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Lunker City Fishing Specialties

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Three men in a tub.

They were joined in the tub (for quick visits only) by way too many fish to even think about counting.

Carl Lovisolo and I joined Steve Durkee for a Connecticut River/Long Island Sound trip yesterday.

It started early with a triple header striper hookup within minutes after shutting down the big motor and dropping the Minnkota in the water. We continued to catch stripers and a few big bluefish for a couple hours, all on topwater offerings. Mostly Slug-Gos and Fin-S Fish, but a few on hard baits as well.

The bluefish may have been biting better than the stripers, but they seemed to have particularly poor aim, because it usually took them 6 or 7 swipes to make contact with the lure. Being bluefish, making contact often meant destroying — or sometimes biting off — the soft plastic lure. So ‘fish in the boat,’ we didn’t catch as many blues as stripers, even though they seemed more active and plentiful.

We went outside the river to check a shallow bar/rip that Steve had smoked them on last time out, and found bluefish, bluefish and more bluefish. Back inside, but to a slower bite now.

Time to put operation albie into high gear! We checked a couple albie spots, and found quite a few boats out there. Waiting for the fish to show themselves. Not. Even. Casting. Just waiting. We sat for a few minutes, but Steve isn’t the kind of guy who is into waiting. Patience is not his strong suit.

Back to his shallow rip. Not much rip, as the tide is dying. Still plenty of bluefish though.

Let’s try that point were we did so well in the early fall peanut bunker rush a couple years ago!

And when we got there, we were pretty much done moving around for the day, except for incremental moves within the large shallow area. We found untold numbers of striped bass and bluefish gorging themselves on peanut bunker on this shallow point. It was nonstop fish breaking everywhere, with birds diving and whole schools of peanuts running right up out of the water at times. Here, the bluefish and the stripers seemed to be divided by some invisible line. There was a little overlap at times, but mostly it was a matter of wander too far south, and it’s chopper city. Move north far enough though, and it’s all stripers, all the time. Mostly big schoolies and keepers in training, but with enough 30 inch plus fish in the mix to keep us happy and our arms sore.

We were done before 1 o’clock. The fish were still there and biting (albeit a little slower) but we were beat. Turns out that when you get older, energy is a finite commodity. Who knew?

We never caught anything really huge, but among the 3 of us, we probably caught a hundred or more respectable fish, including about 10 keeper stripers and at least that many blues in the 30 inch range or bigger. Every last one of them on a surface presentation!

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