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New England Regional Fishing with Tim Coleman | Soundings Online Column

Are you ready for an early striper season?

Early birds might enjoy good fishing and uncrowded conditions.It should come as no surprise if we have an early spring and an earlier-than-normal start to our striper season. We had a winter of “no winter,” with water temperatures 5 to 8 degrees above normal and unseasonably warm weather from January through March. This means the migration times for bass to begin moving out of rivers and up our coast on their northern migration might be earlier than expected.

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Maritime history and sweet fishing spots

When anglers board party boats for overnight fishing trips to an area 30 to 75 miles south of Nantucket, Mass., they’re looking forward to sport and then a good seafood dinner after spending the day fishing shipwrecks with lots of maritime history.

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Replace that Xbox with a rod and reel

When you take kids fishing, select a day or evening when the weather is nice, and choose a fishery that has lots of action.Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take some of the local kids out fishing. You are in charge of showing them how much fun fishing can be. In the back of your mind, however, is the notion that the day must compete with the video games the kids left on shore.

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Party (boat) time for the whole family

During the summer, Yankee Capts offers overnight and multiday trips to Cashes Ledge, perhaps the best fishing for cod, haddock and hard-fighting pollock in New England.Your son just announced that his two friends are coming for the weekend. Both like to fish and would like to take a trip, but your boat is either in the shop or laid up for the winter, and your friend with the 42-footer is away on business. What do you do?

The answer might be to board one of the many safe party boats up and down the coast from New Jersey to Maine, weather and season permitting. For instance, the last three winters have seen an increase in the cod catches from Block Island, R.I., to northern New Jersey.

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Versatile rods and reels that won’t break the budget

The heavier DLX 33 rod with a Penn 950SS can be used for a variety of fishing. Here, an angler battles a big amberjack on an artificial reef in Florida.Good tackle shops typically have 300 to 500 rods on display, so it can be a daunting task when the casual angler goes looking for a rod-and-reel combo for the boat that will last yet not break the budget. Here are two suggestions that will work not only in the Northeast, but also if you are taking your boat to Florida for the winter.

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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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