Monday, May 21, 2012

Noteworthy Catches

Spring fishing is in full swing across the Northeast. In both fresh and saltwater, anglers are reeling in remarkable fish. Here is the skinny about two friends of mine that just scored personal best catches for the species they target most.

Over the last few years, Matt Janiszewski, an old colleague of mine from a seasonal gig with CT DEEP, has poured countless hours into pursuing carp. Now living in New Jersey, he and a few other hardcore have been enjoying untapped carp grounds. Last year he landed several fish over 30-pounds and a handful that surpassed the 40-pound mark. Earlier this month he bumped it up a notch and landed a would-be New Jersey state record common carp of 53-pounds 12-ounces! He weighed the fish with a witness and snapped some great photos, but there was no question this pre-spawn momma was going back into the drink. Even though he smashed the current carp record in New Jersey by six whole pounds, his catch won't be recognized because it wasn't "officially" weighed-in (read: killed). Hats off to Matt on a beast of a fish! I have a feeling that he will have another go with this one in the future when she's even larger.

Carp bum Matt Janiszewski with a fish that smashed the current NJ record by a whopping six pounds!

More recent and closer to home, a well-deserving fellow Connecticut Surfcasters Association member landed a fish of a lifetime in the wee hours of Sunday morning, a surf-caught 55-pound 5-ounce striped bass. Rich Morris is the kind of guy that talks softly, but carries a big stick. He is a great ambassador of our fishing club and for the sport of surfcasting. I've had some good conversations with Rich and was lucky to share the boulder fields of Block Island with him a few years ago. To hook and land this incredible striped bass in the Connecticut surf is an amazing accomplishment, let alone in the month of May. Often-overlooked as a world class striper fishery, this little state that could is racking up an impressive track record. Kudos to you, Rich!

CT Surfcasters Association's Rich Morris with the catch of a lifetime (photo credit: Toby Lapinski)

Editor's note: Since this was posted, another friend and very accomplished angler, Captain Blaine Anderson, landed one of the largest known striped bass ever to be caught from Connecticut waters. The estimated 74.75-pound beast (57.5" long; 32.25" girth) ate a live scup on an eastern Long Island Sound rock pile during the morning of May 23, 2012. Blaine tried to revive her to the best of his ability, but the taxing fight proved too much. In the striper's stomach were two summer flounder, two skate and an eel!  Here is Blaine's account of the ordeal with some great photos and below that is a video, which may be the largest striped bass ever filmed alive: