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Charles Walsh: Wishes for 2013 fishing season

Updated 12:09 am, Sunday, December 30, 2012
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Fishing and wishing for 2013:

• For the marine and inland fishing divisions of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, we wish a much shorter name and an end to the rumors about reductions in the 2013 blackfish bag limit. It is true that keeper tautogs may not have been as abundant as they were in 2011, but the sheer numbers of shorts promised great things to come. Also, more great creative ideas for improving the fishery, like the list of fishing sites where shore fishers were allowed to take smaller blackfish and the Bonus Striper system in the Connecticut River. (How about expanding to the Housatonic?)

• For the Housatonic and Saugatuck rivers, and the Black Rock and Southport Milford harbors, we wish an awesome spring push of bunker, sand eels, herring and other tasty forage fish to be closely followed by schools of hungry stripers, blues, and flounder.

• For boaters, we wish calm waters, freedom from engine trouble and the too-common urge to speed through no-wake zones.

• For the trout fishers of Connecticut, an Opening Day that finds the freshly stocked rivers and streams flowing at a brisk pace, unlike last April, when some waterways were so low due to a lack of rain that dropping a handkerchief risked cutting off the flow entirely.

• For Senator Richard Blumenthal, we wish success in pulling the nation back from the fiscal cliff and a sudden onset of amnesia that causes him to forget about his dumb idea for making Long Island Sound into a marine sanctuary.

• For the Connecticut River, we wish a run of American shad equal to days of old, when the Essex Shad Festival had enough fish to feed the entire state.

• For Bass Pro Shops, we wish a quick resolution to the dispute between Bridgeport and the power companies over who will pay to have the utility lines at the company's proposed Bridgeport site. Come on power companies, man up!

• For striper fishers, we wish cows so big they do not fit in the photo frame and the fortitude to practice no-exceptions catch-and-release once the shutter clicks.

• For Ron Merly, who just completed a multi-year stint as president of the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, another state-record sea run brown trout like the one he caught in the Saugatuck River in 2006. Or, failing that, a fat broodstock Atlantic salmon from the Naugatuck River. Should that not happen, we wish him a big spring rush of Connecticut anglers eager to pick up a copy of his invaluable book, "Fly Fisher's Guide to Connecticut," hands down the best guide of its kind ever.

• For the Interclub Fishing Tournament, we wish a successful banquet in January -- where the winners of this year's tournament will receive their trophies after one of the best steak dinners anywhere. And for the 2013 tournament, we wish for enough blue so that no competing boat gets skunked. May the smallest

fish tip the scales at 14-plus pounds.

• For Black Rock tackle shop owner Jimmy Orifice, another banner blue crab year so he can spend more nights prowling dark waters with a flashlight and pole net. Just make sure we get invited to the dinner.

• For all anglers, salty and sweet, we wish a great New Year when you never hear the dreaded words: "Oh, man, you should have been here yesterday, we really hammered 'em."

cwalsh@ctpost.com

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