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Story 2010 CT fishing

Page history last edited by Jerome Moisand 10 years, 3 months ago

A "Masshole" in Connecticut



May 23 and 24, 2010


CT river and more


Lee, Ethan, etc

See also

CAG forum thread 1

CAG forum thread 2


The Hartford fish-in


I had ten days of vacations, a fews ideas in mind, but the weather and the early spawn disrupted a bit my plans. While browsing the CAG forum, I saw a notice for a fish-in in Connecticut, and thought this would be a good idea to go give it a try, meet the new guys out there, and hopefully try to get a nice carp out of the CT river. Also I heard good things about Hartford and never fished out there, so I had all sorts of good reasons to go. I got a bit mixed up, thinking it was on Saturday (thanks to SteveW who corrected me before I left home!), and finally made it Sunday mid morning, after a stop to get a CT fishing license. What struck me when I arrived wasn't so much the smell of carp (they only caught one so far), but the smell of sausages that the new state chair (Lee) was cooking on a grill... For once, I started to eat something and chat with the guys *before* setting up, which isn't typical for me (I normally can't wait to get my rods in the water!), but those sausages were just too good to be ignored!



We had plenty of bank space, the nicer spot definitely seemed to be the one close to the trees (hot day, shade welcome!). Plus if you want to catch something at a fish-in, you'd better be on the first or last swim! Plus the spot just looked good, I would probably have set up there even if I were fishing alone (well, I would probably have set up between the trees, but I didn't want to be asocial).

I had a good chat with the guys, the new crew and well as the old timers, but carp weren't biting much. After a while, feeling a bit tired, I took a nap on my bedchair and was quite startled to hear a bite alarm while I was dozing. And it was mine, actually! So I landed this 14 pounder, instantly putting me in the race for the fish-in prizes! The fish caught earlier in the day was 15 pounds though, so I needed another one.



The scorching sun and lack of fishing activity took its toll, and the sausages didn't last very long, so the local anglers got discouraged one after the other. I decided to stick to it (motivated by a 2nd run where the fish escaped), and Ethan was gracious enough to set up close to me, so that I had a fishing companion while everybody else left. After a while, Ethan had to go home, and was wrapping up when I got a screaming run. After a fairly tense fight, a 23 pounder came to the net, and well, this was a really nice fish which truly made my day. Oh, and it gave me the best total weight and the biggest fish of the day, of course. Those guys from CT were very polite to let the MA guest win! Also, I can't exactly recall what I caught in CT a few years ago, but this fish seemed like a new PB in this state for me.



I stuck to it for one more hour with no more move. By then, the striper anglers had truly invaded the place, and it was time to go see elsewhere. 


A gem of a lake


My plan wasn't to only stay for the fish-in. While I was in CT, I wanted to do some night fishing and stay the day after too. I didn't have a specific plan, but Ethan provided one, inviting me to fish his local lake, an amazing venue which produced fish up to 35 pounds. Only private access for the locals, which means that very few people actually fish it for carp. Now we're speaking, this seemed really cool. We drove out there, and I was immediately mesmerized, what a gem of a lake, this did seem VERY promising. After setting up, we were treated with an absolutely stunning sunset. Way cool.



Lee was kind enough to join us just to deliver the fish-in prizes, which were... pieces of high-quality frozen meat. Now that has to be a first! A very generous gift coming from a meat specialist. Trouble is I really didn't know what to do with it as it would have become quickly wasted in my car the day after (weather prediction was around 90 degrees!). I tried to eat the frozen meat, but this didn't work out. So after making a couple of silly pics, I gave it all to Ethan in acknowledgment of his own gift of bringing me to such beautiful venue.



Fishing-wise, the night was pretty quiet, except for a 3AM run for Ethan. I was sleeping soundly by then, and was awaken by the splashing of the fish close to the net. In my haze, I thought it was much noisier than it was, and had a vision of a 40 pounder somersaulting in front of me. Nah, it wasn't that big, but proved to me that there are indeed carp in this lake! Indeed, they did start to jump in front of us an hour later or so.



In the morning, Ethan showed me how it's done, and landed two more fish while I was playing net-man and photographer. All the spodding I did in the evening didn't prove terribly useful! Oh well, I was happy to see such healthy carp, and already planning to come back one day.



No more activity mid morning, so it was time to go try something else. After a failed attempt to leave (got a phone call on the way from Ethan asking if I had any use for a forgotten landing mat... all right, U-turn, get the darn thing and start again!), I was on my way down the state, closer to the tidal section of the CT river.


A new Personal Best (from CT)


On my way, I kept an eye on local ponds, and decided to stop to check out one near Salem (the Salem in CT, not the one with the witches in MA!). This just seemed so carpy, with plenty of access. And very scenic too. I hesitated, but my goal was really to catch a nice one from the CT river, so I stuck to the plan. What would have happened if... I will never know!



I finally made it to my destination, which has seen big fish coming out of there. I wasn't too hopeful though, as the sun was burning everything in sight. I also remembered that I fished this spot a few years ago for a couple of hours with no success. Still, to my surprise, I was greeted by a few fish jumping in front of me, so hope was quickly restored.



It actually took me a while to figure it out, I started to fish the small cove on the right side (where fish were jumping), but I couldn't properly hold bottom. After a while, I finally noticed that there was a big drop-off in front of the beach, and no current in there. Ok, dopey, let's try out there then. The process of figuring that out took a couple of hours, and then nothing happened for a while except me getting severe sunburns. I was getting discouraged again, when I got a run out of the blue and a fish gave me a stubborn fight, staying very deep, it really felt big. It still felt big when I saw it, large frame, wide tail, but it proved to be "only" 25 pounds, not thick enough for a real biggie. In a few years, it will be. Anyway, I was happy enough with this catch, which is undoubtedly my new PB from Connecticut.



I stuck to it a bit longer, to no avail. It was time to go home, bringing back a good deal of new souvenirs. Many thanks again to Lee, Ethan and also Steve who suggested I should try this last swim. You guys rock!

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