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Doozman

Newbies to boat fishing on the Sound looking for general direction to find bass

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Friends have the new boat this season, and have asked me to join them fishing this weekend. They are inexperienced fisherman, but I have a lot of experience from the beach and some on party boats and charters, but mostly on the Cape and South Shore of Long Island.

 

Asking if anyone can point us in a general direction for bass - boat is kept in Westport at Longshore.

 

Thanks for any advice about what to look for as well - reefs, wrecks, etc.

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I'm in the Sound but not near Wesport.  Thanks to glaciation, the near-shore waters are loaded with rocky structure. Get a chart app for your iphone (well worth the few bucks).  Start looking at the reefs (under water rocky ridges). Any of them can be holding bass at this time of year. Troll around them to see if there is any active fish.There must be some common spots that you can visit, too.  For example, in eastern Long Island Sound you have The Race of Plum Gut are are popular areas that can hold fish. Gotta be some similarly know bass haunts in your area.  The local bait shop is best for this information.  Good luck.

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More-or-less where I grew up.

 

You've got three main options.

 

1)  Get up in the stones, finding places where the current runs past the rocks.  Set up three rods, one with a pencil popper (or standard popper), one with a Redfin- or Bomber-type swimmer and one with a bucktail (which is what will usually, but not always, catch most of the quality fish).  Drift close to the structure, sandpapering it with short- to medium-length casts, trying different lures depending on the water conditions, bait, etc.

 

2)  Again, go into the shoreline stones, but anchor in the best-looking spot you can find--maybe a current-swept hole, or by a point that breaks the force of the tide.  Fish a live bunker on one rod, and a chunk on another (as you'll have more than one angler in the boat, you can fish multiple baits).

 

3)  Find ledges and reefs in 20-35 or so feet of water.  Put a white, 2-oz. Smilin' Bill type of bucktail, tipped with an Otter Tail or something similar, on a 10- or 15-foot mono leader and pull it on wire line.  You probably want to keep your speed around 2-2.5 kt.  Drop the bucktail down so it swims just above the bottom, and jig it (rod tip down near the water) in short, sharp jerks.  Keep playing back and forth over the dropoffs.

 

Sometimes you might find bass actively working bunker schools or other bait.  Sometimes you might get a school of bass in deeper water where you can diamond jig them.  But assuming that you're going to have to search for your fish, the three approaches listed are as effective as any.

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