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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5178
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:15 pm    Post subject: Connecticut River - Hamburg Cove 02/24 Reply with quote

I thought that the weather was supposed to be good, today, so I decided to paddle Hamburg Cove and see whether the anadromous white perch are in, yet. I got a late start and worried that I wouldn't be able to find a spot to park near the cartop launch, but there weren't any other vehicles when I arrived. I got on the water in my kayak, El Habañero, at 9:30 am:



I hadn't checked the tide table before I launched, but later found out that low tide would hit the cove at around 12:45 pm. The water level was already quite low. Through the calm surface of the clear water, I could see that there weren't any schools of white perch in the inner cove, so I worked my way out. Unlike most white perch fishermen, I like to throw a drop shot 2-1/2 inch Gulp! Minnow, instead of a jig. With a 1/4 ounce stick weight, I can cast a mile and cover a lot of water pretty quickly. Along the way, I checked the surface water temperature, which was 42 degrees. I entered the outer cove at 10:00 am:



As I began working my way down the outer cove, I heard a couple of small boats coming up behind me. I could see that it was a couple of the regulars, Wallace and Garfield:



We covered a wide area looking for a school, but never found one. However, I caught the first white perch at 10:45 am:



Shortly after, I snag hooked a 24 inch long carp above its adipose fin and enjoyed a five minute waterski ride. While I was getting dragged around by the carp, Wallace hooked into what he thought was a big white perch, but it turned out to be a rat-size schoolie striped bass. However, after I unhooked the carp beside my kayak, he boated a white perch. Although we had caught a couple of white perch in the same general area, they appeared to be scattered, lone fish that were not a school.

Over the next 2-3/4 hours, I didn't get any bites from any more white perch, although I managed to boat five yellow perch, of which three were jumbos:



Wallace gave up and left at about 1:30 pm. At 1:45 pm, I heard Garfield yell that he had caught one, but he was almost 1/4 mile away from me, back toward the channel leading to the inner cove. I paddled over, and he and his buddy told me that they had boated a couple. Then, I saw them boat a couple more. It didn't take long for me to get a couple myself, but, then, the fish disappeared. And, to make things worse, it started to rain.

After fishlessly searching the area for another 15 minutes, Garfield gave up and left. I decided to hit the pickle tree on the shore of Camp Claire before I Ieft and was rewarded with my first Connecticut largemouth bass of the year:



Whoo hoo!

The rain started to come down a little harder, so I headed back to the launch and was off the water by 2:30 pm.

It didn't help that I fished both sides of the slack low tide, today, but I think that the white perch bite will pick up as the water warms a bit; maybe five degrees or so. I plan to keep checking on it every few days. I don't want to miss it, this year.
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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5178
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost forgot to take a photo of the end result of my outing. Here’s the last, delicious, pan-fried white perch fillet:


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