Alex and I decided to go for a quick 3 day trip down to Connecticut and eventually Cape Cod for a shot at a few new species and an excuse for a short summer road trip. We only had a few days, but also a relatively open itinerary with only one major target: a Redfin Pickerel! With that in mind, we devoted our entire first afternoon to searching for them. We actually met up with Rowan, from the Connecticut Fly Angler blog, who was kind enough to guide us around his local stream.
He first brought us to a pool where Alex should have been able to catch her lifer Redbreast Sunfish. Unfortunately, none of those were around, but she did finally get her first Largemouth Bass (60 species later)!
We spent the next couple hours slowly working our way downstream, with me spooking and/or missing every Redfin in sight. They tended to be in surprisingly shallow water, sometimes only 2-3 inches, and spooked very readily. Rowan really knows his creek fishing well, and presented me with many opportunities to catch them, but I struggled to even get a reaction. One time, I was dangling my jig by some overhanging roots without paying attention, only to feel a bite and lift up a much-desired Pickerel that simply plopped off back into the water -_-.
In any case, we persevered, and in an open meadow portion of the stream, we started seeing more and more Redfins! I stayed low and made long casts downstream to avoid spooking the fish. After spending a good amount of time doing this, I finally saw a Redfin chase my lure back! It striked but missed! And continued to miss the lure over and over again four times in a row! On its fifth strike, the little jig disappeared and I quickly lifted out my prize! It landed on shore and unhooked itself, but luckily Rowan was there to catch it for me.
That was about as exciting as it was going to get for me, I had been wanting this species ever since I started seriously lifelisting two years ago! Therefore, I gave my rod to Alex so she could try for one. She was unsuccessful but still managed another lifer: the Redbreast she missed at the pool earlier :)
After completing our time at the creek with Rowan, we said our goodbyes and the continued on our way south to the CT coast. I was going to attempt sight fishing some Sea Robins but a huge storm rolled in and pushed me off the water. We ended the day then and headed to our campsite for the night. The next day was more productive and yielded three new saltwater lifers for me: Black Sea Bass, Northern Puffer, and Scup! All on squid and a high-low rig.
Those lifers pretty well encompassed the rest of the fishing for the trip, nothing new showed up afterwards but I was more than satisfied, I would have been with the Redfin alone!