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Posted By Rod Teehan, September 18, 2017
Years ago we weren’t big fans of the Oxbow and seldom fished there. But a trip to the popular 204-acre backwater on the Connecticut River in Northampton/Easthampton, Massachusetts, on August 28, 2009, changed us. On that date John Chrisant and I boated ten pike. Most ranged 20 to 22 inches, and the biggest measured only 25 inches. But the action was so good we returned the next day and added 15 more including a 30-incher. We also missed many other strikes and lost several fish. Six days later I went back with Dick Banasieski, and we scored five more water wolves, one of which taped 32 inches. John and I followed up with 12 the next day. Again the Greek bagged the biggest, a 32-inch specimen. Each year since, John and I have tried to enjoy at least one late summer/early autumn outing to the Oxbow. Last Wednesday, September 13, we were on the water for our 2017 session. Although not nearly as productive as those initial ventures eight years ago, it did prove quite pleasing. All told we caught six largemouths and two pike in five hours of fishing. The top three largemouths taped 15, 16, and 18 inches; the two pike measured 25.5 and 30.5 inches. I haven’t the space for a cast-by-cast recount, so here’s a brief summary of salient details: (1) Our trip began at 6:00 a.m. and ended about noon. The fish were still in summer mode—that is, they hit early in the morning and basically called it quits by 9:00 a.m. or so. (2) As usual, the area around the high tension wires and the entrance to Marina Pond where Ox-Bow Marina is located was the hot spot yielding the two pike and five bass. (3) Both pike and two of the largemouths attacked a white spinnerbait; three bass struck a red/white Heddon Flaptail Junior, a vintage lure that has been out of production for many years; and one largie hit a Rapala. (Almost invariably the biggest pike at the Oxbow are caught under the ice. The ones we encountered were typical open-water specimens.)
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