Sunday, July 8, 2018

Marsh Scup, Channel Flatties, and Flats Edge Birds

Noah and I put in some hours yesterday fishing for a variety of saltwater species with a variety of tactics, him on his new SUP and me in my kayak, which I indeed do stand in when the water is flat enough. Initially we searched for stripers on the flats. They really weren't there in good numbers, unsurprisingly given the time of year, temperatures, and tide timing, but there were some see robins in targetable numbers with a few cruising stripers and tailing tautog in between. Tag teaming sea robins is one of my favorite summer tactics. We found groups and individual robins working the edge of the flat. If I was in a position to present the fly I would right away. If not I pointed them out to Noah and got myself into position. Getting doubles, or even triples if you are fishing with two other people is pretty easy when working groups of marauding robins, is easy with coordinated effort. When one angler hooks up the other robins tend to follow the hooked one, and with precise casts and carefully timed fights and releases it can be possible to hook every one of a group, which could be as much as eight.

We fished a short channel edge behind the flat too, I missed a couple stripers, Noah got one then caught a short fluke on a fluke. To that end he had already gotten sea robin, striper, bluefish, and summer flounder. It was shaping to be a real "who's who" of CT inshore water kind of day. Our next move took us to pleasure boater city, which really annoyed me. Mucked up water, no larger stripers around, and the annoyance of having to keep one eye open for either drunken idiots or just sober stupid idiots became to theme of the day. Living in the heavily populated land that is Southern New England you learn quickly that there are a lot of people around with large, dangerous, fast moving things that should never have been entrusted with large, dangerous, fast moving things. We fished the backwaters, where the boat traffic was still startlingly frequent, and we found marsh porgies. 

It is, I think, quite unlikely that marsh porgies would be a thing were it not for the massive effect that man has had of the shoreline. The two places Noah and I found these scup featured deeper water specifically due to man made structure. In all likelihood these deep holes would never have existed in that kind of marsh water without manmade structure. In this case, bridges. Bridges draw fish like streetlights draw insects in the night. 

I was a little surprised, honestly, that we encountered porgies there. Even when I find them in inshore water it typically isn't that far in. But they were there and for a few hours we caught them on sandworms and some on the fly, and were we more equipped we probably would have had a damned good meal afterwards. Which reminds me...

At one of the launches we used on this day Noah and I found a pile of discarded fish carcasses. Not unusual and not a bad thin in my opinion either as it feeds the ecosystem from which those fish were taken rather than the garbage dump. But in this case, it appeared the only meat that had been taken was from the only keeper sized sea bass there and a short fluke. The short seabass had been filleted and everything discarded and the scup hadn't even been filleted. Anyone who does this kind of thing has a special place in hell waiting for them. If you are going to use the resource you damned well better respect it. CT, as far as I have researched, has no wanton waste laws regarding fish, only migratory birds. That needs to change. 

Noah's last fish of the day was also the second and final fluke of the day, once again in a channel but a much more subtle one.

Though it can be much more difficult to have consistent daylight striper action this time of year there is a lot of action to be had with a fly rod inshore. Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box, sometimes "cheating", but it is all fun and well worthwhile. 


  1. Yes to bridges.
    You carrying your flyrod on a floating log with a pole? Have a leash?
    Daytime is frustrating for bass. But I caught a 19" tonite at twilight on topwater fly. Near a bridge, of course but from the boat.
    The baby bluefish running the sound are not taking flies now. They were last week. I know because they just keep swimming right on by. Not sure what to do but that's the fun of it. Tie more flies :-)
    I caught a 2 foot dogfish on a twirlytail last night.
    And, AND, today I watched not one, not two, but three (3) THREE Squeteague caught. One was over 2 feet long! Yes, they are there. Most things are not what they seem on the surface. Need to get a SCUBA license.

    1. Seems the weakfish have decided to stick around for the summer. Your's isn't the first report of then I've heard since the last weekend in June.

  2. You are so right about dumb and dumber boaters.
    I can't imagine fishing from a board, I would be better of just floating around in my life jacket. You both had some good salt water catches.
    Tie, fish, write, conserve and photo on...

    1. You would definitely not be better off just floating! A good pattleboard is almost unflipable. Falling off is possible but it is then very easy to get back up on the board. I'm pretty sold on the whole idea actually.