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New England Regional Fishing with Tim Coleman | Soundings Online Column

A fly-weight rod and some heavyweight fish

The author has landed some impressive fish with his prized 7-foot St. Croix Ben Doerr Surf System rod.As I brace my knees against the transom and adjust the “drop” between my rod tip and the little whip eel, I scrutinize the plot of water where it appears that a body of substantial bass or gorilla-sized blues has been erupting in the dim 3 a.m. calm.

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Science vs. gut instinct: how we learn to fish

If there is one recipe that reliably yields top-flight fishermen — in terms of basic human traits, talents, root skills — I’m reasonably certain that a hard-wired scientific bent is the key ingredient.

Me? I’m a humanities guy. A creative type. A science guy might base his angling strategy on months and years of careful observation conducted with absolute objectivity and a highly systematic approach to technique.

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Are we headed for another bass crash?

Stripers such as this heavyweight caught (and released) at Cuttyhunk this spring may well be plentiful for years, thanks to the legacy of some mightly year-classes spawned during the height of the bass rebound.Five years ago, give or take, when the first rounds of known striper strongholds began to dry up in the Northeast — spots on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, the Elizabeths, Fishers Island, the Sluiceway in eastern Long Island Sound — most motivated stripermen knew the rumors about a diminished fishery but had seen no evidence thereof on “local” grounds they fished.

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Drift smarter to catch more fish

Zach HarveyOutside the charter fleet, where rigid schedules and the need to catch on command force captains to lean on high-percentage methods, you won’t find many anglers singing the praises of wire-line or downrigger slow-trolling. Nor will you encounter many casual anglers with a powerful urge to spend their free time monkeying around with cumbersome ground tackle.

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Back in the fighting chair after a long break

Zach HarveyIt was almost two years ago — Sunday, June 10, 2012, late afternoon — when I wrapped up my last professional turn on a charter boat deck. Through May that season I’d avoided making any of the usual commitments to full-time party- or charter-fishing gigs. I’d had one hell of a time wrapping my head around this sudden disruption of my normal seasonal rhythms — felt like the proverbial “man without a country,” a guy with no peg on which to hang his hat.

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Tim Coleman

Tim Coleman died May 3, in Weekapaug, R.I., doing what he loved to do best at that time of year: scouting the salt ponds and outer beaches for spring striped bass. He was an exceptional saltwater angler and a prolific writer. Thousands of readers lost an advocate and authentic storyteller for fishing in the Northeast, and anyone fortunate to have known Tim lost a good friend.


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