John P

vast empty sea ?

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I just arrived a few weeks ago from the south. Boat in the water now.  Been out a few times and noted something very different.  I see almost no other boats out,and know why now.  I have never seen in 40yrs of fishing the LIS area so little fish life.  No birds,no bait and none of the spring activity I've seen for so many yrs. I also note no internet talk of catches and how great my last day out was.  This disturbing to say the least.

 

Can someone let know how well you all are doing?  Just so you know I've fished the same areas for 20yrs  with some good success.

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I believe this years unbelievable lack of bunker has left the bass to pass through without holding. There’s no big baits around to hold the fish here. It’s been quite disturbing so far

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It has been a really weird year, in my perspective.  I fish the Ffld county area, mostly Norwalk, by boat.  Almost no bunker on the surface schooled up.  Only chunked a few times with not great results, partially probably because of how hard it's been to get good bait?  Lots of bait spread out, you'll see flip here and a flip there. 

 

Plugging in shallows has been generally pretty weak but caught a few nice ones. Last few weeks picking up for sure.  Some boats have definitely been able to find schools of bunker getting pushed around, and have done well fishing them.  Gotta cover a lot of ground though, they're not nearly as present as past years.  Seems trollers are having a more consistent bite covering ground.

 

All that said, we have a new arrival this year: sand eels.  Birds eating them with bass on them. New for me at least, haven't seen that since maybe 2011?  Reminds me of fall. Mostly dinky schoolies on these fish but a few keepers down deep if you can send a jig down there.  And lots of boats chasing them acting like jackwagons...  It brings a whole new type of (inexperienced) fisherman to the crowd when there is something to visually chase (and motor right over the school spooking them).

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John,

 

Unfortunately that about sums it up.  I'm in the western sound, so seems like we are fishing the same areas.  Every Father's Day we do an 8+ hour bass-a-thon, I bailed this year do to my son's graduation party the day prior.  Sad to say, I made the right move.  My buddies were on the water before 5 and fished an entire tide through, they got one 30" bass.  That is awful for this time of the year

 

I agree with all the other observations as well - just an absolute lack of bunker to keep the fish around.  Mark a fair amount each trip but they are spread out and happy. 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It was pretty good for me from late april to memorial day, lots of 20-30" fish, but no big ones, all I'm catching since then is short fluke and a few rats.  For the hell of it last weekend (after catching no fluke and 2 tiny bass from the kayak for 4 hours) I flipped some rocks for crabs and found 3-5lb blackfish still in 15-20fow, and still pregnant.

E8251C7F-4BD3-4613-B74A-A3C8B8FD72B2.jpeg

Edited by nateD

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Everything is late due to the weather, cold temps and lots of fresh water flowing into the sound.  Sit tight....

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Not catching fish is frustrating, but you can learn a lot from not catching.  The difficulty also increases the enjoyment of when you finally put the pieces together and have success.  

 

Patterns are only patterns for as long as they last... once things get shaken up you have to figure it out all over again.  For me, the past few days have been pretty good, and the bite is building up.  I would suggest you try something different if what you are doing is not working for you... and focus on fishing sunset, darkness, and sunrise.  

 

But not catching fish how and when you want, does not mean it is a lifeless sea.  The harder it is to find the fish, the quieter those that are on them will be.  If you are the type to watch reports (not saying the OP is), you should be paying attention to when things go silent too... the fish are out there, somewhere, and someone with no need to pound their chest online is on them!    

 

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I made my first kayak trip out in the west on Sunday, looking for sea biscuits.  Found a few shorts in 40-50' before heading into the shallows where I got one small striper and found a new tog hole. Bunker were very scattered.

 

I was surprised at how cool the water temp was, low 60s.

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9 mins ago, csteven said:

I made my first kayak trip out in the west on Sunday, looking for sea biscuits.  Found a few shorts in 40-50' before heading into the shallows where I got one small striper and found a new tog hole. Bunker were very scattered.

 

I was surprised at how cool the water temp was, low 60s.

Sea bass is closed until next weekend!

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Well it's certainly not an empty Sea but it seems to require more and more effort every year to catch, especially stripers & blues.  This year has been my toughest to find fish and feel successful as an angler by far. There seems to be fewer and fewer fish every year the last 10 or so years.  I know that there are people catching but I guarantee they are working hard to locate and catch those fish.  These fisherman are not just randomly out and catching fish. They are putting their time in and are skilled at their trade.

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I understand how the state of the bass situation has changed over the last 5-7yrs.  I was struck by the lack of activity I saw,both in fish,bait ,  birds and other fisherman.  I have just arrived from the deep south so each year I enter the striper season after the first few months of spring activity.  As I stated I've been at this for a while and my  buddies  have as well.  Even in the worst of the moratorium there were fish to catch,so I understand that there are fish out there and you have to work very hard to have a "good".day.  A lot of the sharpies are use to seeing a number of 25- 40 lb fish over a weeks time period.  We'll see what happens.  I will be covering a lot of territory in the boat over the next several weeks and report back.

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its pretty grim.  sea bass are carrying the day;  some porgies in the mix recently too.  but that's bottom fishing......  not my thing really.  I made a decision to "stop" chasing stripers after last Fall  (I'll never fully stop really) but my efforts are 1/10th of what they used to be.   seems like most people feel the same way.   

 

the guys I know who work on charter boats are seeing sporadic groups of fish at best- the trend towards worse fishing seems to be continuing

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