Holidays in the Northeast by Mike Prete

The Author with a nice Holiday Stripe Bass

Happy Holidays everyone.
It’s that time of year in the Northeast when fishing has slowed to a crawl. The migrating saltwater fish are all but gone. For the freshwater fisherman there’s skim ice on the lakes and ponds and the salt and brackish water temperatures are in the very low 40s and upper 30s. At this point in the year, it’s time for a little break. It’s time for gear and boat maintenance and to spend time with my family. They have been fishing widows for the last eight months but, before the winter break I made a run up into the Housatonic River for one last striped bass trip. The Housatonic holds striped bass through the winter and as long as conditions allow, are fishable and break up the monotony this time of year.


SR-6 performing in the elements.


I found some fish on the edge of a shallow flat against a deep water drop off and put the SR-6 to work. I fish soft plastics more than 80% of the time during the season and I’ve found because of the 5.1 gear ratio the SR-6 is by far the best reel to fish soft plastics with. The bait stays in the strike zone longer and because of this, my bites have increased. Especially when the fish are in a negative feeding pattern and with a weight of just 10 ounces, casting fatigue is nearly non existent.

I scored a few bass for the last run of the year including one decent sized fish for the table. A good trip to wrap up a great season. It’s now time to prepare for a trip south to the Keys for a family/fishing vacation.

The Spanish mackerel run off Marathon Key in late February early March is a great winter fix. While these fish are not a glamour species they fight well on light tackle and are a lot of fun to catch. We cruise the edges of the reefs looking for birds and busting bait. Fishing for mackerel is very similar to fishing blitzing bass and blues during the fall run in the Northeast. It’s a lot of run and gun fishing chasing down schools and casting to blitzing fish. The fish are very cooperative. Small hard baits and metal spoons work quite well. Vaca Cut is always good for a few tarpon, snook, grouper, Barracuda and good size Jacks this time of year. A perfect mixed bag to put the SR-6s and 12s through their paces.


Letting one go for the next guy.

Have a safe holiday season and a Prosperous new year. Fish Hard. Fish Accurate.

Tight lines everyone…..





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