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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5199
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:55 am    Post subject: Connecticut River - Hamburg Cove 04/24 Reply with quote

I paddled Hamburg Cove with JJay (aka Jason) on Tuesday. We launched our kayaks at the crude ramp next to the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club at 10:30 am. Although the water in the inner cove was slightly murky, I could still see the bottom because of the full sun. The conditions were pretty good, except for the steady wind that blew almost straight up the cove from the south at about 10 miles per hour:





Essex is the closest tide gauge on the app I use, but I figured that the low tide would hit the cove at around 2:00 pm.

We started fishing around the docks at Cove Marina. I threw a small 1/16 ounce unpainted round ball Arkie jighead with a two inch white curlytail Yum grub, while Jason threw a 1/8 ounce round ball jighead with a three inch Gulp! minnow. We quickly located the resident school of small yellow perch:



I even caught a sunny:



By the time we paddled away from the docks, I had boated 10 yellow perch and the one sunny, while Jason had caught two yellow perch.

But we were looking for white perch and I wanted to search the outer cove. At that point, I tied on a 1/8 ounce chartreuse round ball Arkie jighead with the same two inch white curlytail Yum grub, because the wind was much stronger in the more open water and I needed a heavier lure.

When we got to the channel connecting the inner and outer coves, I was quickly retrieving the jig to re-cast it when a bigger fish suddenly swam up out of nowhere and slammed it about a rod length away from my kayak. I couldn't tell what kind of fish it was, at first, but figured that it must be a small chain pickerel. I was surprised when I finally saw that it was a little 19-inch schoolie striped bass:



At this point, Jason paddled quickly to the outer cove and disappeared. When I got to the other end of the channel, I got a hit and boated another, even smaller, schoolie striper:



I decided to work my way around the shore of 1/2 of the outer cove in a clockwise direction. Just after noon, I found a 25-1/4 inch pickerel:



It's amazing to me how pickerel usually get hooked right in the corner of the mouth with tiny jigs. I didn't even have to re-tie.

Shortly after, Jason paddled past me on his way back to the inner cove. He told me that he hadn't gotten any bites along the opposite shore. After he disappeared from view, again, I headed across the cove to a dock and quickly caught a couple of yellow perch. I hooked into what I thought was a third, but this one fought quite a bit harder, so I figured it was a small largemouth bass. Nope. It was a white perch; a BIG white perch:





After that, I tried to locate a school of white perch around the dock, but there wasn't one. I did, however, find a slightly bigger pickerel that was 26 inches long:



Again, the jig ended up right in the corner of its mouth.

As I headed down the shore back to the inner cove, I continued to catch small yellow perch. There were fish splashing on the surface at the channel, but they weren't interested in my jig and I never saw what they were. As I headed through the channel, I drifted slowly over a shallow suspending catfish that also had no interest in my jig. When I rounded the bend into the inner cove, I saw that Jason was fishing from the ramp and had already put his kayak onto the car. I paddled over and hit the ramp at 3:30 pm.

I ended the day with 18 yellow perch, one sunny, two striped bass, two chain pickerel and the one white perch, while Jason had caught just one more yellow perch from the shore for a total of three. Although our search for white perch was disappointing, Jason took the one I caught home and discovered that it was full of roe:



Maybe I haven't missed the white perch spawn in Hamburg Cove, after all.
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Mr.Cranky



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the write up on your day. If you had gotten in to some more white perch, would you have kept some for the table? I ask since you tossed back all the yellow perch but kept the one white. Those yellow's eat pretty well, too.
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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5199
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr.Cranky wrote:
If you had gotten in to some more white perch, would you have kept some for the table? I ask since you tossed back all the yellow perch but kept the one white. Those yellow's eat pretty well, too.

Anadromous white perch are one of the few fish Ill eat from Connecticut waters, so, yes, I would have kept up to my limit of white perch.

All of the yellow perch I caught were small. Now that the yellow perch spawn is over, all of the big girls appear to have left the cove. And most of the little ones I caught had the black spot parasite that looks like specks of black pepper all over them. Yuck!
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