2-3-12 – Afternoon River Bite

I headed to the Connecticut River after work today on what turned out to be a solo trip. My buddy had been there all day with another guy and the fishing had been very poor. Upon my arrival they were ready to head elsewhere. I checked some of their holes with my Aqua Vu Micro underwater camera and determined there were plenty of fish hung up in the weeds. I tried to get them to stay telling them they will turn on and we would just have to wait them out!

I punched a series of holes along a 4-6 foot contour that we fished for a while. It took a bit but the first fish I got onto was a nice one – a bluegill just shy of 10″! I asked them if they were going to stay after seeing the gill and they decided not to. So off they went to a different setback and back I went down the hole. As they drove by me on the main road, leaving me the entire honey hole to myself, I pulled another decent bluegill. For the next four hours I pulled fish after fish.

The series of holes that I initially punched held fish at both ends but not in the middle. I extended my rows in both directions and then went back and forth fishing until I exhausted the current supply of willing to bite fish on either end. I always try to keep track of the number of fish I catch while I am on the Connecticut River but a few times during the excitement today I lost track. My total was somewhere between 210 – 220 fish. Three of fish were perch, around 35 were black crappie (20 were 8″ or more), and the remainder were bluegill/pumpkinseed (5 were 10″ or more). I only kept seven fish today. Two perch, four bluegill, and one pumpkinseed. Just enough for a two person meal.

Today was the first time in a while I caught more fish without my Vexilar than with. The weeds were so thick in most holes that it did no good to use a flasher as the whole screen was red. Knowing how deep the water is and using the camera to determine what depth most fish are holding at made it easy enough to fish. Today the majority of the fish were between 1.5-2 feet off the bottom.

My strategy was to use a rod with 6 pound Cajun Line and the drag cranked tight. This way I could set the hook hard without spooling out any additional line and land a larger fish with tight drag having less concern of breaking off if the opportunity presented itself. For the most part the fish wanted the jig moving fast but vertically no more than an inch. I focused on watching the line a lot more than normal today. Most times the fish swam to the side with my bait rather than biting it. It seemed a lot like smelt fishing!

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