Best on the Shoreline!
It's time to nominate your favorites for the 2021 Best on the Shoreline Awards!
Christmas lights brighten up the Ivoryton Playhouse grounds, bringing much-needed holiday cheer for all to enjoy. (Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Fly fishing guide and certified international instructor John Bilotta (right) of Madison teamed up with Capt. Josh Laferty (left), a camp river guide, to have a spectacular Alaskan fishing trip. Photo (Illustration courtesy of Captain Morgan )
Dressed for the occasion, Santa takes advantage of the mild holiday weather. Meanwhile, fishers can be protected while either casting in style or just stepping out. Photo (Illustration courtesy of Captain Morgan )
All the little helpers at the shop were told by the Secret Santa that, although the pandemic has impacted the world, one way or the other the real and unequivocal Jolly Ole Saint Nick will continue to carry out his annual Christmas task: delivering homemade gifts from the North Pole to all of earth’s children.
Will Santa wear a mask? “Absolutely,” he replied in a serious but jolly manner. The inclination was that as long as he and his reindeer are sky bound, he will relish the fresh air. However, as soon as he drops below that imaginary atmospheric line, Santa will don his specially made accessory adorned with a blinking red light.
Most people, at one point or another, wonder how all of those gifts could fit in his sleigh, if multiple trips are necessary or if he, in fact, has many Santa’s helpers? There may never be a logical answer to any of these questions. However, youngsters (and even a few believing adults) have the right to grow up in a world where dreams still prevail and enjoy the true spirit of the holiday season.
Let the fisher be surprised when he or she reads the “From Santa” tag and, with a gleam in both eyes, eagerly separates the gift wrap from the box. This definitely has been the year for both people who wished to fish and who already do. Gifts are endless. Finding a fitting one is the challenge. This also holds true for the clammers and crabbers.
So, during this pandemic, let the 2020 holiday season offer us a bit of a break in these difficult times. Let us freely enter this wonderful world of joy and fantasy by setting aside special time to enjoy this year’s holiday with yours and those who might be near, but too far to touch.
On the Water
Long Island Sound inshore temperatures transitioned from the low 40s to the 50s and back down to 48 degrees before settling back to near average winter temps, although still warmer. Seas generally ranged anywhere from one foot to five feet as gusty winds and craft warnings periodically posted. Although winter is making its approach, both air and water temps remain on the warmer side, at times reaching the mid-50s and encouraging clammers to take advantage of the negative tides.
Fishers that have been on or near the Sound noticed the abnormal supply of forage fish still around with some having succumbed to causes related to cooling water temperatures. Fish, seals, and sea hawks are definitely taking advantage of this late feed, while striped bassers, mostly fishing from shore, are still out there wondering when their last cast in the briny will take place. No doubt successful lures like a soft wooden plug, popper, small bucktail, synthetic swim bait, or paddle tail will be tried in an attempt to land the last linesider of the season, excluding winter casts for our holdovers that are still in the game.
As the season continues to wind down for our most popular fisheries, many eyes are beginning to focus on fishing for offshore cod. Weather will have a significant impact on vessel departures, as well as any new COVID-19 restrictions. As life struggles to regain some sort of normalcy, heading out and steaming toward cod grounds in the fresh air can do nothing but help to rejuvenate the body and soul. Of course, a good dinner and some fresh fillets for the freezer definitely makes the trip all the more worthwhile.
Inland, our sweet water fishery remains robust. In spite of some nights being wintry cold, we have not seen much in the way of lakes or ponds flipping—something that signifies that fishing in those waters will continue to be productive for the near future. River flows and levels have moderated and those, too, remain fairly active as both trout and Atlantic salmon fishers are finding out. It’s a good time for fly fishers to drift a few nymphs and strip in streamers while working the well-stocked key rivers like the Hammonasset, Salmon, Housey, and Farmington. Keep the Shetucket, a fruitful and popular salmon waterway between the Occum and Scotland dams, as well as parts of the Naughy in mind if you are up for some good runs.
Because weather conditions have put a damper on shell fishing lately, the negative tides have been excellent opportunities to get out and rake up some clams for a Christmas treat. Season licenses are now available for Guilford and Madison at Captain Morgan’s with an added bonus for any Guilford ones purchased. If you are looking to hit the beds, the shop has everything you would need before, during, and after clamming.
Note: Email us pics of your catches to share with our USA and international fishing friends who keep up with the latest fishing news and frequent social media.
For all things fishy including flies, swing by the shop (203-245-8665) open seven days located at 21 Boston Post Road, Madison. Until next time from your Connecticut shoreline’s full-service fishing outfitter, where we don’t make the fisherman, we make the fisherman better.