HEL-CAT II Running Fish Reports
     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!   





























         
     
     
Jacob Gratton with his proud dad Jason, showing the 15 lb. bass young Jake caught. One of the regulars asked the young man what he was going to do with the money he won. His answer? " I'm going to buy a Bass Boat." Photo courtesy of proud Mom Caroline.
                                  Picture from 2013