New England Fall Fishing by Sean Obrien
Although not the last gasp of the fishing season, the first few weeks in September can be defined as the beginning of the end. Tropical storm remnants can impact water temperature, migration patterns can be affected, and the fish are just plain confused. The good news is, that in all of this confusion, we enter the opening of New England fall fishing , which I consider a separate season in itself. Trout fishing picks back up as the water temperatures cool, and many states restock ponds and streams in the fall to create holdover trout for the winter anglers. Saltwater fishing in New England also gets a boost, as the bottom dwelling species come to the forefront, and the albie, or false albacore bite becomes the target of choice.
The tropical storm Hermine blew up the New England Coast, and it seems to have locked some big stripers in to key areas in RI and MA. There is a big push of 45 and 50 plus pound stripers being caught out at some of the usual spots around Cape Cod and Block Island, and the bluefish bite will be top water heavy and sustaining throughout the fall months. In around the New England area, the sea bass and scup bite has been great all summer, and that streak continues. Anglers can find sea bass anywhere, and the scup like structures, and underneath bridges and docks are also great spots to hit. For stripers, the best bet as we advance through the calendar is to throw eels after dark, as this seems to be the most prevalent method that is garnering the big boys from shorelines on the East Coast.
While still chasing bonito, anglers will have a shot at the incoming deluge of the false albacore will be invading the coastal waters of the East Coast. Both the bonito and albies are great on the fly, they smash light tackle and put up a big fight. A member of the tuna family, the false albacore is a fun fish to catch on light tackle, and can form up in a school of many many fish. When they are hitting, you barely have time to reel in the catch, as they like to hit and run, and they also provide a pretty good fight. Albacore is a great time of the year for saltwater anglers, especially those who prefer light action or fly, but it also signals the beginning of the end. Until lakes and ponds freeze up and we can get out there and ice fish!
New England fall fishing in freshwater is also going to be picking up, as the cooler water will lead to more aggressive and active bass and trout. The freshwater bite has been pretty tough throughout the extremely hot July and August, but that should rebound quickly as temperatures continue to drop, interspersed with some great days of sun,and summer-like weather. The carp bite has been down for a few weeks, but that will change with the seasons as well. But the big game fish that is perhaps most affected by any temperature change is the trout population. The cooler weather will create a comfortable environment for anglers to get some trout during this fall push, especially as many states restock in the fall. So, it’s time to get those insulated waders out, because as the water temperature drops, the bite heats up. No one wants to miss the end of summer fishing, or the start of the New England fall fishing fly season.