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Posted By Rod Teehan, September 11, 2017
On September 5 Dick Banasieski and I fished the Hatfield-Sunderland stretch of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. We launched in Hatfield about 7:00 a.m., motored north, and began fishing above the bridge in Sunderland. The river was high and fast. It was also discolored and debris-filled in the vicinity of the ramp. Surface temperature measured 71 degrees. For the first hour or two we did not do well, boating just a few smallmouths and fallfish. Once we drifted south of the bridge, though, action improved remarkably. By the time we quit fishing around 3:30 p.m. we’d tallied thirty-one fish. Seven or eight were large fallfish which Big Bean kept for wintertime pike bait; the remainder were mostly legal smallmouths, the five longest taping 15, 15.75, 16, 17, and 19 inches. We also missed or lost many other fish. Brook mouths proved especially productive as did hot spots Dick has discovered in a lifetime of fishing the Conn. Surprisingly, log jams weren’t very good. Three-inch Senkos and 4-inch Berkley Leeches caught a majority of fish, but other lures including a Bobby Garland jig, ¼-ounce Beetle Spin, and 1/8-ounce Mini-King spinnerbait also performed admirably. At the end of our session Dick admitted he didn’t think we’d catch many fish. He prefers lower water and slower current. But it turned out to be a fun-filled day of smallies and fallies. (During the trip Dick provided details regarding the Bobby Garland jigs he’s been using all season to catch crappies, largemouths, smallmouths, yellow perch, white perch, rock bass, chain pickerel, and trout. The body is a 2.25-inch Baby Shad Swim ‘R in pearl white; the jigheads weigh 1/32- or 1/16 ounce. Other colors as well as knock-offs work equally well.)
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