Weekend Warrior: Options abound, so let’s catch some fish

I’m going to gush for a second. This time of year–this exact moment in the fishing season–is so cool. I just finished reading my fishing reports and scouring the online forums for any recent reports of outings, and I’m sitting here on my couch smiling. Honestly. There’s just such optimism in our little fishing sphere for the next few weeks. It may be quiet now. But it’s about to explode.

I took the Dais for a W-A-L-K down the road to the pond today and saw little rises in the shallows–sunfish I bet, eating some tiny bugs on the surface film. I thought briefly about running back to grab my rod, but I just stood there and watched the little ripples while Daisy sniffed around in the mud.

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I checked the wind report for this weekend. I checked all of them, and realized that I may have a weather app problem. I’m addicted to them. But the weekend actually looked good! Sunny, single digits winds! We may actually have a Spring after all.

The good news here, and I’m going to shout it from the rooftops, is that everything is coming together. And after the winter/spring we just suffered through, we need it more than ever.

So, let’s get to the fishing plan.

Boat Cleaning

For those of you with boats, you know there’s always at least one beautiful day in the spring where you have to forego fishing to get the vessel into ship shape. This is the plan for Saturday…but not before heading out to the pond to try and catch a few trout.

Big Brown Trout on the radar

The news of massive browns just keeps coming. 3, 4, even 5 pound brown trout (this has been corroborated by a trusted source) have reportedly been pulling serious drag from the reels of unsuspecting fishermen. And now I can’t seem to get that image out of my head. So, here’s the plan.

Last weekend, the trout fishing was very hit or miss. This seems to be the same pattern-or-lack-thereof of this Spring. The trout seem to feed well for a few hours, then completely shutoff, seemingly at random. I’m feeling a more consistent bite this weekend with the stable temperatures.

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All of the major ponds in our area have been stocked numerous times with browns, as well as rainbows and brookies. And I’m hearing they’ve stocked the breeders. So, I’m going to grab the fly rod and throw a few big zonker and woolly bugger patterns for big fish patrolling the shallows. Close to dawn or dusk will be your best bet for big browns, although the fish don’t seem to be following any typical patterns this year.

For spin fishermen, bigger spoons or swimming plugs, like the Yozuri Crystal Minnow, are great options. Or, swim a shiner under a bobber.

So, Saturday is for the trout this weekend. But don’t be afraid to welcome the occasional pickerel, bluegill, or perch. They can be fun too.

Late Afternoon Stripers?

If the boat is good to go before late afternoon, Pops and I may take the skiff out to a river in Wareham that, if the circling ospreys are any indication, has a few tasty herring running through it right about now. And we have a choice here. Run upriver for herring-frenzied bucketmouths, or run downriver for holdover stripers. Decisions, decisions.

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No migratory bass have been reported yet (unless those finding success are being extremely tight-lipped, which may be the case). But I’m thinking we won’t see any numbers until the water temps start to tick up at a decent clip. Temps are still wildly low for this time of year.

But the holdovers are eating fairly consistently right now. There have been some awesome reports of schools of fish feeding voraciously on the Cape and just off of it. As previously mentioned, look for estuaries with access to deeper water. You can find holdovers in just about any one. Anything that you’d normally throw for small-ish stripers will work here, but holdover anglers are really into throwing jigheads with soft plastics (smaller Hogy’s, Bill Hurleys, or even curly tail grubs).

Groundfish Bonanza

So this brings me to Sunday. My trusty wind and marine weather reports say “seas 1 foot or less” all day on Sunday. This means we’re dropping the boat heading out into the Bay. As we get closer, weather will dictate whether we stay inshore or try to skedaddle across the bay to Stellwagen.

Inshore, we’d look to dunk seaworms for flounder. I haven’t heard reports of flounder being caught yet, but maybe I’ll be the first report. Besides, name me a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon, than bouncing a sinker with a seaworm off the bottom and sipping on a cold beverage. A flat fatty would be a bonus.

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If the weather looks really good, we’re heading to Stellwagen for Haddock. Fishermen brave enough to make it out there the past few days report loads of them up on top of the bank. We’ll look to bounce 3-5oz diamond jigs (we’re only talking 75 feet of water) with a few pink rubber teasers off the bottom. Hopefully we haul in a few haddock, and Sunday dinner turns into a fish fry.

 

So there it is. We’re on the edge of the precipice, folks. Any day now, our bay is going to blow wide open. Acres of migrating stripers will maraud the schools of bait. But let’s enjoy this peace and quiet now while we have it. Tight lines and get out there and catch some fish.

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