REGIONALS: EAST

Big water in Massachusetts, Fluke 'n' Blues in New Jersey, Lake Champlain in Vermont, Hard Fighting in Pennsylvania, Small Snacks for Big Browns in West Virginia.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Big Water for Summer
Quabbin Reservoir offers a hot multispecies adventure
Massachusetts Think you've got all the tackle you need? Test yourself on Quabbin ReservoirÂ's big lake trout, landlocked salmon, rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel and yellow and white perch. Because of its sprawling watershed, Quabbin is a wilderness almost surrounded by undeveloped shores and teeming with abundant wildlife. Yet Quabbin is easily accessed via three boat launch areas and dozens of walk-in gates.

Fishing Area #1 is at Gate 8 on the western shore, via Route 202, and provides the best lake trout and salmon angling, with good smallmouths, too. (Launching from Gate 8 restricts you to the western arm of the lake.) Mooselock spoons, 9-3s and other smelt imitators work well. Area #2, Gate 31, is at the north end on Route 122 and has shoals, shallows and bays where largemouths, pickerel and panfish prevail. Jigs and crankbaits are good, and shiners work for bait. Area #3, Gate 43, on the east side via Route 32A (follow signs from Hardwick), is a grab-bag area holding a number of species. Troll around and locate points and drop-offs.

Quabbin reopened this spring with new rules and stepped up enforcement. Boats have to get off the water by 3 p.m. Check with the Quabbin VisitorÂ's Center for other rules.

Contact: Cliff Read, Quabbin VisitorÂ's Center (485 Ware Road, Belchertown, MA 01007; 413-323-7221). Â-Tom Fuller

Fluke 'n' Blues
An easy surfside double.
** New Jersey** Circle Raritan Bay on your mapÂ-this is your bluefish and fluke strike zone. Focus on the hours surrounding high tide. Also be sure to try Laurence Harbor. Look for shore access areas off Route 35 in Middlesex County. The blues and fluke also cruise the waters off Cliffwood Beach Park along Raritan Boulevard and the boardwalk near Bayview Avenue.

Both species gobble spoons or anything in bright silverÂ-Hopkins or Luhr JensenÂ's Krocodile and Flutter spoons. Colored bucktails can increase strikes. When these lures fail, bunker or mackerel chunks on a 3/0 or 4/0 hook can do the trick.

Monofilament up to 14-pound-test works fine with the lures, but you can go to 20-pound-test if fishing bait. Your leader should be at least six inches long. Steel leader is a good bet, but nylon-coated line fished with a float works if youÂ're using bait. Contact: New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (609-292-9450). Â-Oliver Shapiro Hard Fighting
A muskie/bronzeback double
Pennsylvania If youÂ're looking for a fight, go seek the Juniata RiverÂ's muskies and big smallmouths. Purebred muskies are stocked all the way to Mapleton. Focus on long, deep pools, particularly ones that have a good amount of overhead cover. Also try the holes at mouths of larger tributary streams. Muskies gobble jointed surface plugs, but try plastic lizards rigged Texas-style too.

The smallmouths thrive throughout the Juniata. Big fish lurk between Duncannon and Mifflintown. Public access points dot this area along Route 322. Focus on the tails of riffles and underwater ledges. Shallow- running Rapalas are a top choice. Flyfishermen prefer ClouserÂ's Deep Minnow. Contact: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, South-Central Region (1704 Pine Road, Newville, PA 17241; 717-486-7087). Â-Jon Farley

Pick a Fish
Champlain's got them all.
**Vermont **In early summer on Lake Champlain, landlocked salmon and brown trout hit sewn bait and smelt-imitating spoons and flies trolled at mid-depths and shallower. Go deep for giant lake trout. The main lake, from Chimney Point in Addison to the bays near Burlington, produces most of the best salmon and trout catches.

You can also tackle world-class smallmouth and largemouth bass fisheries. Smallmouths are numerous on the edges of the mailake where hard bottom prevails, particularly along points, reefs and rocky shorelines. Crayfish, stickbaits and soft-plastic jigs work well. The largemouths prefer the soft bottom and weed beds found in the southern end of the lake below Chimney Point, in Mallets Bay just north of Burlington and in the northern end near the islands and in Missisquoi Bay in Swanton. Floating plugs and jigged plastic baits, along with natural bait, work well. Northern pike are found in the same areas as largemouths and hit big swimming minnow imitations and flashy wobbling spoons. State-run access sites and boat ramps are numerous (see sidebar below). A Vermont license is good only to the deepwater line of the entire lake. A New York license is needed on the western side.

Contact: Vermont Fish and Wildlife (103 South Main St., 10 South, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501; 802-241-3700). Â-T.F.

Small Snacks for Big Browns
The Elk River's brown trout can push the 30-inch limit.
West Virginia In summer, when the Elk River runs low and clear, the trophy brown trout start sipping midges. Veteran anglers tie on 9X or even 10X tippets and size 28 fliesÂ-but strikes from the 20-inch-plus fish are hard and the light tippets can break easily. An alternative is to fish at dawn and dusk with jigs or crankbaits (treble hooks must be barbless). The riverÂ's clarity demands 2- to 6-pound-test line. Jigs should mimic crayfish. Small, minnow-imitating crankbaits are often most effective after summer rains when the river rises.

The ElkÂ's upper catch-and-release segment (a good section for lure fishermen) begins at the village of Slatyfork and extends 3.6 miles downstream into a roadless canyon. The second segment, where summer flows are better and stonefly nymphs can draw strikes, begins at Elk Springs and extends two miles downstream.

Contact: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (304-637-0245). Â-John McCoy

Notes From Afield
Yellow perch: easy pickings for kids.
For you Vermonters and New Yorkers who are going to hit Champlain this summer, targeting the yellow perch is an ideal way to get the kids on some fast action (and the yellows are great eating, too). A simple float, split shot, hook and minnow or crawler piece make a fine rig. So do jigs (tipped with crawlers), in-line spinners or small spinnerbaits in areas of heavier cover. The perch also clobber a floater-diver minnow plug and flashy streamer flies. They make some of the finest eating youÂ'll find (theyÂ're cousins to the tasty walleye) and theyÂ're plenty feisty on light tackle.

YouÂ'll need a boat to cover the water, but thereÂ's tons of access. You can find boat launches on the Vermont side of the main lake (north to south) at Kelly Bay opposite Rouses Point bridge; Dillenbeck Bay north of South Alburg (small boats); Horican just before the bridge leading to Isle La Motte; Tabor Point via the gravel road south from West Swanton; the north end of Grand Isle; Sand Bar State Park; Lamoille River; Malletts Bay mouth of the Winooski River; Waterfront Park and Perkins Pier in Burlington; and Converse Bay west of Charlotte.

On the New York side, there are launches at Great Chazy River, Point Au Roche, the Saranac River, Peru Dock (opposite Valcour Island), Ausable Point (for small boats), Port Douglas and Willsboro Bay. Â-Jerry Gibbs BRIEFS
Connecticut
Hartford Carp: The Connecticut River south from Hartford offers carp to 25 pounds and channel catfish to 10 pounds. Cast chunk and stinkbaits in deep channels for the cats. Try backwaters and bays for the carp. Access the river at Riverside Park in the city or Great River Park in East Hartford. Contact: Eastern Fisheries Headquarters (860-295-9523).

Wangumbaug Bass: Take advantage of the Â"Big Bass ManagementÂ" at Wangumbaug Lake in Coventry. ThereÂ's a good chance for a bass over the slot limit here. The protected slot is 12 to 16 inches; six fish is the daily bag, with two over 16 inches. A public boat launch is accessible via Route 31. Contact: Eastern Fisheries Headquarters (860-295-9523).

Herring Trouble: Connecticut has banned the taking of anadromous river herring (alewives and blueback herring) from inland and marine waters because populations have declined to historically low levels. DEP staff speculate that the decline is due in part to predation from increasingly abundant striped bass. Landlocked alewives in several freshwater lakes are not included in the ban. Contact: Bureau of Natural Resources, DEP (860-424-4100).

Key Dates
June 1: Free fishing days.
June 30: American shad season closes.

Delaware
Summer Blues: Chase the blues at the Broadkill River. In summer bluefish pass through Roosevelt Inlet near Lewes to feed in the riverÂ's mouth. Fling plugs, poppers or streamers into the frenzied surface activity where pods of feeding blues attack baitfish (watch for gulls flocking to the water). Access the Broadkill from Pilottown Road, west of Lewes. Contact: Delaware DFW, Fisheries Section (302-739-3441).

Fluke Time: Focus on underwater rock piles, wrecks and other submerged structures in Rehoboth Bay for summer flounder fishing. Take fluke on cut squid, or with light spinning tackle using pink or white plastic worms scuttled along the bottom. Launch at Delaware Seashore State Park. Contact: Delaware DFW, Fisheries Section (302-739-3441).

Proposed Bird Dates: The Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced its proposed migratory bird seasons, which still need final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The USFWS decision should come by mid-August. DelawareÂ's proposed dates include: early teal, Sept. 5Â-14; regular duck, Oct. 2Â-5, Nov. 1Â-11, Nov. 25Â-Jan. 17; canvasback, Dec. 26Â-Jan. 17; Canada goose, Sept. 2Â-14, Nov. 25Â-30, Dec. 21Â-Jan. 17; snow goose, Oct. 2Â-Nov. 13, Nov. 25Â-Jan. 17, Jan. 31Â-Mar. 10; dove, Sept. 2Â-21, Oct. 14Â-26 or Oct. 21Â-Nov. 2, Dec. 9Â-Jan. 11.

Key Dates
June 15: Snapping turtle season opens (trapping license required).
July 1: Daily creel limit for tautog increases from 3 to 10.
July 1: Hunting licenses go on sale.

Maine
Moosehead Salmon: Through more focused management, trout and salmon are resurging at Moosehead Lake, especially the brook trout. You can find facilities, tackle shops and boat launches in Greenville on the southern tip, or farther north on Routes 15 and 6 in Rockwood. Contact: DIFW (207-695-3756).

Roach Brookies: MaineÂ's Roach River flows for six miles out of First Roach Pond just north of Greenville into Moosehead Lake. Both shores offer excellent pueÂ's a good chance for a bass over the slot limit here. The protected slot is 12 to 16 inches; six fish is the daily bag, with two over 16 inches. A public boat launch is accessible via Route 31. Contact: Eastern Fisheries Headquarters (860-295-9523).

Herring Trouble: Connecticut has banned the taking of anadromous river herring (alewives and blueback herring) from inland and marine waters because populations have declined to historically low levels. DEP staff speculate that the decline is due in part to predation from increasingly abundant striped bass. Landlocked alewives in several freshwater lakes are not included in the ban. Contact: Bureau of Natural Resources, DEP (860-424-4100).

Key Dates
June 1: Free fishing days.
June 30: American shad season closes.

Delaware
Summer Blues: Chase the blues at the Broadkill River. In summer bluefish pass through Roosevelt Inlet near Lewes to feed in the riverÂ's mouth. Fling plugs, poppers or streamers into the frenzied surface activity where pods of feeding blues attack baitfish (watch for gulls flocking to the water). Access the Broadkill from Pilottown Road, west of Lewes. Contact: Delaware DFW, Fisheries Section (302-739-3441).

Fluke Time: Focus on underwater rock piles, wrecks and other submerged structures in Rehoboth Bay for summer flounder fishing. Take fluke on cut squid, or with light spinning tackle using pink or white plastic worms scuttled along the bottom. Launch at Delaware Seashore State Park. Contact: Delaware DFW, Fisheries Section (302-739-3441).

Proposed Bird Dates: The Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced its proposed migratory bird seasons, which still need final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The USFWS decision should come by mid-August. DelawareÂ's proposed dates include: early teal, Sept. 5Â-14; regular duck, Oct. 2Â-5, Nov. 1Â-11, Nov. 25Â-Jan. 17; canvasback, Dec. 26Â-Jan. 17; Canada goose, Sept. 2Â-14, Nov. 25Â-30, Dec. 21Â-Jan. 17; snow goose, Oct. 2Â-Nov. 13, Nov. 25Â-Jan. 17, Jan. 31Â-Mar. 10; dove, Sept. 2Â-21, Oct. 14Â-26 or Oct. 21Â-Nov. 2, Dec. 9Â-Jan. 11.

Key Dates
June 15: Snapping turtle season opens (trapping license required).
July 1: Daily creel limit for tautog increases from 3 to 10.
July 1: Hunting licenses go on sale.

Maine
Moosehead Salmon: Through more focused management, trout and salmon are resurging at Moosehead Lake, especially the brook trout. You can find facilities, tackle shops and boat launches in Greenville on the southern tip, or farther north on Routes 15 and 6 in Rockwood. Contact: DIFW (207-695-3756).

Roach Brookies: MaineÂ's Roach River flows for six miles out of First Roach Pond just north of Greenville into Moosehead Lake. Both shores offer excellent pu