weeks via the center of the month.

Lastly, I managed to unencumber a day. Dropped a textual content to a younger man from the neighborhood who I’d by no means fished with, however who had been anxious to get on the water with me in some unspecified time in the future. I needed to work onerous to persuade him that the day we had was not by any stretch of the phrase, regular. It was really past distinctive.

To begin with, after shedding a extremely good fish on an unweighted Fin-S Fish, I switched to a pencil popper, and hooked what would become my finest fish of 2021,and a HPB (Housy Private Greatest). I could or might not have had an even bigger one on the road there, however this fats, 43 incher was the largest fish I’ve ever really boated within the Housatonic River.

Then Ben acquired in on the enjoyable with a private better of his personal. Finally, we moved out of the river to Charles Island and caught a load of schoolies on topwater, plus one other overslot fish.

Just a few days later — November first, really — we closed the sale of our home, and moved into my daughter and son-in-law’s place. Turned out to be a largely good month from a fishing standpoint, too. The day after we moved, I used to be out on the Housy with Steve. Properly, largely we have been outdoors the Housy. It was a great day to be throwing a 9″ Slug-Go, regardless.

And the very subsequent day, it was terrible. Nothing on topwater. Nothing out within the Sound. A dozen or so fish on mild jig & plastic combos within the river. All within the final hour earlier than I left. Just a few days later, issues have been again to regular, with loads of topwater motion outdoors the river.

One final freshwater journey

I made a decision although, that I wanted one other shot of freshwater bass fishing. Picked up Jimfish and headed for Mudge. It was a sluggish day, an entire lot windier than we anticipated, and saved alternating between vivid skies and heavy cloud cowl. We didn’t catch rather a lot, however we caught a pair fairly good ones.

Completed the 12 months robust on stripers

Made a number of extra journeys to the Housy earlier than the top of the month. Some days it was jig fishing, and a few days it was topwater. However there was all the time some catching happening, and barely did we fish any deeper than about 15 ft.

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December began off with the fish lastly making the massive transfer up river. Goodbye topwater motion, howdy fishing in thick colleges of fish straight beneath the rod tip in 25 to 40 ft of water. The fish appeared to hold up river and get progressively much less and fewer cooperative because the week wore on. December fish in a February temper.

After which BOOM. They have been again down river and on the chew once more in a wink!

Heavy head and massive bait was my sizzling ticket on a powerful incoming tide.

Lighter heads and spinning gear appeared to do finest on the outgoing tide that day .

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After which they have been gone once more. Or so it appeared. Discovered them half means again up river on the day earlier than New Years eve. And the chew was fairly robust, too.

I’m nearly sure that I fished much less this 12 months than any 12 months since 2012, after I was nonetheless working full time after which spent 4 months within the Hospital for main surgical procedures. I’m aiming for a hospital free 12 months in 2022. Undecided it’ll occur, however it could’t harm to attempt.

I’m additionally hoping to make up for the issues that I haven’t been capable of do the final couple years, partly due to Covid restrictions, and partly due to day off the water because of well being points. I have to spend extra time fishing for freshwater bass in additional locations. Particularly smallies. Must spend a while on Candlewood, Mahopac and the Hudson this 12 months. And I haven’t been to Champlain since 2019! Can not go one other 12 months with out spending per week or so my favourite lake, fishing with my son!

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