May 22, 2016: We sailed our first weekend trips of the 2016 season this past Sat. and Sunday. As we stated in the last report, we sailed loaded for anything that might be around. What we did that was different from the last few years was to listen to our customers when the mentioned that they did not care for the long ride to another world for a few fish. They were right. Wjhy should we run close to 2-1/2 hours each way for a little more than an hour of fishing on a 6 hour trip? Makes no sense no matter how you look at it. So, we chose to work close to home fishing for what we thought might be the best bet. We did that. The run to the grounds was a little less than an hour, bucking the tide. We had a full 4 hours at the rail and got the boat back to the dock at the scheduled time of 3PM. What did we catch? FLUKE!!! The action was actually better than we had expected. There were considerably more throwback than keepers but there was pleasant action all day. Most of the throw backs were just under the size limit pointing towqard a quality stock that is moving into the area.
While there have been a very few blues caught as well as a few striped bass, there is no "body" of fish in those fisheries yet. It appears to be a random "out of the blue" thing. Once they come in in enough numbers to be able to make a trip on them we will do that. We are taking bait for everything that can be caught in the area on every trip. That way, if one thing doesn't work out there is always a possibility of something else. The areas we are fishing lend themselves to almost all species through the season. There are times where we can move a half mile and go from Fluke to Porgies in one direction or blues and Black Sea Bass in another direction. The latter we cannot keep right now because we are fishing in NY waters.
So, we are going fishing. This coming weekend is the Memorial Day Holiday so we will fish Sat., Sun. and Monday. All trips leave at 9AM and return to the dock at 3 PM.
May 8, 2016: It's been a loooooong winter. Folks have been calling to find out our starting date. It has been unofficially set at May 21st but due to weather related problems at the shipyard we have been hesitant to publish it. Right now all looks pretty good however. We are looking at 4 clear weather days in a row that should be more than enough to get the work done. It isn't a whole lot of work either. Last haul out we covered the hull paint with a commercial grade clear coat. A quick wash down brought her up looking like a brand new toy except for a few isolated areas that had some adhesion problems. Those areas were sanded and primed before the "weather monster" struck. Then all work came to a standstill. Now we are looking good and feel it is safe to announce the starting date.
It has become a spring ritual in the last few years to bring bait aboard for "anything that might bite." That is what we are planning to do. There could be Blues, Bass and even Porgies, that's the way it is this time of year and specializing in one species in those conditions can be a boom or bust with nothing in between. So, we're fishing for what we can catch! Hope to see you aboard.
Oct.,19, 2015: Yes it has been some time since we last made a report. It seems that the fishing continued on its totally inconsistant path that started in the spring. That did not really change until the weekend after that week of constant easterly winds that kept us tied to the dock. Many folks thought that weather was generated by the hurricane that passed way off shore but that was not the case at all. There was just lousy weather! At any rate, all that wind must have had some positive influence on the fisheries. Since then, all of our blue fish trips have been nothing short of spectacular. Most trips the boat limits out on them. We're also doing pretty handy on our "Porgy Friday" trips. There has been some wind to contend with on those trips but we have been able to find the fish in some nicely sheltered places. While we do not specialize in Black Fish trips, some of our regulars are bringing green crabs with them and whacking away at the Togs while we are after the porgies. They are doing well at it so you could say that we are fishing for Porgies and Black Sea Bass with a side order of Black Fish if you're so inclined. If that's your bag, bring some green crabs with you. We're supplying the bait for the porgies and black sea bass. Our schedule is Thursdays for blues, Porgy Fridays for porgies and Sat. and Sun. for the blues. All trips leave the dock at 9AM. The blue fish trips return to the dock at 3PM while the porgy trips return at 4PM. Last trip is scheduled for the first of November.
Aug. 9, 2015: Finally!!!! The blues are IN! this week they just kept getting better and better as the week wore on. Sunday was an all day bule fish fest. They are all big fish and they bit all through the tide. By late in the week we stopped moving off to the bottom because we didn;t have to. We are catching some Striped Bass as well, the percentage of keepers varying on a daily basis. We also finished up the afternoon Fluke, Sea Bass and Porgy trips that sail at 4PM on Sat and return at 8PM. We stiop them because we run out of daylight too soon.
Now we are sailing daily on our Banker's Hours Special (9AM to 3PM) through Labor day fishing for Blues and Bass. We will be bringing back the Porgy Friday trips but we are waiting for the local fishery to become a blit more solid before we do that. Keep watching for the announcement so those of you who like that trip don't miss one of them.
July 11, 2015: As you can see, there has not been a report here for some time. We just could not see the value of reporting basically nothing. As any of you who have been coming out know, the fisheries have been anything but exciting. Long haul stuff may be OK but we are running 6 hour trips so those places are out of the question. BUT!!! This week things have apparently turned a corner or at least we're getting near a corner. What we have been doing is going for the blues first thing in the morning. If a few bit and we could get one once in a while we would stay at it for the entire trip. If they started and then quit or just would not start we'd give it an hour or so and then go to the bottom, usually chasing Fluke. There was good action but low keeper count, still better than catching nothing though. Some trips were better than others and we were joking about "recycling the same 54 short fluke" every day to make the rods bend. Last week we had a little blue fish hit, all big fish but it pooped overnight. There was some more activity sporadically in the same area over the next almost full week but most of the time we had to switch rigging and go to the fluke. Toward the end of this past week it lit up for us on the blues with decent fishing three days in a row, one of those days being excellent. Again, all big fish.
So, there you have it. This is the first sign we have had of positive progress and we're hoping it continues.
Boat is sailing everyday at 9AM returning to the dock at 3PM. The Saturday 4PM to 8 PM Fluke and bottom fish trips are also underway so take your pick. Even if you get one of the slow days it's still a whole lot better than NOT going fishing!
May 25, 2015: We have fished for the last two weekends as well as today, Memorial Day. What we are finding is that the fish are still hiding up in the warmer confined waters, are mixed together as to species and bite at their whim. Rather than specialize in one species we are taking "all the ammunition" (Bait) with us and catch what ever happens to be biting best at any given moment. It is that finicky. Sometimes we catch some Blues, other times we catch porgies, some short Fluke as well as Black Sea Bass that we are not allowed to keep until after June 21st. It is not unusual to see porgies flying over the rail and blues coming up between them, all on the same grounds at the same time. It is also not unusual for all of them to drive us crazy. One trip the fishing is great and a trip or two later it's pick, pick, pick. It is early and we did have a brutal winter so why should we think this is going to be a walk in the park? I will say this though, we have been able to fish in some pretty spectacular weather and that in itself is a whole lot better than not going fishing at all.
Will it improve? Of course it will but when is the unanswerable question of the day. My best guess is pretty soon. We're supposed to get some warmer weather this coming week that will help to pull up the temperature of the sound. Once that happens, these fish will start to move out of where they seem to want to hang out and get into some of the deeper structure closer to home. Once there they are more predictable, at least for a fish. While it isn't very big, they do have a mind of their own!
Also please keep in mind that there is NO OPEN BOAT TRIP on Sat. the 30th of May. The boat is sold out to a corpopration event. We will be back to sailing our regular schedule on Sunday the 31st sailing at 9AM.
April 16, 2015. It looks like we are finally beyond winter. Hope it holds. We have been working around the weather to get maintenance done. Even the inside work had to be shut down more often than not because it was just too cold to work in the engine room. A good part of my personal time was taken up this winter visiting hospitals while my "other half" of 27-1/2 years fought for her life. Unfortunately she lost that battle on the 5th of March. If I learned nothing else from this horrible experience it was that COPD is a hideous way to die. Think about that that the next time you stick something in your mouth and light it.
We have posted some of the 2015 schedule. We are starting the Blues and Bass 9AM to 3 PM trips on the 16th of May. We'll be fishing Saturdays, Sundays and holidays into the mid part of June (date to be determined later) when we will shift to a daily schedule. For now it's back to the maintenance grind. Hope to see you aboard.
Oct. 31, 2014: Ok, enough is enough. The weather predictions and warnings have finally gotten into line and we don't like what they are. Gale warnings for the entire weekend from two different directions. Put that together with the fact the blue fishing was not really good on Thursday's trip. The fish were small, time of tide sensitive and confined to two small areas. We got by but that was about it. Now we would be looking at gale force winds added to the mix and about all we could count on is that everyone on the boat would be miserable while the chance of catching a blue fish would be somewhere between zero and not much better. The weekend is therefore officially cancelled. See everyone in the spring. Have a great holiday season and make sure you remind Santa that Hel-Cat Gift Certificates are always available for gifting. (shipping included).
By the way. We sailed our last Porgy trip of the 2014 season today and after a couple of not so good drops we hit the mother load! Everyone aboard limited out. Great way to end the season. So for us it is now time for R, R & R. What? Too many R's? No, that's Rest, Realaxation and Repairs!
Oct 28, 2014: It's just about right on 12 hours since the last post here. The weather predictions for Sat and Sun have again changed, this time for the worse. Being that we're looking at the first of November it should be no surprise. Thinking here is that Sat and Sun may well be back in the toilet! Keep watching if Sat and Sun are your only options just in case the unlikely happens. It is still solid good weather for both the Thursday Blue trip and the Friday Porgy trip.
Oct. 28, 2014: Just a note to add to the post below. As of right now the long range wind predictions for Saturday are good. The whole clump of hideous wind predictions have shifted into late night and Sunday. Keep watching this report for further updates. Again, as of this moment, 1130 AM Tuesday, Saturday is looking good wind wise. Thursday and Friday still calm as well.
Oct.27, 2014: Just took a look at the wind predictions for the coming week. The weather for both Thursday an Friday look like the best of the best. Pretty calm stuff. The weather for Saturday and Sunday look like the classic butt kicker. Things could change but the pattern so far this Fall supports what is being predicted. At this point we are not saying we are not going to try to sail on Sat and Sun because the forecast could change. All we are saying at this point is that there is a very good possibility we will not unless there is a radical change. So, the best advice we can give you is this. The weather on Thursday will be calm and there will be a hunk of the best of the two tides waiting for us when we get out there. So if you want to take some more blues home before the season ends that might be your best bet. Friday is going to be picture perfect for the last Porgy trip of this season. Friday is also the last day of the Party Boat Bonus season where customers can take home 45 Porgies. If you want 'em, that's the day to come and get them. For the folks who really like black fish, bring some green crabs with you and use them when we are anchored. Those who have been doing that have been whacking the Togs pretty good. Those who stick to the porgies and black sea bass have been pretty much limiting out, especially on the porgies. So, this is it, end of the lollypop for 2014. Again, the best bet for blues is Thursday and the only bet for porgies is Friday. Sat and Sun are supposed to be for blues but looks more like black and blue bruises. While the predicted wind direction is across the current on Sat and with it on Sunday the boat would be drifting like a rocket and any chance to get your baits down to the fish would be slim to nill. Watch the weather, make plans for the Thursday and Friday trips and hope for the best for Sat and Sun. A few prayers in the right direction couldn't hurt.
Oct 14, 2014: Happy to report that fishing is still excellent on all species we are chasing. We have had some weather related problems ranging from causing very tough fishing conditions on the blues to being shut out by the mear reports telling folks that it is going to rain all day. That typically breaks down to some scattered showers during the day but once the damage is done and we are left sitting at the dock it really doesn't matter much any more. The blue fish trips we saild this week were very successful with only a slowdown around the strength of the current. Once it passed the break we went into a lock and load fishery. On the porgy and sea bass trips all we can say is that it doesn't get any better. Even had a surprise of a nice catch of black fish on Friday. Some of the guys brought green crabs and did well with them including fish to 15 lbs. So, if you want some of the black fish action, bring some green crabs with you. We are supplying all the bait you need for porgies and sea bass. Come on down, our last trip is on the 2nd of November. We're sailing Thursdays at 9AM for blues, Friday at 9AM for Porgies and Black Sea bass, and Sat and Sun at 9AM for blues. If a striped Bass comes along and you catch it so much the better but don't count on it happening.
Oct 5, 2014: Whoo Hoo! It doesn't get much better than it is right now. Both the Blues and the Porgies and Sea Bass are HOT!! We lost a trip to the weather this week that being Saturday but things like that are almost expected this time of year. Other than that it has been fabulous. Today's blue fish trip was not harrassed with a load of small boats and the fishing was non stop all day. Last week we sailed on Wed with a charter for Porgies and that as well as the regular trip on Friday for Porgies and Sea Bass was pretty much lock ans load all day. Our scheduled Thursday Blue fish trip did very well even if the weather left a bit to be desired. October 13th is a Monday and is also a holiday, We are going to stick another porgy trip in there. Seems that one of our regulars suggested something like that but since this is a Monday holiday we decided to make it a 9AM to 4PM Porgy and sea bass trip to accommodate that suggestion. So make your plans, call ahead and come on down before it's all over and done with for the year. This year may have been a slow starter but it's "One Hell of a Finish" in the making. So there it is. Regular trips on Thurs., Sat and Sun for Blues plus the special trip on Columbus Day, Monday the 13th. All trips leave at 9AM. Blue fish trips get back in at 3PM while the porgy runs are back in at 4PM.
Sept. 20, 2014: The fishing is great!!! The blues are cooperating the best we have seen all season. The Porgy trips on Fridays have also been very productive, so much so that the mates have had to keep cleaning fish for an hour after the boat returns to the dock! The unfortunate thing is that there are not enough people to fill a whole week so we have to compress the available numbers into fewer days. That is why we have changed our schedule. We are now sailing three days a week for Blues and Bass, those being Thursday, Sat. and Sunday. Porgies on Fridays. All trips leave at 9AM. The blues and bass trips return at 3PM and the Porgy trips return at 4PM. So don't let this kind of action pass you by, come on down and get yourself a bag full.
Aug. 21, 2014: FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! We think it's finally safe to say that the BLUES ARE IN! Last week they started to really get with the program. There was a bit of a slowdown over the weekend but that's nothing new and different. All week we have been catching well and consistantly. Mostly meduim to large fish and while some parts of the tide are bettern than others we are still catching on the slower parts. this too is normal. Apparently our idea that the "clock was reset" due to the cold winter and that things were going back to the way they were before that string of warmer winters was correct. So noww is the time to get down here and get in on some of the action. Nice to see smiing faces and gaffs going wild!
July 24, 2014: It has been awhile since we reported anything on this site. To tell the truth the fishery has been so mixed up and inconsistent that it is difficult to really report on it. The fish come in, then they disappear, then they come back, then they like one part of one tide for awhile then change their minds. It's driving us nuts but it is still fishing and it is still fun especially with some of the excellent weather we have been having. Bags are mixed to say the least. Blues, sometimes small ones sometimes monsters. Striped Bass, same deal and around the change of the tide we have been catching Black Sea Bass and big Porgies as well as some nice size Fluke. Some folks purposely go after the bottom fish at the slack and others are catching them on the blue fish and bass rigs. Who'd a thought? What has been producing fairly well is our Saturday Afternoon 4PM to 8PM Fluke Sea Bass and Porgy trips.
There is an announcement to make that many of you will appreciate. As you recall, we decided to drop the regular Porgy trips that we have been running for the last three years. There has been some disappointed folks groaning about that decision so we are going to meet it half way as it were. If you look at our trips and prices page you will see that we are scheduling what we are calling "Porgy Friday". Starting on the 5th of Sept. we will fish for porgies and black sea bass from 9am to 4 PM every Friday through the end of Oct. The rest of the time we will be chasing Blues and Bass.
In the intrim we are still grinding on the blues and striped bass every day sailing at 9AM. So come on out, enjoy a day one the water and who knows, you might be there on the day that it all cuts loose!
June 5, 2014: Oops, somebody has been remiss in reporting. Good news. We continued to fish waaaaaaay off to the west with generally very good results on the blues. The Sat and Sun of the Memorial Day weekend were excellent with the Sunday being just short of Blitz fishing. The Monday showed some definate signs that the fish were leaving the area. Instead of paying attention to that we went back there last Saturday only to find the fishery to be a delicate pick at the very best time of the tide. Needless to say, we didn't go back there on Sunday.
Sunday we fished locally with what ended up to be excellent results. In the morning were were concentrating on mixed bag looking for the blues and the bass at the same time. We had the anglers split up on what kind of terminal tackle they were using. We had a mix of jigs, bucktails and bait out. We got a few blues and bass on the down side of the tide, a couple of the bass weighing in at over 20 pounds. The bass were taken on the bucktails except for one that took a bait. Then we went to another local spot for the last couple of hours of the trip and did very well on nice size blues. They were taking both bait and jigs but we had to back away from the bucktails because they were getting snipped off.
So, we are back to home grounds and it was pretty good and getting better. Expecting that trend to continue and the coming weekend's weather is forecast to be beautiful. No more excuses, lets get out there and nail some of these critters! We're still on a weekend only schedule until the 21st of the month when we will start our everyday schedule. Boat sails at 9AM on all scheduled day trips and returns to the dock at 3PM, thus our "Banker's Hours Special."
May 19, 2014: We fished this past weekend as advertised with surprisingly good results. As usual this time of year it is a much longer run to the grounds than it is later in the season but the alternative is to satay close and catch little to nothing. We had a little better fishing on Saturday than on Sunday. Can't really put our finger on why, it's just the way it was. While we had a pretty steady pick all day Sat with a flurry toward the end of the trip, Sunday was slow and inconsistant until the last hour of the day when all hell broke loose. Fish are ALL bluews. They are not the super small "cocktail" variety but the meduims that are still skinny from their migration. They're called "runners". Just to remind us of the real winter we just came out of there were no Bass caught. As of this writing they are not here for us to catch but that too will change in the next couple of weeks as the water warms up. You have to remember that for a few years we had comparitively mild winters. A mild winter does not take the water temp down as far as a full blown normal winter. We just had one of those and we are still dealing with it in that it will take more time for the local waters to warm. In the end it will probably make for a more consistant fishery this summer and that is a good thing.
Keep in mind that this coming weekend is the Memorial Day Weekend so we will be sailing Sat., Sun. and Mon. All trips leave at 9AM. That means that boat LEAVES the dock at 9AM so please get there before that. Seems some folks think it means to start showing up at 9 so they can watch the boat going down the river. Doesn't work out well.
April 17, 2014: Well, that was some kind of Winter! As many of you know, vessels like Hel-Cat II (Coast Guard Inspected to carry more that 6 passengers for hire) are required to undergo a drydock inspection every two years. That was due before the end of Dec., 2013. In mid Dec. we took the boat to the yard up in Fairhaven, MA. She was hauled, blocked and set up with shore power. A few days later Coast Guard inspected her, gave her a clean bill of health and departed. The yard then started the paint maintenance work that needed to be done. That's when all Hell broke loose with the weather. The yard would work between the bad weather. Sometines the weather was OK but the snow was melting and running down all over the rest of the boat so no paint work could be done. Other times the sun was out and there was no run off but it was too cold for the paint to dry. At one point after water blasting the main deck (water blasting replaces sand blasting to remove old coatings back to the bare steel) and getting it primed, the boat sat for over a month before there was a warm enough day to apply the non skid surface. And so it went in what appeared to be a never ending cycle. Finally, on April 11th we were able to launch and bring the boat home to Groton. Then, just to give us another salute, yesterday we woke up to a half inch of ice pellets all over everything. ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Take a look at our "Trips and Prices" page. There have been some changes since last year. Notably, we will continue our 9AM to 3PM Blue and Bass trips through to the end of the season. This will accomodate the folks who want to avoid the summer vacation rush and take advantage of what is usually the prime part of the Blues and Bass season. We are also expanding the very popular "Afternoon Fluke, Sea Bass and Porgy" trips starting the first Saturday in July this year. We have an arrangement with the Groton City Police for the night of the Fireworks that will allow our passengers to leave after we ruturn to the dock. In the past we were not able to run this trip on that night because the road was made into a "pedestrian mall" after 6 PM . Also changed, after Labor Day the boat will be available for large groups to charter during weekdays for whatever kind of fish they want to persue. The open boat schedule will still be in place as listed but we will post any days that the boat becomes chartered, so if you are planning to come during the week after Labor Day, check this web site and or call ahead to make sure we are open that day.
That's about it for now. We are looking forward to some warmer weather and getting back to chasing fish instead of snow. I don't think we are alone in that feeling. See you aboard!