Archive for Fishing Facts


Fishing Hartford CT!

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I live in Colchester CT, out in the country close to the ocean and many lakes, ponds, trout rivers and streams, I love fishing all these places but if I want constantly big fish, a huge variety of big fish and lots of action, I head to the Connecticut River, although I do fish the entire river from the Fourth Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire to Old Saybrook, CT. you will most often find me fishing Hartford CT. areas on this wonderful river.

Fishing Hartford CT, on the Connecticut river always makes me think of  the famous quote from Forest Gump,

“Life Is like a Box of Chocolates… You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get”

Fishing Hartford CT, is like that.. You never Know what you’re gonna catch!

Those are only some of the reasons fishing Hartford, CT. is a great decision!

Here are a few more

There are many available access points for fishing via land or boat from the river and it’s  coves!

With the exception of heavy flooding the Connecticut River provides action 365 days and nights per year!

The Connecticut River has made a dramatic comeback in water quality!

Fish in the Connecticut River grow at a faster rate! (the state average growth rate for a largemouth bass to reach 12″ is 3.4 years but it takes only 2.7 years in the Connecticut River!)

The Connecticut river is rich with organic matter called detritus, which is made up of small particles leaves and wood that become altered over time, although they are non living,  these particles are food to many fish and amphibians and all  fish and wildlife depend on this food matter.

The Connecticut River is loaded with forage food like crayfish, shad, alewife,bunker, chubs, suckers, shiners and more!

The hitman dispalys a double header catch of white and yellow perch

The Hartford area on the Connecticut River is host to many fishing tournaments each season, both professional and novice!



In the photo on the left I display a double header catch! A yellow and a white perch.  This was taken on Feb, 11, 2012

At Keeney Cove on the Connecticut River near Hartford.

It was 2 fish every cast for a couple of hours!


Just Imagine the huge Pike and Bass that come to forage on fish like the ones in my picture!

And this is just the beginning of what I have to tell you about Fishing Hartford CT…

Spring is full of surprises for those who fish the Connecticut River… stay tuned for more









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I’m over due for an adventure! Hurricane Irene had me back deep into my Flood Restoration business and my passion BlackOpsFishing.Com had to sit on the back burner for a few months.

The Mission I am about to take should be the thrill of my life time! I have pimped out my New 1995 (1500 dollar) Asto Van with everything I will need for the trip! I will tow my Sea Eagle Fold Cat and bring my Malibu Mini X sit on top Kayak!

"Fishing the Florida Keys"

Al Sims a.k.a. the”HitMan” & “Cod Father” of the BlackOps Fishing Mafia:   Mission –  Fish Key West!
The Mission will require me to add as many new species of fish to my “Creel List” as possible. I will do this on a budget, camping ,catching my own bait, cooking my catch, using only my own instincts and tactics, no fishing guides allowed! Although I will gather info from locals, visiting tackle shops and use the internet as to where to locate my target fish!

You can keep track of my Mission on my blog and web cam. The trip is 1562.34 miles.  In my next blog I will show how I set up my Van for the trip including general costs of necessities.

My goal is to provide info for others wanting to do a similar journey on a budget!

Tight Lines


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How Black Ops Fishing got its name!

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Black OPS Fishing

My son Shawn and I knew where we wanted to go with our new blog site, we want to help folks catch more and bigger fish!  We brainstormed with our staff for a name! One suggestion was a stealthy name, we liked that idea but had yet to find a name that clicked.

Until the new Sea Eagle Fold Cat order came in! I’m an inventor and put so many clever additions on my Sea Eagle that it draws a crowd where ever I go! People are always making comments on my Sea Eagle and all its equipment, like “It looks like a Navy Seals Boat!” “looks like it’s ready for a secret mission!” “that boat looks like it can go anywhere, I bet it’s really quiet!”, “It’s set up for anything ” and lots of “Nice Rigs” and “Sweet Boats!”  A few people asked if they could take a picture of it and many want to know where they can get one!  So it was the people that noticed the stealthy coolness of my custom Sea Eagle Fold Cat that gave us our name  “Black Ops Fishing”  and Shawn came up with our tag line “Reel Under Cover Fishing!” And our blog was born!

Shawn ans Al Sims head out Fishing on the CT. River


Shawn will also be blogging on this site, I’m sure you will enjoy his writing style!

Shawn with a small pond bass caught from his kayak


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Can fish see colors? Stealth Fishing!

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Can fish see colors?





I sure hope so, I have hundreds of lures in many colors, that would really suck if it was a hoax designed to get fisherman to buy more lures.
The truth is that most fish see very well and can determine colors pretty much like people, they have rods and cones and all the necessary components to see color that humans have plus many fish can see florescent colors as well.

Todays Lures come in hundreds of color patterns

The biggest difference is a fishes eye focuses in and out much like the lens of a camera, instead of stretching and shrinking the lens like we do.

When fishing in low visibility conditions ( overcast sky) or in murky water, try using light colored (white or silver) or neon colored (chartreuse) lures. These colors tend to give a good light reflectance which allows the bass to see the lure quicker and give it a better chance to react to your presentation. In high visibility conditions such as clear water and clear skies, use dark colored lures. In these conditions, dark colors appear to be more natural and appetizing to the fish.

Did you ever go out fishing, walk up to the edge of pond, lake or river and see fish scatter upon your arrival? Why do you think they scattered? It’s simple they felt your vibrations, heard you or saw your shadow or bright color clothing, most likely all of the above.

As I grew as an angler I often reflected back to my childhood days and came up with this basic fishing philosophy, I like to compare the under  water fishing environment to that of our above water (land) environment, if you walk into the woods or a field you will see birds, animals and even insects scatter at your approach. Many animals will stop feeding, crickets stop chirping and so on. Now if you take a seat on a log, settle down and remain quiet, some of the birds, animals and insects slowly resume their normal routines while others may move off to quieter areas or stop feeding completely. If you were to approach the same field or woods in a stealthy manner you will scare off less wildlife and insects and they would resume their routines faster! I picture the lake or river being the same if you step into a river, fish scatter, many scatter before you even set your wadding shoe clad foot into the water, outboard motors, electric motors, paddling, casting, noisy boats and noisy fishermen are all reasons for fish to scare and bolt away. Now you have to wait for the area to settle down a bit before fish may start biting, the more commotion the longer you may wait. If you take a much more stealthy approach into the waters you are fishing, you will greatly increase your odds of catching more and bigger fish.

"Hitmans" customized stealth fishing Sea Eagle Foldcat


As a kid I was always sneaking up on critters, I captured birds and chipmunks in my long handled nets, turtles always required major sneakiness.

So it was natural for me to sneak up on fish! If I didn’t they would scatter, it was a no-brainer, I found that casting from behind the big rock instead of standing on top of it would always result in more and bigger fish! It really surprised me when I discovered I could scare a fish by yelling? But it’s true fish can hear you, try it next time you get a chance.

To many folks, fishing is walking right up to the edge of the lake, casting a night crawler and waiting for a strike, they fish the same way every time, they catch a few fish and get to enjoy the outdoors, they have no desire to learn more about the sport,they are just out “dunking a worm”.

I was driven with desire! I watched Gadabout Gaddis the first television fishing program, I dreamed of being like him and traveling around the county on fly-in fishing trips and catching every species of fish!

Every fishing trip was an adventure and a learning experience for me, when stream trout fishing I noticed the trout would always face upstream and would shift positions or dart away when I approached. I learned to wear camo  clothing and to actually crawl to the bank of the stream, starting fishing from as far back as possible. I caught so many trout it was crazy! One thing I hated and still do is when I’m stealth fishing, all snuck up tight in my spot and some “Scrod” comes walking up next to me in his yellow slicker, casts out his line with an over sized setup and a giant sinker then begins a conversation with me, I notice his spinning reel is facing up instead of down as he casts over my perfectly placed line and then spins the reel backwards to retrieve. I was a kid so It didn’t bother me to try and show the gentleman how to fish, then politely get as far away from him as I could.

The words “Scrod” and “Low Flying Scrod” didn’t come into our vocabulary until our 20’s when one of my gang of fishing buddies
coined the popular phrases. I guess a “Scrod” would be compared to a jerk or idiot and a “Low Flying Scod” or “Low Flyer” would be a super jerk or idiot. We still use those terms today In the Blackops fishing Mafia, just for fun.

The real definition of a Scrod is a Cod under 2.5 lbs. 🙂

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Helping people catch more fish!

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My dad took me fishing to a place called White Hall Lake when we lived in Michigan, this was one of my dad’s favorite fishing stories, we hadn’t been at the lake long and my dad couldn’t find me? He walked over to a group of people and there was 11 year old Alan  in the middle giving a fishing seminar to a gathering of adults! They had seen me walk up and immediately catch one big fat Bluegill  and Calico Bass after another. They didn’t know about looking for fish beds or the best rigs to entice big Bluegills and  Calico’s and were absorbed in my seminar as dad walked up with a big smile on his face! This would happen often on our future fishing trips, I was always helping folks catch fish!

Last week I went out in my Malibu Mini X kayak to snap some pictures of fish beds for this blog.

Fish Beds visible on pond bottom

The fish are off the beds now but the bed still remains visible for a long time.

You can see that a fish bed is a light colored or sometimes dark colored spot on the lake floor, they are almost a perfect circle. A female bass will work diligently fanning her tail and fins over a hard bottom removing mud and silt that would harm her eggs. She will work until she has a large bowl like circle sometimes bigger then three feet in diameter and often times she works until her tail begins to bleed after she lays her eggs the male takes over to guard the nest from predators. This spawning ritual takes place every spring when the water temperatures are between 55 and 65 degrees.

In clear lakes bass can make beds as deep as 15 feet, they need a certain amount of sunlight for their eggs to incubate, the pond I took these bed pictures at is extremely clear and I did see some gigantic beds down deep but most of the beds were near the banks in 3 to 8 feet of water. Sunfish beds look the same as the bass beds and are usually found in the shallower water.

In future blogs I’ll touch back on sight fishing beds and what I learned from studying  huge spawning bass from way up on rock ledges, where they could not sense my presence. And a special lure I’m developing that should drive spawning New England bass nuts!


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Me and "Poppy" with his last fish!

Hi I’m Alan Sims, fishing is my passion in life! 
My son Shawn Sims and I are proud to announce the grand opening of our blog site www.BlackOpsFishing.Com.
We can’t wait to help the fishing community, with 3 generations of fishing tips and secrets and the combined secrets of our Black Ops Fishing Mafia and staff of expert fishermen!
 I want to dedicate this site to my dad William A. Sims (Poppy) he was a big man, very kind and always happy and willing to help a stranger in need , he was very involved in his work as a machinist and was a pioneer of the industry, he helped develop machinery and often traveled over seas or to different parts of the country for problem solving. He had a long military career in the Navy and held a rank of Chief or Chief gunners mate and  he loved fishing.

 I was very proud of my dad and relish the memories of the many fishing trips we took, when he didn’t have the time to take me fishing he made sure I went fishing when ever I wanted, he would drop me off at spots on the way to work and even took me on some of the business trips so I could fish in other areas!
The year was 1966 I was 7 years old and back in those times a 7 year oId boy could go off fishing and exploring alone and that’s exactly what I did I have wonderfull  memories of the places I explored, I never needed a friend to go fishing I packed my gear jumped on my bike or took off walking to the local ponds in Hazardville, CT. where we lived for about 5 years, (until dad accepted a job offer in Michigan)   I would be gone all day no one would worry and I would come home with fish, snakes, turtles, salamanders,  frogs, lost dogs, wounded animals and my mom said she would often find worms in my pockets.
I remember when we did buy bait for fishing (I loved collecting bait myself) many of the places that sold bait back then were self serve, you took your own shiners or worms and put the money in the box, the honor system was alive and well in those days, my dad taught me not to take extra bait or skimp on the money and how to be a good honest boy.
My dad taught me to respect the outdoors, he was a Cub Scout Master before I was even old enough to join the scouts myself, he loved to help kids. One thing really cool about dad was if he was invited to go fishing with anyone anywhere he would absolutely not go unless I could go too, I did the same with my children Shawn and Sarah never going with my buddies if kids were not wanted on the outing.

 Speaking of Scouting, When I was 8 years old I went fishing instead of Cub Scouts and my den mother called my mom and told her I didn’t  show up for the meeting, I remember the route I walked to  cub scouts, it involved crossing a  brook loaded with crayfish and mud puppies and I would often stop and flip some rocks and put my crayfish in a pail and stash it in the woods to pick up on my way home.But on this particular day I had a mission! I had my first lure! So cub scouts kinda slipped my mind. It was a ”Flatfish Lure” yellow with black and red dots and spreder bars with lots of hooks! I was going to catch a bass like my older brother Billy (an Eagle Scout) who was already in his early 20’s
Off I walked to a pond we called Vito’s and I cast my new lure out into the dark water  and carefully put my rod in a forked stick like dad had taught me and sat quietly on the bank waiting for a bass to strike the lure. Guess what? A bass did come along and bite the floating lure and an 8 year old boy went home to show mom and dad his prize only to find out he was in a bit of trouble for skipping cubs but I bet my dad was proud as we dinned on my first lure caught bass.

I notice the same traits that “Poppy” passed down to me, in my son Shawn and my daughter Sarah.

I truly believe that teaching a youngster about nature and how to respect it, be it fishing, hiking or any outdoor adventures helps them develop thier own good  nature in life!



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Welcome to Black Ops Fishing.  Let me introduce myself, I am Alan Sims I have been fishing for 48 years (not straight, I’ve been  home a few times:)  together with my Son Shawn and our “Black Ops Fishing Mafia” we have a wealth of valuable information to share!

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