Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time for some fishing!

With the arrival of some decent spring weather, boats are being launched and fishermen ( I'm still part of this clan) dust off their rods and reels and make way to the Norwalk Islands.

In Connecticut, Tautog (blackfish) season ends April 30th, it is difficult to catch a taug before this date as the sound waters are still to cold for these fish to move into the shallows.

Since a child I have learned that the Lilac bloom and spring blackfishing are closely associated, as the Lilac turn into full bloom, the blackfish are returning to the shallows.

This year was an exception, with botany species at least two weeks ahead of schedule in Connecticut, Lilacs were blooming in mid April instead of their normal very end of April, early May.

Regardless, my nephew Ken and I headed out on April 30th to see if there were a few blackfish around, we fished for about five hours and for the most part the fishing was very quiet, but we did have a little blitz in the shallows off of Cockenoe Is. for a half hour or so.

Ken was hot and hooked a few in the six seven pound range, we released another half dozen fish keeper sized fish, we took great care of the two fish, keeping them alive in the boats fish well.

Upon return to the South Norwalk Boat Club, the fish were weighed on the certified scales and promptly released to live another day.

This past Sunday the SNBC held its annual Winter Flounder Tournament, I don't have all the particulars but that the numbers of teams seemed to be lower this year.

It wasn't long ago that hundreds of fishermen (and ladies) would participate in the Interclub Flounder Derby in Norwalk, with the demise of winter flounder, sadly this is a thing of the past.

A few private clubs may still hold there own derbies, but even those are slowly also becoming a thing of the past.

I fished with my wife Glennis and our dear friend Aldonna Sanborn, and if there are two more intent fishermen (ladies) then these two , I have yet to meet them. These girls are the best, and believe me they catch fish! and BIG ONES!

Just not this year. We did very well in comparison to most teams, Aldonna had a 2lb 2oz for our big one, we had ten fish, releasing all but our allotted six, many teams with some great fishermen had a much slower time. Two fish for a four fishermen team in a six hour contest seem to be common, lets figure that out, that's two fish in twenty four total hours of fishing, one fish for every twelve hours of fishing, YIKES!
Maybe it's just time for a moratorium, though I'm sure that isn't the answer either.
A few nice fish were caught, Reeve Moore (pictured at the top) had a 3lb 6oz fish for 1st place and Tom Renzuella was a close 2nd with a 3lb 3oz. fish

Capt. Al's flounder crew. I've spent many nights
on this boat in the offshore canyons tuna fishing.

A team deciding which one's to weigh in, only four fish per boat
could be weighed, if the team could catch that many.
Most teams didn't

Ken with a nice 7lb Blackfish

Passing Peck's Ledge Lighthouse on the way out,
I spotted two Peregrine Falcons perched on the
upper railing.
That's some look he's giving me!


  1. The flounder fishing is worse than I thought it was. Nice blackfish though.

  2. Nice old Hatteras.

    I have always found it odd that the spring season ends on April 30, when the ideal time for blackfish is May.

  3. Hi Matthew and Charlie,
    Thanks for the reply, I think the closed season is simply to protect the spawning Togs, they are starting to load up with eggs as we speak, this month and June are the months they spawn in the shallow waters of LIS.
    If there wasn't a $ sign on their heads,(they are very popular in Asian resturants, alive!) they would probably be doing well as a species in LIS.
    Till then I guess local recreational fishermen will continue to have closed seasons and size limits in LIS and other coastal states so we can feed the taste buds of other countries? The fishery is not what it once was, but is much better off than winter flounder, which I think may be on the edge of it's survival, this species has many more issues than fishermen.
    If your in a storm out in the ocean, this Hatteras is the boat to be on, she's very heavy and plays nice,