Winter Striped Bass Fishing on New Years Day 2012


Happy New Year, from BlackOpsfishing.com!


While many “scrods” were home sleeping off a hangover, the Hitman and “Famous Mike”, were loading up for their annual New Years day Winter Striped Bass fishing mission.  The absence of ice on our favorite ice fishing locations had us planning for an open water trip on the Thames River in Norwich CT.  for some winter Striped Bass fishing action.

"Famous Mike" catches winter striper

"Famous Mike" caught this Winter Striped Bass on his first cast on New Years Day 2012!

We were also testing the Zodiac’s rod holder tower I just fabricated in hopes of giving us enough space for  winter striper fishing and my electronics an Eagle 350 sonar and a Humminbird 55 flasher.

The Hitman's New inflatable boat fishing rod rack

The Hitman's Zodiac set up for Winter Striped Bass fishing with his new design, inflatable fishing boat "Rocket Launchers"

Upon our arrival the Harbor looked as calm as glass, a few hardcore anglers were already casting from the docks but there was no evidence of Striped Bass activity.

A  quick run around Norwich’s Chealsey Harbor  proved the electronics were running true but very few fish were showing up on the screens, we needed to find a decent school of “line Siders” to provide us some action.

Here is an excerpt from a blog describing the winter Striped Bass fishing in The Thames River from 2007, It seems like numbers have declined in the last few years judging from our experience but it can still be insanely productive.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Where the Bass Are

It’s possible that you’ve been wondering where all the striped bass hang out in winter. The answer is: in the Thames River, near Norwich.
John Torgan, the Narragansett Baykeeper, reprints on his blog an article by a fisherman named Al Anderson, who has been conducting a mark and recapture study of striped bass in the Thames for years. It’s a fascinating article. In it Anderson writes:
It appears that 30 or 40 thousand or more striped bass have congregated here each winter in recent times. In 1999 Bob Sampson, Jr. and I used an underwater video camera to survey an area in the basin at Chelsea Landing. In it was a school of fish 250 yds. long by 15 yds. wide by 10 yds. deep. Sampson calculated that approximately 30,000 fish made up this school. … Furthermore, my research uncovered a Boston newspaper article reporting that following a warm, wet Southeaster that broke up river ice, 20,000 stripers were haul-seined at Chelsea Landing over several days in February, 1729. Tremendous numbers of fish undoubtedly over-wintered here long before colonial times.

Pretty exciting stuff right? Sure gets my blood flowing!

We were debating whether to scope out other spots on the river or perhaps even switching our mission all together to Pike fishing on the Connecticut River, when I spotted some bird action on the Shetucket River side, the Shetucket and Yantic Rivers merge to form the Thames River.

A quick thrust of the Zodiacs 6 hp outboard had us right on the fish!!! Before I could shut off the motor “Famous Mike ” Hollers fish as he fights a feisty  Winter striped Bass to the Zodiac’s side  We each caught our first Stripers of the year on New Years Day 2012!Winter Striped Bass Fishing in Chealsey Harbor.

Then we got some hot coffee  and headed off to the Connecticut River to see if we could scrounge up any Pike action.


Happy New Year


The Hitman


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  1. Terry Michaels says:

    Good information here. I love how anything can be googled, and there’s the information! I have heard of the striped bass fishing in the middle of winter but now I have seen it for real!
    Thanks Hitman!
    Terry Michaels

  2. jimmy says:

    That’s awesome! I was home sleeping off a hangover…

  3. Gazza says:

    Nice ride, could you send me some detailed pictures of yout boat?
    I’ll swap you some of mine. I’m for New Zealand, we hunt slightly bigger Kahawai, and Yellowtail Kingfish.

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