"Get Hooked on New York"

Jason McWade's Profile
Username: protacanthopterix
First Name: Jason
Last Name: McWade
Member Since: 02/21/11 09:53 AM
Last Login: 04/08/17 12:25 PM
Profile Views: 26774
City: Belltown
State: Connecticut
Country: USA
Interests: My family and my fishing are pretty much my life. I enjoy kicking the soccer ball around when there's time and there's usually a house project rearing it's ugly head. I keep a small Boston Whaler in working condition. 1983 Super Sport 130 with an '83 Johnson/Evinrude 35hp.
About Me: I live on Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton. I work as a Greenskeeper for the Borough of Fenwick in Old Saybrook. I am the Division President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of New Haven.
Favorite Fish
to Catch:
Favorite Type
of Fishing:
Fly fishing
Water Type: Saltwater and Freshwater
Favorite Lures: large marabou streamers
Fishing Rods: Shakespeare, Cabela's, THO
Fishing Reels: Shakespeare, Cabela's, Orvis
Fishing Techniques: Trolling flies by boat and sweeping streamer flies across rivers and through eddies.
Favorite Fishing Spot: Salmon River

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Jason McWade's Trips

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Atlantic salmon
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 1
Views: 1933
Shetucket River
11/0/0 - 12/0/0

I managed two trips to the Shetucket River for some salmon fishing this year. The first, at the onset of November, following the October stocking, paid-off big. The second, the day after Opening Day, turned-up butkus.

I took the first Tuesday of November off work and left for the Shetucket River around 6:15 AM. It was COLD. I do not have insulated waders and so I dressed myself with long-johns, wool socks, tee-shirt, sweat-shirt, jacket, and flannel-lined jeans. I packed a lunch, some scotch, some beer, and a cigar. I took with me spinning gear and fly-gear. I planned on being on the river 7-8 hrs.

I entered the area at Scotland Dam, at the top of the stocking range. I suited up and grabbed my fly-rod. I had a 8wt rod with floating line and about 5ft of 10lb leader. At the end was a Blacknose Dace streamer. No weight. After some casting, but with no evidence of salmon, I began to follow trail and/or train tracks down river. Every now and then I would stop, where terrain would allow, to enter the river and make some casts. With still no sightings of salmon, however, my casts were blind for the most part. I tried to concentrate on the edges of deep water, or maybe a bottlneck, but there isn't as many of those areas as you would think. Finally I approached where Merrick Brook enters the Shetucket.

SPLASH! My first salmon-sighting of the day. I slowly entered the river to try some casts. It was a little awkward and deep and before long I had a bit of a snaggle. I decided to move and as I did another angler steps into a choice spot. Such is life. I quietly circled around to wind up downstream and fished the main bottleneck. After some dramatic sweeps of my streamer I heard the other angler get a strike, but no fish. This happened once more and then he swtched off with me. I waded through the water.

Merrick Brook has dumped sediment over the years on the nearside of the Shetucket River, making it shallow here. Above the brook, however, is deep; as is the far side of the river that has been gorged by fast water. I positioned myself at the bottom of the deep water above the brook and made casts slightly upriver. My fly would slowly drift along the far bank before coming even with me, when it would pick up speed and do a fast arc in my direction just before the bottlneck. Half-way through the arc I started stripping the line in. I was in this stage that I recieved a strike after a few tries. I missed it, but I hooked the fish for good on the next try. It was only 2 lbs say, a grilse, but Atlantic salmon are exciting no matter what the size because you don't know what they will do. Dive, run, jump, dance, jump&dance, charge, etc. I snapped a photo of the fish in the net and let it go. Another angler showed up and I moved on.

I decided to return to the truck and next entered the river at Salt Rock State Park. I walked upstream, and seeing nothing promising, backtracked and began again downstream.

About a quarter-mile downstream of the Salt Rock fishing area is a bend in the river. There is fast, deep water running into a far, steep bank. There are gravel bars topped with log-jams on the close side. The water gets very deep here and the water in the middle moves along well. As I made a cast a salmon swirled 10ft from me in front of a log jam. My fly swept over the area with no luck. The fish took my next offering and this was a fighter. I landed the fish on the other side of the river completely spent. I had crossed some rapids and fought runs, charges, and dancing. The fish caught it's breath while in the cradle of my hand (way before I did) and swam away. I was at this pool for 2 more hours and landed 3 more salmon. The last of which lept out of the water at chin-height for six feet before giving into my net. I took his picture too. All caught on the same gear and weighed around 2lbs.

My second trip, December 2nd, was ruined by high water from a wide-open Scotland Dam. I could barely step into the river for the first 2hrs! Once the water receded I began to fish in earnest, but never a bite or a sighting. I am not sure if another trip is in my future or not. This season.

Blackhall Bass
No Reviews
Views: 3458
Blackhall River
12/24/2012 - 12/28/2012

This week beginning on Christmas Eve I made three trips to the Blackhall River after work. The reports of Striped bass in the river were accurate and I had luck regardless of time of day or tide. All fish were taken close to the bottom with super-flukes and one fish on a slowly trolled kastmaster.

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Fenwick Summer
No Reviews
Views: 3310

I am creating this "trip" for the sake of mapping a few fishing spots from dozens of small trips I did throughout the summer around the Borough of Fenwick and Old Saybrook. Main locales include South Cove, Connecticut River, and Fenwick Pier. Species caught include Striped bass, Bluefish, Weakfish, and Northern searobin. All fish were caught casting with artificial lures.

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Fenwick Stripers

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 1
Views: 5889

This was a barely planned trip that a friend and I did after work one day and it must of been Payday.

Around 10:30pm we fished off the Fenwick lighthouse jetty during an outgoing tide. We had some live eels and some fresh menhaden with us. The wind was really screaming across the mouth of the river, over the breakwall and breachway. We threw some chunks of menhaden over the leeward side of the jetty. We started slinging eels, but within 5 minutes we landed a 40" bass with the menhaden. We began again, same way, and couldn't get the eels into the wind. That didn't matter because after 5 more minutes we landed a second 40" bass! We let the eel rods rest and focused on beer and bunker. After some time we landed just about the largest skate I've ever had the displeasure of holding (can't find the pic, but I will!) and then another. This one was big, but not as big. They where both males and strong as hell. One tore my finger up good; my friend needed to use the needle nose to pry the jaws open to get my finger out. Would you believe we finished the night with one more 40" striper and a small skate? We did. Three 40" bass and 3 skate in 90 minutes.

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First (and Only?) Ice

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 2
Views: 4339
Lake Pocotopaug

For a week, following a 2-3 day cold snap, I started seriously testing ice everyday In hopes of finally setting some tip-ups and jigging through ice. After some weird weather and a couple of snow falls I was able to make the decision to fish Lake Pocotopaug Sunday morning. There was 3" of hard, mostly clear ice underneath 6" of light snow.

Before going to bed Saturday night, I packed the car (for a 70yrd excursion) with plenty of gear including 9 tip-ups, 3 jigging rods, 1 box of tackle, 1 ice pick, 1 drilled-up kitchen spoon, 1 can of spikes, 24 shiners, 1 beer koozy, 1 pair of ice spikes, 50ft of anchor line, 1 flask of scotch, 6 beers, 1 snow shovel, and 1 folding stool. I set the alarm for 6:15am.

Sunday morning I was up quick and prepared a breakfast. I gave the wife a peck on the cheek and told a small fib about the 4-5" of ice on the lake as I was putting on some layers. I checked the temperature as I left the house-- 14F.

I stepped onto the ice at 7:00am. It was still and quiet and the sun was just beginning to hit the west banks of the lake. I was still in shade. I shoveled 6 areas for tip-ups and had everything baited and set by 7:30. I was fishing in 5-12 feet of water; a nice range for anything on that lake, although I would be surprised to get a Walleye for the location and time. But not unheard of. I took a small swig of scotch and then sat down on my stool with a spectacular view of my trap array and the lake. Cold and quiet. Around 8:15 I listened to a car try and get up the drive way. I heard the car door open and an explitive said. Cold and quiet. I was getting into what I believe is a big bite for the lake: 8:30-10ish. The bite went by without a single flag and I was shocked. Such is life I guess. Around 10 some friends showed up and within an hour there was a huge area covered with tip-ups; not a single flag.

At noon I tied a rope round my waste and headed for deep water with a friend in tow. I didn't know what kind of ice was over the 30ft of water we were walking towards and it turned out to be 2 inches. No guts, no glory and I stabbed the ice with the pick. No problems. We jigged this water for White perch for another 1/2 hour and we pulled up 1 White perch. While we were doing this, "tsavfish" got a flag, 1 Yellow perch. And that was the total for the day: 2 small fish. I headed back to the house before anyone else and got comfortable for championship football. Everyone made it off the ice by the end of the first quarter and we were deep in whiskey, beer, and food by half-time. Some serious, important matters were brought up regarding Loch Willoughby and Lake char before the game's end. I guess we'll watch the weather.

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A Wild Brown trout
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 2
Views: 4937
Dickenson Creek, CT

With no fish in my bag from my "Sea trout" trip, I decided to get out again before Thanksgiving. All the rain, however, was a problem and I couldn't decide where to go. I was sure there would be plenty of fish in the Salmon, but I was also sure that there would be way to much water; the USGS data on this site confirmed that. I ruled out a couple of other spots for whatever reason and decided to try Dickenson Creek as I usually always manage some sort of luck. Luck I did have, but there would be an unexpected problem.

I began at the Lyman viaduct and walked upstream. LOTS of water and plenty of leaves and silt to boot. Because of all the dirt I chose a spin-fly with a white/black blade and, because of previous experience on the river, I made sure that the body and skirt were black. The skirt had a streak of chartrouse in it.

It wasn't easy, but before too long I had 2 salmon smolts-- typical of the stream. So the fish were hungry, anyway, and my lure was at least able to be seen. After a while of nothing but leaves I arrived at a pool I hadn't noticed before. An evergreen tree had fallen across the river and the needle-filled branches were slowing the water very well. The top of the pool was a confluence of the river after it was split by an island. There was a couple of large eddies to boot. This was the most favorable spot so far, and I decided then to unshoulder my tackle bag and spend some time and pick the pool apart.

After a dozen of casts and no hits, I began to step out in the pool and get my lure into a few far corners that I missed. I made a cast at the furthest eddie and as soon as I felt the blade kick on I felt the treble get taken hold. I pulled back on the rod and felt nothing, but weight. Then I felt a violent head shake of a fish and the line sliced up stream, my drag clicking a few times. Yahoo! I smile creased my face, but vanished as the fish began to "dance" underwater and then launched itself out of the eddie, and into the current. I kept the rod high and felt as the fish continued to tug and rode the current towards me, then pulled even with me, and then kept on going by. Now the drag was going again and I followed the fish downstream, but the fish soon tired and I began to gain my line back working it towards the shore.

Here I finally saw my fish and was taken back. This was a 12"+ Brown trout with massive fins. The back of the fish was dark and this lightened and turned gold at the stomach. The head was pointed with a kype just beginning. Rather than the more typical red "halos" around black spots, this fish had solid red dots and solid black spots; the reds were few, but vivid against the dark brown flanks. The leading edges of the ventral fins were a bright white. *whistle*

And here was the problem. Once again I had my query in hand, but I couldn't keep this fish! Legally I could, but because of my own set of ethics I couldn't bring myself to end the fish. He gave a memorable fight on a river that I have been building memories since I was seven years old. I also knew that this was a true child of Dickenson Creek, and for a wild trout to gain this size in any of Connecticut's rivers was a real feat. So, after fumbling with my camera's timer for 20 seconds, and still no photo, I cradled the fish into the still water at the edge of the river and waited for him to catch his breath. Thirty seconds later he swam away.

I took a libation, caught my breath, and checked the time. Got to get home before the wife catches me leaving work early! I packed up and went away back through the Mountain laurel and hemlock.

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Sea trout
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 3
Views: 7186
Latimer Brook, CT

Over the weekend I decided to try and locate a true Sea trout: the Sea-run Brown. After some research I decided to give the Latimer/Niantic River run a go. It was a fine trip with lots of fish caught, but not exactly what I was looking for.

I began the trip by parking the truck at the Motel 6 on the south side of route 95. There is a commuter lot nearby, but, after checking it out a bit, it seemed as though a fence seperated the lot from where I had to be going. I later found a break in the fence, but still would have had to cross some sort of Public Works facility to get there. So it was the Motel 6 and I signed the cross that the truck wouldn't be towed as I walked away with my tackle bag, two rods, and my waders over my shoulder.

My tackle bag was filled with 2 boxes of spin-flies, 1 knife, 1 measuring tool, 2 apples, 1 can of roasted peanuts, 1/5th of Scottish whiskey, and 24oz of lager. I chose to bring a light bass rod and a medium bass rod rather than my ultra-light which I left behind in the truck. My goal was to be able to have 2 fat, 20+" Sea-run Brown trout on my table for Thanksgiving and I wanted to feel nothing but control when one struck instead of the "holy crap the rod is bending into the water--omigod I gotta get into the water" feeling that a big trout can give a guy with an ultra-light and no net.

I followed a power-line trail for maybe a 1/2 mile before I looked to my left and realized Latimer Brook had been next to me for sometime. The thick wall of Mountain laurel prevented me from seeing it and the highway noise kept me from hearing it. No biggy, I walked in where I was and tied a brown/gold spinner on. My first cast was a simple one, straight in front of me, and when the lure reached mid-river a fish struck and within 10 seconds it was ashore. It was a Brown trout; small; maybe 9". I took it as a good sign.

I headed up stream towards the 95 crossing, away from my goal, for the sake of fishing the entire sea-run span of the river. I hooked 2-3 trout in each pool I stopped. I tried a couple of runs and had some luck in these as well. Eddies didn't seem to produce any more or less. There is a massive pool at the 95 crossing and I stayed long enough to catch a dozen trout out of this spot. Now I was worried. I probably had 30 fish landed and none over 11 inches.

In most rivers I would've been in heaven with my limit, but this run of stream has a creel of 2 fish over 15 inches and I was expecting to get just that. I kept hope, though. It was past mid-November and the big trout could easily (and very likely) have already slid down-river to the Niantic. So I moved down-river at a good pace stopping to catch more 9-10"ers and enjoying the look of the river, apples, peanuts, and scotch.

I got to the end of the trail and then I smelled the salt. I got very excited and thought, "Okay! This is A-game time! Now I'm gonna see some real Sea trout." Nope. In fact immediately after smelling the salt, I did not catch any fish. I was catching no fish and was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the appearance of "Private Property" signs and the appearance of residences as well. WTF! The river gets very deep (almost chest high) right before it goes through a short set of falls and then slows to almost a pond at the route 1 crossing. I didn't catch or see signs of any fish in this entire area so I heaved a sigh and turned back. I gulped a beer at the spot where I began and then packed it in feeling confused about how I should be feeling right now after catching 30+ trout and no fish to take home.

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No Reviews
Views: 4508
Rocky Neck, CT

I had the dog with me so I started off walking in through the trails west of Bride Brook. It is a nice walk; I had never been through there before. Once over the railroad tracks I was surprised to see how busy it was. People were on the beach, at the pavillion, and on the jetty. I skirted everybody and kept west; I gained the water by the high ground that extends to a small point that makes up the eastern edge of the inlet to Four Mile River. It was high tide (I missed my target time by 1hr) and I'm guessing I was fishing in around 10 feet of water over sand with some reef in spots. I began with a mackerel-patterned popper and on my second cast caught a Bluefish moments after a school of baitfish erupted from underneath the popper. It would be the only adult Bluefish caught for the day. After a while with no action I switched to a blue/silver Castmaster with a short bucktail. After a few casts I was into some snapper Bluefish and even got to witness some blitzing as the small Blue were chasing fish onto the rocks (this was whipping my dog into a frenzy!). The fishing slowed as the water left. I didn't see any boats having luck, but the jetty across from me was producing more snapper Blues and one angler at the end was having a good day for Porgies as far as I could tell.

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Striped bass
Avg. Rating: 4.5
# Reviews: 2
Views: 6479
Norwich Harbor, CT

After a failed trip in mid-March (skunked!) a buddy and I gave it another shot last night. Norwich harbor is a nice place at night with the snow falling. We began up the Shetucket. High, fast water made it hard to find the bottom with light tackle and soft plastics. No light to see things never helps either. Some bait fishermen were hooking up, but very slow. No fish for us. We moved down to the boat launch to find the same story. A vigil at the gazebo. We next walked up the Yantic jigging super-flukes off the bottom. Around 10:15pm we found the schoolies. Some good action and a few drag-pullers. Unfortunately we had to leave in the middle of it around 11pm. Not a ton of fish, but a good reward after working hard in bad weather. Twice.

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This user has created 9 trips

Jason McWade's Latest Mapable Trips

Below are the last 8 "mapable" trips this user has plotted.


Jason McWade's Trip Statistics

Jason McWade's Photos

Female Atlantic salmon
Female Atlantic salmon
Same fish. My stepfather took the shot.
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 3
# of Comments: 2
01/12/15 06:15 PM
Female Atlantic salmon
Female Atlantic salmon
This is my largest salmon to date. 29"
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 1
01/12/15 06:14 PM

01/12/15 06:11 PM

I timed shot from my rear bumper...
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 1
01/12/15 06:11 PM
December salmon
December salmon
I kept this male Opening Day. All my salmon trips are to the Shetucket.
01/12/15 06:10 PM
Salmon River
Salmon River
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 2
# of Comments: 2
11/07/14 03:15 PM
View all 43 of Jason McWade's Photos
User has 43 photos in their collection.
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Jason McWade's Ranking

Jason McWade's Current Rank:

Panfish Rank
With 183 Total Points

Previous Ranks Achieved:

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Below is where we list statistics for the number of reviews, comments, message board posts, etc. that this user has posted on all the Fish Finder sites. The higher total overall points a user has, the higher the user's ranking.

Total Trips:9
Total Photos:42
Total Hotspots:14
Total Trip Reviews:2
Total Trip Comments:5
Total Location Reviews:0
Total Location Comments:3
Total Locations Added:0
Total Locations Edited:4
Total Message Board Posts:92
Total Species Comments:2
Total Species Recipes:1
Total Species Edited:9
Total Amenities Added:0
Total Amenities Edited:0

Total Overall Points:183

User's Recipes:

1. Easy Perch (Wall-eyed/Yellow)

Our records indicate this user has posted reviews, comments, or locations on states other than New York.
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