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Back to the River

After yesterday’s fun fest on the Connecticut River, all three of us — myself, Steve Durkee and Yasunori Imai — were good with a return trip.

Once again, the topwater bite was on fire early, and when the current dropped at the turn of the tide and the topwater bite subsided, fishing the same areas with plastics on jigheads was the ticket. Lots of double and triple headers, including one very memorable one a little after ten.

Steve and I hooked up  at just about the same instant, with Yasunori getting in on the action just a few moments later. Three quality stripers hooked on light gear is pretty much a prescription for a Keystone Kops routine in the boat, and this was no exception, as we had to pass rods over and around each other’s lines several times as the fish each changed directions and so forth.

Steve and I were dealing with keepers — but sub 30 inch keepers, and we got them in the boat pretty quickly. Before long though, it became obvious that with his medium freshwater spinning rod and 10# test leader, along with what appeared to be a somewhat larger striper, Yasunori was going to take a while longer to land his fish, so we took a quick photo of 2/3 of the triple header, and let our catches go. The time stamp on that photo was 10:15.

I didn’t get to shoot a picture of Yasunori’s catch until 10:34.

It took so long to subdue the fish, that we were concerned that it would be too exhausted to survive. When I boga’d the big girl and lifted it over the gunnel, the hook fell out of its lip. Yasunori had inadvertently grabbed one of my winter schoolie fishing jigheads, with the mashed down barb. How he didn’t lose the fish is a mystery to me. In any case, after a couple quick photos and a moment to measure it (a shade under 42 inches) the fish took off like a rocket when my Japanese friend released it.

It wasn’t the only fish of the day — we caught about 70 fish today, including 20 keepers — but it was certainly the most memorable. For the record, Yasunori caught it on a 5.75″ Sexy Shiner Fin-S Fish rigged on a 1/2 oz, 2/0 hook model, Lunker Grip Fin-S Head. With the barb mashed down.

Also for the record, we pretty much stayed even with each other numbers-wise, until we made a few stops on the way in, around one in the afternoon, and Steve went on a 10 to nothing to nothing run, while Yasunori and I just wondered why the fish stopped loving us.

Our topwater fish came mostly on Slug-Gos and pencil poppers, while Fin-S Fish, Freaky Fish and SuperFlukes all caught fish rigged on jigheads.

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