Total Pageviews

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ice fishing for Northerns. The waiting game.

 After my hip surgery in October i wasn't sure i would be able to ice fish at all this winter and thankfully I've had a very smooth and speedy recovery and have been able to spend my weekends on the ice chasing the sometimes illusive Northern Pike here in CT. I went into this season on a mission. I have done more research these past few months than i probably have for any other type of fishing. Open water Pike are one of my favorite fish to target and probably my highest confidence fishing but through the ice it is much more of a struggle and absolutely a waiting game that will test your patience unlike anything else. First ice can be the greatest action with people having some 4-8 pike days but i wont mess with ice less than 4 inches so i miss out on most of this great action. First ice using live bait seems to have the greatest amount of action and success but as winter gets going i have found almost all my flags and other friends flags come on large dead baits. In December i got some information on catching atlantic herring and i had to go get some. Within two trips i was able to get 70 from shore with some help. I bagged, salted and froze them and decided this would be the only bait i was going to use all season. Wanted to save some money not buying shiners and trying to keep them alive and after lots of reading and some fish landed last year on sardines i knew this was the bait i wanted to use. I just thaw out a bag the night before and these baits look too perfect not to work.

  I wanted to be sure my tip ups where ready to tango with some big gators so i re spooled all of my tilts and tried a new idea for leaders/clips. I went with black main line because i feel its the least visible under the ice and i started the season with wire leaders but i have since changed them over to 50 lb floro. I am using quick change clips at the end of my main line then i clip on my leader swivel first which goes down to a double hook rig.  1 octo hook into the bait and 1 circle hook on the other side. Leaving the bait as level as possible about 6 inches to a foot off bottom. I made myself a nice peg board to keep my leaders nice and straight and i put them on right at the hole. My first time out this year was only a few weeks ago. I got a late start and ended up driving around to a bunch of spots and either found too big of a crowd or ice that i wasn't willing to fish alone. By the time i was set up it was almost 3 pm and i knew i only had 2 hours to fish. Ten minutes after setting up i had my first flag of the season. Ran about 20 yards of line and dropped it as i got to the hole. About twenty minutes later the same flag goes up again and fish on! Was a small fish but it gave me confidence fishing large baits. Fish was 28 inches and ate a 12 inch herring.  That was it for day one but i was a great start to the season.

 I went back to the same area the following weekend and had about as bad of a day as you can possibly have. 8 hours not one flag and not a single hit jigging and it was freezing. Kind of day that makes ya wonder why we like ice fishing. The next day the rains stopped me from fishing which meant i wouldn't be fishing for another 6 days! Of course the whole week while i worked it was 30-38 degrees and sunny everyday! Drove me nuts!  This past weekend finally arrived and i went out both days. Saturday i was on the ice for 6 in the morning and i had a painfully slow day with 1 flag and that didnt come until almost 4 pm. As i walked over to the flag i could see the spool was flying. I grabbed the line, stopped it and leaned into it and let the fish hook herself. Was a 31.5 inch very fat healthy northern. It felt great to end the day with a fish. I stayed at my brothers house Saturday night and was back out for Sunday. I only had until about 12 to fish so i got out nice and early and was set up for sunrise. Around 7:30 i got my first flag. Was a screamer and i got there and gave a little set and pulled the bait right out of her mouth. The bite mark on my bait was pretty big and i was pretty bummed to miss the fish. Put the bait back down and went back to my chair and did some jigging. I ended up catching 8 blue gill which wasn't great action but i was better than what i have been getting. Odd where there are pike swimming around there is a lack of pan fish ( go figure )  Half hour before i had to leave my farthest away flag went up right after a heavy heavy gust of wind. I was 100 % positive it was a wind flag and calmly walked over but when i got to the hole to see the line pinned against the bottom of the ice and running my mood and heart beat changed quickly. Fish on!  It felt like a solid fish and after a few tries at the hole she came right up! My biggest pike through the ice since i was a kid. I did not weigh the fish as i wanted to get her back in the hole unharmed ASAP. I knew it wasn't the goal of twenty that i am after so no need to add more stress and possibly damage a really nice healthy fish. She swam away so fast that she splashed my face on the way down. With next weeks temperatures it looks like i will have plenty of chances to get out there and get my giant. Every time out i am getting more and more confident on what i'm doing out there. Just need to put in the time. All my action has came in 6 feet or less with a few flags in as shallow as 2 feet. I have been fishing primarily solo this season as i don't feel the need to compete for the same fish in small areas. I realize that is a little selfish but i thoroughly enjoy being out there alone. So friends please don't take offense to it! The self timer on a tripod has worked out great for pictures. ;)  I know that 3 pike in 4 trips isn't very good numbers but hopefully it only gets better from here. Last year i had 4 consecutive skunks before i had a fish. So ill take it! Hope your all having a good winter!

By: Joe Jacobowitz

Friday, December 5, 2014

Late Fall Largemouth and Smallmouth Tactics.

  There are so many anglers out there who as fall arrives and the air temps become slightly uncomfortable decide to put the boats and fishing gear away until the spring. You are missing out on what is one of the most productive times of year. Maybe not for numbers but for good size bass.  As the water temperature come down into the lower 40's and colder the fish become predictable. They congregate in areas that have these features. Small pond largemouth will find the deepest water. If the pond only has a max depth of 12 feet then that's your best high percentage spot to fish. If your fishing a lake where there is much deeper water then you try to find humps and points. Rises from deep water that come up from 30-40 to 15-20 feet. You will find the smallmouth and largemouth on the edge or on top of this drop. Some days you will catch them up in as shallow as 18 feet some days down to 35. You have to play around and move until you find active fish. If you have a shoreline with a quick steep drop with a lay down falling into the water these are great cold water largemouth spots as well. Two great things about having good electronics is finding these spots with your GPS and also showing you bait and fish on your screen. This is where you should put in a lot of time. Where there is bait there is active fish. Some people have trouble slowing down fishing finesse and deep and I used to be one of them but now i look forward to it. I'm gonna take you through my top 5 lures for this time of year and explain how to fish them. Hope it helps you set more hooks for years to come!

#1   Blade bait.

  I am a huge fan of blade baits for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. They produce from November all the way through March. They offer them in many different sizes but I prefer the 1/2 oz version in most cases. Lots of companies out there make a good blade but my favorites are Vibe and The Silver Buddy.  Color is really up to you. I've had gold, silver and perch all work well. I like to fish them on a 7 foot medium or medium heavy bait casting rod with 20 lb braid and a 12-17 lb fluorocarbon leader. One great thing about a blade bait is how fast they sink which means more time spent in the strike zone.  Once it reaches the bottom i like to lift the bait about 1-2 feet with the rod tip. Reel in your slack while putting the rod tip back down to make contact with the bottom. I repeat this all the way back to the shore or boat. Never have slack in your line as the fish hit very soft hitting on the lift of the bait or more often as its dropping back down. In the past few years i have caught 4 largemouth over 5 lbs and many quality smallmouth on the blade making it my most productive cold water lure. They have these in stock at most Dicks Sporting Goods and Cabales as well as some small tackle shops.

#2  Hair Jig

 Hair jig is a new lure to me this season and i am mad at myself for not fishing them sooner. Again this lure is extremely productive for both bronze and green bass. I am a huge fan of Punisher Lures hair jig. Hand tied and rest back end up when it sits on the bottom and is made with a great quality hook. It is available in 1/4 oz and 3/8th oz. If your fishing less than 20 feet the 1/4 is awesome but fishing deeper than that i use the 3/8th to help save time reaching the bottom. I have done very well on the camo color and black with a crayfish plastic trailer. Green pumpkin for the camo jig and black for the black jig with the claws sticking out just past the end of the hair. I fish these jigs on a 7 foot spinning rod with 10 lb braid and a 8 or 10 lb fluorocarbon leader. If you want to get the bait down even faster you can use straight 6 or 8 lb fluorocarbon. Once you reach the bottom you have two ways you can fish it. Either a slow drag across the bottom or a slow drag with double hops of the rod every 5-10 seconds. Key is keeping it right near the bottom. When they hit you just feel a small tap like you would a bass jig. I have had so much success this past month that it is quickly becoming a favorite cold water lure. You can find these on and

#3 Drop Shot

  The drop shot has caught me fish on days that no other lure was working. It is one of the most simple ways to fish and can be very very productive for both largemouth and smallmouth. I like to use a 7 foot spinning rod with 6 or 8 lb fluorocarbon for drop shotting. You have an incredible amount of options for drop shot baits. Really its up to you want type of baits you like to throw. I like to use minnow imitations over worm imitations but both work. My favorites are the Lunker City Ribster and Power Minnow twitch tails in natural colors or white. You should tie your hook about 16-18 inches above the weight/bottom. You can drop it right off the side of your boat or even make short cast with it. Once it reaches the bottom i like to twitch it with very small shakes of the rod tip every 5 seconds or so. You will feel a very small tap and swing! If you dont know how to tie a drop shot rig you can look it up on YouTube. Seems harder than it really is. Tie a few practice rigs and you will be good to go.

#4 Bass Jig

 The bass jig is an all year round big bass slayer that I should throw way more often than i do. This lure is primarily a largemouth lure for me. I like to throw a big 3/4 oz black and blue jig with a double skirt and a big chunk trailer into big lay downs (fallen trees) that fall into deep water. I fish this on a 7 foot medium heavy bait caster with 30 lb braid and a 20 lb leader. While casting into a lay down always let it fall on tight line. No slack as 80 % of your strikes will come on the initial drop. If it doesn't get hit on the drop work it slowly back to the boat with some hops until your past the lay down then just reel in and repeat. You will get hung up fishing around trees and you will lose jigs but you will also catch bass so its worth it! You can find bass jigs at almost every store or website that sells fishing gear.

#5 Swim Bait

  Swim baits can be awesome this time of year for smallmouth bass. I like to use the Keitech 3.8 swing impact on a 1/2 oz jig head. Blue gill colors and natural colors have worked best. I fish this on a 7 foot medium action bait caster with 20 lb braid and a 12 lb fluorocarbon leader. You let this fall to the bottom on a tight line as occasionally the fish will hit it on the fall. Once on the bottom you reel it in as slow as you can possibly reel. Stopping every so often to let the bait fall back to the bottom. The fish sometimes slam the bait other times just tap it. Just be ready to set. You can get these on many websites and stores and other paddle tail baits can be very good but the keitech has produced best for me with perfect tail action at slow speeds.

Now get out there and catch some bass and i hope you all practice catch and release!


Joe Jacobowitz

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Honeymoon St Croix.. Checks off the bucket list!

Just got home late last night from our incredible honeymoon. We stayed at the Divi Carina Bay resort on the east end of St Croix for 8 days 7 nights and had a great time. Good weather great food beautiful beach and the greatest thing was the crystal clear water. Snorkeling was amazing and we saw tons of tropical fish and a few sea turles and some huge sting rays. I realized on this trip that i married the most amazing woman on earth. While she would lay on the beach i would take some cast with my 6.6 noodle travel rod and caught so many fish right off our beach mostly on a silver deadly dick. Every fish being a new species added to the list. Most days i woke up at sunrise fished for an hour or so and would come back to the room in time for heather to wake up and have us grab some breakfast and go on with our day. Worked out great and i got my fix of fishing. The second night there i took my first cast and in 10 minutes of fishing i lost a 3 foot tarpon on a massive jump and i was shocked. I heard they are around the island but not very common. Next cast i caught a 4 or 5 lb horse eyed jack and it was a battle. Also caught a few small silver fish that i still dont know what they were. Was a great start.

 The next day we had a charter booked to go off shore fishing. Lets just say that was not a good idea as we should have stayed in shore. After 8 miles out into the Caribbean we found ourselves in 8-10 swells at some points. Wasn't long before the wife was throwing up over the side of the boat and miserable. The Dramamine did not cut it that's for sure. I felt beyond terrible! We fished for about an hour and a half fishing from 12,000 feet up to 1,200 feet on a huge deep water hump. After about 5 minutes of fishing we had our first Mahi on which came off on a big flip. Then another Mahi which came off after the line dragging 20 lbs of sea weed and the fish.. I was driving the boat almost the whole trip and we were only able to keep out 1 line at a time which sucked. Because the sea weed was out of control.  Finally landed a small Mahi and headed back in. Took 2 hours to get back to the dock but heather felt great as soon as we were on land.She was a trooper! Was a huge waste of 900 dollars but lesson learned. I will say trying to fight a fish while the boat is in gear is total bs. When we only had one line out. Made no sense. You don't even fight the fish you just drag in heavy weight. Oh well! 

 The next day heather wanted to take some cast from the pier with me and we both caught a few of the little silver snappers. She was happy. I also caught a really nice blue fish which is in the jack family. Then she wanted to get out of the sun and sit under an umbrella for a while so i took out a kayak. I caught fish 6 out of 7 cast out there including a beautiful yellow tail snapper before my day took a turn for the worse.. My kayak flipped no warning way out in the bay and i could not get back on. The plug was not in the kayak and it had filled with water. After i flipped the third time i lost my fishing pole my tackle box and was holding on for life and yelling for help. After 5 minutes of heather trying to get help for me... my new friend Joey happened to be walking by got a big kayak and came out and saved me. I was happy to be on the beach and pissed at the people who worked the activity shack.. ( who have been fired since )  I was done fishing for the day and filled a report and all that fun stuff and they did end up taking care of us.  The next morning i went out snorkeling with Joey to try and find my stuff. Sure enough in 25 feet of water way out we found both my rod and my tackle box! Was so pumped to get it back. Was a little rough but it still worked.

 I took a walk down the beach the next morning to find a enormous school of giant tarpon! I could see there tails and there dorsal fins sticking out all over the place some of which were in the 60-80 lb range or bigger. The tons of sea weed that came to shore was holding lots of bait and drew them in right up close. My rod was not cutting it. I had 15 tarpon hit and could not hook one. The strikes were beyond epic though. They have such a hard mouth that i needed more backbone to get a hook set. I asked a guy Robert who worked at the resort if he knew where i could get a better pole. He went into his office and came out with a 7 foot meduim action rod for me to use no charge! It wasnt much better but it was something. I went back the following morning on a mission. I still had only my small reel with 10 lb braid and a 40 lb leader but i had a rod that would give me a chance and thats all i needed. I threw out a big cast master and would reel it very slowly and within a few cast i was on! I fought 6 tarpon between a few second up to a few minutes and would eventually lose them on a 6 foot jump! It was a thrill. Then i finally really stuck one. Probably the smallest one i had on the whole day but i didnt care! Slid it onto the thick sea weed jumped in and had my bucket list fish in my hands! Was 40 inches and between 20-25 lbs! Let it go and went back to the room to wake up the wife with some great news! She ended up taking a nap that afternoon and of course i ran back down for some more cast. Well i caught one more! This one being 44 inches and closer to 30 lbs! I was as happy as ive ever been fishing. To land two tarpon in one day on ten lb test was nothing short of amazing. I will never forget the way they jump during a fight. Its like nothing else. I ended up hooking two more one of which looked to be well over 5 feet that came loose on a jump. Probably would have broke off anyways but it was great.

 Yesterday morning i took my final cast with heather by my side because i wanted her to see the tarpon but they were not around this time. I did end up catching my second needle fish of the trip which was a cool way to end the fishing for my vacation. We had such an amazing time down there and the fishing was just an added bonus. Need to thank my wife for being so awesome and knowing how important fishing is to me to let me do as much as i did on this trip. Once in a lifetime trip that i wont ever forget. Sorry for such a long report!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Today is why i love fishing... CT River Pike w/ Garrett

 This year i have focused so much attention on stripers that i literally hadn't gone for pike once since the ice melted. Which is nuts if you know me because Pike are my favorite fish to target.  I had the itch bad all week. I text Josh and he had a wedding to attend so i hit up my friend Garrett who last year with me had back to back to back 7 plus pike outings on the river that included many big fish up to 38 inches. He was obviously down to fish so off we went. We were at the launch for 6:30 am and after 10 minutes of fishing i had my first hit. Watched the pike swim up next to the boat and grab my jig but it wasn't meant to be.  Minutes later i hear the famous words "fish on" and i turn around to see Garrett fighting a monster of a fish. Hit on a 7 inch paddle tail swim bait and gave him a hell of a battle. I net it for him and we started to wonder if this fish would break the 40 mark. Got the hook out and after a violent head shake that left me bloody the fish hit the measuring tape and was 40 on the dot! Was his second 40 in the past 2 weeks. We were pretty pumped! What a start to the day.  Little did we know that it would be a while until we found any more action. 

Garrett's 40

We made our way down river hitting all the spots that produced last year and had nothing to show for it other than a few small largemouth and a smallie. The tide was the lowest ive seen it in a long time which left some of my spots as dry land. By 11 the tide started coming in and Garrett got a 33 inch Pike on a spinner to get us back on track. I was still pikeless at around noon but that changed in an instant. I was throwing a big swim jig with a square tail trailer and no warning i get blasted! I look down and see this fish head shaking side to side in what felt like slow motion and after a run under the boat we had her in the net and knew again this fish would be close to the magic 40 mark. Well we were both stunned when she hit the tape and was 40 on the dot just like this mornings which was 2 towns away a few hours later.  Twin 40 inch pike on lures in one morning. I wouldn't think that was possible if it didn't just happen. Couldn't be more excited on how today went. Wasn't the numbers we got last year but the size was unreal and i couldn't ask for a better first pike of the season!  Both fish were caught main river in 6 feet of water right next to the weeds and were released unharmed. Thanks for coming out Garrett.

By: Joe Jacobowitz

Monday, July 21, 2014

Winchester Lake with Larry Johnson

Its been hard lately for both Larry and myself to get motivated to get the boats out and fish on these mid summer weekends.. dealing with all the boat traffic of pleasure boaters and over crowded lakes is not what i call fun and enjoyable fishing. But friday night i got a text from Larry saying i just decided im going fishing.. i said where we going and after a small discussion we decided on Winchester. I had only fished this lake one time previously and that was a few years ago and we had a decent day that day with 18 bass so i was hoping for a similar day. We arrived at 6:15 and the conditions were perfect. Nice overcast day with cool temperature and a water temp of 74 degrees. Right off the bat we saw bait fish being chases all over the surface in about 16 feet so i put on a zoom fluke on a 1/4 oz jig head and quickly catch 2 small bass and missed a couple more then that died. We worked our way down the bank towards the stumps and picked up a fish here and there. Once we got into the stump field rubber worm bite picked up pretty good. We were getting decent numbers but very little size. Larry had good success on a big chartreuse spinner bait and got 1 on a jig on a beaver hut. By mid day we still really hadnt found a pattern. We caught fish on spinner baits, ribsters on a jig, weightless flukes, weighted flukes, senko, wacky rig but they were all random. We came to the conclusion that this lake has far to much structure that it makes it hard to actually fish the fish. haha As we got all the way to the north end i tossed a booyah frog all over the pads with not a single rise. We started heading back toward the stumps and i took one most cast over open water with the frog and this 5 lb bass jumped two feet in the air on the strike and fish on! Fish jumped 3 times and gave me a great fight. Larry netted it and high fives were had. We caught a few more fish on our way back to the launch and ended our day with 25 bass and 1 pickerel. Not a bad day but i probably wont be hitting that lake again any time soon. Larry thanks for a fun trip lets do it again soon!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mission was accomplished today PB

 These past two Saturday's i joined my friend Joe Diorio out on the sound on a hunt for big stripers. Its not the kind of fishing or technique that I'm used to at all, as 99 % of the time i am a lures only fisherman. So it was kind of cool as a change of pace. Last Saturday i met Joe and Dan Emerson at the marina and we started our day off snagging bunker and then were off to the reefs to live line them. It was a day of heartbreak for me sadly..  I don't own any salt gear or avet reels or really any of the tackle needed and of course the first fish i hook up with proceeds to pull line at an unstoppable speed and my drag was set as tight as i could without it snapping. After a few minutes the fish brought me into the rocks and broke me off. I never gained an inch on the fish. It was a big fish no doubt. After retying i drop down another rig and bunker and get a take almost instantly and snap... main line breaks. 30 lb braid probably had a fray somewhere from the previous fish that i didn't see when i re tied.. At this point i was over it.. Totally pissed off and feeling bad that i was losing expensive lead and leader material given to me. Joe ended up getting a 36 inch and a 39 incher and me and Dan had a big fat goose egg. Plenty of hits but the fish were avoiding the hook and when we did hook them we lost em. We switched gears to fluke and sea bass and Joe got a few sea bass on the diamond jig and him and Dan landed three keeper fluke and one short. I just watched for a while and threw some smaller baits with no action.  Was not the day i was hoping for but still got a taste of the salt and now knew what i needed.

 I got the text yesterday about going out this morning and i went straight to the store. Took my strongest bait caster i had for pike fishing that had a 16 lb drag and put a fresh spool of 50 lb braid on and bought some lead and made 50 lb leaders. With the hope for another chance at my new personal best fish and to not have my equipment fail me this time.  This morning joined by Tom O'Connor we started off catching porgy's which was actually a lot of fun and had a bunch of double hook ups. Once we had enough legal sized baits to drop down we went out to our spot. We marked a ton of fish today but today was way different than last week. I had one bump in the first 3 hours and had nothing to show for it and Joe got us on the board around 9 am with a 40 inch nice fish. Few minutes later Tom hooks up and during the fight his reel came off the rod and the line wrapped around an eye and snapped the line thankfully not the rod. Was a Bummer!!! About a half hour later as im getting the here we go again feeling i start getting messed with and my rod bends right into the water and as i lift up the rod tip its Fish ON! Fish made a great first run and the fight was simply awesome on a medium heavy largemouth jigging rod. Probably took 5 minutes to get in and once i saw my sinker i started getting excited... then i saw her. Knew immediately it was the biggest fish of my life. Joe lipped her boat side for me and we got some pictures and some measurements.. length and girth in a few spots. After a few minutes of reviving her she swam away like a champ back down to the depths. I was beyond pumped. New PB fish at 44 inches and 35 lbs! We didn't catch anymore stripers the rest of the morning and we went for the fluke the last hour with just one short and a few hits each. Thanks Joe for putting me on my best fish ever and for the fun couple days of fishing. Non stop laughs and an all around good time out there. If i could afford this kind of fishing i would do al ot more of it but i simply cannot with a wedding just a few months away. My mission was accomplished and now i feel good about going back to my largemouth and my pike fishing. Back to my casting and lures!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From nothing to best ever in the same trip.

 Was planning on hitting the river after work yesterday with Josh but he couldn't make it so i sent out text 3 other people asking if they could join me and no one could last minute... so i went solo. Was at the launch for 5:15 and found a huge school of bass by 5:30. Problem was the water clarity had improved so much over the last few days that having blue bird sky's and bright sunshine these fish would chase like crazy but wouldn't commit. I could see 3 bass following my lures as id bring it in on some cast. Spent an hour on this school throwing everything i had and got only 3 or 4 legit blow ups all of which missed. Was frustrating to say the least. I finally gave up on these fish and proceeded to waste the next 2 hours without a hit. So 3 hours into the trip i was skunked and with the tide getting low i had a bad vibe. Who knew the next hour would be the best fishing of my life..

 I was forced to try and find some new spots last night as the tide got too low in my normal areas. I pull up on this one spot and i didn't spook any fish or see anything at all but I took a far cast and got my sad shad bit in half by a big blue fish. Next cast bite in half by another blue fish! Then the day took a turn for the better.. My next 8 cast i caught 7 keeper bass! I couldn't believe it.. these fish were destroying the sad shad worked really fast on the surface. The fights were unbelievable last night. Every fish felt stronger than the next.. probably because i was getting tired. After that crazy good run of bass i went on to catch 4 more in the next 30 minutes and every fish was between 30-39 inches and all of them on the Cobra Bait pearl sad shad. I tried throwing the popper a jerk bait a swim bait and the only thing that would hit was that sad shad. It was unreal. I made a custom iPhone holder to take pictures today and it worked out pretty dam good and im glad i did because its so hard to get photos alone. I actually left the fish biting with about a half hour of daylight left because the bugs got so bad i couldn't take it anymore. Ill remember that hour of fishing for the rest of my life.  Dont forget to add the Cobra Bait facebook page and place an order or