Connecticut Bass Anglers

Fishing Interview with Joseph Massena

I don’t know salmon fishing. So, I was excited to learn a bit more from Connecticut’s Joseph Massena. This guy knows how to catch them. He also does quite a bit of ice fishing that we discuss. Read on…

I want to start with your impressive salmon pics. What are your favorite waters to fish for salmon and what do you like most about these waters?

I enjoy fishing the Salmon River in Upstate New York. It is a river that feeds into Lake Ontario and holds a wide variety of species including salmon, brown and rainbow trout, steelhead and smallmouth. We head up every October for the salmon run but also enjoy the browns and steelhead that are mixed in with the salmon. If you have never been up there it is a great experience.

What are your favorite methods to fish for salmon?

My favorite method for salmon is throwing spoons, and small tins. When these fish are staged in the estuary, I like to use small Bomber or Rapala hard baits.

What is your biggest salmon so far?

My biggest salmon was a king salmon caught last year and it topped off at 25 pounds. I was fishing in the Salmon River using a lift technique. When these salmon enter the river they no longer feed. We use a 10 – 2 technique, cast at 10 lift at 2, and lift our line right in front of a white water pocket. These salmon are staged with there mouths opened in the white water current so when you lift at 2 o’clock you actually hook the salmon in the mouth. Its a crazy technique but once you learn the technique and where to lift it is solid.

joseph-m-02You have a great photo of your son proudly holding his trout. What do you enjoy most about fishing with your son?

I enjoy teaching and passing on my knowledge and techniques to my son as outdoor recreation seems to be a dying bread these days. Too many kids have there face planted in video games or a cell phone. The time me and my son spend together on the water teaches him there is more to life than an electronic devices. Spending time with him fishing also builds character and self respect of which a lot kids are lacking these days.

You have some very impressive ice fishing catches. What are some of your favorite bodies of water during the hardwater season? And what are some of your favorite ice fishing techniques?

For ice fishing I like to fish Lake Candlewood for largemouth bass, smallmouth and brown trout. I typicality jig micro jigs and do very little on tip ups. I will use tip ups for the browns.

My favorite place to ice fish is a small cove off of the Housatonic River here in Connecticut that have hold over striped bass. Thousands of striped bass stay in local fresh water rivers in Connecticut rather than taking the hike south and will stay here all winter. I have a blast catching these monsters through a 5″ hole on a 24″ ul rod and 2lb line. There are not too many places in the world that you can do this.

As far as techniques, I like to use micro jigs and bugs. Northland, clam, sweetish pimples, and custom jigs and spins lures.

joseph-m-03While we cover mostly freshwater fishing on the site, we dabble in saltwater fishing some. When fishing for striped bass in the surf, what type of rod and reel are you using for fishing the surf?

In late spring, summer and fall from surf, I typically use a St. Croix Mojo Bass or St Croix Avid 9-10ft med heavy action with either a Shimano Sphereos or a Shimano Stratic in the 5000 series. I run 30lb super slick braid with a 40-50 lb flurocarbon shock leader.

What are your favorite baits to catch big stripers in the surf?

From the surf, I love throwing a local bait by the name of Plum Island Swimbaits. They resemble a Slugo but in my opinion have a much better action and they come scented. If you are unfamiliar with the Slugo it is a soft plastic lure that imitates an eel. My next go to lures are Diawa Salt Pro Minnows and Yozuri Mag Darters.

Great stuff sir. Good luck fishing this winter. 

Follow Joseph on Instagram to keep track of all of his fantastic catches.