2fly

2fly

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Mudhole defined

The Mudhole: all that purple is a whole lot of mud.

The Mudhole defined

It probably helps to understand the Mudhole.

Long Island Sound is a massive estuarine system. It connects several large river systems with extensive drainage to the Atlantic Ocean. I live in the wonderful small city of Milford, nearly smack in the middle of the Connecticut coast of Long Island Sound.

Sounds idyllic, and in many ways it is.

Here's the rub.  My favorite gamefish survive by eating baitfish. Baitfish are drawn to structure. The Mudhole has little. We don't have the complex currents of the Norwalk Islands to our west. We don't have the rocky shoreline of the Connecticut coast to our east. We don't have the mystical allure of the tip of Long Island, Montauk, the surfcaster's mecca.

What we do have is a lot of mud. And some clay. And a bit of silt. The map above is the work of various researchers. They scan the bottom topography and measure such things as seismic reflection. The Long Island Sound Research Center provides a fascinating site with a tremendous amount of information. You can spend hours on the live map rendering tool.  It reveals what we already knew: there's not much structure in the mudhole.

Scanning the Mudhole

It's not all bad. There are some terrific beaches along with rocky points along the shore. We have the Housatonic River providing a conveyor belt of food to the marine environment, not to mention spawning habitat for many creatures. Charles Island provides structure nearby.  We are, however, almost equidistant by boat to the nearest major structure points: 18 miles west to the Norwalk Islands, 15 miles east to the Thimble Islands, and 17 miles south to Long Island. That's a lot of water to cover, and during the dog days, there can be little to hold fish locally.

Those of us fishing the Mudhole need to work a little bit harder. However, the access is spectacular, and the distinct seasons pronounced.


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