28.April, ~4:30-6:30 pm, Ferry Park, RH. On arrival only two regulars were plying the boaters' dock. No shad on a stringer, the report was it's slow; a few short hits, and a couple shad lost. The water was clear, with fair current, surface temp ~53º F, and the wind was blustering up from the South. At least it was a warmish wind. On my 3rd or 4th cast I got "snagged". I thought I was dragging up some line from the bottom, and then it tugged, but only once. It still felt like I was dragging something off the bottom, until it got close enough to the dock to see: it the dock, me the shad. And then it started fighting, and trying to go under the dock. After a short tussle, it came out in front again, then threw the willow before we could get a net under it. A small buck, with a small fight, c'est la guerre. A short time later, Dylan showed up to make it a party of four, and then another regular and his kid or nephew (IDK, didn't ask; we're fishing) to round things out.
Just before 5:pm I got "snagged" again. It wasn't too heavy, and didn't pull back until it got close to the dock, but not enough for me to see it. And then it sounded. It stripped a lot of line on a sustained run, diving deep. I thought it might actually spool me, until it slowed enough to turn it's head, and I was able to gain back a few yards of line. It ran again, hard and deep. I fought it for at least 5 minutes, it almost doubling my rod back on itself, and making another half dozen good, hard runs. My partners were surprised by the shad's tenacity and stamina, and by the fact the rod (4'-6" U/L Ugly Stik Pro) didn't break. We eventually netted it, and it was a long, thin buck. I released it after our Kodak moment; that buck deserved to reproduce!
It was another hour before a small run came through about 6:pm when the sun made a brief appearance. A guy on another dock fought and lost about 3, Dylan caught 1, kid caught 1, and I set the hook on my third shad. (We were not all hooked up simultaneously, BTW.) This one was out away from the dock, and started fighting immediately. Not very hard, and it made only one run, but because of the current, and the distance it took a little while to get it to the net. It was another buck, longer and thicker than the Margaritaville special. I released it, too, after our Kodak moment. Things pretty much shut down after that little bit of excitement. All in all, it was a good afternoon.
Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' of 8# flour, and hammered silver willows in pink/green w/glitter and a black dot (the 1st shad and long distance release), and a Jamaican which brought the two shad I caught to the net.
If it doesn't rain too hard, I may make my way back to RH tomorrow after work. Tight lines!
29.April, ~4:30-6:30 pm, Ferry Park at RH. On arrival 5 people were working the docks. Two regulars, a father and his son who allegedly hooked but lost a shad before I got there, and someone else soaking chunks or drowning worms. And there was one dinky little anorexic shad on a stringer, I had to look twice as at first glance I thought it was a large alewife. It was drizzling to start, but scattered showers punctuated the afternoon. At least it wasn't windy. The water was a little dirtier than yesterday, and the current was about the same.
About 5:pm, two more regulars showed up. There was no action until after 5:30 pm, when Miguel landed a middlin' buck, and then Peter had a good tussle with a decent shad on the fisherman's dock. Without a net he really struggled to control it over and around the lawyer rails, and eventually he dragged it around to where he could beach it. By 6:pm the rain had picked up, and become steady. With no more action, I headed home to get my supper. No Fish Today.
I don't think I'm even going to try tomorrow, the forecast is not looking good. Actually, it looks pretty Sh*tty to be honest. Maybe Saturday, maybe...
Terminal tackle: 5/8 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro leader and a hammered silver Jamaican, and a reverse lady bug.
I don't have Monday off, but if you can make it around after 4:pm, I'll be heading to the Wall after work. I should be there by 4:30 pm, depending on traffic. I have enough terminal tackle to give you a good start. If it interests your fishing-jones enough, I'm pretty sure Bill (who makes leaves and weights) will be there, too.
May Day, 1 May (not mayday! :p), 12:40-ish pm, Ferry Park at Rocky Hill. On arrival, nobody, not one body on the docks. The wind was whipping down out of Hartford, and the current was ripping as fast as I've seen it in RH this year. The water was way up from yesterday, coffee colored, with lots of small flotsam in the drift, and the surface water temp was down to 52º F. With a 1 oz drail I couldn't reach the bottom, however hard I tried to work it. Even in spite of casting upstream, it wouldn't sink down far in the current. If I had my med-heavy tackle, I'd have thrown 1.5 oz of lead, but I only had my U/L tackle. One of the regulars showed up right behind my 2nd or 3rd cast, and he threw a 1.5 oz drail. And he couldn't grab the bottom either, and left after maybe 5 minutes. I packed it a few minutes later, and headed to the Wall. I wasn't in RH for 20 minutes.
The Wall, Cromwell, 1:20-ish pm-3:30 pm. On arrival, a small group was dead-sticking chunks on their meat-sticks down at the far South end of the wall, I had the place pretty much to myself. For all of about 5 minutes, when a regular rolled up and joined me. The water was still turbid, but the current wasn't nearly as strong as it was in RH. And the wind was MUCH less, more like a light breeze. By 2:pm, there were another 7 or 8 anglers plying the wall for shad.
With a 1 oz drail, I had no problem bumping along the bottom, and holding it there. I switched to a 3/4 oz drail because it was too easy to hold the bottom with the extra 1/4 oz of lead, go figure. After about 2 hours casting practice, and no hits, I had witnessed 4 shad hooked, and two landed. No Fish Today for me, however it was a beautiful, warm day, and being on the Wall beat all hell out of mowing the lawn. I'll be out again tomorrow afternoon following my Jeep club meeting nearby.
Terminal tackle: 1 oz drail downsized to 3/4 oz, over 3' of 8# flouro leader, and willows in hammered silver, white w/orange dots, Jamaican, and a smooth-finish silver leaf in chartreuse/orange w/black dot.
4.May, 4:30-6:30 pm, above the RR bridge behind Bart's. On arrival there were at least 8 fishing the bank, including forum member Andy C. It was good to see you Andy, it's been a long time since I saw you last May! Over the course of the afternoon, a few more people came by, including Bill C who reported some success earlier in the day at the Wall in Cromwell, and Radio.
The water was dark, with a lot of debris floating by, but there was some current, unlike last night when I stopped by and it looked like a pond. It looks like the water had fallen a little from yesterday, in spite of the overnight rain. That probably had more to do with the tide, I suspect. I saw about a half dozen shad fought, only one lost, one kept, and the rest released in the two hours I was there. I had a few bumps, and one tug, but only managed a minnow, and an alewife to keep the skunk off.
We'll see what tomorrow brings. If the rain isn't too heavy, and as long as they keep the electricity turned off if it does shower, I plan on giving the Farm'y another shot.
Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 2.5'-3' 8# flouro leader, and willows in smooth silver w/orange & chartreuse w/red dot, hammered silver in chartreuse/blue w/white dot, and Jamaican.
Cinco de Mayo, 4:30-6:pm, behind Bart's & the RR bridge. On arrival Dylan and Bill C were working the bank. Bill had 1 shad on a stringer and had C&R a couple, and Dylan reported he had C&R 2, and lost 2 before I got out of work. The water was a little higher than yesterday, dark but not coffee colored as is the CT River. The current was fair, not as strong as yesterday, and it was raining lightly, but steadily. I C&R an alewife about 4:45 pm, and just before 5:pm the rain stopped, and the shad started running. Bill caught one, right in the gills, so that went on the stringer, too. Dylan promptly set the hook on a nice long buck shad. Another angler had joined us and he hooked one, just as had Bill, right in the gills, and he gave it to Bill for the stringer. I set the hook on a firm hit, and it immediately ripped line off the drag. It made another 3 or 4 hard runs before I turned its head in to shore, still it tried to surge and run, but it was almost spent. She was a nice long fatty, and after a Kodak moment, I released her. My next cast netted another roe for a pic & release, it wasn't as fat or long as the first, but a roe back to back--LOVE it! Dylan and Bill each got another couple of shad between them. By 5:30, the current had all but gone slack, the water was like glass, and the bite was over. At 6:pm I packed it in. It was a very good day, if short. I'm sure the water will continue to rise over the next day, maybe two, from all the rain, but I'll be back to the Farm'y again tomorrow, as long as the current is good, the shad will be running.
Terminal tackle: 3/4 oz drail over 3' 8# flouro leader, and a Jamaican. Dylan's hot pink w/black dot was a real winner.
6.May, 4:30-6:pm, behind Bart's and the RR Bridge. On arrival similar situation as yesterday afternoon. The water was up a good 18", and surprisingly clear, with a good current. A few regulars were working the bank, Dylan and Bill C had caught a half dozen or eight between them, and Bill had almost a limit on his stringer. He keeps most of the bucks, and releases the roes unless their bleeding; a good man. They were catching alewives on almost every cast, it was hard to get down to the shad through them. I soon found out the alewives were in thick today. A few more regulars joined us by 5:pm, and another 6 or so shad were caught and most released, except for two bleeders. I continued to catch alewives, and they hit on every cast, sometimes just mouthing the weight or nipping at the willow for a couple of tugs before dropping them. I didn't get my vitamin shad, but at least I didn't get entirely skunked. C'est la vive, c'est la guerre.
Terminal tackle, same as yesterday, willows in hammered silver Jamaican, and one in Chartruese and Blue, w/black dot.
I have a MFO (mandatory family obligation) tomorrow after work, and won't make it out again til Saturday. In the meantime, tight lines!