Turkey hunting or chasing linesiders on the river? That was the choice I face Friday evening. It's nice to have choices like that. I was on the phone with my buddy Scotty as my wife pulled in the driveway and my daughter jumped out of the van and ran into the house. Turns out she was running in to pack a bag for a sleepover at her BFF's house which made my choice for adventure Saturday easy. I asked Scotty if he had room for me on the boat, which he did and a meeting time was decided on and then I was off to get gear together.
I met Scotty and his son Dylan, or Junior as we like to call him, at 4:10am at the local convenience store to gas up the boat and grab a much needed cup of joe and then off to the commuter lot to park my truck and jump in with the boys. We pulled into the launch in Hartford and we were the only people there. That's either a good sign or bad, but we didn't dwell on it and got the boat in the water and were headed south just around 5:15am as the first hint of light started showing up.
We arrived at Hole #1 with plenty of light and as we were setting up for our first drift we could hear a gobbler sounding off on the roost. I was thinking it was a sign that I should have went turkey hunting but I didn't let it bother me. Scott and Junior setup to drift live bait while I was rigged with a 9" pearl YUM Houdini Shad, which you can't get anymore, and was banging the shoreline. We could see signs of herring breaking the surface but no signs of linesiders chasing them.
Scotty was the first to hook up with a schoolie sized striper and the game was on. The next fish in the boat was caught by Junior, still not a keeper but two fish on the first drift is a good sign. We finished out the drift with a few more small ones and a nice catfish that took the live bait. My pounding the shore proved nothing more than a good attempt at throwing my shoulder out. I couldn't buy a fish or even a sniff.
We motored back up to our starting point for another drift and this time I grabbed my 7 1/2 foot tica with my Penn bait runner and joined the crowd. It wasn't long after going over the first hump when Junior was hooked up again and you could tell is was a better fish. Junior did everything right and ended up putting a keeper bass in the boat and the trash talking started to heat up. We continuned the drift and picked up another short or two and then setup for a third drift. The third drift didn't produce a thing and even the signs of herring were gone.
We decided to head north to Hole #2 to see what was happening up there. We were getting plenty of small hits and even a small run off or two but no hook ups which meant small fish. We let the drift go a little longer then usual just to see if we could scare up a fish and sure enough I hooked up with another short. Hole #2 was dead and it was getting near 11am so we made one last run to Hole #1 for a drift that produced a couple of big catfish and one was pushing 11lbs.
The morning wasn't fast and furious but we did put fish in the boat and had plenty of laughs. There is still time to chase these amazing fish in the rivers of CT so get on out and hit the water. Good Luck.