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I've read that there's incredible ecological diversity in the Reversing Falls area and associated nearby watershed. Walked the trail that overlooks the falls up in Milford (where I grew up) and seeing all that water down there makes me itchy to get out before it gets too cold. Now that I'm a fisherman (okay, that's a pretentious claim but let it pass and bear with me :) ), I'd like to learn a little more about what's there and how to catch just about anything that's bigger than a baitfish.

Of course the big draw is striped bass and I hope to fish for them very soon. But I've also read on these forums that "blues" (which was a new one on me) are occasionally present, and mackerel, sturgeon and flounder can be found in the area. And I know the gaspereaux and shad pass through in the spring and have to guess that sea trout do at some point as well. And perch are likely everywhere.

Understanding it can depend on the time of year, what other fish are around there, and how should I gear up and bait my kayak-mounted angling rods to catch 'em in the areas to the north of the falls? Is there a sort of general setup that would appeal to most fish or does that not work and you really have to target a specific bait, depth, time of day and so on for a specific species?

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Bonus question: older trout fishermen have warned me not to wash my hands using standard soaps, instead using something like near-scentless Ivory bars before handling bait and gear at the end of the line. Wondering how solid this advice is, and how much my usual target fish (trout, perch, smallmouth, and hopefully a growing list that will include sturgeon) care about smell.
 

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You can pretty much count on only catching striped bass and eels at the reversing falls in any numbers. You may luck into shad, gaspereaux or herring using a sabiki rig in the spring. The other species are somewhat of a rare catch in that area.

Yes, I would stay away from using any strong smelling soaps on your hands before fishing or from getting gasoline, sunscreen, etc on your hands as well. A good attractant can mask these smells. There are deodorizing metal bars that supposedly neutralize odors on your hands... never tried them but if you believe Mr Izumi's sales pitch, they just might.
 

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most other species just above the falls can be landed either on a sturgeon rig or smelt rig. in 10 minutes I've landed striper, tommy cod, catfish, yellow perch , sculpin and eel. there are often silver sides there (smelt like bait fish) and lots of small yellow tail flounder close to the mill, and sometimes the water is alive with gaspereaux and/or shad. I've never landed a trout here, but they go by and I mostly fish at night. a buddy of mine hooked up with an ocean sun fish there when we were kids in the early 70's - destroyed his reel and rig - he wasn't pleased. you can also get some hake, both silver/white and green mid winter. there is astream that comes in by where the ferries are stored that has most of the smaller fish like perch but tide and water level makes a big difference.
 
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