Archive for Fishing Facts


Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge

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Try the Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge. Many anglers are taking a fishing Challenge or even starting a fishing challenge of their own. It’s fun to some anglers and a silly idea to others. Fishing Challenges are  popular on YouTube and a great way to spend time outdoors. If you are considering trying a fishing challenge just paste fishing challenge in your YouTube browser and you will see many different fishing challenge Ideas. Our new fishing challenge for BlackOpsFishing is called the Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge! In this fishing challenge we use a child’s fishing combo called the Lady 202 by Zebco. It’s a challenge to land a nice fish an a small kid’s fishing combo and even more of a challenge to capture it on video.

Roaming Rod Fishing challenge Tee

In the Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge one of the BlackOpsFishing Team will catch a fish on the Zebco Lady 202. Then we will make a video, it will then be sent to another You tuber who wants to complete this Fishing Challenge. The new You tuber recipient will then attempt to catch a fish for the fishing Challenge, get it on video and send it to the next You tube recipient. This should be done in a 10 day time frame. Now the next recipient  can complete the challenge and send it to the next You Tube challenger. Now we get to see how far the Roaming Rod fishing Challenge can go!  We will chose who the next recipient is by  reading the comments in the video. We have Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge Stickers and also some cool tee shirts with the BlackOpsFishing logo and the text reading Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge.

If you like the idea of the Roaming Rod Fishing Challenge you can leave a comment  here or subscribe to our You Tube Channel by clicking the provided link on the left.

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Advances in Ice Fishing Technology

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Some fisherman just wont change their methods with the times, I have a friend that is a very good fisherman but he remains stuck in the 1980’s he continues to fish the same way he always has, how much experience can an angler gain doing the same things over and over?images (26)

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I have always changed with the times, often innovating new ideas and approaches of my own. I try to learn something new on each fishing adventure.

This blog post will pertain to more advanced Ice fishing equipment and methods, they change rapidly in today’s world of modern electronics.

Here is an example: I purchased the  Humminbird Ice 55 sonar, just last season and it was one of the best sonars on the market, Humminbird now has more advanced units, like the 597 ci hd that includes sonar, gps and more options then previous year models. A unit like the 597 can put an ice fishing angler on a previous location using gps system! This is a huge breakthrough for ice fisherman. Imagine knowing you are sitting exactly on top of a brush pile or log crib designed to attract fish!

Another example would be Ice fishing Augers, I own one of the best Ice fishing Augers on the market but now I’m drooling over the new Ion Electric Ice Fishing Auger, electric Ice Fishing Augers will be the Ice Fishing Augers of the future!

Lets go ice fishing with a Sonar unit for checking depths and finding fish.
Using a Sonar to set up your ice fishing tip-ups.
When using a Sonar unit to set depths on your ice fishing tip-ups, you will get a much more accurate setting and the confidence that your bait is exactly where you want it in the water column.

When you use your sonar for ice fishing, remember to adjust the sensitivity on each trip, this is very important, modern sonar units will allow you to view your bait as it descends, you you should pick up a signal from the bait, split shot and barrel swivel, if you do not,  you need to adjust the sensitivity on your sonar unit, water clarity also plays a roll in properly adjusting your sonar.

Setting your tip-up’s with a sonar will assure you are fishing at an exact location and depth.




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ice bass 2012If your an avid angler in colder climates ice fishing is an ideal and productive way to extend your fishing season. An Ice fishing trip can make a great family outing  and create memories that will last a life time.

Ice fishing can be simple and inexpensive or you can invest thousands in tackle and electronics just like open water fishing.

In the next few blogs I will share some of my 40  years of ice fishing experience with you.


An old rule of thumb is 4 inches of ice will safely support an angler and gear but never consider ice to be totally safe, there can be weak areas in the ice caused by many different reasons, like an underwater spring feeding the body of water or a snow covering insulating and hiding a weak spot in the ice, you should always be ready for a potential plunge through the ice but if it’s reasonably thick and strong ice you wont have to spend your day worrying just be prepared with the proper safety equipment.

Being safe: Ice fishing with a friend is always a good idea!Snapshot(4)

A charged cell phone in a water proof case, Ice pics (on your shoulders, ready to use), rope with a float attached, life vest, whistle or horn, cleats( for your boots), dry clothes in your vehicle, flashlight, also tell your family or friends where you intend to fish and when you intend to return. I also carry extra ice pics ropes and a flare gun in my emergency kit, you never know if you may have to rescue a person in distress.

Where to fish:

One way for a newbie to find good ice is to go out and scout for a body of frozen water with ice fisherman already enjoying their sport.

Another way would be to ask your local bait and tackle shop for suggestions.


What can you expect to catch? Any fish you catch in open water can be caught through the ice but like open water fishing you need to use the appropriate gear and bait selections if you seek a particular species of fish.


There are two basic ice fishing methods

jigging or the use of tip-ups also known as traps or tilts.

We will start with discussing tip-up ice fishing for beginning anglers.218474_ts


The number of traps allowed per ice fishing angler varies from state to state

Check your states guidelines and laws pertaining to ice fishing rules, baits and allowed methods.

Always put your name address and phone number on your tip-ups.

Bait: both artificial and live bait can be used when ice fishing just like open water fishing.

That being said, lets go Ice Fishing!

Old school tip-up fishing gear:

You need a tip-up loaded with ice fishing line, or several if you have them, (6 per ice fisherman is the law in Connecticut), (this article will pertain to stick style tip-ups,  I will talk about tip-up styles in a  advanced ice fishing  article), A method of chopping a hole through the ice, a depth sounding weight, barrel swivels, leader line , hooks, bait and safety equipment

A quick scouting mission at the lake can help you find a good spot to start ice fishing.

Look for other ice fishing anglers, they may have experience on the body of water you have chosen to ice fish on.

If there are no ice fisherman around check for old ice fishing holes, look for an area with signs of many old holes a clean ice fishing hole may be a sign that an ice fisherman had no luck in that particular spot.  A hole littered with weeds, blood spots, bait pieces or just a lot of footprints,  could mean that an ice fishing angler had success at that particular hole.

Assuming you have loaded your tip-ups spool with sufficient backing 50 to 100 yards of Dacron line followed by a barrel swivel and a 36 ” leader of fluorocarbon or mono your split shot and a hook about 10 inches below, you’re  ready to fish.


remember this is just a basic ice fishing guide for a beginner I will get into more complex ice fishing methods in the next few blog posts.

A good depth to start ice fishing would be about 8-16 feet of water , this should be a good depth for a beginner to see some action, we will be trying to catch pan-fish  bass, trout (if they are present) and Pickerel which are very active feeders during the winter and easily caught on a tip-up baited with a minnow, if those depths  do not exist at your chosen spot,( some good ice fishing lakes are very shallow)  you will have to adjust your depth settings accordingly


Secure your depth sounding weight to your hook and allow it to sink to the bottom.

Now that you have found bottom you need to mark that spot on your main ice fishing line, many ice fishing anglers use a shirt button threaded on their main ice fishing line before attaching their barrel swivel and leader line.

The idea here is too get your minnow swim about three feet off the bottom, a good starting point for a new ice fisherman fishing without  modern electronic depth finders , flashers and GPS systems.

Not to worry, I  caught hundreds of fish through the ice before I had the luxury of electronics by doing exactly what I am teaching you now.

Use the button or hold the marked spot on the main line between your fingers and slide your fingers 3 feet down the line towards your barrel swivel, now determine the length that your tip-up extends through the ice when set up, usually around 8 inches and raise your main line that much higher thus assuring you are about 3 feet off the bottom.

Remove your depth sounding weight from the hook and attach a minnow by carefully penetrating the the bait-fish  through it’s back, (there are several way’s to hook a shiner or minnow for ice fishing but through the back is a good method for a new ice fishing angler to start.

Deploy your shiner to it’s position ( approximately 3 feet off of the bottom) and carefully set your tip-up’s flag and place it in the over the hole.

Repeat this process with the rest of your tip-ups setting your  minnows at some different depth levels if you like, after about 1/2 hour without a flag,

you should consider resetting the depth or moving that tip-up to a new hole.


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Fishing the Connecticut River for Bowfin

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“What is this crazy thing?”  Kyle thought he had another catfish on the river bank but a closer  inspection made him

jump back and call for Shawn to help him with this prehistoric looking fish  Shawn had never seen one in the flesh but was convinced he was looking at a Bowfin, I had just told him there was an upsurge of Bowfin in the Connecticut River a few days prior to their catch.  They quickly snapped a picture on a cell phone and  sent it to me for confirmation.

This scenario is happening up and down the Connecticut River! Connecticut Outfitters in Wethersfeld  can attest to this, they have had numerous customers come into the shop with a picture or description of a Bowfin wondering what they had caught!

The Bowfin

Bowfin can be caught on the Connecticut River


“The bowfin is a primitive type fish and the sole representative of an ancient fish family dating from the Jurassic period, appx. 180 million years ago. Other names — grinnel, brindle, blackfish, spot tail, mudfish, dogfish, shoepike, cypress bass, cypress trout, choupique, scaly cat, buglemouth bass, German bass, brindlefish.”

Bowfin identification

“Body color of the bowfin is dark olive above with lighter sides and cream-colored belly. The long dorsal fin is dark green with a narrow longitudinal olive-colored band near the top margin and another near the base. The males have a dark spot on the caudal fin, bordered with yellow or orange. Lower fins are green, vivid as fresh paint, during the breeding season. There are 66 to 68 scales in the lateral line. The dorsal fin contains 47 to 5l soft rays and the anal fin 9 or l0 rays. The head is more or less flattened on top and the mouth is large. The teeth are sharp and strongly set in the jaws. Weights of 6 to 8 pounds or more are commonly attained. The swim bladder serves as a lung, giving the bowfin air breathing capability”.

Bowfin are well known for their incredible strength and fearlessness and a tackle busting fight that will get an anglers adrenalin rushing!

5 pound Bowfin Landed by Kyle Paris


How to catch a Bowfin

Your rod and reel:   I have caught many Bowfin while bass fishing with a  typical bass fishing rod and reel although folks who actually target the Bowfin will often use stronger tackle with lines rating up to 40 lb. test and stronger hooks on their lures or bait

Yes, Bowfin will strike lures with a vengeance!

  •  A Bowfins diet is very similar to that of the bass, loving crayfish, live fish, shrimp, insect larvae, frogs and more and they have an incredible appetite and are very capable predators changing their diet from insects to live fish when they reach an approximate size of  only 4 inches .
  • When using fresh cut bait nothing beats a nice chunk of fresh eel! That is what Kyle caught his Bowfin on.

  • To locate a spot that would be an ideal habitat for Bowfin, look for lakes or slow moving rivers  with underwater vegetation, rocky areas, undercut banks and other structure.

Although some folks eat the Bowfin and claim it is good table fare, they contain up to 5 times the mercury levels of any fresh water fish so I’m not an advocate of eating Bowfin.

Right now is the best time to catch Bowfin they love warm water and can thrive in many water conditions, including low oxygen and polluted waters  since they have an air bladder that operates much like a lung allowing them to breathe air and live out of water for extended periods of time.

The most productive method would be cut bait fished in the Connecticut River in one of the coves or bends from Middletown north up the Ct River, Keeney Cove in Glastonbury is one very good location. Your rig will be a simple hook and sinker set up as you would for Cat fish or other bottom fish.

The Bowfin is said to fight better than many well known game fish and they are very colorful and beautiful fish, so why not target the Bowfin on your next fishing adventure.







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Connecticut’s trout fishing season opened April 21,2012! This year has been a truly amazing fishing season for trout. We had one of the warmest winters on record, with the warm water trout grew much, much faster in the hatcheries! This year trout are on average 14or 15 plus inches! The BlackOps Fishing Mafia, myself included (Fi-Shawn) have been killing trout throughout CT. Strating with catch and release fishing in the Salmon River TMA area. We did very well before the season even opened! catching 3-10 trout each outing. Fly fishing was awesome too! I went last weekend and fished near the covered bridge on the Salmon River. I don;t fly fish much at apparently the flies I used haven’t even hatched this season yet (oops!) I used caddis flies, and may flies and was hammering the trout! I had a blast because it was my first time catching trout on a plain fly with the ol’ fly rod. Now let’s get back into spinning! First I would like to give everyone out there that doesn’t know much some useful trout fishing tips and fishing secrets to increase your catch!!

The Rod…First off use a trout fishing specific rod! You will feel the bites better and they are designed so they flex just right and a medium size trout can feel huge! My favorite brands are Fenwick, G.Loomis, and St.Croix, a cheaper favorite would be a 4 ft. ugly stick!

The Fish… I will cover a bunch of different trout species that are found throughout the U.S. but mainly what we have in CT! Brown trout are a silver sort of brown with darker speckles, rainbow trout have all sorts of colors and no spots, brook trout are the most beautiful fish especially the native brook trout, they have whit orange, reds, and spots that can be shades of purple you really have to see them, they are so beautiful. The tiger trout is pretty cool, its a hybrid trout a cross between a brown and a brook trout.

The Spots…Throughout the country you will find different species of trout in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers! You will need to use different tactics in each body of water to produce the most fish. Many states have a stocking program and have TMA (trout management areas) Theses areas in CT especially are stocked heavily you can count on catching almost year round in these areas. When fishing streams and rivers you’ll want a good pair of wading boots, this allows you to maneuver just right to fish the holes properly. Look for the back sides of pools. I like to find big, slow moving pools with fast moving water on either side. Normally you will cast up stream and let your bait or lure drift down stream. You want to keep most baits near the bottom with a split shot 1-2 ft. away from a small hook around size 8. I normally fish the salmon river in CT, Jeremy River, Farmington River, Nachaug River and Black Ledge River. Also Day Pond in West Chester CT can be killer! Power bait kills it, try my method below and you cant go wrong, morning and afternoon are best!

What to use…I always use 4lb test on my reel with a 4ft. trout rod, I will sometimes use a 2lb test leader. I use tons of Berkley trout fishing baits, usually when the fishing is slow. When fishing lakes or ponds i use a slip weight with a barrel swivel. I attach a 2 foot long a 2-4 lb leader line the other side of the swivel with a size 8 hook. This method is great for Berkley power bait. The new Gulp power bait is phenomenal, this method is also good with shiners, crawlers, meal worms,and corn. When fishing rivers I looovvveee rapala X-Rap’s! I use the smallest ones up to a 3 or 4inch sometimes. The trout replications are very good, my SECRET, SECRET is to dunk my X-Rap in some Berkley Gulp Juice (i shouldn’t even tell you this :P) Seriously though… I’ve killed it when no one is catching with the X-Rap and Gulp Juice!!! Also spinners and spoons work well too.

Always remember to bring your forceps with you for catch and release!

You would be surprised a small trout will eat a big rapala, but when you are searching for breeders in the river use a big Rapala and bring some polarized glasses!

I would also like to mention Horse Pond in Salem, CT. It’s a great little place, easy to find with easy handicap access!! It’s also a trout park and is stocked regularly. Good Luck to everyone who tries any of my spots or tips! Talk to you guys soon!! : )

One Last Secret- You can find worm inflators at almost any bait shop. Pump up your crawlers on a slow day, use a decent sized weight to keep it from floating to the surface, I’d use my slip rig.


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I used to fish every trout season opener with the crowds of anglers rubbing elbows and moving further and further into both sides of the stream until their rod tips almost touch, of course I found quieter holes to fish but it was and is still a zoo out there!

If you chose to go to a lake for opening day trout be prepared for launch ramp disasters and lakes that need traffic lights to accomadate all the boaters trying to hit the water by the traditional 6 am opening.

Many people think that “fishing season” opens on the third Saturday in April but that is NOT the case!

The third Saturday in April marks the traditional opening day of trout fishing season only, You can fish 365 days a year in Connecticut like i do!

You can even fish for trout in the catch and release sections of some rivers known as TMA areas, the Black Ops crew was fishing the Salmon River TMA section hard until Friday before opening day, we even caught several large trout over 3 pounds known as “breeders”.

I feel bad for the folks who go on opening day of trout fishing season thinking the fish are fresh and eagerly ready to bite unaware that we already caught and released their dinner:)

The last several years I would go on a Cod Fishing trip instead of fighting the hoards of “Scrods” for a spot on the river, this year I fished the Salmon River’s lower section and never even saw another angler.

I like to fish alone, I still have flashbacks from 1975 when I was a teen and took a friend “Morris York” fishing with me, it was rugged journey to my spot and it started pouring rain, when we finally got there, ole Morris was ready to leave, I said cool but I’m staying, Morris whined that he didn’t know the way home but I knew he did, still he hung with me, probably afraid to go back by himself.

I would love to have a video or pictures of the fish that I was about to catch but I don’t so It’s just another story to tell.

I was fishing with worms and I made my first cast into my favorite pool on the Blackledge River, my worm didn’t even hit the water and was slammed by a big impressive brook trout, every single time I casted my worm another big brookie would take it! Every time! It was insane!

After a while I realized I was almost out of bait and looked around for Morris, who was sitting under a tree shivering cold and looking miserable. “Dude, find me some worms I yelled” but Morris wouldn’t move!

Finally I forcefully persuaded Morris to get me some worms but he was crying as he brought them to me, get more I yelled and Morris cried more,  eventually I unwillingly caved and brought ole Morris home, I had caught over 20 beautiful big brook trout, one every cast in one single hole, with the rest of the river left to fish!!! It was like a dream come true and Morris was like a nightmare!

Where ever you are Morris I’m still pissed! You “Scrod”! If we ever meet again you best have some worms with ya!

Whew, I held that in a long time 🙂


This year I fished the lower Salmon River, I just messed around using live bait and learning how to make videos of myself and still catch fish, I also tested my Panasonic waterproof camera.

Here is My Salmon River  fishing adventure video! Hope you enjoy it!

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Catch and Release Fishing Techniques

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If you love fishing as much as I do, the most important tool you should bring even before your rod is a good old fashion pair of forceps, or a good hook removing device. There are many, many reasons to always carry a pair with you, most importantly to save the one thing that makes fishing what it is….the fish! I can’t remember all the times I’ve hooked a smaller fish and found that it was almost digesting the hook! There are way too many people out there that just grab the line and rip the hook out! This has to stop, all you need is a nice pair of forceps and you’ll save the lives of many fish, and keep our beloved sport alive for years to come!
It really hurts me to see a beautiful trout or bass etc. floating down the river.



Many people don’t realize how close we as humans are to ruining fishing forever, with all of our pollutants and garbage we put in the water. On top of this there’s way too many “scrods” or uneducated fisherman out there killing almost every fish they catch! If we as fisherman do not learn the proper techniques of catch and release fishing our sport may be shut down across the US within the next 10-20 years. Every fish counts, even without us fisherman the chances of a fish surviving until it’s full grown are low because of the food chain. When someone rips a fish’s gills or guts out with the hook and it dies, it lowers these odds and this fish will never reproduce.
Handling the fish is just as important as hook removal. ALWAYS wet your hands before handling a fish. Fish have a protective slime covering on their skin, this protects them against disease and many other things. Dry hands, some nets and improper handling can remove this coating and expose the fish to life threatening elements. If you think you are unsure about how to properly release a fish then please keep reading and memorize all of my pointers so you too can help preserve our sport!

Catch and release fishing is the way to go, since I could hold a pole I always believed in catch and release. It all starts with the fight, when you are reeling in a fish have fun, relax don’t yank the fish too hard and don’t lift the fish and plop him on the ground. Take your time with it, when you get the fish close to shore, prepare your fish friendly net or hands by wetting them. Slowly pull the fish into the net, or up to your hand holding the rod with the other hand. If the fish doesn’t have big teeth you may hold it by the lip ( Large mouth bass is the best for this) DO NOT TOUCH THE GILLS OF THE FISH OR LAY THE FISH ON THE DRY GROUND . If the fish has a smaller mouth like a trout you’ll want to gently wrap your hand around the fish about halfway down it’s back. Now using your forceps carefully and gently remove the hook. Be careful when handling the hook and fish, lower the fish back into the water. Sometimes I like to hold them in place for a second and help them gather there energy so they can swim off : )
It feels great to catch a really beautiful fish and it feels even better to know you successfully released it alive and healthy! Thank’s for reading! Until Next Time ; ) -Shawn
Remember to always carry out what you carry in plus at least one other piece of garbage, if we all do this someday our shorelines and river banks will be clear of garbage.

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Hillyer's Tackle Shop, Waterford, CT. since 1934 Dad carried me in to this shop when I was just a guppy

Fishin Factory 3 Middletown, CT

bait and tackle store

The Fish Connection Preston, CT

Rivers End Tackle Shop

Connecticut Outfitters Wethersfield< CT




I’m an advocate for the “mom and Pop” stores, the stores that started this great country and watching them drop out of business hurts, we need them but still we shop online and at large department stores that sell everything putting the little guy’s out of business.

My biggest concern, since I live breathe and think fishing are the “Mom and Pop” fishing tackle stores, I have also owned tackle shops and know first hand how  the Internet and the big chains stores can hurt their business, heck I shop on line and at the big stores for certain items but I buy everything I can from privately owned fishing tackle shops and I’m proud of it!

Listen up!  We need the bait and tackle shops, imagine what would happen to your hobby when they are all gone? You can’t go on the Internet to have your reel properly filled with the correct fishing line. Is the Internet going to personally help you pick a balanced fishing rod and reel that fits you and your fishing needs? Buy some lead ocean sinkers on the Internet  and see what that costs ya!

Where will you get fresh bait? I imagine it would be live bait machines and convenience stores, ask the live bait machine where the best fishing is right now and what to use for tackle, the best time and tide and see what happens.

So that leaves the guy in convenience store as your fishing mentor, today it’s rare to find a convenience store that  can even give you driving directions, some can’t  give you directions to their Tylenol, this is your new fishing mentor.

Of Course the Internet provides tons of fishing info but if it’s not tuned to your location, just general info, it’s nothing like what an expert fisherman from your area can provide you with.

The folks that run these tackle shops are there by choice, what fisherman hasn’t at least dreamed of owning a bait and tackle shop! It’s their passion and livelihood, we need them yet we make purchases from the big guy’s that could have been purchased at a local tackle shop, maybe it’s a few dollars more then the chain store, maybe not but look at the knowledge and service you get with that same purchase from your local bait and tackle store, that is an added value.

Lets look at an example of what the small bait and tackle store goes through to make a buck and what the big chains do to save one.

We will use Bill’s Bait and Tackle for the fishing tackle store name.

ChainMart will be the department store and MTM will stand for major fishing tackle box manufacturer

We will use a fishing tackle box as the example, Bills bait and tackle buys a case of fishing tackle boxes for resale from MTM , the fishing tackle boxes cost Bill 10 dollars each, Bill marks them up to 16.95 he makes a reasonable profit and offers his clients a great tackle box for the money.

Now MTM is coming out with new models of fishing tackle boxes and contacts  ChainMart stores and says, hey, we  have all these left over tackle boxes we need to unload and you can have them for 6 dollars each, ChainMart snatches up the deal along with their order of the new model tackle boxes, now ChainMart sells the same box that Bill’s bait and Tackle sells for 16.95  for only 9.95 at ChainMart, So you shell out 10 bucks at ChainMart to some “Scrod” behind the counter who would rather have a better job and knows absolutely nothing about fishing, while Bill with a wealth of fishing knowledge that he loves to share has a case of tackle boxes growing dust and becoming outdated on his shelf.

Now here’s what ChainMart does to  MTM. ChainMart puts in huge orders of tackle boxes and MTM scrambles to meet the new demands, now MTM is making more fishing tackle boxes then ever and ChainMart says, wait a minute these prices are to high, forcing MTM to lower their price to stay in business!

That is why I will not shop at ChainMart if I can help it!

I don’t just shop at one local fishing tackle store I like to spread my purchases around, usually stopping at bait and tackle shops that are on my way to where I intend to fish.

It’s understandable to make a purchase from the big guy’s  if your saving a pile of money  but try hard to buy as much as possible from your local tackle shops and keep them in business!


Thanks For Reading




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The "Anonomous Bluegill" Underwater camera





I have been thinking about and working on something for the fishing industry that has not been done yet, at least not to my knowledge and I’m super excited about it! It’s going to help all anglers! Anyone who fishes will benefit from this awesome new fishing idea that I’m almost ready to launch! Subscribe to my blog to find out whats up!


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After experiencing one of the warmest winters on record, Connecticut is in for an awesome Spring fishing season and it’s already underway!


In warmer climates such as Florida fish grow at much faster rates, in colder climates such as Connecticut fish grow slower because their metabolism naturally slows down in anticipation of winter.

Here is a prime example,

2012 CT Trout Stocking Underway Due to this year’s warmer weather, the Connecticut DEEP has accelerated its stocking..

This early stocking of trout started back in February and was caused by extreme growth rates due to warm weather,Trout grew 20% larger and the hatchery ponds became over crowded forcing this early release. It really is strange, I was getting bit by mosquitoes while Pike fishing on the Connecticut River in early March. Many other insects are hatching early this year including some our Trouts favorites the Black and the Brown Stone fly!

the black Stonefly

Just yesterday I walked in to a favorite fishing pond, about 25 years ago I fished this same pond on the last day of March which happened to be the first day of “Ice Out” and caught a 6lb 11 0z largemouth Bass that still hangs on my “Mans Room” wall, that Bass reminds me to fish this pond early every year but this time I was in for a surprise!

Upon approaching the pond I could see action on the surface, as I got even closer, creeping through the thick brush, frogs and turtles plopped into the water! I was shocked to say the least, most years its still too cold for turtles and frogs and mosquitoes until after the traditional opening day of trout fishing season which is the third week in April a month away!

Next I see a bunch of fish right up on the edge of the pond and schools of bass out 10 feet or so, I saw Bluegills, crappies and mostly bass the biggest were only a few pounds and the smallest a few inches but there were dozens. It was obvious that most of the fish sensed my approach they quickly darted away or changed their positions. I enjoyed watching those fish for several minutes and then walked to another section of the pond to cast for some bigger bass.

the turtle

Turtle sunning at the pond (last summer)

I have watched Pike spawning much earlier this year and the pike fishing is Red Hot right now on the Connecticut River and it’s coves.

You can fish many of these locations from land or boat right now and catch pike. You should use heavy tackle and large lures or bait, the bigger the better. Remember to carry steel leaders when fishing for Pike or better yet because it’s nearly invisible in the water a 30# to 50# test fluorocarbon leader attached to your hook or lure will get you more strikes.
One more thing on Pike, Pike are in 3 different stages right now 1. pre-spawn 2. actual spawn 3. post spawn please be careful when handling these toothy fish, proper handling will save your fingers and the future of our Pike population. I have watched “Scrods” just yank Pike out of the water and let them roll around on the bank until they are totally covered in dirt, then they fuss around trying to get the hook off, the mortality rate on released Pike must be high.

Crappies are ready to catch right now! Small jigs or pin head shiners are the ticket for some hot action! Crappies put up a great fight on light tackle and they taste absolutely delicious!
I took a quick mission to Wethersfield Cove on the Connecticut River

Wethersfield Cove

I saw folks catching Crappies right from land in the channel between the river and cove and I marked so many schools of large fish on my Eagle sonar it was insane! I wasn’t fishing
just looking for info for my report but now that I saw so much action on my fish finder screen, I can’t wait to get back to the cove.
Stripers are just starting to head up the Connecticut river but there is an active bunch of striped bass that hold over in the river from Rocky Hill on up to and past the Enfield Dam. Sand worms, blood worms, cut or live bait fish and lures like a 7 inch Zoom on a jig head will all produce fish.
Get out early this year like the turtles and frogs:) you will be pleasantly surprised!

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Categories : Fishing Facts
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