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FISHING LOGS: New England
Freshwater

CONNECTICUT RIVER SMALLMOUTHS

Posted By Rod Teehan, October 2, 2017
 Monday, September 25, Dick Banasieski and I fished the Connecticut River north of the dam in Holyoke. After launching in Hatfield we traveled upriver to the Sunderland bridge and then floated downstream working many of Big Bean’s favorite spots including one south of the Hatfield access site where he’d boated twenty smallies during Easthampton Rod & Gun Club’s all-species derby held the weekend of September 15-17. We began fishing at the Sunderland Bridge about 7:00 a.m. and almost immediately experienced three strikes on a 1/8-ounce white Mini-King spinnerbait retrieved through the fast water streaming past the span. One hit came from a small walleye; the others from small smallmouths. Then the fish lost interest in the spinnerbait, and from that point on 3-inch Senkos and 3-inch black Berkley Gulp! leeches caught the vast majority of bronzies. (The smallmouths would not touch a Senko or Dinger longer than 3 inches.) Many bass were nice fish. Of the thirty-seven put in the boat, very few were dinks. At least half were quality individuals measuring 14 to 16 inches. Big Bean boated the biggest, an 18/5-incher that weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Unfortunately we lost four others of the same size as well as loads of lesser littlemouths. (Dick guessed that we missed or dropped just as many smallies as we landed) On the other hand, we picked up a few bonus species including the walleye, two fat and feisty white perch, one midget rock bass, and three hefty fallfish, two of which taped 15 and 15.25 inches. The whities and fallies along with several smallies bit a 2.25-inch Arkie Sexee mounted on a 1/16-ounce jighead, a lure that looks a great deal like the Bobby Garland Baby Shad Swim ‘R Dick likes. The sunny, calm conditions prevailing all day were perfect for float-fishing the river. We could easily see structure—rocks, grass, sand pockets, deeper holes, sunken logs, and so on—and the fish relating to such. We even saw two sturgeons hugging bottom in four or five feet of water. Current too was almost ideal: neither too fast nor too slow. In addition to the bottom structures mentioned above, other types of cover and structure including brook mouths and log jams also held fish.
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